Information for a Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition Director
So, You wish to join the Mass Cann Board of Directors. We are a 501c4 Non-Profit Corporation dedicated to educating the public and policy makers regarding all uses of the Cannabis Plant, the harm of Cannabis Prohibition and the current state of laws regarding this plant. We are also active in promoting the repeal of Cannabis prohibition. To this end, our Primary Program Service is the Freedom Rally, held on the Boston Common each September to provide a platform for Cannabis Policy Speakers and Pro-Cannabis musicians to educate the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (and visitors from afar) about the Cannabis Plant and it’s many uses. You WILL be Required to Read the bylaws. Please read the Articles of Incorporation (included in your Director’s Packet and available at the Yahoo MASSCANNDIRECTORS group in ‘Files’. Mass Cann is a nonprofit corporation, dedicated to the education of the public on all issues related to Cannabis and the repeal of Cannabis Prohibition. We are regulated as and comply with all filings related to such a nonprofit organization. You will be provided with a publication from the Mass. Attorney General’s office regarding general duties for a Director on the Board of a Non-Profit Corporation. You do have legal duties and responsibilities, so please read this. You are required by the AG to provide certain oversight of the corporation and to ensure that all laws regarding the operation of a non-profit corporation are abided by. If you are an officer, you are also financially liable for any fines levied for non-compliance by either the AG’s office, the IRS or the Secretary of State. You will be provided a publication from the IRS regarding Non-Profit Corporation Compliance filings and general requirements (4221-NC). Please read it. The Compliance filings are the responsibility of Mass Cann’s officers (Clerk files annual reports with the Secretary of State and updates the state database whenever there is a change in officers or directors, the Treasurer files form 990EZ with the IRS and Form PC with the Mass Attorney General’s office on an annual basis. The President makes sure all filings are timely completed, and signs the corporation’s Form PC). All board members are responsible for ensuring that Mass Cann does not violate the rules for tax exemption (as spelled out in 4221-NC which include, but are not limited to, ensuring that no person sitting on the board profits from business conducted by Mass Cann/NORML. This can get our tax status revoked and cost us penalties, taxes and fines. It can also result in you being charged with inurement. Being a Director of Mass Cann is not a symbolic gesture. All Directors are required to pitch in to run the organization. Depending on your duties, this can mean anywhere from 8-30 hours of work each week. Familiarize yourself with Roberts Rules of Order (widely available online) as these guide the protocol for all meetings. We do try to follow the rules of order, but we are also a very friendly and gregarious organization and our meetings tend to be loud, fast paced, and cover a wide range of topics. We tend to speak bluntly and freely. If you are easily offended, or overly sensitive, this might not be the type of Board of Directors you would want to join.
The Directors, generally meet on the final Wednesday of every month around 6pm. The location of this meeting is flexible. Sometimes we meet in Framingham at Margherita’s, sometimes in Allston at Regina’s Pizza. BOD meetings ARE MANDATORY. There are also specific meetings of the Board as required in the bylaws (we must have a board of directors’ meeting immediately following every member meeting, at the same time/place). All board meetings are open to the public. Only board members may vote at a board meeting. Agenda items are generally set up ahead of time with a ‘telephony’ meeting (a thread discussion in the yahoo MASSCANNDIRECTORS group). These meetings are a requirement of being a board member. If you cannot attend the meetings, please do not run for the board. A member can be very active in Mass Cann, as a volunteer, as a letter- writer, as a fundraiser (with support of a board member) without actually sitting on the board of directors.
