Huge Google Grant to Michigan Marijuana Group Could Usher in New Era for Cannabis Industry
The medical cannabis movement is getting some major help from one of the most well-known corporate names in the world: Google.
Michigan Compassion, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase awareness of the health benefits of marijuana, has received a massive in-kind grant from the Internet search giant’s donation program, Google Grants.
The cannabis organization will receive $250,000 in annual credits for AdWords – Google’s main advertising offering for businesses – and other related services. The continue for the life of Michigan Compassion, meaning its value could easily soar into the tens of millions of dollars over time.
Aside from the dollar amount, the grant is very significant in other ways. For one, it signals the entrance of a major company into the medical marijuana debate, giving cannabis some additional legitimacy and clout. It also moves marijuana into the mainstream business world, opening the door for other major companies to dabble in cannabis – from a philanthropic, investment or product sense.
Perhaps most importantly, it shows that corporate attitudes towards cannabis are shifting: Google has traditionally blocked many marijuana-related businesses and organizations from using its AdWords service. The grant, therefore, signals that Google is becoming more accepting of cannabis. For now, it appears that Google still has strict rules against business-related MMJ advertising, as even the grant has strict parameters about the types of terms that can be used. However, if the company eventually eases up, it could completely change the medical marijuana advertising landscape, giving businesses a new way to reach consumers and threatening existing ad services like WeedMaps.
“This is huge, this is really huge,” said Heidi Parikh, executive director of Michigan Compassion. “For a corporation that has prohibited ads with marijuana or cannabis in them to utilize this service and accept our organization opens a bridge for everybody. At one point Google even had a lock on us because of the keywords we used on our website.”
The award letter even states that this is the first medical marijuana nonprofit to receive an AdWords grant from Google, Parikh said.
Michigan Compassion will use the grant to boost its presence on the Internet – ideally by moving its website and projects up high in search results – and further its overall outreach efforts.
Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]
Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]
The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]
The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]
Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]
Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]
In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]
And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]
In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]
Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]
Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]
Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]