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NORML Publish Statement On Death Of George Floyd & Subsequent Events




Here is the statement in full……

June 02, 2020


On May 25th, George Floyd was killed on camera by officers affiliated with the Minneapolis Police Department. As were many Americans, we were shocked and disheartened by this tragic and needless loss of life.

As the events of the past few days have unfolded, it is clear that America is in the midst of a long overdue reckoning with itself. Since 1619, when the first ships arrived on the coast of Virginia with enslaved Africans in chains, our country has long had to struggle to address the inequality and structural racism embedded within our public institutions — particularly within the criminal justice system.

From slavery and the Civil War, to the battles to end Jim Crow laws, to the marches for civil rights, to the protests against mass incarceration, to the Black Lives Matter movement, each generation of Americans has stepped up to take action to fight to end racial injustice.

As protests continue to take place across our nation, more Americans are beginning to publicly demand action from their local, state, and federal leaders to end the policies and practices that promote, enable, and drive systemic racial injustice. In these conversations about policy solutions, many will include in their demands an ending to the war on drugs — or, at a minimum, an ending to marijuana criminalization. But while ending cannabis prohibition is both important and necessary, we must also recognize that doing so is but a single piece of a much larger puzzle.

Will legalizing marijuana reform alone solve the problem of racial injustice? No.

Is ending cannabis prohibition going to fix all of America’s social ills? No.

After we legalize adult-cannabis use, will we see an end to discriminatory policing against communities of color and other marginalized groups? No.

Will end marijuana prohibition be a small step toward the greater goal of promoting justice? Without a doubt, yes.

And the majority of Americans agree.

Our decades-long prohibition of marijuana was founded upon racism and bigotry. Look no further than the sentiments of its architect, Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who declared: “[M]ost [marijuana consumers in the US] are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. … [M]arijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes. … Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

These racial biases were later exploited by the Nixon administration when it ramped up the drug war in 1970 and declared cannabis to be “public enemy #1.” As former Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman later acknowledged: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Today, the modern era of marijuana prohibition continues to be disproportionately applied. Annually, over 650,000 Americans are arrested for violating marijuana laws. Yet, according to an analysis of these arrests released earlier this year by the ACLU, “In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.”

Of course, marijuana prohibition isn’t the sole cause of America’s racial inequities, nor is it the sole reason why certain members of the police continue to engage in racially-aggressive policing and misconduct. But it’s criminalization is one of the tools commonly used to justify and perpetuate these injustices.

For example, marijuana enforcement was the pretext in the fatal law enforcement shooting of another Minnesotian just a few years before George Floyd’s murder: Philando Castile. The officer in this case alleged that he feared for his life simply because he believed that Mr. Castille had been smoking marijuana, stating: “I thought I was gonna die. And I thought if he’s, if he has the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the 5-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me. And, I let off the rounds and then after the rounds were off, the little girl was screaming.”

Even in those jurisdictions where adult-use cannabis is legal, we know that there still remains much work to be done to address continuing racial inequities. For instance, African Americans and Latinos continue to disproportionately be targeted for traffic stops in Colorado and Washington even after legalization.

Then there is the question of the cannabis industry itself. We advocates need to continue to push for inclusion and equity within this space. We must not ignore the reality that while a handful of venture capitalists are now engaging in licensed cannabis sales in systems that largely exclude minority ownership while millions of others — most of them young, poor, and people of color — continue to face arrest and incarceration for engaging in much of the same behavior.

There is no doubt that our national discussion over matters of race and policing will continue long after these public protests have ceased. NORML believes that calls for cannabis legalization need to be an important part of this emerging discussion — but only a part. Black and brown lives matter and we owe it to our country and to ourselves to take tangible steps toward dismantling many of the power structures that perpetuate injustice. Marijuana prohibition is simply one of them.

We are at a crossroads in this country and it is time for all of us to march as allies in the fight for racial justice and equality. It is important during this process for those of us not from these marginalized communities to truly listen to those who are facing this oppression and support them in this struggle. Let us take this moment in time to pledge to put in the work necessary in order to make America the better and more just nation that we know it can be.

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In Solidarity,

Erik Altieri
NORML Executive Director



Cannabis NB reports higher sales and profits in first quarter figures




FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s government-owned cannabis retailer is reporting a profit of 1.4 million dollars during its first quarter this fiscal year.

Cannabis NB says total sales for the three-month period ending June 28 were 16.3 million dollars — up almost 79 per cent from the same period last year.

