I have a small site selling posters from a (long gone) hash shop. Advertised them on Ebay, too. No problem from the gendarmes. Got a guy who was concerned about his Guru being depicted on one of the posters but we worked that out.
Even as fascist as some cities are about Grateful Dead shows the guys selling burlap bags made to resemble (empty) 50 K bulk shipment bags were fine, as far as I could tell.
There still is freedom of speech in the USA, even to talk about plants, however much the government hates them. Encouraging people to break the law don't know about that. I have seen forums where the members were free to say things and the host believed he was not responsible for what others say, but I am not sure he is correct.
The final line is that if the feds want to harass you then the law is of little concern to them. They can disrupt your life plenty even if you win in court. They raided a Medical Doctor near me for prescribing vitamins. The next question is to what extent you stand your ground.
America is out of money. Legalization will reduce the (huge) costs of enforcement and generate a lot of taxes. The only down side is that we will have to listen to more stoner jokes...
Don't sweat it - assuming, it's strictly informative, such as faqs, forums, pics, etc, legally it should be fine.
However, if you're planning to sell pipes, bongs, seeds, etc ... you're taking a risk, and potentially even more so, assuming your profile location of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is accurate. Typically, if selling such questionable products (many in the adult business face this issue too), one can mitigate some risk by avoiding selling to customers in various locations, such as western PA ... but if you're already physically located there, that's not an option. Bottom line, advertising, selling, promoting such products may potentially be extra risky based on your physical location. Read up on Operation Pipe Dreams Operation Pipe Dreams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Hosting should be a cinch. However, if you directly ask the host company whether it's ok, they may not give a clear answer or simply say host elsewhere. Be aware that many hosts take a "don't ask, don't tell" approach; privately, the hosting techs often don't care / welcome such sites. All of the above assumes shared hosting, including VPSes. If you go with a dedicated server (even though the host still owns the hardware), because it's not shared with other customers, you'll likely face no issues at all.
However, trying to monetizing such a site will be a challenge. Google will not knowingly run AdSense on such sites; don't even try it.
To sell advertising, products (ie. t-shirts), etc, PayPal and other similar services likely won't be available for use; close accounts associated with such sites.
Thus you'll likely be relegated to accepting money orders and bank wires unless you have the budget to cover the costs of a credit card merchant account; like with hosting, keep your intentions on the downlow and be discreet - put up a mainstream looking site, even if it's just a generic homepage, to use on the application instead of the cannabis related site.
And if you're going to be utilizing a bank account for proceeds coming in from the site, keep it on the downlow - banks can and do close accounts of customers whose legal activities they simply don't agree with.
Getting back to the legality aspect. A few years back, there was much talk of how Canadian hosts were somehow legally better - in my opinion, based in large part from my observations and experiences, not true. Likely best to host it in the U.S.
Hope this helps.
An example (not mine and no special interest on my part): Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Cards, Doctors, Legal MarijuanaBut I'd tread carefully on this one.
Would like to know as well, cannabis should be more of a medical site rather then a promotion of the habit (or addiction, as it is considered in some places)Medical marijuana should be fine IMO, and there should not be too much of an issue with hosting (but always better to mail and be sure) btw directwebhosts do not seen to have an issue and neither should Gator.
Good luck with the project. My "Cannabis dotin" may be attractive as a development option in case I do not sell it.
Also a good disclaimer and about us page should be helpful as well..
Make sure you add contact me and put your real name and address on there, why not add personally signed recent photo?..