Good people don't smoke marijuana.

At least that's what the old-timers might be clamoring on about still. But the truth is, "stoners" are changing the world. In the U.S., states with legal marijuana are taking illicit commerce off the black market and transforming it into tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue — some of it going to building schools, funding scholarships or repairing roads. And those businesses selling the weed are doing extraordinary things in their communities, too.

Like The Dab, a Denver dispensary known for its crazy low prices, and … wait for it … dabs. On the second Sunday of every month, while the rest of us wile away our time on brunch and blunts, The Dab is out in the streets helping the homeless.     

For the past eight months, The Dab has been partnering with its vendors and supporters to deliver care packages to the less fortunate in Denver, Colorado. To date, approximately 4,000 have been hand-delivered. That’s a lot of lifted spirits.  

Second Service Sunday is the work of Lance Perryman, owner of The Dab. A former intelligence specialist in the Army and one of the original founders of Smashburger, Perryman has always given back to the community when he could. In September 2017, The Dab hosted a 9/10/11 event. It was the second Sunday of September, held to honor veterans and raise money for charities. It turned out to be a huge success. The event raised around $40,000 for Blue Haven, Weed for Warriors, and Veterans for Natural Rights.

It was the impact this single event made that inspired Perryman to give back at The Dab every month. Perryman, on his philosophy behind it, says, “The purpose of Second Service Sunday was simply to give back to those less fortunate. Many of the homeless that The Dab family help are veterans. And I have an obligation to help my fellow warriors.”

The Dab’s model is inclusive. They work directly with their vendors to fund the drives. Businesses like West Edison Concentrates and Apex Extracts kick in money to buy the supplies. Community partners like Positive Vibes Headshop volunteer time to package and deliver them.

This unique relationship has two advantages. First, it brings together people across different facets of the industry. Second, it compounds the impact. Giving back costs a lot of money and time. Without the synergy these partnerships afford, Second Service Sunday’s wouldn’t be possible.

The days themselves are a full-fledged operation. To see it in action, you’d think they were professional missionaries. Starting around 10:00 a.m., a team of a dozen people get together and begin assembling the care packages. Making 500 of them usually takes four to five hours. The care packages include necessities such as water, socks, lighters, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, healthy snacks, and sandwiches. Seasonal considerations are made, too, such as beanies, gloves, and blankets during the winter. On Mother’s Day, roses for the women.

The teams load up Sprinter vans, donated by High-end Transportation, and take off for impoverished areas. The Civic Center Park, Denver Public Library, and St. Francis Center are a few of the frequently served parts of Denver. The quickest part of the day is always delivering the care packages. Not long after they arrive, the vehicles are swarmed by the needy.

Jeremiah Wilson, co-owner of Positive Vibes, describes the typical scene: “Once everyone realizes we are handing out desperately needed supplies, the people really come out. Big smiles, too! We try to move group to group so the handicap and less mobile have access, too.”

And just like that, 500 lives are made better. They are made easier, more whole, and probably happier. Jericho, Sales and Marketing Director at The Dab, remembers the first bag they ever handed out, “I gave out the very first bag. I was extremely nervous, but then I stepped off the bus and was immediately welcomed with a big hug from a gentleman named Tom! He thanked us for making the world a better place. And that’s exactly why we won’t stop.”  

[Tom, the first to receive an SSS care package]

As the Dab grows, Lance Perryman wants Second Service Sundays to grow. Early signs are promising. Unc Imo, a rapper and cannabis enthusiast known for his antics, is starting his own program in New Orleans based around what The Dab does here.

Perryman gets excited about it when he talks. “A big thing about Second Service Sunday’s is it creates an infectious attitude to give back,” he says with a smile. And why shouldn’t it? One person at a time, our actions are being woven into the moral fabric that supports society. Its strength depends on everyone.

Unc Imo’s musings on the program also rings true: “We were created to love and support each other, but somewhere we lost our way. When we feed homeless people we are doing what we were created to do. We sharing our love.”

Now more than ever, the world could use that love.

[all photos Spencer J. Ward]