Charities Are Refusing Contributions From Cannabis Companies Despite Legalization
Many organizations are rejecting donations from the marijuana industry, making it difficult for companies to give back to the community.
Published on September 12, 2017

There’s no denying that the growing success of the cannabis industry has led to some altruistic outcomes. Whether it’s through public school funding or special programs for veterans, tons of money and resources have been put towards the betterment of society. However, many charities are still shunning contributions from marijuana companies, even those located in legal states.

A recent article in Forbes shared the story of Organa Brands, a massively successful cannabis company that wanted to give back to the local community, that found out that charities were unwilling to accept their helping hand. On top of that, those that reluctantly agreed to take donations from the business would only do so if the money was gifted anonymously.

A number of organizations rejected donations from Organa Brands, including Wounded Warriors, American Cancer Society, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Organa Brands President Chris Driessen stated that the rejection “was a slap in the face” and sent a harsh message that basically told his company “you’re a drug dealer.”   

Still, some organizations have shown appreciation by agreeing to work with Organa Brands, which is the parent company for a variety of cannabis business, such as O.penVAPEBakked, District Edibles, Magic Buzz, and Organa Labs. One group that welcomed the pot enterprise with open arms was the Denver Rescue Mission, an organization that works with the homeless. Organa Brands was thrilled to not only donate money, but also provide volunteers on Thanksgiving.

The company has also had success contributing to like-minded entities, such as Grow For Vets, an organization that helps veterans gain access to free medical marijuana. The cannabis group ended up hosting a golf tournament to raise money for the charity, helping veterans that need pot to help treat conditions such as chronic pain and PTSD.

Despite being stuck with the stigmatized label of working in marijuana, companies like Organa Brands are simply looking to support charitable organizations the same way that any kind-hearted person or business would. While a select few charities have openly received contributions from pot companies, the vilification of the plant must first be dismantled before those in the industry can truly make a difference.

Tyler Koslow
Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.
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