Tag Archives: african american in cannabis

African Americans Open Marijuana Farm in Vegas

About a year and a half ago, I was at Applebee’s with my mentor having all day marijuana meetings. That day we were at Applebee’s for about 10 hours. We got there for lunch at noon and I remember having to damn near hitch a ride home around 10 p.m. That was a very busy and memorable day. We met with a realtor, an engineer, a doctor, the partners, potential employees and of course a cultivation owner.

As we were finishing our meeting with the engineer, I was ordering my 5th round of drinks when in walks two young African-American men. They introduce themselves to my mentor as G5 Cultivation. Up until that moment, my mentor and I weren’t aware of any other African-Americans in the Las Vegas area cannabis business. It was a pleasant and greatly inspiring moment.

Larry Smith and Shawn Holman comprise G5 Cultivation, and are also natives of Las Vegas. Larry is a successful local businessman and Shawn is a local electrician. Larry can be described as being strong in stature while Shaun noticeably wears a head wrap which honors his culture. Both men confidently shake my mentors hand and sit with us at the table. At that point, we ordered more food and began to dialogue on the upcoming changes to our city as the cannabis industry begins to boom.

Today, we are in the dawn of the opening and launch of G5 Cultivation. Our launch party is set for June 7th, 2016 at the SLS Hotel and Casino as the city of Las Vegas eagerly awaits the arrival of its FIRST black owned and black funded marijuana farm.

Larry, why did you decide to get into the marijuana business?

Larry: Shawn pursued me and thought it would be a great challenge for us. The more I researched and learned about the culture the more I saw the opportunity to help the people and make an impact in my community.

How important is the support of your family while running your business?

Larry: It’s EVERYTHING to me. Without my family and friends, my business won’t have life.

Is being a marijuana farmer harder than you thought it would be?

Larry: No, not at all. It really is a lot of fun. I enjoy the challenges this business has to offer. I wake up early every morning and dig in. I also like being the diversity in the business. It means that I have an opportunity to be the first. That is a great feeling!

What are your highest expectations for the cultivation business?

Larry: Do your best!

I really only have one expectation for myself in this business, “Touch the line.” It’s a basketball term that means, “Don’t cheat yourself.”

If you had to do it all over again, would you?

Larry: Absolutely! Without the cultivation there is no product. The farmer is essential to the cannabis business. This is the best business to own in the cannabis business.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be in the cannabis business?

Be prepared to bust your ass and do the work because there are others that are busting their ass as well.

What legacy do you plan to leave for your children?

To just simply be kind, humble and do right by others. Those three things will always open doors and will carry them further than anything else I could leave them.

 

You can follow Larry and Shawn and their adventures of  Selling Marijuana Legally  on YouTube.

 

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Jo Cato ( Pulse Magazine), Larry Smith, Shawn Hollman & A’Esha Goins enjoying African-American Community during a Family Reunion Concert in the Park in Las Vegas, NV

By A’Esha Goins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marijuana is Now in the Gym

This is a damn good idea! Former NFL Running back Ricky Williams is set to open the world’s first Bud Based Gym in San Francisco.

Ricky and founder of 420 Games, Jim Mc Alpine will open a workout outpost where people can workout and vape or consume edibles in the facility, reports 

Williams was forced to miss the entire 2006 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but played in Canada for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Ultimately Williams played for the Saints, Dolphins and Ravens through the 2011 season, and in January 2012, surpassed the 10,000 career rushing yards mark, becoming the 26th player in the NFL’s history to do so. He retired from football a month later.

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the place will be called Power Plant Fitness and will be focused on enhancing workout performance and healing through the use of cannabis.

Good luck Ricky!! We at Blackabis are cheering you on!!

Weed Without The High

Picture courtesy of CBD For Life 

One of the things I find that is most difficult in the cannabis business is educating or reeducating People of Color. There are usually 2 types of people. One that has been smoking all their life and think they know what “good weed” is. Or the person that has been taught marijuana is the devil! Either way, People of Color tend to not understand the therapeutic or holistic healing properties of cannabis. I believe it is because we have been programmed to believe that there aren’t any OTHER uses for marijuana EXCEPT to get high. The “Reefer Madness” or “War on Drugs” mentality has People of Color scared to try marijuana as a holistic treatment.

