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Royal Oak Approves Medical Cannabis Organization's Non-Profit Status


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A charitable gaming license is all that stands in the way for The Downriver Community Compassion Club, also known as Michigan Compassion, to sell raffle tickets for its fund-raisers in Royal Oak. The organization is an advocate and educational source for the uses of medical cannabis.


On Monday, the Royal Oak City Commission voted to recognize the organization’s non-profit status, which enables it to move forward with obtaining the gaming permit.


“The application materials submitted by Michigan Compassion have been reviewed, and staff has concluded that Michigan Compassion has met all objective criteria established by the City Commission,” said Royal Oak City Manager Don Johnson.


In its website, Michigan Compassion states, “We believe everyone should have access to the most current and correct information when deciding on their treatment options. No one touched by the healing properties of Medical Cannabis should ever feel alone. Together we become stronger and have the power to generate positive change in ourselves and our community through education and a better understanding about Cannabis, otherwise known as ‘Medical Marijuana.’”


 


http://www.dailytribune.com/general-news/20130919/royal-oak-approves-medical-cannabis-organizations-non-profit-status

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Actually that is incorrect Celliach.  As a Federal Non-Profit the organization has the ability to do a number of different types of gaming including Bingo, Charity Poker Events, Millionaire Nights, and Raffles.  This is just the beginning of what the organization can do in fundraising.  

 

And Thank you Bobandtorey this step was not just a small step it was a rather large step taken in Oakland County. We will be having Public Meetings in Royal Oak in 30 days and they will be happening on a monthly basis to begin. The same will be occurring in Ann Arbor and Brighton.

 

If anyone has a question about Michigan Compassion please email me directly at mish@mycompassion.org as I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions.  Come out to a meeting and see for yourself what we do and what we are about.

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Actually that is incorrect Celliach.  As a Federal Non-Profit the organization has the ability to do a number of different types of gaming including Bingo, Charity Poker Events, Millionaire Nights, and Raffles.  This is just the beginning of what the organization can do in fundraising.  

 

And Thank you Bobandtorey this step was not just a small step it was a rather large step taken in Oakland County. We will be having Public Meetings in Royal Oak in 30 days and they will be happening on a monthly basis to begin. The same will be occurring in Ann Arbor and Brighton.

 

If anyone has a question about Michigan Compassion please email me directly at mish@mycompassion.org as I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions.  Come out to a meeting and see for yourself what we do and what we are about.

I will see you at the meeting Thanks

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Actually that is incorrect Celliach.  As a Federal Non-Profit the organization has the ability to do a number of different types of gaming including Bingo, Charity Poker Events, Millionaire Nights, and Raffles.  This is just the beginning of what the organization can do in fundraising.  

 

And Thank you Bobandtorey this step was not just a small step it was a rather large step taken in Oakland County. We will be having Public Meetings in Royal Oak in 30 days and they will be happening on a monthly basis to begin. The same will be occurring in Ann Arbor and Brighton.

 

If anyone has a question about Michigan Compassion please email me directly at mish@mycompassion.org as I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions.  Come out to a meeting and see for yourself what we do and what we are about.

 

  Getting the ability to hold a raffle from a local government office is not getting federal non-profit status.  It's not even close.  Getting non-profit status for an MMJ organization is near impossible.  Ask Malamute if you don't believe me.  He's successfully done so.  If you have gotten federal status, congratulations, I know it was a hard thing to attain.

 

The DCCC is a state registered non-profit and has the same abilities for fundraising.  You just have to report the raised funds to the AGs office.

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There is a CC that claims they are non profit status. But I don't know how that could even be. It takes years to get it,took 5 to get it for a National Dog Rescue associated with the United States branch of the Club so that donations could be claimed. I don't really know,I just know about the Rescue status. EVERY CENT must be accounted for.

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It's easy to get non-profit status from the state.  All you need is the signatures and personal info of three board members and $20.  Although at one point the stae was denying MMJ related non-profit applications.  I don't know if they still are.  That's how we registered the DCCC.

 

Getting 501c status is something else.  It's really, really hard to get federal non-profit if you are a n MMJ related entity.  CPU is one of only two MMJ organizations in the country to get it.

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Now do you understand why getting permission from a city/county government to hold a raffle means nothing as far as federal non-profit status?  

