Financing and Promoting a Compassion Club


  1. Compassion clubs are set up to educate, support, and organize the local medical marijuana community.  Like any organization, in order to do good deeds, the lights need to be on and the bills paid.  Many well intentioned folks can start a club, but financing it is something that receives little thought as we concentrate on the ‘mission’ of the club.
  2. As an aid to clubs, I thought I would toss out a few suggestions to help pay the bills.  Take them for what they are, suggestions to be considered, and realize that financial support is a necessary evil for any club.
  3. Minimize expenses and where possible get donated supplies of copy paper for fliers, donated space (with an eye toward ‘enough’ space to actually do something), free community publicity, donated legal services, etc.
  4. Recall that there are groups and individuals that want access to what you have.  Figure out what your ‘market’ is.
    1. Patients looking for information and administrative support
    2. Caregivers looking for education about growing, strain selections, and equipment
    3. What do you have to offer to your ‘market’?
      1. Patients need assistance finding caregivers, getting paperwork done, learning about strains and methods of use.  Offer these services for free (or perhaps a suggested meeting donation or membership donation)- these are people you want to attract to your club.  Offer them what they want and they will come.
      2. Caregivers and growers want to learn how to grow medicine, recoup their costs, and make a modest profit.
        1. i.      Bring in professionals to educate them.  Accountants or lawyers to show them how to incorporate and set up the books.  They need to understand budgeting and make sure they set up their grows according to the law.
        2. ii.      Bring in professional growers to educate them how to set up a grow operation
          1. Grow shop sponsors a low cost seminar on how to set up a hydroponics system, basic instruction on set up with access to ‘expert’ assistance from the instructors by appointment.
          2. Same thing with dirt growers- Simple systems that work and are easy to set up for the first time grower.
      3. iii.      Specialize in prepared grow ‘packages’ that contain the basic equipment needed to grow six plants, available for immediate pick up at the class.
        1. Inexpensive and easy to set up, just like the equipment in the class.
        2. Can purchase right at class, take home, and start growing right after class.
        3. Instructors available for personal assistance and instruction to do in home set up.
  5. Potential patients want information and certification
    1. i.      Prescreening of patients to assemble certification and renewal packets
      1. Introduction to medical marijuana for patients:  What strains are useful with what conditions, methods of use, basic rules (2.5 oz, 12 plants, etc)
      2. Assistance with paperwork, medical record requests, and appointment scheduling.
      3. Good time for a talk from the physician or to show a physician generated video.
      4. ii.      Provide administrative support for certification clinic
        1. Copy and secretarial assistance
        2. Caregiver referral
        3. Preparation of packets to send to the state, copies for the patient, and physician charts.
  6. Caregivers
    1. i.      Caregiver registry maintained by the club to provide to potential patients at the club
    2. ii.      Caregiver registry maintained by the club to provide to potential patients over the internet.
    3. iii.      Caregiver paperwork and records assistance services.
    4. Potential sources of income
      1. Suggested dues/meeting donation (should be nominal)
      2. Raffles of donated equipment/services, 50:50 drawings, bake sales
      3. Sponsorships of classes (grow shops), cooking classes, etc.
      4. Per slot caregiver registry fees.
      5. Administrative fees for clinics
      6. Extra Value Services
        1. Free Chiropractic assessments
        2. Massage or meditation
        3. Tax preparation services
        4. Swap Shops
        5. Events designed to bring ‘non marijuana community’ people into the club and expose them to friendly members.  Rental of facilities for events
          1. Receptions
          2. Swap meets
          3. Other club meetings
          4. Craft Shows
          5. Support groups (cancer, crohns, chronic pain) provide free meeting space
          6. While this is not a comprehensive discussion, it should serve as a starting point for further discussions on the local level.  The goal is to make it easy for the patients to come in to obtain information, to train your caregivers to grow and introduce them to potential patients, and to encourage non-mmj community members to expose themselves to marijuana in an non-threatening manner to arouse their curiosity and potential consideration of medical marijuana as a health care choice.


Dr. Bob Townsend

PS, I am looking for someone to start a compassion club in Saginaw.  I have meeting space, copiers, etc to help.