Most of the conversations I have with minorities begin with their belief system. They will disseminate their belief system as if they’re trying to get me to believe.  I am a good listener but not always a great tolerante. I will listen to a person argue with themselves about how marijuana will or won’t help them. However, I won’t tolerate someone arguing with me about it. Especially as it relates to religion. I am a professional in a field that I have passion for.  It’s  not the best use of my time to discuss religion and medicine or medicine as it relates to religion. I am always careful to stay on the subject matter and deal with the facts.

Fact 1. I KNOW Marijuana works for various ailments because I have witnessed the results.

Fact 2. You can try Cannabis without getting high.

In the Dispensary where I work, Marijuana is being used as a treatment for ailments like high blood pressure, gout, blood clots, sciatic nerve, dementia, scabies, sickle cell, lupus, cancer, migraines and many others. Not all the treatments require a person to get high. As a matter of fact, there is a great increase of patients that are opting for forms of marijuana that will ensure them not being high. What I love about CBD is the patients can get relief for their ailments, some euphoria and very little side effects. This isn’t a conversation where I am trying to convince you that cannabis works. This is a conversation where I  am saying, “hey, I work with medical marijuana patients EVERYDAY and I see Marijuana working!”

There are 3 reasons why most people won’t try marijuana as a holistic treatment;

  1. Don’t want to get high. ( which makes no sense since most people are getting high off of some other prescription drug anyway)
  2. Don’t want to smoke as a treatment and
  3. Don’t want anyone to know they are using marijuana as a treatment.

My answer to those 3 reasons are;

  1.  Try CBD (CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. CBD clinical reports show the lack of side effects, particularly a lack of psychoactivity (as is typically associated with ∆9-THC). CBD can be used to relieve anxiety, kills and slows bacterial growth, reduces blood sugar levels, and acts as a inflammatory.
  2.  Smoking isn’t the only way to use marijuana as a treatment. You can eat it, vape it or swallow it in pill form.
  3. If you don’t tell anyone that you are using marijuana as a treatment….. no one will know. (smdh)

 

Marijuana can be used as a holistic alternative for the Nervous System, Digestive System, Muscular & Skeletal System, Endocrine System & Immune Response, Circulatory System and Whole Body Relief and protection. I am not trying to say it is a miracle drug but what I am hoping is that more minorities change their minds regarding marijuana and try it as a treatment. Don’t allow our history to hold us back from experiences a better quality of life.

Nevada’s Marijuana Initiative “Question #2”

 

The preamble to the Nevada Marijuana Initiative states, “In the interest of the public health and public safety, and in order to better focus state and local law enforcement resources on crimes involving violence and personal property, the People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other legal businesses.”

“The People of the State of Nevada declare that the cultivation and sale of marijuana should be taken from the domain of criminals and be regulated under a controlled system, where businesses will be taxed and the revenue will be dedicated to public education and to the enforcement of the regulations in this act.”

Does the State of Nevada agree?

This is the question that every person in Nevada who is interested in Cannabis wants to know: is Nevada ready for adult use of marijuana?

Many Nevadans believe that since the state already offers legalized prostitution and gambling, that it just makes sense to legalize marijuana as well. On the other side however, there are others who believe that Nevada is a conservative state and that decriminalizing marijuana is not in the voter’s interest. Personally, I don’t believe that the average voter in Nevada has enough knowledge about the Marijuana Initiative to choose one way or the other.

The initiative was approved for the November ballot and was released on March 16, 2016 via the Nevada Secretary of State website.  It is a twelve-page, eight-section document in which three of the pages are descriptions of effects.  A few sections are titled: Definitions, Limitations, Powers and Duties, Personal Use, and Excise Tax. To my surprise, the language used in the Marijuana Initiative wasn’t difficult to understand and once I completed the reading, the direction the initiative would take here in Nevada became quite clear.

 

One thing that every voter in Nevada should know is that the intention of this initiative is to end prohibition and decriminalize marijuana.  Stated within Section 6., Personal Use and Cultivation of Marijuana, it allows for a person over the age of 21 (adult use in Nevada) to purchase, possess, or transport one ounce or less of a marijuana flower or 1/8 of an ounce or less of concentrated marijuana such as: edibles, wax, dab, shatter, etc. without prosecution.