 

Legally, it doesn't mean anything except they can hold the raffle.  Most likely, they would have filed with Schuette's office to be able to raise the funds first, before they even applied for this permit.  They definitely have to declare any non-profit funds raised to Schuette's office.

 

This is all information I know from being the secretary/treasurer of the DCCC for many years.  I've filled out all the paperwork I mentioned above myself.

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Forest for the trees. Mycompassion is an educational organization with a 5013c status. It is the first organization I have personally seen that actually takes it's mission of educating organizations and individuals about the potential benefits of medical marijuana in the state of MI . After a prolonged process they have met with people from the  Karmanos Cancer Institute so that they could better teach professionals how to deal with teh subject with patients. 

 

As more and more people are rationally shown the benefits of mmj then our society will become less of an oppressive place for those of us who think mmj has benefits. 

 

No one in the org. is on salary. Still they need money to do their work. Pamphlets, postage etc all require money.. Now a bingo night or what ever might seem of not enough consequence but it can keep the group moving forward. 

 

Feel free to donate a few $ to them perhaps it will reduce the need for bingo nights and such. 

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Celliach - Most people don't understand the difference between a state nonprofit Corporation and a Federal Tax-Exempt Nonprofit.  We deal with this on a constant basis in the Cannabis community.  All donations to our organization are actually tax-deductible compared to a state nonprofit.  No donations that are submitted to a state nonprofit are tax deductible thru the IRS.  I have personally worked for about half a dozen nonprofits outside of the Cannabis community and each one had a 501( c ) designation.  Also a Federal Nonprofit has to be transparent in relation to their finances and if a Federal Nonprofit ever goes under it must transfer its entity as a whole to another Federal Nonprofit.  A state nonprofit if it folds the money that is left stays in private hands and most times do not provide financial status to its members.  

 

In our case the first step for a organization is to setup a state nonprofit and then after a little bit of time one can go through the process of going for a Federal Nonprofit status.  Via the Federal process the organization is interviewed by the IRS both on the phone as well as in application process. In our case they actually sent Undercover IRS Agents to our meeting to make sure we didn't dispense in any manner. There are some very strict regulations for getting a Cannabis Public Charity Status signified as a 501( c )3.  Two things we are unable to do is teach about cultivation of cannabis and provide safe access.  It was a change to our organization that did happen as we used to teach about cultivation but we never provided safe access.  We decided early on that teaching cultivation really didn't hurt our growth as there were enough Hydro stores, books, web apps, and magazines around to provide that specific education. Plus when we did teach cultivation no one really listened even when we brought in experts because as human nature goes when you walk into a Hydro Store any advice that you previously had is thrown out the window as the store provides you with a different solution.

 

A state nonprofit cannot get a gaming permit in any manner unless they have the 501( c ) status. We also have approval from the AG's office to solicit the public for donations which is another area that state nonprofits cannot get.  Once a organization has all of these documents and a few others the gaming application can then begin. To get a gaming permit for more than just raffles a city has to recognize a Federal Nonprofit similar to that of a Church or a School or the City Animal Shelter and add it to their City Resolutions for recognition. Again only a Federal Nonprofit can do this.  Since we do not dispense this is a avenue of fundraising for the organization and specifically to us it is one of the many Outreach Programs that we have developed. Print, Guides, brochures, etc are all costly and require consistent fundraising to continue our outreach. Michigan Compassion is on the cusp of bringing on full-time staff and are working diligently to make this happen in a very short period of time. And yes we are looking to hire individuals from the Cannabis community to fill those roles as many have been unemployed or are disabled to work.

 

There are many 501( c )4's that are Cannabis Political Organizations....the last I heard was 54 that hold a 501( c )4.  There are only 4 that hold a 501( c )3 and only one of the 4 are Public Charities meaning Michigan Compassion.  The other 3 are Foundations.

 

Lastly, Dickinson County Compassion Club is not listed in Guidestar nor on the IRS Public Charity database.  Our link on Guidestar is as follows:

http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/45-2800939/drccc.aspx

 

In relation to the difference between the 2 types see below:

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Applying-for-Exemption---Difference-Between-Nonprofit-and-Tax-Exempt-Status

 

Thanks to our Secretary we have achieved all of these things quickly as all of our paperwork is consistent and in line with what we do.  We have achieved a ton for the Cannabis Community as a whole because of a solid Team at Michigan Compassion. 

