“It’s a history that, thankfully, more people are aware of now but it is still kind of hidden,” said Candace Gingrich. Gingrich, an LGBTQ activist who spent two decades working with the Human Rights Campaign. Known as the younger half-sibling of one of the more outspoken Speakers of the House in recent political history, Gingrich made a name for themself fighting for gay rights since the mid-nineties. Today, Gingrich is the Vice President and Head of Business Development at Revolution Florida, a cannabis company striving to increase access to legal cannabis.
“In terms of public figures and still more women in the cannabis world, whether it’s on stage at [MJBizCon] or launching their own brands or whatever it is, we’re seeing more women,” said Chloe Steerman, an Account Executive at Colorado-based Grasslands, a journalism-minded PR agency in the cannabis space that’s gone to great lengths to elevate the voices of women into leadership roles. “We’re just not seeing them in those positions of leadership and positions of power.”
Throughout my career as a cannabis journalist, I’ve kept silent about my sobriety. Finding freelance gigs is hard enough without the added burden of having to be that guy. Besides, if I learned anything from active addiction, it was how to lie at my job.
Dr. Shover, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University worked with fellow researchers Corey Davis, Sanford Gordon, and Keith Humphreys to buck a cannabis industry pearl of conventional wisdom; the oft-cited, often-sloganeered study by Marcus Bachhuber that found a positive correlation between medical cannabis states and a decrease in opioid overdose deaths from 1999-2010.
“We cannot let a lack of ethics, we cannot allow crooks [to] get involved in this industry,” he continued. “It costs too much time and too much work to open the industry to legalize it, so we have to make sure that this is a long-lasting industry and economic sector, and not a gold rush.”
Cannabis advocates have a science problem, or, perhaps, an anti-science one; a cognitive dissonance on par with climate-change deniers, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, and the folks who think Jesus rode on dinosaurs.
According to an alert put out last week by Duane Morris LLP, one of the largest law firms serving the Cannabis industry, “The Bokaie case is part of a growing trend of RICO lawsuits filed in legalized states that seek to exploit the tension between state law and the federal Controlled Substances Act.”
“As you know there’s always been a disparity in regards to incarceration, in regards to the War on Drugs for people of color,” Roz McCarthy, Founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana told PotNetwork News recently at the Cannabis World Congress and Exposition.
Positive T.A. Nelson, a former seven-term senator and the current Commissioner of Agriculture of the U.S. Virgin Islands tried several times to pass legislation legalizing medical cannabis before he was ultimately successful this past January. After a long-fought battle, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. finally signed into law the Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Care Act.
In a somewhat uniquely American way, opioid use disorder has become a marketing boon for the emerging cannabis industry. Advocates and industrialists alike have focus-grouped America’s deadliest epidemic into a modern-day Pepsi Challenge; a double-blind, peer-reviewed taste test where four-out-of-five addicts prefer medical marijuana.