Cannabis businesses and industry groups largely supported protestors calling for police and criminal justice reform. They do so as an apparently opportunistic wave of armed robberies has targeted pot shops and other licensed businesses.
- “In no way do we equate the people who are protesting peacefully with what happened to us,” said Kobie Evans, co-owner of Boston’s Pure Oasis, the first minority-owned REC shop on the east coast. With reserves of weed and (often) cash on hand, dispensaries are "perfect targets" for armed robbers.
- Debby Goldsberry, executive director of ransacked dispensary Magnolia Oakland (closed until further notice) wrote “Our shop can be rebuilt, but the black lives taken by the police, again and again, are gone forever.” She advised other Bay Area cannabis businesses to close and move their inventory outside the region.
- WeedWeek columnist Dan Mitchell looked at the road to recovery for targeted businesses. A looming question: Will their insurance coverage pay out?
- The Daily Beast found criminals targeted dispensaries and pharmacies.
- To protect cannabis businesses, California regulators removed their information from state web sites.
Legalization advocates quickly inserted the cause into the broader reform agenda.
- “There are many ways that policing will have to change,” wrote Marijuana Policy Project executive director Steve Hawkins. "We must add to that list the legalization of cannabis – and not just its decriminalization."
- Drug reform groups said cannabis legalization is a necessary to mitigate entrenched racism in the U.S.
- They also warned about new powers awarded to the DEA during last week's protests.
Last year, I wrote the industry's failure to do anything about equity is its abiding shame.
- Green Entrepreneur compiled a list of 20 Black-owned cannabis businesses to support.