Browse Tag

marijuana

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Black Owned Cannabis Brand Raises $13 Million To Expand Operations

Viola is a Black owned cannabis brand that is a producer and licensed wholesaler of premium cannabis products.

In 2011, NBA veteran Al Harrington was inspired to launch the brand by his grandmother, Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and found solace in cannabis remedies.

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Viola founder, Al Harrington

Through initiatives like Viola Cares, the company seeks to create entrepreneurial opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry, offering education, expungement, and incubation programs for minorities.

“We’re trying to change the stigma and change people’s lives,” Harrington said, adding, “especially when Cannabis was something used to destroy our community,” said Harrington in a statement.

Today the company announced the closing of a $13 million equity funding round. DelMorgan & Co., an internationally recognized investment banking firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, acted as an exclusive strategic transaction advisor to Viola in connection with the transaction.

The news follows a series of milestones in 2021 that include the celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary and a partnership with Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson on an exclusive cannabis strain.

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This latest round of funding allows Viola to expand into several key new markets, including Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland, and continue executing on strategic marketing initiatives.

To keep up with demand and pursue further expansion, Viola is also considering raising additional capital aimed at increasing supply to meet market demand.

Tony O. Lawson


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Sha’Carri Richardson suspended from US Olympic team after testing positive for marijuana

US track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended for one month from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday.

News of the infringement arrives four weeks before the start of the athletics competition at the July 23 to August 8 showpiece in Tokyo.

Sha'Carri Richardson

Appearing on NBC’s Today show, the 21-year-old confirmed that she had tested positive for THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis, which she used after hearing that her mother had died.

She told NBC the news of her mother dying was broken to her by a reporter, sending her into a “state of panic” in the midst of the pressure to perform on the track.

“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision,” said Richardson.

It’s unclear whether Richardson will miss the Games altogether. She may still be eligible to compete in another event besides the 100m, such as the 4x100m relay.

Richardson said on TODAY that she would be “grateful” for the chance to compete in the relay, but is not focused on doing so.

“Right now, I’m just putting all of my time and energy into dealing with what I need to do, which is heal myself,” she told Savannah Guthrie. “So if I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, right now I’m going to just focus on myself.”

 


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Mike Tyson Opening Marijuana Farm and Weed Business

Mike Tyson is creating a marijuana farm and resort in the California desert.

The boxing legend recently broke ground on “Tyson Ranch,” a 40-acre plot of land in California City that will be converted into a marijuana farm. Let’s hope that Iron Mike is well versed in the world of Cannabis business and has got something like a seed to sale tracking system for his company.

 

According to The Blast, Tyson Ranch will be dedicating 20 acres of their land for cultivation facilities that “will allow master growers to have maximum control of their environment.”

There will also be a Tyson Cultivation School to teach growers the latest and greatest ways to perfect their own strains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with growing high-grade cannabis, Tyson Ranch will feature:

  • Hydro-feed plant and supply store
  • Extraction facility
  • Edible factory
  • Premium “glamping” campgrounds and cabins
  • Amphitheater

It seems like Iron Mike is about to land a knockout punch to the cannabis industry. (Sorry, we had to.)

Mike Tyson

Related: 21 Black Owned Cannabis Businesses, Organizations & Professionals

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Black Owned Cannabis Businesses & Professionals

Black owned cannabis businesses make up a reported one percent of the legal cannabis industry. Despite the lack of diversity, there are more Black business owners, organizations, and professionals involved than you might think.

Here are just a few:

Black Owned Cannabis Businesses & Professionals

Simply Pure strives to inspire the evolution of cannabis through education, safe products, cooking and food.

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Viola is a producer and licensed wholesaler of premium cannabis products.

District Growers is a registered medical cannabis cultivator based in Washington DC

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Budding Solutions 

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The American Cannabinoid Clinics is America’s first, full-scope Integrative Cannabinoid Medicine clinics.

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Minorities for Medical Marijuana is a non Profit organization focused on providing marketing, education, and outreach to minority communities on the social, healthcare, political, and business aspects of the medical marijuana industry.

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The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company is a family owned & operated Tier III producer and processor located in Western Washington.

Panacea Valley Gardens is a family owned cultivation center and boutique edibles line serving cannabis patients in Portland, OR.

CannaCtrl is a mobile state-compliant point-of-sale solution for cannabis dispensaries and delivery drivers.

EstroHaze is a digital platform that shares information on the business of #weed –from business opportunities, scientific breakthroughs, and amazing discoveries in the bursting cannabis industry.

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The Apothecarry Case is a high-end luxury case made to keep weed at its freshest and most optimum conditions, whether you medicate daily, socially, or only on special occasions. 

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Mary and Main is Maryland’s first Black-owned dispensary for medical patients who are suffering from a number of chronic debilitating illnesses. Founder: Hope Wiseman

Pure Oasis is Massachusett’s first dispensary as well as the first black-owned dispensary in the state.

Farmacy is an adult-use dispensary and consumption lounge.

Mary and Main  is a fully licensed and certified medical marijuana dispensary located in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

Blunts + Moore is Oakland’s first fully licensed equity owned Cannabis Dispensary.