CEO Patrick Parent says the turnaround is the result of aggressive cost-cutting measures, renegotiating prices with suppliers and the addition of weekly promotions.

Premier Blaine Higgs says the finances will be considered as part of a review underway to decide whether to privatize the corporation.

Eight companies submitted proposals, but the review has been delayed by the COVID-19…

Original Author Link click here to read complete story..


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Head of cannabis retailer says Canada needs thousands more stores to compete with black market weed




The chief executive officer of independent cannabis retailer Fire and Flower Holdings said this week Canada needs 4,000 pot shops in order to compete with the country’s still-thriving black market

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Trevor Fencott said the Canadian illicit market for weed is still more efficient than the legal one, which has suffered numerous setbacks since legalization took effect nearly two years ago. The slow rollout of pot shops has been the most commonly-cited culprit behind the less-than-stellar performance of legal marijuana companies. 

“The most efficient market out there is the illicit market. It’s not regulated, but it is efficient. Prohibition or enforcement alone don’t work. You need to compete with the illicit market head-on economically,” Fencott explained. 

In order to achieve this, Fencott suggests Canada should follow Colorado’s model – where one dispensary is opened for every 10,000 residents. This means Canada would need to open as many as 4,000 dispensaries, while less than 1,000 have been opened to date. 

“The way we see this going is that cannabis is ultimately going to be a convenience commodity. You have to give people multiple access points to the product that they want to buy, especially if you want to compete with the illicit market,” he said. 

Aside from the lack of cannabis dispensaries, another important factor driving continued growth in the black market are prices, according to Fencott. Marijuana retailers and companies could bring down prices if they took control of delivery and wholesale buying costs, which are currently managed by provinces. 

“We need to have our own ability to buy wholesale and deliver because that’s what the illicit market does. Until that happens, it’ll just be harder for us to compete with them,” he said. 

In an effort to compete with black market prices, particularly as the gap between legal and illegal pot continues to grow, major players in Canada’s legal industry have all announced budget-friendly products in recent months.

However, the absence of a stronger physical presence of dispensaries has led some observers to slash their growth forecasts for the Canadian cannabis market by nearly $1 billion this year. 


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Dutch cannabis supply to Germany partially restored after short delay




Dutch medical cannabis shipments to Germany have partially been restored after a short delay, and some German wholesalers started receiving flower deliveries in recent days, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.

MJBizDaily confirmed that at least three German wholesalers – clients of the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis (OMC) – received their June order at the end of last week or so far this week.

On June 11, the OMC said the order could be delayed up to six weeks “due to additional testing.”

Because of the large dependency on Dutch flower, there was a looming possibility of supply interruption, but so far, MJBizDaily hasn’t seen any meaningful shortages among the pharmacies we regularly survey.

In an email to MJBizDaily, the OMC noted that the June orders are now being shipped in phases.

All of Germany’s flower supply for pharmacy dispensing is grown for now in Canada, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Despite the lack of supply diversification, the supply chain and stock levels are more robust than in previous years.

“Although we were aware of market concern about the delay, we never feared there would be a significant impact,” Nick Pateras, managing director of Europe for London-based Materia Ventures – which owns a German wholesaler – told MJBizDaily.

“In fact, we have already received our shipment and have experienced no disruption in our sales to pharmacies.”

Clifford Starke, CEO of Franchise Cannabis, a Toronto-based, European-focused marijuana company that owns two German wholesalers, confirmed to MJBizDaily that Phatebo, one of the Franchise Cannabis German subsidiaries, received its June order last week. The order consisted exclusively of the Bedrocan cultivar flower.

Franchise’s other German wholesaler, ACA Müller GmbH, is still waiting for its June shipment, which is expected next week, Starke said.

Many other German clients of the Dutch government are still awaiting their June shipment.

June shipments might overlap with July orders for some wholesalers – or come close to it.

For July, the OMC emailed its German clients, offering each up to 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of flower, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.

That’s less than the June or May orders, which were up to 5 kilograms, and a challenge for German wholesalers that depend exclusively on Dutch supply.

The reduction indicates either that the OMC is taking new clients – which would mean the number of German wholesalers distributing Dutch product surpassed 65 – or that the agency does not have enough stock for the roughly 40 existing clients and is reducing the amount available.

“Germany today is struggling with EU-Good Manufacturing Practice flower supply issues, but that should be sorted in coming quarters as facilities in countries like Portugal come online,” Starke told MJBizDaily.

“It will be increasingly hard for Canadian facilities to be competitive supplying the European market,” he said.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]


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