 

Please don't take any of the above as anything but education.  Most people don't know the difference and all of the current compassion clubs in existence in Michigan are state nonprofit corporations. We hope to see more state nonprofit corporations go for the Tax Exempt status although that means giving up a few things until Federal law changes. The path we chose has been a long, hard road in every aspect as we are truly grass roots, on the ground organization. Our meetings do not allow any transfers, no smoking, and families are welcome. Food is always provided with water or pop.

 

Wild Bill - We may have a hall already picked out in Royal Oak.  At this time we are working on scheduling and making it consistent for the next 12 months.

 

Hayduke - CPU is a 501( c )4 which tends to be Political Action Committees (PAC) or Lobbyist groups. 501( c )3's tend to be more Community involved Public Charities or Foundations.

Edited by MishDev
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DCCC hasn't done any fund-raising in the last two years.  There's been a new club in town and they are holding private meetings....that kind of thing.  To stay separate the DCCC has been kind of laying low at present.  I'm still taking phone calls, answering questions, helping people find a doctor and/or caregiver, everything we were already doing, we just haven't held anything but a board meeting in quite sometime.

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Actually I think one of our Charter Members who lives in Romulus is part of your group. He was planning on talking to you about how we may be able to assist your group....he comes up every couple of months. If you want to discuss this give me a call and we can discuss further.

_______________

 
Amish Parikh
 
Michigan Compassion
Director of Development
 
"We MUST Increase Awareness to Increase Acceptance."
CFC Code: 90376
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 Thank you for the further understanding and clarification!  

 

I understand that a 501 ©(3) is also restricted in regards to "politics".  Can you explain that in more depth? 

 

I suppose some direct questions may be:

 

Can a 501(c )(3) directly support legislative bills/house bills?  

 

Can a 501 ©(3) support political candidates?

 

What about indirectly? For example: Can MiCompassion (a 501©(3) financially support groups that's sole function is advocacy on passing legislation or HB's? (such as the NPRA and HB4271) 

 

Does the "Guidestar" service mentioned above give access to your form 990?  Is that public information on that particular site?  

 

On another note:

I had the pleasure of meeting the president of Micompassion this past week.  She was well spoken, articulate and outgoing.  I enjoyed her company and if first impressions count for anything, this charity is lucky to have her! 

Edited by northerngal
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Celliach - Most people don't understand the difference between a state nonprofit Corporation and a Federal Tax-Exempt Nonprofit.  We deal with this on a constant basis in the Cannabis community.  All donations to our organization are actually tax-deductible compared to a state nonprofit.  No donations that are submitted to a state nonprofit are tax deductible thru the IRS.  I have personally worked for about half a dozen nonprofits outside of the Cannabis community and each one had a 501( c ) designation.  Also a Federal Nonprofit has to be transparent in relation to their finances and if a Federal Nonprofit ever goes under it must transfer its entity as a whole to another Federal Nonprofit.  A state nonprofit if it folds the money that is left stays in private hands and most times do not provide financial status to its members.  

 

In our case the first step for a organization is to setup a state nonprofit and then after a little bit of time one can go through the process of going for a Federal Nonprofit status.  Via the Federal process the organization is interviewed by the IRS both on the phone as well as in application process. In our case they actually sent Undercover IRS Agents to our meeting to make sure we didn't dispense in any manner. There are some very strict regulations for getting a Cannabis Public Charity Status signified as a 501( c )3.  Two things we are unable to do is teach about cultivation of cannabis and provide safe access.  It was a change to our organization that did happen as we used to teach about cultivation but we never provided safe access.  We decided early on that teaching cultivation really didn't hurt our growth as there were enough Hydro stores, books, web apps, and magazines around to provide that specific education. Plus when we did teach cultivation no one really listened even when we brought in experts because as human nature goes when you walk into a Hydro Store any advice that you previously had is thrown out the window as the store provides you with a different solution.

 

A state nonprofit cannot get a gaming permit in any manner unless they have the 501( c ) status. We also have approval from the AG's office to solicit the public for donations which is another area that state nonprofits cannot get.  Once a organization has all of these documents and a few others the gaming application can then begin. To get a gaming permit for more than just raffles a city has to recognize a Federal Nonprofit similar to that of a Church or a School or the City Animal Shelter and add it to their City Resolutions for recognition. Again only a Federal Nonprofit can do this.  Since we do not dispense this is a avenue of fundraising for the organization and specifically to us it is one of the many Outreach Programs that we have developed. Print, Guides, brochures, etc are all costly and require consistent fundraising to continue our outreach. Michigan Compassion is on the cusp of bringing on full-time staff and are working diligently to make this happen in a very short period of time. And yes we are looking to hire individuals from the Cannabis community to fill those roles as many have been unemployed or are disabled to work.

