Charities Refuse Donations From Cannabis Companies While Accepting Money from Big Pharma

You'd think a charity would accept donations from any source they could. That's basically the point of a charity. But according to Forbes, charities are hesitant to take donations from cannabis companies, even in states where it's legal.

Forbes recently published a story about Organa Brands, one of the largest vape companies in America. Due to their immense success, the company wanted to give back to the community. Unfortunately, they were turned down from a handful of charities including Wounded Warriors, the American Cancer Society and the Children's Hospital Foundation. The company was not happy with those refusals.

“It felt like a slap in the face,” said Organa Brands President Chris Driessen. “Because the message was essentially you’re a drug dealer.”

While some organizations may want to avoid association with the cannabis industry because it is still illegal in parts of the country, the American Cancer Society's refusal is a bit hypocritical. They've been more than happy to accept more than $1 million in donations from big pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie. These companies make dangerous painkillers such as Vicodin, Remoxy and Troxyca ER, which are incredibly dangerous and lead to thousands of overdose deaths every year. 

Not all charities refused Organa Brand's help. The Denver Rescue Mission happily worked with the vape company to help provide services to the homeless. And the charity Grow for Vets, which helps veterans find medical marijuana to treat various ailments, also accepted their donations. 

Roger Martin, the executive director for Grow for Vets, said the organizations that refused Organa "have a snooty, up in the air attitude."

Considering the marijuana industry is projected to be worth more than $10 billion by 2020, charities better change their attitude or they're going to lose out on a major source of future donations.


This Massachusetts Democrat - and 2020 presidential candidate - has a strong history of supporting veterans' access to medical marijuana. Over the years, Congressman Seth Moulton has acted as the primary sponsor on three cannabis-related bills—all of them focusing on improving veteran access to medical marijuana. As an Iraq War vet himself, Moulton has taken a strong stance in supporting the health and well-being of other veterans who continue to be barred from accessing medical marijuana - even in states where it's legal - because federal prohibition prevents Veterans Affairs from letting vets use medical cannabis.

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