By Jennifer Brice
DENVER (CBS4)– The Giving Tuesday campaign officially kicked off the holiday giving spirit which raised $168 million online last week. This Tuesday, as Colorado Gives is also underway… the cannabis community is joining in with their own version of supporting local non-profits.
“Give and Toke” is the first giving campaign of its kind for the marijuana industry.
The folks at Lightshade dispensary say their industry is filled with people who want to give back to the community. Marketing Director Shannon Brooks says Lightshade is very grateful to do business in Colorado and for those who support their industry.
“We feel that it is important as a business owner to be a part of the community and elevate the good of the community,” said Brooks.
But with marijuana still federally illegal, there have been challenges for the industry to make charitable donations. Many non-profits with federal grants are worried about accepting marijuana related money. Some non-profits fear they could lose federal grants, even their 501c3 status if they take those types of donations.
That’s where “Give and Toke” comes in.
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Kevin White with 420 Philanthropy says the online portal is now the go between for the cannabis companies and non-profits.
“We are trying to educate and provide a tools that we can connect cannabis companies along with non-profits,” explains White.
Brooks says what many people may not know, even though cannabis companies are taxed at 65 percent, they are not able to write off any charitable contributions.
“Our desire to give back to the community is purely rooted in altruism and a desire to give back,” says Brooks.
This year, Lightshade says they will not only give from their own pockets but collect donations on behalf of their staff and customers.
One-hundred percent of what is donated at giveandtoke.org is tax deductible, according to 420 Philanthropy.