Over the holiday last week, the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network donated 500 pounds of turkey to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. The CVRM donated enough turkeys to feed around 300 people in the Coachella Valley area on Thanksgiving.

Continue Reading Below

The CVRM is a rescue mission located in the city of Indio, serving “local people experiencing homelessness, hunger and life challenges through emergency services, recovery programs, and community outreach.”

According to their website, the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network (CVCAN) is “the voice of the cannabis industry in the Coachella Valley…an organization that provides a responsible and productive voice for the cannabis industry in Coachella Valley through innovative and effective programs in development, operations, regulations, and outreach.”

Quentin Dusastre, Director of Operations for CVCAN, told NBC Palm Springs that the idea was inspired by a recent social media post from the rescue mission calling for community members to donate turkeys on Thanksgiving. The Nov. 12th Instagram post by @coachellavalleyrescuemission features a smiling turkey in a pilgrim hat and reads,

Continue Reading Below

  The turkey donation provides a heartwarming example of one of the many ways that the cannabis industry is attempting to give back to local communities.

Unfortunately, not all charities feel comfortable taking monetary donations from companies involved in the legal cannabis industry. This is, at least in part, due to the fact that cannabis remains illegal on the federal level and classified as a schedule IV drug. Rather than risk losing their tax status as charitable non-profit organizations, many have chosen to avoid taking any donations from the marijuana industry altogether.

Last year, several charities rejected monetary donations made by Canna Provisions, a Massachusetts dispensary. According to their CEO, Meg Sanders, “There were a few different charities, locally and regionally, that we tried to donate to here in Massachusetts, and they wouldn’t take our money. The fear is that because a lot of them are federally funded, if they take our cannabis money, they might lose their federal funding…I can’t say I haven’t run into a philosophical issue, as well, that maybe people just don’t believe in this product being available, but mostly it seems that the pushback is around federal funding.”

In April of this year, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced to Congress, backed by the House and Financial Services Committee. The legislation has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

If passed successfully by Congress, the bill would allow federal banks to take in revenue from the sales of cannabis, however, progress in the Senate has been delayed by recent impeachment hearings.