An Oregon group is looking to return a $25,000 donation given to a youth water park project because it’s from a recreational marijuana business, underscoring the difficulties marijuana companies can face when it comes to charitable giving.
Hotbox Farms, a marijuana retailer in Huntington, Oregon, made the donation to Friends of the Aquatic Center in the town of Ontario, earning the company a place on a permanent donor wall.
However, the group’s chair, Megan Cook, emailed a letter to the Ontario city manager on Friday seeking to return the donation to Hotbox.
Cook wrote that because the water park “… is an attraction being built for the children of our community, consensus was reached that it would be inappropriate to brand the project with any businesses that cannot legally serve youth.”
Additionally, other donors reportedly didn’t like that Hotbox’s name would appear with theirs and threatened to pull out.
According to industry executives and experts on corporate giving, being recognized as a good corporate citizen can make it easier for marijuana businesses to work with regulators and local officials as well as attract new customers and quality employees.
Hotbox’s experience, however, underscores that not all charitable groups are ready to accept cannabis dollars.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily