Members of the Bellmawr Fire Dept. and EMS are pictured with Dan Jensen (center) founder of C3O, Bridgette Fonseca, Curaleaf’s District Manager Retail, and also Mike Scaffidi, Curaleaf’s Community Outreach Coordinator. (SJO Photo)
On December 21, 2021, members of the Bellmawr Fire Department and EMS were in attendance as representatives from Curaleaf and Code 3 Outreach (C3O) presented the Bellmawr Fire Department with a check for $3,000.
Curaleaf and C3O recently partnered to create a co-branded t-shirt available for purchase with proceeds from every sale set aside to be donated to the Bellmawr Fire Department.
The effort aims to bring awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to advocate for cannabis as a treatment for first responders and veterans.
Dan Jensen, the founder of C3O, shared that he was a former EMT and firefighter for approximately 14 years. C3O was founded a year and a half ago with the slogan “Calm in Chaos.”
First Responders and veterans all set out on a call or a mission and no matter what the situation, they are trained to maintain “calm in chaos,” Jensen said.
He asked what comes to mind when you think of the word “cannabis.”
“Doesn’t it automatically conjure up that old ‘Reefer Madness’ stigma? That’s not what this is. This is a medicinal product that is changing lives every day. My life took a complete 180. When you handle it responsibly and the more you learn about it, the easier it gets to work into a regime. This is an all-natural way of healing to bring you back to the homeostasis that your body is craving,” he said.
Jensen began going to expos and events to learn more about “what this [cannabis] plant is.”
Once he received his Medical Marijuana Program (MMJ) card and could go to a medical marijuana dispensary, Jensen visited one up north and said he “wasn’t impressed.”
Curaleaf was the second dispensary Jensen visited and he remembered standing in the dispensary and noticing Curaleaf’s Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP).
Curaleaf had created a pre-roll box with the VCP logo that contained five small pre-rolls inside. It was rolled out at Curaleaf’s dispensaries and through retail partners across the country. For every box sold, $1 is donated to the Veterans Cannabis Project.
That was the end of 2018 and Jensen thought: “I would love to do something like this but on a first responder level.”
The “Calm in Chaos” t-shirt partnership between C3O and Curaleaf generated $1,000 in revenue. Then, Curaleaf matched it and ultimately added another $1,000.
“Curaleaf went above and beyond,” Jensen said.
Bridgette Fonseca, Curaleaf’s District Manager Retail Operations, thanked Bellmawr’s First Responders for “going out there every day and putting your life on the line. We appreciate you,” she said. “We are glad to be in the Bellmawr Community. We want to break down that stigma [associated with cannabis]. We’ve been here for six years now and plan on staying.”
Mike Scaffidi is Curaleaf’s Community Outreach Coordinator said that he has met many people and heard so many stories about how cannabis betters people’s quality of life.
Bellmawr Fire Department Chief, Dan DiRenzo, said that mental health is “very big in what [first responders] deal with.” Acknowledging the $3,000 donation, DiRenzo said: “We really appreciate what you have done for us, especially with this.”