Though adult use will no longer be considered a felony in the state of Nevada this won’t negate penalties altogether.  The initiative will make it legal for those over the age of 21 to grow their own marijuana as long as you don’t live within 25 miles of a marijuana retail store and where you grow must be out of sight and secured with lock and key. If you do decide to break this rule, the consequences are detailed in sec 14. Penalties.   This section states you will in fact incur a fine. The first violation is considered a misdemeanor with a fine not to exceed $600. The second offense will amount to a fine of $1,000. The third offense will be considered a gross misdemeanor and finally, after the fourth offense, an offender will qualify for a Category E Felony (1 to 4 years and $5,000 fine) . The penalties outlined in the Marijuana Initiative for growing plants illegally almost mirror the current penalties in Nevada for possession under an ounce of marijuana. With the exception of participation in a drug rehabilitation program and the third offense being a fine of $2000 and upwards of one year in prison.

It’s imperative that I point out the initiative will allow the state to impose a 15 percent excise tax on all wholesale sales of marijuana. This tax will be used to pay for the costs of carrying out the initiative (jobs) and whatever is left will be deposited into the State Distributive School Account (DSA) General Fund (education). As of April 2016, the state had collected $229,000 in taxes with the excise tax at only 2 percent. My News 4 for reported 75% ($171,949.19) of the revenue has already went to the Schools Account. This outstanding amount has only accumulated since Medical Marijuana Dispensaries opened in July. I have a son in school, so I know first-hand how much Clark County schools could benefit from this revenue. Maybe it will mean an increase in teacher salaries or even initiatives provided to prospective teachers? Currently Nevada ranks number three in the nation for highest high school dropout rate and ranks last with graduating African Americans. 

The initiative also outlines how, based on population, many retail store licenses will be made available to the state of Nevada and continues to detail what happens with the current medical marijuana business licenses. Current licensees will have 12 months to submit applications and the state has 90 days to execute each application beginning at the licensee’s submission date.

Lastly, I’d like to go on record saying, “I will be voting yes on question 2!” I am a registered voter in the state of Nevada and I wholeheartedly support the decriminalization of marijuana. Also, I encourage all of my fellow African-American entrepreneurs to go to the Nevada State Website and begin your application. Start looking for a place of business and get your investors/partners together. Get ahead of the opportunity, not behind it. If you can’t afford to start a marijuana business, there are many marijuana support business opportunities, for example: bookkeeping, human resources, cleaning, disposal, anything! We cannot be left behind!

~A’Esha Goins

 

For More information visit : Yes on Measure 2 

Picture courtesy of Regulate Marijuana Facebook Page.

Why Blacks in Cannabis Matter

Recently I had a discussion with an associate regarding Blackabis. He asked me why am I making being an African American in Cannabis a “thing?”

Let me start by saying, I am not the one that made being Black in Cannabis a “thing” our history did.

In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

 It should be difficult to have a  conversation about legalizing marijuana without bringing up the War on Drugs. After Nixon declared the War on Drugs he also placed Marijuana on Schedule one. (Other drugs on Schedule one are Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, and Meth.) John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser is quoted in Dan Baum’s article Legalize It All saying, “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.”

Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 with his election the anti drug hysteria had reached an all time high. President Reagan and his wife’s “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign introduced a no tolerance anti-drug  environment. The incarceration rate of possession went from 50, 000 to over 400,000 by 1997. Many of the possession offenses were for an ounce or less of marijuana.  Showing a disparity of over 60% being African American and Latino.

Today we are watching history evolve into the decriminalization of marijuana, which I like to call the “Free the Weed” era. In the “Free the Weed” era selective states are voting for legalization of marijuana  and marijuana commerce. In 2014 Colorado reported to have created over 10,000 jobs and 3.5 million dollars in tax revenue.   However, to qualify for employment and/or  ownership you had to be drug felony free. Which is the requirement for every state that has legalized marijuana commerce. Every employee and owner in each state has to register with their respective states as a legal cannabis worker.

The background check is another weeding out process ( pun intended). The background check automatically deters the African American and or Latino candidate. It also disqualifies any candidate that has a drug related felony. Which seems ridiculous considering you could do time for possessing an amount that is as little as a joint. AND who is more qualified for a job in marijuana than someone that has experience with weed?

I didn’t make being black in cannabis an issue or a “thing.” but I am black and in the business of cannabis. I am one of the few African Americans and even fewer of the number of African American women in the business. My opportunity doesn’t make me privileged it makes me aware. In my awareness I recognize the responsibility to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, educate on the legalization of cannabis and inform the patients of their options.

A’Esha Goins

 

 

 

NAACP Gets Involved In Medical Mary J

It’s no secret California Medical Marijuana Industry is way over a billion dollar industry. It’s probably also not a secret that it’s predominantly a white industry. It’s refreshing to see San Francisco’s Local NAACP endorse Ms. Tikisha Ong’s application for a dispensary.

