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June 03, 2015

IRS Grants Nonprofit Status to First Church of Cannabis

The IRS has granted the First Church of Cannabis nonprofit status, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today report.

Donors to the church are now eligible to receive a deduction on their federal tax returns, though the church itself is not eligible for a property-tax exemption in Indiana. The church has raised $10,905 on crowdfunding site gofundme.com but does not yet have a building.

Church founder Bill Levin said the church was formed in part to test the state's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which offers protections against government infringment on religious practices. The church's first service is planned for July 1, the day the new law goes into effect. He says the congregation will smoke marijuana after the blessing.