Advanced Nutrients founder Michael “BigMike” Straumietis is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. Beyond building several pioneering companies he also has stepped up as a dedicated philanthropist who chiefly is focused on helping homeless communities in California.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Straumietis and his non-profit organization Humanity Heroes organized several programs designed to help the homeless and essential workers on the front lines of the crisis. He also created a giveaway for 4/20 that will deliver some much-needed weed remedies for 200 lucky cannabis consumers in the Los Angeles area.
Humanity Heroes is a non-profit charity group that Straumietis founded in West Hollywood, California, in 2014. Recently, the group donated 9,000 backpacks filled with essential supplies, including food and clothing, directly to homeless people on L.A.’s skid row. When the novel coronavirus hit, Straumietis said he wanted to do something that would help protect the homeless and limit the spread of the virus. When he found a local company that was able to produce 3-ply washable, reusable face masks, he commissioned it to make 17,000 masks that were quickly distributed to homeless people in downtown Los Angeles.
“I’ll tell you, down there on skid row, we need to get down there and do something,” Straumietis said in an exclusive video interview with mg. “The homeless people are congregating in groups, and they’re not practicing social distancing at all. There are more people down there than I’ve ever seen before, maybe thinking it’s a collection point. But we need to get in there and do something immediately because if we don’t it will be a virus epidemic point.”
Humanity Heroes also donated 700 N95 masks to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center for the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who are the front lines of the pandemic.
Humanity Heroes will continue its “Heroes Wear Masks” campaign in May, Straumietis said, offering more face mask donations in the coming weeks to firefighters, police, and EMTs, as well as hospitals and homeless shelters.
Cannabis Stimulus Package
Straumietis said he also wanted to do something for cannabis users who are dealing with uncertain times and financial hardships during the crisis, and he developed two programs that aim to do just that.
“My belief is you should give back to your community where you make your money, and society as a whole,” Straumietis said. “For our cannabis community, Jordan [Lams] and I over at Moxie got together, and we’re giving out to 200 people $50 of canna products, delivered to [their] door for one penny.”
In order to sign up for the “Cannabis Stimulus Package” drawing, consumers in the greater L.A. area can go to Straumietis’s Instagram account, @bigmike, to sign up for the drawing. Winners will be selected on 4/20, and products will be delivered to their door by Moxie.
Straumietis and Advanced Nutrients will also sponsor Farechild’s “Chronic Relief”, a live-streaming digital telethon set to air on 4/20. All funds raised via donation during broadcast will be given to Feeding America, a nationwide nonprofit that feeds more than 46 million people through its 200 food banks.
In addition to his planned outreach events, Straumietis is concerned about everyone stuck at home under #StayHome orders. To help alleviate boredom, he suggests one of his newest products: the Starter Kit. Created for hobbyist growers who want to get a crop started this spring, the kit includes grow and bloom nutrient formulas, and a selection of other supplements to grow top-notch weed indoors or outside. “It’s curated products that I believe would be the best bets for anyone getting into the industry as a hobbyist, with a great price point to get them started,” Straumietis said.