Weed Philanthropists Set Up Shop in CAJuly 9th, 2009 by Russ
This week, ABC news reported on the newest innovation in the battle for California’s medical marijuana market share. Apparently a group calling itself the Artists Collective has been employing Twitter to coordinate weed drop offs for MMJ patients who prefer to do business in spurts of 140-characters or less. While the twits of the world are certainly proud of the entrepreneurship they’ve spawned, they don’t represent the most unique facet of the Artists Collective business plan.
You see, Artists Collective is a registered 501(c)3 (non profit). Moreover, its entire purpose is to raise enough money to give out grants to local artists. Move over Pew Charitable Trust. There is a new game in town. While the model is still brand new, and the scale relatively small, this sort of thinking could make waves in the greater philanthropy world.
In the current system, most philanthropy dollars flow from family trusts through private foundations. The programs selected for funding tend to do very conservative study or social work. Rarely would an esteemed organization (with some former Robber Baron’s name on the building) want to risk funding anything that would be considered countercultural or controversial.
Starting a foundation from the (weed harvested) ground up opens the door for a plethora of new alternative off-centered artists to finally receive some well-deserved patronage. For instance, it’s about time someone put some serious greenbacks behind the efforts of the Billboard Liberation Front.
With that in mind, here’s to hoping that the Artists Collective is the new JD Rockefellers of the Digital Herb Racket.