The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has joined other states in permitting the growing and distribution of medical marijuana.  As the medical marijuana industry grows, it will present a range of questions for the commonwealth’s nonprofit sector.

One of those issues is whether accepting donations from a licensed marijuana grower or dispensary would subject a nonprofit corporation to potential criminal liability.  In an attempt to clarify this, our foundations engaged the law firm of Fox Rothschild to issue a memorandum.

We are releasing that memorandum (click here to download) to Pennsylvania’s nonprofit organizations as a way to help them prepare policies regarding accepting contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

Each nonprofit should consult with its own attorneys regarding any policy to be adopted.  The memorandum we are providing is meant merely to inform the conversations that nonprofits, their boards and their qualified attorneys should have.

Note that the memorandum is directed at “Berks County Community Foundation.”  This is a proxy for any Pennsylvania public charity.  In addition, there is a reference to “flower touching businesses.”  This term refers to businesses that actually manufacture or distribute marijuana, as opposed to those that are ancillary to the industry (insurance companies and banks, for example).

We hope that you find this to be a useful resource for your organization.



Pedro Ramos
The Philadelphia Foundation

Jennifer D. Wilson
First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania

Kevin K. Murphy
Berks County Community Foundation


Download the memorandum here.