All Articles Tagged "marijuana"

How Black People Are Being Disenfranchised By The Legalized Marijuana Trade

May 6th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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A few days after protests started in Baltimore over the suspicious death of Freddie Gray, while in police custody, the web site Heavy posted his arrest record.

As no surprise to anyone with an understanding of socioeconomics in low-income communities (or folks who have watched a couple of seasons of The Wire), most of those arrests were for intent to sell/unlawful possession of controlled substances, including marijuana.

A mere 187 miles up I-95 North, the New York State Department of Health has started accepting applications for licenses to grow legally and distribute medical marijuana in that state. Also of no surprise to anyone with an understanding of how capitalism works to disenfranchise the most vulnerable of society, those licenses aren’t cheap.

According to Fusion:

Applicants will have to plunk down a non-refundable $10,000 application fee along with the $200,000 registration fee to enter the program. The registration lasts for two years. After that, growers have to pay again, according to the New York State Department of Health. The state will award five licenses for its highly regulated medical marijuana program. Each registered grower will be allowed to open up four dispensaries, which is roughly one dispensary per million residents in the state.

It was on July 7 when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s medical marijuana bill into law, making New York the 23rd state in the country to legalize the controlled substance. Democrats & Chronicle fills in the story:

After the law was approved, it started an 18-month clock for the health department to have the program up and running. The program will allow state-certified doctors to prescribe the drug to patients with cancer, epilepsy and other serious diseases and conditions. Medical marijuana advocates have been clamoring for the state to speed up the process, saying patients, particularly sick children, need the drug as soon as possible.

Government sure knows how to work fast when it really wants to, eh? And as The New York Times reports in this article from last October entitled, “For Pot Inc., the Rush to Cash In Is Underway,” government isn’t the only entity in New York trying to get a jump on the medical marijuana greenbacks. Groups of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have been meeting and strategizing about how to get their hands on one of those lucrative and costly licenses since the bill was first signed into law. One of those people is a 30-year-old former financial adviser, who told the Times that he had been meeting with “a group of investors who were eager to sink tens of millions of dollars into the New York cannabis trade.”

If the diverse interest in the drug trade surprises you, you should know that in Colorado, which legalized marijuana for all uses, including recreational back in 2012, both sellers, and the local government are making so much money, the state has returned more than $30 million in tax revenue to its citizens.

Meanwhile, on the socioeconomic disenfranchised blocks behind Wall Street and around the corner from Main Street in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton have started arresting less people for possession of marijuana (less than 25 grams) and instead issued misdemeanor citations. The same thing has also happened in Colorado where arrests for marijuana have dropped by 95 percent.

But according to this article from last November in Capital New York, Blacks and Latinos are still disproportionately represented among those who are both cited and arrested (five times more than our White counterparts to be exact) under this new, softer marijuana law. And according to this article from last month in the International Business Times, the rate of arrests for Blacks remains 2.4 percent higher than it is for Whites. It should also be noted that Blacks only make up 4 percent of the total population in Colorado.

Elsewhere in the country, Black farmers in Florida are crying foul over that state’s new Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which was signed into law last year by Governor Rick Scott. According to ThinkProgress, “those who qualify for licensing must have operated as a registered nursery in Florida for 30 consecutive years — a criterion that many, if not all, black farmers in the state can’t meet. Farmers of color say they’ve been hampered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s past discriminatory practices that have made it difficult for them to thrive in the industry.”

If you haven’t yet clued in on what I’m trying to say here, let me make it plain: Despite our people being most likely to be negatively affected by these draconian drug laws, it seems like we are also the least likely to profit off of its legalization. Old Kanye tried to tell us “Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead buy crack. And a White man get paid off of all of that.” But we didn’t hear him tho’. And that is why he is crazy now.



Snoop Lion Is Part Of Group That Invested $10 Million In Marijuana Delivery App Company

April 17th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Snoop Lion’s love for marijuana has taken a business turn with an investment in a company named Eaze. His venture firm, Casa Verde Capital, has contributed to a $10 million fundraising bid for Eaze’s mobile app, which aims to be the “Uber for  marijuana.” Although the size of the investment has yet to be confirmed (other investors also took part in the $10 million investment), Eaze’s CEO Keith McCarty said the “biggest reward is when prestigious investors complete their due diligence and choose to invest in our vision. It’s quite humbling, actually.”

Eaze was launched last July in the Bay Area. Since its launch, Eaze has made 30,000 deliveries. This past November, the company raised $1.5 million and it is focusing on hiring 50 people in 50 days in demographics where marijuana has been legalized, reports The New York Post.