Gas House is a cannabis dispensary located in Oklahoma City.

99th Floor is an edibles company that produces a line of “curated cannabis cuisine” and hosts exclusive dinner parties.

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Tony O. Lawson


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Oakland’s New Marijuana Law Aims to offer Economic Reparations

When I first heard that Colorado was legalizing marijuana, one of my first thoughts was “Man, everyone who is or has ever been locked up for weed is gonna be pissed.” But for people who use marijuana for medical purposes, that is a whole other story. You have to get a medical card before you are able to obtain this product, as it has to be issued by a doctor. I know a few people who use marijuana as a way of dealing with any pains they are going through. Once, a friend of mine showed me what the product looked like. When I saw it, I wasn’t shocked with the product itself, but more so for what it came it. It looked a little dodgy and a quite suspicious. I’m no designer, but these businesses need to really update their marijuana packaging, just so it doesn’t look so obvious that someone is carrying marijuana. The smell is bad enough so the packing needs to outweigh this somehow.

I would imagine one of those people is DeMarcus Sanders from Waterloo, Iowa. A few years ago, he was pulled over for playing his music too loud. The police officer ran his license and then insisted on searching the car because he smelled marijuana. During the search, he found a small amount and charged DeMarcus with possession. The tide is turning on marijuana laws across the United States and Canada. Legitimate businesses like my green solution are now flourishing, whilst also serving a real demand. Unfortunately, this didn’t come soon enough for DeMarcus.

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DeMarcus Sanders and his son

DeMarcus plead guilty and served 30 days in jail. During that time he lost his job, his drivers license and credit for college classes he had been taking. Even though it has been a few years since he was arrested, Mr. Sanders still owes the state over $2000 for room and board at the jail, fines, court costs, and other fees.

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Getting arrested for marijuana possession in Iowa automatically triggers a six-month license suspension. Before it can be reinstated, one has to pay off a percentage of court fees and fines. As you can imagine, it’s hard to pay off fines and court costs when you are unemployed. It’s also hard to find or keep a job when you don’t have a driver’s license.
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Another case that is even more tragic is that of Bernard Noble. The 49-year-old father of seven is serving more than 13 years behind bars for being caught with the equivalent of two joints’ worth of marijuana in 2010. He was arrested after two police officers ordered him off his bicycle and searched him without probable cause.
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They found 2.8 grams of marijuana. Because he had prior non-violent drug offenses — for small amounts of cocaine and marijuana — an Orleans Parish jury convicted him under a state law that gives harsher punishments for habitual offenders.

These men and countless others are going through all of this for a substance that is now being legalized. Imagine all the other stories that are similar or worse.032014-national-aclu-calculator-on-racial-disparity-marijuana-arrests

Marijuana Law

In an attempt to begin repairing the damage caused by the disproportionate targeting of Black people in the questionable U.S. war on drugs and give us a share of this multi million dollar green pie, Oakland’s City Council recently approved an “Equity Permit Program” that would make the city’s marijuana industry more inclusive of Black and Latino residents. The program was introduced by Councilwoman Desley Brooks.

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Brooks has stated publicly that she wants a form of economic reparations for people and neighborhoods affected by the war on marijuana.

Under the new law, half of new marijuana business permits will be reserved for people who live in East Oakland or were incarcerated for a marijuana-related arrest. The applicants must also have at least a 51 percent ownership stake in the business they are seeking to permit.

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The city plans to issue eight new permits a year, as well as introduce permits for other marijuana businesses, such as cultivation, production, manufacturing and transportation. There are also many marijuana seo businesses that aim to boost marijuana stores up the Google rankings in order to make more sales. Currently, there are eight dispensaries in Oakland, but the businesses that supply the dispensaries are not licensed or permitted by the city.

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The program was opposed by the majority of Oakland’s own Cannabis Regulatory Commission, who worked on the expansion for 18 months. Council member Brooks added the permit program as a last-minute amendment, which passed unanimously at 1 a.m. one week ago.

Supernova Women, a support group for Black women pot entrepreneurs says the policy was too narrow and should be expanded to other areas of Oakland or they would not be eligible. The council said it plans to make amendments to the new law at a later date, which could include expanding the permits to more police beats.

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Amber Senter (L), Nina Parks, and Sunshine Lencho (R) are the co-founders of Supernova Women

Other critics say handing out every other new permit to a tiny group of people will create a “licensing bottleneck” that will drastically slow down Oakland’s vast expansion in licensed medical pot nurseries, farms, kitchens, stores, and testing labs.

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Over the next months, amendments will be offered to expand the eligibility area for equity permits and possibly include the children or spouses of individuals incarcerated for marijuana crimes.

In my opinion, the prison industrial complex is nothing more than modern day slavery. The new slave masters alter laws and policies that funnel an overwhelming majority of Black people back onto the fields, or in this case behind bars. Instead of picking cotton, many of these prisoners are paid near nothing to make products ranging from Victoria Secret lingerie to Starbucks packaging.

I’m all for a program or policy that can provide some type of economic empowerment to those who have suffered directly or indirectly from an unjust set of laws that weren’t really created to protect anyone to begin with.