 

There are many 501( c )4's that are Cannabis Political Organizations....the last I heard was 54 that hold a 501( c )4.  There are only 4 that hold a 501( c )3 and only one of the 4 are Public Charities meaning Michigan Compassion.  The other 3 are Foundations.

 

Lastly, Dickinson County Compassion Club is not listed in Guidestar nor on the IRS Public Charity database.  Our link on Guidestar is as follows:

http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/45-2800939/drccc.aspx

 

In relation to the difference between the 2 types see below:

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Applying-for-Exemption---Difference-Between-Nonprofit-and-Tax-Exempt-Status

 

Thanks to our Secretary we have achieved all of these things quickly as all of our paperwork is consistent and in line with what we do.  We have achieved a ton for the Cannabis Community as a whole because of a solid Team at Michigan Compassion. 

 

Please don't take any of the above as anything but education.  Most people don't know the difference and all of the current compassion clubs in existence in Michigan are state nonprofit corporations. We hope to see more state nonprofit corporations go for the Tax Exempt status although that means giving up a few things until Federal law changes. The path we chose has been a long, hard road in every aspect as we are truly grass roots, on the ground organization. Our meetings do not allow any transfers, no smoking, and families are welcome. Food is always provided with water or pop.

 

Wild Bill - We may have a hall already picked out in Royal Oak.  At this time we are working on scheduling and making it consistent for the next 12 months.

 

Hayduke - CPU is a 501( c )4 which tends to be Political Action Committees (PAC) or Lobbyist groups. 501( c )3's tend to be more Community involved Public Charities or Foundations.

 

This is pretty true.  But CPU is not a PAC and has no PAC attached in any way shape or form.  Our members have given to CannaPac which is administered by a CPU member, but it has no affiliation in any formal way with CPU, and CPU has never funded CannaPac.  

 

We also are involved in lobbying, education, and trying to keep politicians and other interested parties from changing the MMMA, and specifically we are laser focused on making sure the patient / caregiver system continues, and a patient and caregiver are allowed to cultivate.  Sometimes this lends to trying to remove bad language from bills we had no hand in writing, but need modification, which is what we were involved in during the Walsh Task Force.

 

I have no idea how many different 501c4's there out there.  Our group is not competitive about who got it first who is the bestest of the bestest.  We prefer a quiet approach to most things we do.

 

I did not know any 501c could get a gaming permit.  Thank you for that info.  That is prolly a good way to earn some money.  Typically, our members probably would prefer we not ask them to do activities like that.... and I am booked solid with all the activities with the New Conditions Panel and pending legislation.

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 Thank you for the further understanding and clarification!  

 

I understand that a 501 ©(3) is also restricted in regards to "politics".  Can you explain that in more depth? 

 

I suppose some direct questions may be:

 

Can a 501(c )(3) directly support legislative bills/house bills?  

 

Can a 501 ©(3) support political candidates?

 

What about indirectly? For example: Can MiCompassion (a 501©(3) financially support groups that's sole function is advocacy on passing legislation or HB's? (such as the NPRA and HB4271) 

 

Does the "Guidestar" service mentioned above give access to your form 990?  Is that public information on that particular site?  

 

On another note:

I had the pleasure of meeting the president of Micompassion this past week.  She was well spoken, articulate and outgoing.  I enjoyed her company and if first impressions count for anything, this charity is lucky to have her! 

501c3's cannot be involved with lobbying and politics, but where that line begins and ends is subtle, and each group has to be accountable to the IRS.

 

501c3's donations are tax deductible, as was said.  Dues or donations to CPU (501c4) are not tax deductible.  

 

CPU's 990 is a simple postcard because we have not hit the dues threshold, and it doesn't have any information.

 

I too have met Heidi, and she is a very nice person and effective spokesperson.

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 Thank you for the further understanding and clarification!  

 

I understand that a 501 ©(3) is also restricted in regards to "politics".  Can you explain that in more depth? 

 

I suppose some direct questions may be:

 

Can a 501(c )(3) directly support legislative bills/house bills?  

 

Can a 501 ©(3) support political candidates?

