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Marijuana Businesses Finding it Hard to Locate Charities That Will Take Their Money


An already large and quickly growing industry like the cannabis industry can be expected to make a lot of profit; after all, profit opportunity is what draws investors and accelerates the growth of an industry in the free market.

There are many things a company can do with profits, including reinvest them back into their business. But some companies have more profit than they need for reinvestment, plus many companies just like to give back to the communities where they are based and where their customers live. The easiest way to do this is to donate money to established charities – whether they be local, regional or national.

But some marijuana companies are finding that the list of charitable organizations that will accept their money to be a shorter one than it is for companies in other industries. “I have been shocked at how few places will take our money,” said Tim Cullen, CEO of the Colorado Harvest Company.

There are many reasons for the reluctance on the part of charities, including the stigma that still surrounds cannabis and federal law that says marijuana is completely illegal and causes banks to shy away from accepting money from cannabusinesses.

As is the case with many problems faced by companies in the legal marijuana industry, the federal government is the culprit. Without federal pressure banks would be free to accept cannabis cash which would accelerate the process of removing the stigma that still surrounds the plant. Instead we have companies flush with cash and nowhere to put it and that have to search for charities that will actually take it.

And because of federal law, marijuana companies that do give to charity can’t even write the donations off on their taxes. “Some businesses like to make donations so they can write off,” said Shannon Brooks, director of marketing and co-owner of the Lightshade marijuana shop chain. “Those giving back from cannabis organizations really are doing it for the right reasons. I do think the public needs to know that is the case.”

Until federal laws are changed there will always be multiple issues with legalization in the states. In this case, people in need are being held back because charities are scared of or ill-informed about cannabis.

Not everyone is trying to do the right thing and give back to their community; there is no point in making it harder for the people that want to do so.


  1. This is repulsive on the part of the charities. Many charities need money to help people in so many different ways. And here, they are being offered financial assistance and they refuse the donations because the money is attached to the cannabis business. Curious what the people who actually need the help think of this!