Besides Snoop’s investment, other funding was contributed by DCM Ventures, Fresh VC and 500 startups. Kyle Lui who serves as DCM’s principal believes the marijuana market can increase to $100 billion. He says “the regulatory environment and public sentiment a couple of years ago was quite different than what it is today. We think the market for legal cannabis will continue to grow very rapidly.”

Recently we covered a couple who shared their journey to becoming investors in the marijuana industry. They now encourage other people of color to do the same.

In the piece, Khadijah and Charles Adams share:

“Some may call Joe Kennedy a bootlegger but I call him a smart man. He invested in alcohol before its federal legalization and he didn’t just invest in the drink – he invested in everything around it like distilleries, and bottling companies, which created wealth, fame, and political power for his family over time.The same can be said for marijuana.

“We are not saying to invest in the flower, we are teaching people how to invest in companies that support the cannabis industry through stocks. Some of these stocks are selling for literally pennies. Those prices will begin to go up as marijuana becomes legalized across the country. It’s our job to educate our communities of color how to create legitimate portfolios before it’s too expensive to buy shares.”

Would you become an investor in the marijuana industry?

Natural Mystic: Bob Marley’s Family Set To Launch Marley Natural, A Legal Marijuana Business

November 18th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Image Source:

Image Source:

Bob Marley is known for his revolutionary music and iconic image for world peace. The late reggae-ska musician is also known for his Rastafarian religious beliefs where followers smoke marijuana to feel closer to their messiah, Haile Selassie I (former Ethiopian Emperor). Since marijuana is closely linked to the Marley brand (and the fact that marijuana use is becoming more and more mainstream), his family and a Seattle based private equity firm have announced the creation of Marley Natural.

USA Today says the brand is a “premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy.” Marley Natural will also serve as a the first global brand of marijuana. The marijuana line will include pot-infused creams, strains of heirloom Jamaican cannabis (Marley’s favorite type of marijuana to smoke) and accessories such as vaporizers. Marketing for Marley Natural will be handled by the same agency that works on New Balance and Starbucks Coffee. The cannabis from the Marley Natural line will be sold separately in buds, oils or concentrate.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, which owns Marley Natural, says of the business launch, “This is what the end of prohibition looks like. Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We’re going to help him finish it.” Rita Marley, wife of the late musician, says Bob smoked a pound of marijuana a week and noted the business launch is what their family dreamed of. She also noted how Western society condemned marijuana in the past by calling the plant weed or drugs. Rita Marley said, “We saw it as a spiritual thing, given to us by God.”

This is not the first business the Marley family has started since the death of their patriarch Bob. The Marleys have licensed brands of coffee, audio equipment and clothing merchandise.

Marley Natural is set to launch in late 2015.

Below, is a news video on the Marley’s marijuana business.


“F*ck It. I Quit!” Alaskan Journalist Resigns During Live Segment To Focus On Marijuana Reform

September 22nd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Alaskan Journalist Resigns


Last night, KTVA broadcasting journalist Charlo Green quit her job. An anchor in Anchorage (Ha!) quitting her job wouldn’t normally be newsworthy. But she did it during a live segment. She was reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club (ACC), Alaska’s only medical marijuana resource. And, as it turns out, Green is the ACC’s CEO.

Green confessed: “I, the actual owner of the Alaskan Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalising marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, not that I have a choice, but f*ck it – I quit.”

The ACC serves as a liaison between medical marijuana laws, constitutional protections and state marijuana laws. Green never disclosed her high level position with the group.

Afterward, Green walked off camera leaving her co-anchor flabbergasted while apologizing for Green’s profane language. Cosmopolitan suggests Green’s resignation preceded her on-air declaration based on her using the phrase “not that I have a choice.” Currently, Green is requesting donations for her legalize marijuana platform via an Indiegogo page. There, she notes:

“I’m Charlo Greene, the president and CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club – Alaska’s only legal medical marijuana resource. I just quit my news reporting job on live TV to announce that I am redirecting all of my energy toward helping to end a failed drug policy that has ruined the lives of far too many Americans. Ballot Measure 2, the initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, isn’t just about marijuana in the Last Frontier, it’s about keeping the ball rolling on NATIONAL legalization. Imagine, if after Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana and are offering the rest of the world a positive outlook on what ending marijuana prohibition can do, Alaskan voters fail to continue moving our nation in the direction toward freedom and fairness. There’s no doubt that will impact every other state, national and international marijuana reform effort. Americans with common sense don’t want that. Help us to keep that from becoming a reality.”

Seeking a goal of $5,000, ACC has currently earned $2,909 from its Indiegogo page.

Below is footage of Green quitting during her broadcast segment.

In this next video, Green reveals her real name: Charlene Eggbe, why she quit her broadcasting job and the clause behind Alaska Cannabis Club.

Agricultural Company Terra Tech Gives Us The Scoop On How To Get Started In The Marijuana Business

April 21st, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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greenhouse imageNow that Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana use, it has become a booming business in that state, with entrepreneurs popping up with new ideas, new lifestyle coverage for the local papers, and a revelry in the cannabis life that was on display for this weekend’s celebration of 4/20 Day.

While we can make all sorts jokes about getting high, there are lots of opportunities to get rich (or at least to make a good amount of money) by building a business in this new and quickly growing industry. The latest stats we found show that cannabis is a billion-dollar business now and will grow into a multi-billion dollar business within the next few years.

Terra Tech is broadening its agricultural business by moving into the cannabis business, hosting an open house last Thursday to show off its greenhouse, operated through its wholly-owned subsidiary Edible Garden.

“Some have estimated that it will be upwards of a $100 billion industry,” Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech told us via email. “There’s also an emerging trend of eco-friendly products, which is part of the reason we’ve decided to set up eco-friendly cultivation facilities to be able to produce the highest grade cannabis possible in a responsible way taking advantage of natural light.”

Located in Belvedere, NJ, Edible Garden grows herbs and greens in eco-friendly ways for restaurants and local supermarkets. Eventually, at this new state-of-the-art greenhouse, the company would like to add cannabis to the list of offerings.

With more states likely to legalize marijuana, now’s a good time to think about some of the business options available to an entrepreneur looking to get into this business.

“There are many different niches of the cannabis industry,”  Peterson wrote. “We’ve targeted the cultivation sector because we feel production will be one of the largest sectors in the industry. I’ve gone from Wall Street to the cannabis industry because of the opportunities of this emerging market, and investors are becoming increasingly more interested in this industry as well. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of people interested in the industry, but finding the right players to align yourself with can be tricky.”

Breaking A Bad Habit: Lil Scrappy Checks Into Drug Rehab!

June 1st, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Lil Scrappy has finally decided to “try” to get himself together after hitting quite a stumbling block in court.

After failing a recent court ordered drug test at a hearing in Atlanta, TMZ learned that he has decided to check into a rehab program. According to his lawyer, Mawuli Mel Davis, Scrappy has admitted to being addicted to marijuana.

If you watched the first season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, you’ve probably heard Scrappy mention he’s on probation (particularly around the time he got into a fight with Stevie J).  Since testing positive for any drug is an automatic violation, his parole could be revoked and Scrappy, real name Darryl Richardson, could wind up back in jail rather quickly.

Davis says Scrappy checked in late Thursday evening and plans to stay there to work on his problem until June 16th when he faces a judge again on the violation charge. The hope is that the judge will see he’s working on breaking this addiction and will show him a little mercy.

One could say that this is just a way for Lil Scrappy to stay out of jail, and you might be right, but there is a chance that he’s legitimately addicted to “the chief.” There’s a fine line between really enjoying something and becoming addicted to it. We’ll see if Scrappy can break his “habit.”

What are your bad habits? Are you working on trying to break them?

Who’s Having The Worst Week Ever?…Fantasia Barrino

January 4th, 2013 - By Renay Alize
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Poor Fanny. Lord knows I root for her but this past week it’s become increasingly difficult to stand by and watch her sink deeper and deeper into that hole she’s hellbent on digging for herself. In case you missed it, in her original rant, she whined explained the unfairness (?) in the fact that people were judging her life when gay marriage and marijuana are legal in some places in the U.S.

Fantasia was further outraged when she noticed that the media ran with and misinterpreted her words. She released another error-laden message about how her words were incorrectly being used against her. I’m not exactly sure how those words could not be interpreted as homophobic; but Fantasia justified them by playing the same cliche card a whole lot of bigoted people play: “I have gay friends.”  In Fantasia’s case it was gay fans and a predominately gay management team.


What can we say that we haven’t already?

What we do know is that this has not been Fantasia’s week. While, I would bet she doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality as a practice, she maybe, probably definitely has a problem with them being able to legally marry…and smoke that ooo-wee.

I would bet that she’s probably pissed off a few of those gay fans she was claiming.

I’m not sure if Kid Fury was ever a fan of Fantasia but he definitely had a few choice words for the songstress. Though I won’t endorse his particular word choice, I will say that the sentiment behind his words is something I can agree with and it is certainly enough reason for Fantasia Barrino to be having the worst week ever.

We’re hoping she pulls it together by Sunday.

Ooooh Toni Braxton Was Really Getting High While Making “You’re Making Me High”

October 26th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Toni Braxton’s got some skeletons in her closet and she’s airing a few of them out during her VH1 “Behind the Music” special airing Monday night. I loved Toni’s 1996 hit “You’re Making Me High” but I totally missed some of the subliminal messages in her lyrics, like the fact that she was actually talking about getting high in the song.

Toni dropped that little gem while talking about how her second album took on a whole new life once this single landed in her hands. After singing lots of other sad love songs on her  ’93 self-titled debut, Toni’s image changed from love to sex, which may have had a little something to do with the singer puff puffing and passing during those days.

A week before [writing the song with Babyface and Bryce Wilson], I was introduced to marijuana, and I got high for the first time,” she said during the special. “In the bridge, I’m singing ‘I want to feel your heart and soul inside of me / Let’s make a deal you roll, I lick / And we can go flying into ecstasy’, I was talking about [smoking a joint].”

Sounds like the church girl stepped out the sanctuary. Check out the clip from Toni’s “Behind the Music” special below. Will you watch Monday?

He Didn’t OD, But He Was On Drugs: PCP, Cocaine, Weed, And Alcohol Identified In Rodney King Death Report

August 23rd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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When Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of a swimming pool on the morning of June 17, there were a million theories about what could have lead to his death which has since been ruled an accidental drowning. Now TMZ has obtained the official death report on the civil rights figure in which the coroner says that King, 47, “was in a state of drug and alcohol induced delirium at the time of his death … and either fell or jumped into the swimming pool.”

King was reportedly under the influence of a number of substances at the time of his death, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and PCP. As the report states:

“The effects of the drugs and alcohol, combined with [King’s preexisting heart condition] probably precipitated a cardiac arrhythmia and [King], thus incapacitated, was unable to save himself and drowned.”

As TMZ notes from the report:

King was naked and face down at the deep end of the pool when officials arrived on scene.

Cops also found a pitchfork, a hoe and a vaccuum pool sweeper in the pool … which King’s GF used to try and fish Rodney out of the water. The GF told cops she didn’t go in after Rodney because she is not a good swimmer and was afraid to enter the water.

With his death now ruled as an accidental drowning, at least the questions surrounding any foul play on the part of King’s girlfriend should subside.

More on Madame Noire!

Struggling Waitress Sues Police For Confiscating $12,000 Tip

April 5th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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A struggling waitress and mother from Minnesota received the tip of a lifetime a while back when she opened a box with $12,000 in it. While she was trying to do the right thing and decided to contact the police about the money, that’s a decision she now regrets. Here’s the deal-io according to our friends at ABC News:

One day while working at the Fryn’ Pan in Moorhead, Minn., Stacy Knutson found a small box on the table of a customer who was leaving. When she tried to hurry up and return in to the customer, the woman told her to keep it. So she did. And when she opened it, she was surprised to find $12,000 worth of cash in it, wrapped in bundles and with rubber bands. This is what Knutson said in the lawsuit: “Even though I desperately needed the money as my husband and I have five children, I feel I did the right thing by calling the Moorhead Police.”

When she did, Moorhead Police took the money and told her that if it wasn’t claimed within 60 days, it was all hers.

But after 60 days passed, they asked her to wait 90 days.

Then 90 days passed. Still no money.

In the end, the police kept the money and said they would offer Knutson a $1,000 reward as a replacement for turning it in. Why? Despite what you’re thinking (that they played her), the local police say that the money had the smell of marijuana on it, and therefore, they needed to open up a drug investigation on it.

But people working the day Knutson found the money don’t believe that mess, and made their opinions known in an affidavit. It wasn’t drug money, because they know drugs when they smell ’em:

“I know the smell of marijuana,” said Nickolas Fronning, a line cook at the Fryn’ Pan. “I can also assure you that there was no smell of marijuana on the bills or coming from the box.”

Her lawyer says that he and his client believe someone from her local church, who knew of her money woes found a way to give her the large “tip.” With her large family, Knutson had been working at the Fryn’ Pan for 18 years to help make ends meet.

“Somebody knew she really needed the money and she needed to be helped,” says Craig Richie. “The only thing that smells bad about this is that it’s unfair. So that’s why we’re doing something about it.”

But the police told ABC News that they are not trying to steal from her at all. Lt. Tory Jacobson says they’re actually on her side:

“The police department doesn’t have a decision on either side,” Jacobson said. “She did the right thing, we credit her with that. It’s certainly not the police department against her. We’re actually with her.”

I don’t know folks, this is a really tricky situation. Something about it does smell funny, as though she was left with dirty money. But money is money, and she found it, and it is long past the initial 90 days. So…I say just let the woman have it. However, that’s just my opinion. What about you?

Do you think this money is dirty? Or did it come from a generous person doing a good thing?

More on Madame Noire!