Start A Chapter

Your efforts at the state and local levels to reform marijuana laws are very important. NORML has an extensive network of citizen-advocates around the world working to end marijuana prohibition and stop the criminalization of responsible consumers. Check to see if there is a NORML chapter in your area.

If there isn’t an active NORML chapter in your area, establishing one is an effective way to organize a grassroots movement to reform marijuana laws.

Your willingness to support NORML at the state and local level is greatly appreciated. It’s important that your NORML chapter concentrate locally and organize from the municipal level to the state level. Working together, we’ll end prohibition once and for all.

Those wishing to start a NORML affiliate chapter must submit the following application. No group or organization is authorized to act as an affiliate, to establish websites or social media presences, or to publicly include “NORML” in their name, until the application has been approved by NORML and the chapter has fully executed the Letter of Affiliation issued by NORML. Questions regarding the affiliation process should be directed to chapters@norml.org.

Guidelines for Affiliation with NORML

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is a nonprofit corporation chartered in the District of Columbia and authorized by the IRS to operate as a 501(c)(4) public-interest lobby. NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable. Learn more about NORML.

The following guidelines outline the basic criteria applicants must meet to qualify for affiliation with NORML, including the use of “NORML” in the affiliate’s name.

  1. The group applying for affiliation must include at least (4) individuals with NORML memberships for the current calendar year.
  2. Once approved, the applicant group must form a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, adopt articles of incorporation and bylaws, register with the secretary of state (or other appropriate state office), and follow all state laws and regulations governing the operation of nonprofit corporations.
  3. The group must agree to conduct organizational business in a manner prescribed by state law for nonprofit organizations, including the holding of at least (4) quarterly board meetings per calendar year, the keeping of board meeting minutes, and the holding of regular elections as required in the bylaws. Affiliates are required to provide this documentation to NORML, including the names of and contact information for newly elected board members.
  4. The group must agree to pursue a program intended to educate the public; lobby local, state and federal officials; or otherwise build support for ending the criminal prohibition of cannabis and the arrest of responsible consumers.
  5. The group must agree to operate in a professional manner and to avoid activities that would bring disrepute or otherwise harm NORML and its reform efforts. This includes the sale or distribution of cannabis, cannabis products, “CBD” products, and cannabis seeds (other than sterile hemp seeds). 
  6. Guidelines for NORML affiliate chapters in states that have legalized the sale and/or use of cannabis.
    1. No entity distributing cannabis, whether a cooperative, a collective, a nonprofit, a for-profit, or any other entity, may serve as a NORML affiliate chapter, nor may the NORML name be used by any entity distributing cannabis.
    2. A majority of the board of directors of any NORML affiliate chapter must be composed of individuals who are not principals, board members or employees of any entity distributing cannabis.
    3. NORML affiliate chapters must establish and maintain an address separate from any entity distributing cannabis. NORML affiliate chapters may conduct meetings at the location of an entity that distributes cannabis, only if the entity is not conducting business during NORML affiliate chapter functions. Any entity providing meeting space for a NORML affiliate chapter shall close one hour prior to the NORML affiliate chapter meeting or function and shall remain closed for one hour after the meeting or event has ended.
  7. Every NORML affiliate chapter is required to make an annual donation to NORML.

Ethical Standards for Affiliation

NORML does not and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or bigotry. Prohibition was started on a foundation on racism and continued to exist as a tool to perpetuate systemic racism by targeting and devastating already marginalized communities in our country. 

NORML’s membership is made up of individuals from many backgrounds, faiths, sexual orientations, gender identities, political ideologies, and all demographic groups. One thing we must be united in is our opposition to hatred, racism, and bigotry of all kinds. NORML has zero tolerance for those that would use the organization’s name to advance an agenda of hate and division. 

Those who give platforms to bigots have no home under the NORML banner and we must continue to make our movement one that is diverse and inclusive. 

Chapter Revocation

NORML reserves the right to immediately revoke the affiliate status of any chapter which fails to operate in accordance with the guidelines outlined above and in the NORML Chapter Letter of Affiliation, NORML’s nondiscrimination policy, and NORML Chapter Leader Ethics Agreement.