June 21, 2013

Huge Google Grant to Michigan Marijuana Group Could Usher in New Era for Cannabis Industry

GoogleGrants

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.


5 Comments:

  1. As the Director of Development for Michigan Compassion I am very proud of this achievement as it took over 6 months for the application to be approved by Google Grants. We had a multitude of conversations on explaining who we were and how we educated about Cannabis without dispensing. Since the approval we have still had to re-educate their Google Advisors that on What We Do, and How We Do our education which is absolutely fine by us as it follow our Mission statement. Google Grant has opened a plethora of other opportunities for the organization as we expand our Education and Awareness thru Public Education Meetings, Educational Seminars, Conferences and Health Expos throughout the State and into the National scene. The Billboard Awareness Program which is supported by local businesses has been another large achievement of which Lansing will be seeing one a few blocks from the Capitol Building. All of our programs are 100% self sufficient of each other and are Program Funded. Donations are always welcome and if you would like to see it goto a specific program just put it in the Notes Section. Check out MyCompassion.org.

  2. Congratulations Amish, I am so excited for you and as a peer in the space, proud of your accomplishment! You have carved a path to continued success of knowledge and profound truth that would of been impassable otherwise. You are making the world a better place, thank you for what you do!
    Ralph, OrganaLabs

  3. Congrats! Education is definitely the responsibility of all of us at ground zero. We are inundated here at Eden Labs/Washington state to provide Co2 extraction systems, as well as safer compressed gas systems in general, for patients and their providers. There are still a lot of people out there who don’t really understand their options, but many of us who are paving the way on their behalf. Lots of very exciting progress is being made all across the country because of organizations like yours. We have clients who are getting some amazing results via breeding. Mostly because the tested concentrates or flowers reveal exactly what components are there and how their cross breeding is progressing. It is very exciting stuff! THCA, THC, CBD’s, CBN, Terpene percentages (really interesting), etc. Let us know how we can help your mission there. We have some great clients who are dedicated to the health of patients and are happy to share what they know and so are we, regarding extraction expertise. Cheers! AC, Eden Labs

  4. Congrats thats a huge step for the MMJ business, once google gets involved things always seem to move forward for the better.
    VOD BLOG

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