According to SF weekly  there are 28 dispensaries in the Bay and 5 of them are owned by minorities ( Russians are included in the minority count). 30 year old Ms. Ong plans to open her dispensary near the Daly City border.

A copy of the letter NAACP Leader Rev. Amos Brown submitted to the San Francisco Planning commision is below:

Speaking for myself as president of the San Francisco NAACP and on behalf of the full membership of our
organization, I enthusiastically endorse Ms. Tikisha Ong and urge you to support her efforts to bring much-needed African American community representation to the city’s medical cannabis industry.

Ms. Ong exemplifies the traits of a community and business leader. We are confident the establishment of GGC will do more than revitalize a long-neglected corner in an underdeveloped part of our city. It will also open career pathways for African Americans in a burgeoning industry where we find ourselves woefully underrepresented.

The California State Conference NAACP has supported legalizing marijuana, since 2010. Our organization sees cannabis prohibition as a civil rights issue, and with good reason. As state NAACP president Alice Huffman, said: “We have empirical proof that the application of the marijuana laws has been unfairly applied to our young people of color.”

The cruel irony is that African Americans are disproportionately affected by the criminalization of marijuana but also excluded from the economic opportunities presented by its decriminalization. Even in a city like San Francisco that prides itself on a governing philosophy of racial equality and inclusion, we see yet another lucrative industry growing without almost no input from our community — another table we are not invited to sit at.

We are pleased to endorse the sincere efforts of Ms. Ong. Not only her efforts to provide cannabis patients access to affordable, high-quality medicine, or her pledges to provide free health & education services to the
neighborhood and support underserved seniors with medicine delivery. We are also proud to endorse her crucial individual effort in the larger fight to reinvigorate the African American business community and reverse the toxic legacy of prohibition in African American neighborhoods.

It’s time for women of color like Ms. Ong to have a voice in this growing industry. We urge you to approve GGC as a licensed MCD without delay.

 

We are rooting for you Tikisha Ong!

 

 

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Lurie SF Examiner and  Letter  courtesy of Chris Roberts and the SF weekly: See full article here

NAACP Leader Calls For Medical Marijuana Industry to Get a Black Business Owner

 

TERPINES AND THEIR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Read up on TERPINES AND THEIR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS because consultants/budtenders in the Cannabis industry are going to have “their hands full!”
For the most part, patients will come into dispensaries with a fair amount of questions in need of answering. The most predictable and least impressive of them all “What’s the highest *THC?” If I can achieve one thing I want the over rated significance of THC Percentage  VERSUS the under rated value of the TERPINE PROFILE to be common knowledge. If you have ever smoked a strain that supposedly was an impressive high THC (like 27%) and thought ” that strain I just tried with an 18% THC was SUPERIOR than the 27%? What gives?”
join the club!
Ready for the logical explanation? The various terpinoids ie Alpha Pinine or beta caryophyllene are responsible for the distinct smells of the seemingly never ending amount of marijuana strains on the market today. in addition to smell these terpines also give us the effects, euphoria being the most well known. yet still its only one effect of many, most of them beneficial. This is where the significance of the terpine profile lies. When given symptoms a knowledgeable consultant can recommend or substitute a strain for a patient with precision accuracy. This is why experienced informed industry advocates say when discussing cannabis as a medicine it should be done in strain specific terms. Let me give you an example.The terpine Linalool usually expresses itself in purple tones. Found in strains like Purple Kush, and God’s Gift. It has a relaxing effect. Stimulates appetite. the traits associated with marijuana as a whole or “Indica strains” are actually the result of the terpines. Using this approach you can imagine the possibilities, this and other ground breaking advancements are spearheading the green revolution. In my future posts ill go into topics like Cannabidiol (cbd), Who the hell is Rick Simpson? THCA THE ALPHA, “Where the suburbs end” WILL BE A COMPILATION OF INTERESTING PERSONAL EXPERIENCES INVOLVING MARIJUANA. The pit will have a mix of education, comic relief, as well as current events relevant to our industry. Ah yes! THE OLD RULES are king once again. I’m talking
Pre Harrison narcotics act. Thanks for checking in, ya’ll know…It goes down in the pit!

