A new website promoting itself as the “first of its kind” crowdfunding platform to help medical marijuana patients was launched Monday, although to date no campaigns have been created on the site.
But, as with many other medical marijuana related websites coming on to the scene these days, a word of caution — I’m not entirely sure if the website’s intentions are to help or to take advantage of desperate medical marijuana patients in need, or if such a single-issue crowdfunding website is even needed (or practical).
According to a paid press release distributed Monday, “CBDcrowdfunding.com allows CBD and medical marijuana patients to create their own fundraising campaign … to ask for charitable financial donations to help them afford the medicinal help they need in the form of CBD or [cannabis] medicine, doctor visits, travel arrangements, lodging or anything else their individual needs dictate.”
The website was created by Steven Bloome (not to be confused with CelebStoner.com‘s Steve Bloom), founder of the Illinois Medical Marijuana Network.
“What started as a simple idea to help families of epileptic children afford to travel to a state where they could get the CBD treatments such as CBD oil or tinctures to help control their child’s constant seizures, seemed to expand very quickly,” says Bloome.
Like other crowdfunding websites, CBDcrowdfunding.com charges a 5% service fee in addition to credit card processing fees, which run 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction (each donation).
So is CBDcrowdfunding.com a solution without a problem? Not according to their website, which claims:
But a quick search on GoFundMe.com for “CBD” found 41 current campaigns for parents looking to raise money to help their children access CBD medicine. A second search for “medical marijuana” found over 70,000 results.
As for the claim of other crowdfunding websites charging “as much as 10%,” a pricing comparison chart on crowdfunding.com shows that only indiegogo.com charges more than 5% — Indiegogo charges a 9% fee, but 5% of that fee is refunded if your campaign goals are met.
Upon first look, CBDcrowdfunding.com looks to be just another amateurishly customized website built using a budget web host’s built in “free” web designer tools, which brings into question where the 5% fee is actually going — it’s certainly not paying for professional web design or support.
While the 5% fee charged by CBDcrowdfunding.com is on par with fees charged by similar crowdfunding websites, the fee charged by CBDcrowdfunding.com has some in the medical marijuana community skeptical as to who the website is really helping. According to CBDcrowdfunding.com’s website, the additional 5% fee “helps ensure we can keep this website up and maintained,” but some are skeptical the website was created to generate personal profits for the website’s founder under the guise of helping patients.
Using an example on CBDcrowdfunding.com’s pricing page, let’s take a look at the fees generated from just one campaign:
Your Campaign Raised…………………$3,000.00
Using the example above, if just one campaign raised $3,000, then CBDcrowdfunding.com will earn $150 on that campaign. Comparatively, building and hosting a basic website can cost about $100 per year or less (or less service fees than just one successful campaign).
One other important thing to note is that on the other crowdfunding websites, while users raising funds pay a similar service charge, they are provided with a benefit that CBDcrowdfunding.com simply can not — traffic. While crowdfunding websites will easily help you to raise money from friends and family, the additional web traffic on the larger sites simply means more possible donations from strangers, meaning you’re getting more for your 5%.
Just how much traffic? According to Alexa.com, who ranks the popularity of websites world wide based on traffic, CBDcrowdfunding.com ranks only 3,200,935 — or roughly a small handful of daily visitors worldwide.
In comparison, gofundme.com has a global rank of 1,376, making it one of the most trafficked websites in the world (with the Alexa.com rankings, the lower the number the better).
In short, a campaign on gofundme.com has a much higher chance of successfully raising donations for the same exact fees.
Posted from : http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/37012/medical-marijuana-crowdfunding-website-cbdcrowdfunding-com-launches/