Jack

Sometimes shopping leads to charity. If you’re unsure about that, just talk to owner Jack Carney or his staff at Jack’s Cannabis Co.

Carney, whose store has locations in Pittsfield and Northampton, needed to resupply his store’s inventory of custom lighters when he realized October was approaching, and the idea hit him that he would like to create a new campaign to give back to the community.

“I thought it would be cool to use these pink lighters as a way to raise money to assist those who have been affected by breast cancer,” Carney said. “Jack’s Fights Breast Cancer was born.”

Jack’s Cannabis Co., which Carney describes as “small but mighty,” now has pink lighters on sale in both its locations, and all the proceeds from the sale of those lighters will go to Pop Cares and Cancer House of Hope to provide direct help for breast cancer patients in both communities.

“We hope to raise nearly $5,000 from this campaign,” Carney said.

But pink lighters are not the only way that Jack’s Cannabis is giving back, even though the store is in its first year of operation. Employees also are committed deeply to helping the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to be smart, strong and bold.

“As an agency, 44% of our children come from under-resourced households here in the community with an annual income of less than $25,000 a year, and being able to pass on the support from Jack’s has been tremendous,” said Kelly Marion, Brigham Center’s chief executive officer.

“We were ready to volunteer with summer camp,” Carney said. “But the pandemic required that only monetary donations were made.”

Even though the in-person connection was blocked by COVID-19 protocols, the gift of funds still helped. The Brigham Center looks at Jack’s Cannabis’ donation as an investment.

“We use other investments from Jack in the center to support education and prevention curriculums for our children and youth,” Marion said. “We want to make sure to use the resources wisely in supporting our participants. Our goals with these programs are related to building young people’s strengths through the development of positive skills and behaviors. Our programming helps to increase adaptive behavior by promoting the physical, mental and emotional development of individual youth and teaching them skills they can use to cope better with today’s pressures.”

But the support from Jack’s Cannabis Co. to the children at Brigham Center didn’t stop there.

“Back in August, he [Carney] was able to do a school supply drive at his stores and dropped off to us enough notebooks, pocket folders, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, crayons, glue sticks to support all of our children in the after school program with their school supplies for the start of the year,” Marion said. “We had enough that we put some aside for when children need them as the year goes by. Over the course of the year, we support 190 children in our school-age enrichment program, so donations like this go a long way in supporting community children in need, and it takes the financial burden off the parents, who in many cases are struggling to make ends meet.”

Carney said he and the staff were excited to do the school supply drive after the disappointment of not being able to volunteer at the summer camp. Once again a bit of shopping spurred some of the giving momentum.

“We got all of our employees involved, having them do some of the shopping and/or provide suggestions for school-supply items to donate,” Carney said. “Then all the supplies were delivered to the stores, and then we gave them to both Brigham Center and Family Outreach of Amherst.”

Although Massachusetts law requires those pursuing cannabis business licenses to outline plans for positive impact in their communities as part of their applications — and this plan is reviewed as part of the licensing process — Carney said that his staff is grateful for the connections his store has made, especially working with Family Outreach of Amherst, an organization that provides shelter, advocacy, crisis intervention and other services for women and children.

“They run the Not Bread Alone Soup Kitchen,” Carney said. “We give annually for their general fund. But we also gave a direct donation just for the soup kitchen. And of course we helped with the school supplies drive. But we also are on an email chain where we are contacted whenever they have a specific instance of a local community member needing financial assistance.”

Laura Reichsman, director of Family Outreach of Amherst, said that Carney and his staff’s school supply drive helped more than 10 families.

“The children in those families proudly went to school eager to learn with full backpacks because of [Jack’s],” she said. “The kid’s joy was palpable, and the supplies were such a help to their parents. I’ve been so impressed by Jack and his staff’s commitment to help struggling families, all the while creating and growing a new business. They always remember Family Outreach of Amherst and the families we serve. It is so wonderful to have such great support, and it’s a perfect example of how a local company can make a real, positive difference in the community where they do business.”

Carney is quick to pass on such praise to his staff and, more importantly, the clientele of Jack’s Cannabis. “At the end of the day, they help us help our community,” he said.

If you’re interested in supporting the efforts this business extends to its community, including scoring yourself a pink lighter that supports a breast cancer patient, you can find Jack’s Cannabis Co. at 34 Bridge St. in North Hampton and at 1021 South St. in Pittsfield.


PLEASE CONSUME RESPONSIBLY. This product may cause impairment and may be habit-forming. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. The impairment effects of edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact the poison control hotline 800-222-1222 or 911. This product may be illegal outside of Massachusetts.