Masscanndirectors yahoo group You will need to obtain a Yahoo account, and sign up for the masscanndirectors yahoo group. Found at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/masscanndirectors it is a members only, non- searchable group. You must go to the group directly and Ask to Join (you will then be admitted). You Must Provide your preferred email address (doesn’t have to be the Yahoo one) to receive notifications from this group (Please make this an address you check frequently, as we hold binding votes here and your participation WILL BE REQUIRED). The Group does not work well with cellphones. You Must Navigate to the group in a browser directly in order to view all topics (threads) and to post your vote. If you view the group only through the email announcements you will not get the entire conversation, and you may not be able to post your vote. Please do not hold private conversations in the forum. If you wish to Reply to a Thread, use the Arrow keys at the bottom of the thread notification email (Reply to Sender, Reply to Group or Visit Your Group). Generally, if you Reply using your email app, it does not post correctly. Some email apps will post with a ‘Reply All’ but the only way to see the entire Thread is usually by going to the Yahoo Group. The Directors regularly use this forum for the ‘telephony’ meetings referred to in the bylaws, where discussion of pressing business occurs between board meetings, and binding votes are held. These ‘threads’ or discussions are formal meeting minutes. Votes held here are binding and valid. Things said here are permanent public record. A copy of the bylaws, amendments to the bylaws, the articles of incorporation, meeting minutes and other relevant documents can be found here by searching the attachments and files areas of the group site. You will need a computer or at least a tablet to properly navigate this site. It behaves strangely and is confusing on a smartphone. YOU MUST attend masscanndirectors. Too much of our business occurs in this forum to opt out. The forum is open to all past directors, and most stay linked to it, though those not on the current board normally do not chime into board discussion threads. Whatever you do or say here is VERY PUBLIC and is a PERMANENT RECORD.
How to resign from the Mass Cann board. This has actually been an issue in the past, so we wanted everyone to be very clear about resignations (if you have read the by-laws, you will notice there are rules regarding this issue – please READ them). Please do not submit a written resignation either in the MASSCANNDIRECTORS group nor in physical letter form (emails count) unless you mean to resign. Your resignation does NOT have to be accepted in order to be final. If you resign, your office or seat on the board becomes immediately vacant and we MUST hold a special election to fill it. If you have a conflict with the board in general or a board member in particular, please ask the Chairman of the Board to mediate the dispute. If the conflict is with the Chairman of the Board, please address your concerns to one or more of the officers (President, Clerk, Treasurer, Press Secretary or Member Liaison).
The Members meet four times a year. The Annual Meeting is where the Board of Directors and the officers are elected. The Bylaws state that this election be held in January. Officers include President, Treasurer, Clerk, Member-Liaison and Press Secretary. The bylaws require two committees: Finance, headed by the treasurer; and Communications (also known as the Education Committee and Media Team), presided over by the Clerk and Press Secretary, respectively (Media’s duties include maintaining the website, and all social media sites, providing literature and flyers for the Merch Tables, keeping the list of Press Contacts, and Sending out Press and Event Announcements over social media while Education covers our outreach effort and oversees our Education Village, in practice these two committees have met together, but Clerk oversees Education and Press Secretary oversees Media Team and they are not required to meet together – Generally the Clerk oversees all literature and maintains the library in good order and the Press Secretary oversees all contacts with social media and the press).
Committees. We have also set up a Volunteer Committee (headed by the Member Liaison) to assemble a core group of volunteers for the Freedom Rally and other events.
There is a Music Committee, to manage the music portion of the rally and all music events (like the Battles for the Rally).
Speaker’s Committee (to manage the Rally Speakers) also includes the Hospitality Committee during the Boston Freedom Rally.
There is also a Merchandise Committee whose duties include procuring items to be used as Premiums in exchange for donations, managing the contents of all Tables (all events should have a Mass Cann Table present, with literature and Premiums available, to collect donations and sign up new members and keeping track of our inventory).
The bylaws state that no board member can formally be on more than three committees (but can sit in on any committee meetings they choose to). Each committee must have at least one board member and at least one member-at- large. Committees have their own Yahoo groups for Telephony meetings (which should have threads active on at least a monthly basis).
The bylaws state that committees are required to meet bi-monthly. Please remember that all of your fellow directors, and all of the members, are volunteers. Please treat everyone with the courtesy and respect due at all times, and most especially in the public forums. Please DO NOT engage in arguments with Members or other Directors on public Social Media. We do not care what individual Board Members do on Facebook and Members are free to do whatever they wish on their private media. A Director MUST maintain a professional presence in All Public Forums.
Our website address is masscann.org If you wish to have an email address associated with our web name (ie firstname.lastname@example.org) please contact the Treasurer. You will be provided information to add direct access and a password to your email account, or the account can be forwarded to any email address you chose.