By Sonia Case
Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Dime.
Black Lives Matter
Cannabis legalization or, at the very least, decriminalization, is a key step in combating the systemic racial injustice that plagues America. Following George Floyd’s wrongful murder by Minneapolis police last Monday, May 25th, protests have erupted all across the U.S. against a “racist, lawless, and unaccountable police state,” reports Leafly.
The prohibition of cannabis effectively legalized the persecution of Black Americans by police under the guise of illegal cannabis possession. According to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Americans are almost four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis possession, despite similar usage rates. Cannabis-related arrests have destroyed the lives of millions of Black Americans through incarceration, disenfranchisement and the limiting of housing and employment opportunities.
Until we legalize cannabis at a federal level, racial inequality will continue to permeate the cannabis industry. Federal prohibition limits cannabis companies from receiving small business loans. While many white “canna-preneurs” have the social or cultural connections to raise funds, Black entrepreneurs generally struggle to break into, and then survive in the industry.
By tackling cannabis legalization one-vote-at-a-time, we can begin to disassemble a main system used to control and degrade Black bodies.
Dispensaries Targeted by Looters
Looters hit dozens of dispensaries throughout the country over the last few days. It appears as though opportunists are using the cover of the peaceful George Floyd protests (and perhaps the COVID-19 mask requirement) to loot various retail businesses, including cannabis dispensaries.
Kobie Evans, co-owner of Pure Oasis in Massachusetts, told WBZ-TV that “the looters stole about $100,000 worth of cannabis” on Sunday night, May 31st. Pure Oasis was also the first minority-owned dispensary to open in the state. According to MJBizDaily, many believe that these businesses are being “targeted by professional criminals rather than looters.”
Many dispensaries, such as MedMen, temporarily closed their retail locations in response. Though disturbed by the loss of merchandise and destruction of property, cannabis retailers continue to support the protests. In a statement to Leafly, Debby Goldsberry, operator of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, CA said that, “our shop can be rebuilt, but the black lives taken by the police, again and again, are gone forever.”
The Great Un-tethering
Medical cannabis users in Montana can now sample from as many providers as they want. As of Tuesday, June 2nd, Senate Bill 265 eliminated the previous statute, known as tethering, which limited patients to only one medicinal cannabis provider. Un-tethering will also provide patients with back-up options in case their go-to closes. In the words of J.J. Thomas, owner of Montana-based The Higher Standard dispensary chain; “no one wants to eat at McDonald’s every day, over and over again, when a thousand different places make hamburgers.”
Come On Baby Light My… Animal Feces?
A new archeological study reveals that ancient Israelites probably burned cannabis during religious rituals. The study aimed to identify the unknown substance on top of two dilapidated altars in the 2,700-year-old Tel Arad temple, located in Arad, Israel. Using liquid and gas chromatography, the research team discovered cannabinoid residue including THC, CBD and CBN!
The researchers now believe that worshippers used cannabis to deliberately, “stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies.” It was likely transported to Tel Arad as dried resin, also known as hashish, and then, “mixed with animal feces to enable its mild heating,” reports MarijuanaMoment. Thanks but, no thanks.