Is Crowd Funding for Cannabis projects functional or not?
We recently started a simple crowd funding project on gofundme.com, a pilot study for our CBD research. Shortly thereafter I got a letter from gofundme.com stating that our project was removed from their site due to our violation their terms and conditions which prohibit “controlled substances”. I had also started a campaign on Indiegogo.com but did not publish it. I recently received a letter from indiegogo.com offering a discount on their fees if I published the campaign I started there. In my reply I made the topic clear and noted the gofundme.com rejection. Needless to say, we are still waiting for their reply.
Traditional crowd funding sites are leery of any Cannabis project for fear of federal hassles (DEA) and their terms and conditions are written to give them an easy out with the use of the term “controlled substances”. While is seems clear to me that CBD supplements are only controlled in the minds of DEA admin, recent threaten statements seem enough to suppress online crowd funding efforts.
What about Cannabis Crowd Funding sites?
On the 1st 2 Google results pages of my search for “Cannabis Crowd Funding” there were a number of articles dating from 2014, some failed sites, including one by Sheryl Shulman, which were no longer active along with 3 that seemed promising off the top, but with only one, CannafundR.com actually up and running.
- CannafundR.com is an equity crowd funding site with some real projects online. I am still researching this one for future campaigns
- FundingMarijuana.com is @ pre-launch status. I apparently signed up while the developer was giving someone a tour. He contacted me to advise me of the status. His problem is, not surprisingly, getting a Ccard processor.
- University of New Mexico Cannabis Research Fund has one current project along with some ambitious plans.
Current Cannabis crowd funding sites are mainly in demo mode with only one site, CannafundR.com showing any real activity.
Since the primary hang-up for online Cannabis biz sites is the payment processor for Credit Cards, perhaps we should eliminate that need. How? We are running this concept by my attorney but here’s the skinny. We will seek private donations from friends and associates via an escrow agreement and account. Escrow (def.) a written agreement (or property or money) delivered to a third party or put in trust by one party to a contract to be returned after fulfillment of some condition.
In this case the funds are deposited into an attorney’s escrow account to be released once the project reaches its funding goal. Once fully funded the backers will receive to the perks associated with their funding levels along with online access to the study’s results. Note that the attorney’s fiduciary responsibilities act to keep things on track thus making this a new form of Private Crowd Funding.
So we are going to reach out to supporters on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn and see of we can get them to back our CBD research pilot study. Our ultimate goal is to provide more evidence for the efficacy of CBD supplements as wellness tools for anyone with common chronic conditions.
How you can help
- Look for our Private Crowd Funding page and posts on Twitter, Face Book and Linkedin
- Re-tweet and like them to expand our reach
- Make a donation to back the study
- As a backer, share the knowledge we gain from the study