It’s hard to imagine that the “420” cannabis meme has ever been put to better use: Grown Rogue is leading an Oregon cannabis industry effort to raise $420,000 for fire relief in hard-hit Jackson County.

The Medford-based grower and product-maker escaped the fires without damage, but that wasn’t the case for all of its employees.

“Two people on our team lost their entire homes,” CEO Obie Strickler said. “They were both at work. There are so many stories like that. It’s been devastating.”

Grown Rogue is working through the United Way of Jackson County on the initiative, joined by Jackson County grower Benson Arbor, multistate operator Curaleaf/Select, and local retail outlets House of Leaves and Redwood Cannabis.

Jackson County suffered some of the worst damage of the fires that broke out in Oregon early last week. The Almeda fire that tore through Talent and Phoenix destroyed more than 2,300 homes, at latest estimate. Another major fire, the South Obenchain blaze northeast of Medford, brought widespread evacuations as well as damage, including to cannabis growers, that is yet to be quantified.

Grown Rogue said it kicked off the fund with a $10,000 company contribution, and its leadership team had donated an additional $8,000. Other cannabis organizations in the state had committed $35,000 so far, as well.

“Rebuilding communities is costly and can take years, but we know that United Way is built for the long haul, focusing investments on health, safety and other unmet needs by creating partnerships to address emerging needs and fill gaps in human services,” Grown Rogue said on a Give Lively page set up to take donations, which are tax deductible.

By Pete Danko by Portland Business Journel