According to the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, people in the state spend more money on the arts than on sports. And a big reason for that is marijuana, writes Joseph Misulonas.
Cannabis companies throughout Colorado are investing heavily in local arts. It’s a match made in heaven for both sides. Funding for art can often be difficult to obtain, and cannabis companies are looking for opportunities for sponsorships and to give back to their communities. However, cannabis companies are more interested in giving the money than artists are in taking it. While marijuana may be legal in Colorado, it’s still illegal at the federal level, and some artists are worried about possible ramifications of taking money from cannabis companies.
One of the issues that sometimes arises is how much recognition cannabis companies receive for their efforts. For instance some marijuana businesses helped fund the Levitt Pavilion, a venue that provides free concerts in Denver. However the city also has regulations on advertising for marijuana businesses. So it can be tricky to figure out how to display a cannabis company’s support for a project without violating advertising regulations.
“I don’t think the relationship is any different with a cannabis partner than it is for any other partner; it’s just setting clear expectations for what you are able to get for the donation or the sponsorship you are trying to buy,” said Chris Zacher, one of the people who helped create the Levitt Pavilion. “The difference is the rules that exist for outdoor advertising, and if you are trying to do something within the city, and what that city’s rules and regulations are.”
Some cannabis companies are giving money to social justice related arts in their communities, which makes sense considering how many people support marijuana legalization for those reasons. Providing opportunities for minorities or other underserved communities through the arts is an extension of the same efforts they’re attempting to make in the cannabis industry.
And we’re also pretty sure there are a lot of artists providing contributions to the cannabis industry. And by contributions, we mean buying weed.