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Whitehl

5013-c and refusal to do business with

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We have a local Facebook group in an educated, upper class community. We have a local Facebook group, registered as a 5013-c, which is the center of the community. People post topics, ask for advice, post community events, and it’s almost 30.0k plus strong. Many of my friends and I converse on this site several times per day. It is a central part of the community. 

They offer businesses the ability to purchase a membership, and advertise on their site twice a week. My husband and I recently started a Hemp CHD oil business with medical grade oil (our oil is currently being used at a few well-known medical campuses). After accepting our membership payment, they refused to let us advertise. I made them aware of the recent Hemp Bill that was passed, and that Hemp is now legal to grow, manufacture and sell in all 50 states and will change the landscape of medical pain management. But they wouldn’t budge and quickly refunded our membership fee, apologizing but not changing their position. Isn’t this a case of discrimination? Once they accepted 5013-c status, how can they allow some members but refuse others? Appreciate your legal opinion. Thank you.

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This is not a legal opinion.  But, it is clear that the online sale of CBD is a very controversial issue in Arizona.  Questions have arisen recently when the post office sent a letter to a firm mailing CBD notifying them that the product was being confiscated.  So, a local listserv or mailing list is probably within its rights to decline to allow advertisement of a product that is of unclear legal status.

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9 hours ago, Whitehl said:

Once they accepted 5013-c status, how can they allow some members but refuse others? Appreciate your legal opinion. Thank you.

 

I'm guessing you mean the organization is tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3), often called § 501(c)(3) organizations  for short. There is nothing in the federal tax code or treasury regulations that govern § 501(c)(3) organizations that prevent them from discriminating against a member using its resources to sell a product the organization does not approve of or that the organization may have concerns about the legality of selling. Nor does any other federal law make that illegal, either. And so far as I can see,  Arizona law does not prohibit that either. You are selling a product that is still controversial so you have to expect that you'll get resistance and push back from some people concerned about that product. 

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