A white nationalist lawyer is suing activists on behalf of a former cannabis lab owner. A coalition of advocacy groups is hosting the first National Expungement Week. Colorado’s marijuana sales reached the $1 billion mark. Also: One Canadian cannabis dispensary ran out of product on the first day of sales — at 4:20. 🌳
White nationalist lawyer sues antifa for former pot lab owner. The former owner of a cannabis testing lab in Oregon is suing anonymous activists for defamation after they exposed her ties to white nationalists. Her attorney, William Johnson, is a self-described white nationalist and is the chairman of the American Freedom Party. “Though quickly shunned by Oregon’s cannabis industry, [Bethany] Sherman was embraced by two Lane County men viewed by national groups tracking extremists as fixtures of the region’s white nationalist movement.” “Nothing posted on the website at issue is actionable — people simply do not like Nazis and do not want to be affiliated with them or their racist ideology,” said the Civil Liberties Defense Center, which is representing the activists. The Oregonian
Expungement week is coming. A coalition of 22 advocacy groups is hosting a series of events for the first National Expungement Week. Events in cities across the country will “provide expungement services, as well as assistance for employment, education, housing and healthcare.” The groups will also advocate for more aggressive criminal justice reform measures as an increasing number of states pass some sort of marijuana reform laws. The goal is to push the growing cannabis industry “towards the three goals: equity, justice and repair.” “We can’t sit back while businesses attempt to capitalize from this newly legal commodity that has marginalized so many people in our community in the past,” said one organizer in Massachusetts. Filter
What the science says. The New England Journal of Medicine presents a case of a woman suffering from intractable pain who has tried a whole host of treatments — to no avail. Meanwhile, her current treatment — gabapentin and oxycodone — aren’t helping her pain and come with negative side effects. She expresses interest in trying medical marijuana. Here are two doctors who argue both sides of the issue: 1) Give the patient the go-ahead to try medical marijuana, or 2) try to discourage her from trying medical marijuana. The New England Journal of Medicine A study found that CBD can be effective in reducing anxiety in a placebo-controlled, double-blind test. The research supports previous studies on the subject. The study tested 150-, 300-, and 600-milligram doses of CBD. The scientists found that the 300-milligram dose lowered anxiety levels, but the 150- and 600-milligram doses “had little or no effect on anxiety.” Marijuana Moment
Today in cannabis business news… Marijuana sales broke the $1 billion mark in August this year and brought in $200 million in tax revenue. “It’s the earliest point in any of the four years Colorado has had legal recreational marijuana that combined medical and rec sales have cracked the billion-dollar mark.” The Denver Post Santa Rosa, Calif. approved the city’s first cannabis extraction plant despite “vocal opposition” by neighborhood residents. The Press Democrat A look at the challenges facing Southern California cannabis businesses. Marijuana Business Daily Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 23. MarketWatch
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Help a Reefer Dad. Longtime cannabis activist Rick Cusick is suffering from health issues and needs a liver transplant. “The infamous donor list… may not welcome a person with my personal history. I haven’t drank alcohol in 34 years and never smoked cigarettes, but my public lifestyle might kick me down the list,” he writes on his GoFundMe campaign. Cusick has raised more than $11,600 of his $15,000 fundraising goal so far. GoFundMe
When a prohibitionist changes his stance. Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney led an effort to pass legislation that would keep marijuana in the same category as heroin in the early ’90s. Now, he’s joining the board of a cannabis company alongside fellow former prohibitionist John Boehner. Numerous other public officials that have previously opposed marijuana reform have switched sides on the issue now that they stand to profit from the industry. “They’re adults and can make their own decisions, but one word that comes to mind is ‘hypocrisy,'” said longtime legalization advocate and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith. Meanwhile, Mulroney says that a “sea change in attitudes in the reality of the use of cannabis” have prompted his views to evolve. CBC News
Canada is selling out of weed already! Dispensaries around the country were forced to close their doors early after running out of product on the first day of legal cannabis sales. “One store owner, who the gods must be laughing at, said out of all goddamn times they somehow ran out of weed at 4:20.” Vice It’s cool though because there are still plenty of black-market weed dealers who aren’t scared of the law, even though penalties are harsher under the country’s new cannabis laws. Vice Retailers and provincial governments are warning of pot shortages to come. Manitoba regulators warned that there could be shortages for up to six months. B.C. regulators said “shortages are/were expected to impact all jurisdictions across Canada.” CTV News
What about the postal strike? The day before legal cannabis sales were supposed to start, the union representing Canada Post workers announced a strike that is planned to start on Monday. In Ontario, the country’s most populous province, the only means of purchasing legal cannabis is through the online Ontario Cannabis Store. Global News The Ontario government says it has come up with a back-up plan “to ensure the delivery of recreational cannabis in case of a Canada Post strike next week, but it isn’t saying what that arrangement is.” Global News
Toronto police are pretty chill. The Toronto Police Department rolled out a campaign asking Canadians not to narc on each other for marijuana. The campaign included photos for people thinking of calling 911 for non-emergencies. “Asking for directions because you’re lost is not a 911 call,” reads one. “Reporting an adult smoking a joint isn’t either.” Vox But police officers around the country seemed eager to enforce the new cannabis laws: officers raided unlicensed cannabis sellers across the country, despite widespread cannabis shortages at licensed dispensaries. CTV News Winnipeg police issued their first pot ticket one hour after marijuana was legalized in the country. The ticket was for consuming cannabis while in a car (though it’s unclear whether the person was driving at the time). CBC News
Headlines of the day. “Ontario Cannabis Store mislabels genital spray as oral product in first day blunder.” CTV News “Canadian girl sells out of cookies in minutes to crowd outside marijuana store.” WHNT
Are psychedelics next? Days before cannabis became legal in Canada, a team of lawyers and therapists launched a new project: Therapeutic Psilocybin for Canadians. With prominent cannabis lawyers helping the cause pro-bono, psychotherapist Bruce Tobin is gearing up for a legal battle for psilocybin access for terminally ill patients. Tobin recounts how a terminally ill patient asked him to supervise a psychedelic session. “I was uncomfortable about breaking the law, but I didn’t want to ignore the suffering of my patients or my ethical duty toward them,” said Tobin. “I thought if I don’t want to break the law, I better try to change the law.” Vice
Word on the States
- In Missouri, U.S. rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) advocated for Amendment 2, one of the three medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot this November. Campaign finance filings show support coalescing around it.
- In Massachusetts, cannabis regulators are considering a plan to allow marijuana home deliveries by small, locally owned companies.
- In Oklahoma, a county judge ruled against a city’s attempt to limit medical marijuana businesses.
- In Delaware, 61 percent of residents support marijuana legalization, found a new poll.
- In Florida, the governor is seeking legislative support to fight against a court ruling that ordered the state to register new medical marijuana operations.
- In Michigan, regulators issued 13 more medical marijuana licenses.
- In Washington, the state Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to sentence minors to life without parole, joining 20 other states.
- In Indiana, medical marijuana legalization efforts stalled during a legislative committee meeting. A state representative plans to introduce a MMJ legalization bill by December.
- In New Jersey, a look at the medical marijuana market.
Word for Word
“In Oregon, [Patrick Beadle] might have faced a civil fine for possessing too much marijuana at one time. But it was a different story in Madison County, where he was arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, an offense with a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. In July, an all-white jury took all of 25 minutes to convict Beadle, who is black… Beadle’s case highlighted the splintered nature of marijuana penalties across the United States as more states move toward decriminalization or legalization while others remain resistant.” – Meagan Flynn for The Washington Post