Charities including the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warriors and the Children’s Hospital Foundation have recently refused donations from cannabis companies like Organa Brands (the company behind Organa Labs) O.penVAPE, Bakked, District Edibles and Magic Buzz.
The Organa leadership was not pleased with the news. “It felt like a slap in the face,” Organa Brands President Chris Driessen confided to Forbes. “Because the message was essentially you’re a drug dealer. The optics were more important than helping the people. ”
Refusing money from cannabis companies hardly presents a solid moral argument. The American Cancer Society, for instance, accepted over $1 million in donations from each of the following pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie. These companies are the creators of potentially deadly painkillers like Vicodin, Remoxy and Troxyca ER, according to its 2017 Annual Stewardship Report. It is ironic that these donations are being refused, when cancer patients are among those who can benefit the most from the effects that are attributed to medical cannabis.
Although Wounded Warriors did not accept donations, similar organizations did, such as Grow for Vets, which accepted donations from Organa at a September 11 golf tournament. The tournament also donated to family members of the late famed breeder Franco Loja. The benefits that come from accepting charity from cannabis companies goes beyond money. The Denver Rescue Mission, for instance, accepted donations as well as volunteer work from Organa and its employees. Organa gets help from Growing Hope to organize the charity events. Organa has also set up its own donation foundation called Open Heart.
Other companies are finding success in donating money to various causes. Natural State Agronomics, which hopes to build a cannabis research and processing facility, made donations to the University of Arkansas, which was gladly accepted. Organa employees are hoping to draw attention to the issue to prevent problems for other companies.