– Black Cherry-

*THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The Menstrual Cycle and Weed

Marijuana is becoming one of the new “go to” holistic medication for cancer, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, stress, depression, epilepsy, crohn’s, parkinson’s,  PTSD , lupus, arthritis and other ailments. Now it seems women are using it for Cramps as a result of thier menstrual cycle.

Recently I began vaping with a CBD (Cannabidiol is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract ) additive for my cramps. The first few times I vaped I was certain I was high. I wasn’t, but I was sure I was. What I determined is I was calm. I was happy and I was thinking clearly.

My issue is, I struggle with emotional distress as a result of PMS and I get cramps as a result of my cycle. I’ve been  using a CBD oral spray from CBD for life for my emotions. Of all the things I have tried over the years the CBD for Life oral spray has worked best. I’ve stopped having irrational thoughts during that time of the month.

CBD does not get you high so it may be a poor choice for recreational users but if you are looking for something that will work,  with less risk, I suggest CBD. My favorite products are from CBD Drip and CBD for life.

I haven’t tried Whoopi’s medicinal marijuana products for menstrual discomfort but I love the idea! Especially the cannabis infused bath salts. I’ve had a Canna Massage  (massage where the masseuse uses cannabis infused products) I know how euphoric it is to have Cannabis all over your body. I’m looking forward to  Whoopi’s products being all of what I need.

The question still remains, can marijuana help you during your cycle?

Personally, it’s helped me.

  Dr Spiros Theocharous wrote:  Marijuana use could also indirectly cause ovarian related issues due to the fact that, as mentioned above, it can cause one’s appetite for high calorie foods to increase. This then results in weight gain and possibly even obesity which has been linked to the condition polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is as a result of obesity leading to glucose intolerance or diabetes and this condition then affects ovulation negatively.

The fact that marijuana can affect ovulation in a woman then means that menstruation is also affected. The result here is that one’s menstruation can end up becoming irregular. Menstruation may even stop and it would be advisable to make sure that one consults with their primary care physician to rule out any other issues, as well as excluding a pregnancy, to be sure that the reason behind the altered menstrual cycle is due to the use of marijuana.

In the same study that found that marijuana can affect ovulation and menstruation, it was noted that chronic use of this drug didn’t have the same effect on the menstrual cycle as did casual use of marijuana. The reason behind this may be that the bodies of chronic users of marijuana have built up a tolerance to the drug, and it therefore doesn’t affect the reproductive hormones in the same way as it did initially.

The process doesn’t seem to be a permanent problem and it can be reversed. It would therefore be highly advisable to stop using marijuana if there are any irregularities with your menstruation or you are struggling to become pregnant.

( Read full entry at Can Marijuana Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?)

African American’s Will NOT Miss The GREEN RUSH

 

African American’s are not going to allow the Green Rush to happen without us!! Thanks to Amanda Lewis’s Buzzfeed article How Black People are Being Shut Out of the Weed Boom eyes are being opened and ears are listening. Even I have become acutely aware of  new opportunities that may become available in the Cannabis industry.

Black Enterprise’s Sirita Wright released a 2-part series entitled “11 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know” “11 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know” part 1 & Part 2 which just left me thirsty to know more. There has to be MORE than 11, right?

Let’s not forget what’s going on in San Francisco. Reverend  Brown, the head of the San Francisco NAACP in California, stepped up and asked the city to support Tiksiha Ong’s application for a dispensary. Kuddo’s to the NAACP!  I think that is truly endorsing the advancement of colored people.

I am excited for Ms. Wanda James in Colorado. I had an opportunity to speak with her when I was in Denver last February. She was solid in her advice an eloquent with her wisdom. She truly is a leader in this industry and let’s just say it… #blackgirlsrock

Finally, I personally know 4 additional African American’s in Cannabis. 1. Frank Hawkins (  NWC Dispensary) 2.Larry Smith ( G5 cultivation) 3. Jo Cato ( Cannabis focused Magazine, PULSE) 4. Leslee Wilburn ( Cannabis infused Masseuse, Ilan Massage)   I guess Las Vegas, NV is the forgotten city. Las Vegas has been Medicinal since 2006 but the state issued regulations for licenses in 2013. Nevada Wellness Center is black owned and the ONLY African American Owned Dispensary in Las Vegas with a predominately minority staff.

As we proceed we will discover NEW endeavours together. We will discuss articles that have been written about us, I will introduce other people of color in the Cannabis industry, I’ll report the changes in laws and advocate for patient care.

 

I look forward to serving my community.

A’Esha Goins

 

Picture courtesy of New Cannabis Venture:

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