September 4, 2014

Cannabis & Community: The Industry Gives Back to Medical Research and the Arts

The National Cannabis Industry Association was founded in order to foster a legitimate, responsible, and socially-engaged cannabis industry. We continue to advocate for these values both within the industry and to the outside. As part of this ongoing message, we encourage our members to engage with their communities and support charities in addition to the marijuana policy reform efforts that advance the industry directly. Cannabis businesses that engage in philanthropy are not only helping important causes and earning a tax deduction — they are demonstrating tangible benefits of legally regulating cannabis businesses to policymakers and the public. After all, criminal drug dealers don’t usually give back to their communities.

Voter support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high but a lot of work still needs to be done before public perception and the legal environment reach the point where the cannabis industry is treated like any other legitimate American business sector. Successful cannabis businesses can help move us in the right direction by publicly supporting mainstream causes that resonate with the general public in addition to helping lay the foundation for a culture of corporate responsibility within the emerging industry.

Colorado’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry is leading the charge on this front with two great examples of philanthropic activity this summer.

NCIA director of education and events Brooke Gilbert (left) poses with director of government relations Michael Correia (right) at this year's Clinic Charity Classic.
NCIA director of education and events Brooke Gilbert (left) poses with director of government relations Michael Correia (right) at this year’s Clinic Charity Classic.

On August 16 the Clinic Marijuana Center held its 5th Annual Clinic Charity Classic, a golf tournament benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The sold-out tournament was sponsored by dozens of cannabis businesses — including NCIA — and raised over $80,000 for the M.S. Society’s Colorado-Wyoming Chapter.

The cannabis industry is also supporting the arts through our sponsorship of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s “Classically Cannabis: A High Note Series,” a run of private, cannabis-friendly summer concerts in Denver. The series is leading up to a September 13 concert at the nationally-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater sponsored by NCIA and our members Bhang Chocolate, Gaia Plant Based Medicine, Leafly, The Farm, Terrapin Care Station, Walking Raven Marijuana Center,, Julie’s Baked Goods, Vicente Sederberg, and Northern Lights Cannabis Co. 

Our support for these important community benefits strengthens our relationship with those who may not have any direct experience with cannabis or the industry and generates positive news coverage across the nation.

Let us know how your business is engaging with your community in the comments below or tell us if you have an idea for new ways to get philanthropically involved.

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