 

What about indirectly? For example: Can MiCompassion (a 501©(3) financially support groups that's sole function is advocacy on passing legislation or HB's? (such as the NPRA and HB4271) 

 

Does the "Guidestar" service mentioned above give access to your form 990?  Is that public information on that particular site?  

 

On another note:

I had the pleasure of meeting the president of Micompassion this past week.  She was well spoken, articulate and outgoing.  I enjoyed her company and if first impressions count for anything, this charity is lucky to have her! 

 

Hi Northerngal,

 

A 501( c )3  has the ability of participating in politics only to a certain point.  It cannot be over the 15% threshold of all the programs running in the organization.  So in our case we can have a Government Relations Division running to keep all the members informed on what is happening and we can educate legislators but we cannot lobby in any manner or form for either side.  In this realm we have to stay completely neutral on any partisan issues.  When it comes to the MMMA we can get involved if legislators are attempting to hurt the patient or caregiver system.  Recently we issued a press release on the Carruthers ruling which we feel will hurt a number of patients that need the extracts, etc.  

 

We as officers tend to go and get the information about the different house bills and bring it back to the Public so they understand what is happening. The organization cannot support any political candidates as the IRS has very strict regulations in that area in which case we stay neutral. We can have both sides come to our meetings and explain their position, in turn we let the people decide on their own education who to vote in.  Our bylaws clearly state that we do not donate money from our organization to other organizations that are in advocacy for bills, legislation, or campaigns...it is not our mission and it is not our goal. We do however get invited by many organizations to participate as guests whether that is in Industry Shareholder meetings, Business Association Meetings, etc.

 

No matter which way the Cannabis Industry goes meaning if it goes into the hands of Pharma or if it becomes state regulated or it stays as a patient/caregiver system Michigan Compassion will always be here providing the necessary information to the public on the Benefits of Cannabis, how to stay safe within the laws that are currently in place and educate on how to get involved to make a difference.

 

Our 990 is public information and may require you to register with Guidestar.

 

Thanks.

 

Mish

 

 

_______________

 
Amish Parikh - "Mish"
 
Michigan Compassion
Director of Development
 
"We MUST Increase Awareness to Increase Acceptance."
CFC Code: 90376
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This is pretty true.  But CPU is not a PAC and has no PAC attached in any way shape or form.  Our members have given to CannaPac which is administered by a CPU member, but it has no affiliation in any formal way with CPU, and CPU has never funded CannaPac.  

 

We also are involved in lobbying, education, and trying to keep politicians and other interested parties from changing the MMMA, and specifically we are laser focused on making sure the patient / caregiver system continues, and a patient and caregiver are allowed to cultivate.  Sometimes this lends to trying to remove bad language from bills we had no hand in writing, but need modification, which is what we were involved in during the Walsh Task Force.

 

I have no idea how many different 501c4's there out there.  Our group is not competitive about who got it first who is the bestest of the bestest.  We prefer a quiet approach to most things we do.

 

I did not know any 501c could get a gaming permit.  Thank you for that info.  That is prolly a good way to earn some money.  Typically, our members probably would prefer we not ask them to do activities like that.... and I am booked solid with all the activities with the New Conditions Panel and pending legislation.

 

Hi Hayduke,

 

I wasn't trying to say that CPU was or wasn't a PAC.  It's what I know what ( c )4's can be.  CPU tends to be a more secretive (Public Description) or quiet (Your Description) group so not many know about what CPU does or doesn't do compared to other ( c )4's that I have personally worked with in other realms outside of the Cannabis Industry.  Most ( c )4's that I have been involved with tend to let the Public or their constituents know what they are working on. It's great to finally know a little bit on what CPU is working on....that was actually a first that I heard on what CPU was involved with in relation to the Walsh Task Force or cleaning up bad language in bills. Nice to know we have a group that is doing that and now I can bring that tidbit of information back to the Public at our meetings so they know to support your group.

 

Only 501( c )3's, ( c )19's and one other kind are allowed to get gaming permits.  The gaming laws state very clearly that no monies raised via gaming can be used for lobbying or political purposes and can only be used for General Operations. Gaming also will not permit any funds raised this way to be donated to another nonprofit.

 

I hope that helps answer any questions.  

 

Mish

_______________

 
Amish Parikh - "Mish"
 
Michigan Compassion
Director of Development
 
"We MUST Increase Awareness to Increase Acceptance."
CFC Code: 90376
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