I love Oakland. At least I did. Oakland was the place that understood that medical cannabis was not going anywhere, and decided to license collectives and in turn, created a SANCTUARY for patients and providers. Granted, I think their choice to limit the collectives to 4 back in the day was short-sighted but at the time it was a revolution. Obviously the 4 permits were not enough, but they did provide a structure for legitimizing the industry that was unparalleled at the time. For that reason we always ran Tainted Inc./Compassion Medicinal Edibles from the friendly confines of Oakland. I always made our major purchases, including vehicles, equipment, and every supply for the company in Oakland, to ensure the tax revenues went to a city that put their best foot forward and understood the needs of an evolving industry.
I always loved Oakland’s culture. No matter what a person’s race or religion, as long as they were from “The O” they were part of the family. I ate, breathed, and slept Oakland for a decade. I loved the way the City embraced cannabis culture and worked to meet the needs of the community.
NOW, I am saying that the greed of Oakland City Officials is turning those feelings I had for the city on their ears. The entire process reeks of COLLUSION, GREED, and UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR. Their decision to license 4 mega grows based on a pipe-dream report from a wealthy and privileged land owner and their decision to increase taxes again, just one year after raising cannabis taxes by 1500% is unethical and frankly, DISGUSTING to me. This is not the behaviors of a compassionate sanctuary city. These are the behaviors of a TEENAGER that has spent all of dad’s allowance and is now vying to get more to keep up with the Joneses. It is unacceptable and downright UNETHICAL.
I can tell you this, my affection for Oakland is fading into the night. They are showing that they have no respect for patients, providers, and persons who have dedicated their lives and their freedoms to advancing this cause. They have chosen the almighty dollar over reason and compassion. It is an embarrassment and I believe it will blow up in their face.
I can guarantee that when I reopen my business, in whatever form that may take on, I will most likely not be doing it in Oakland. Why? Because loyalty and respect mean a lot to me. What Oakland has shown is that the only thing they respect are the big money interests and the percentage of dollars they can screw patients and providers out of. Their logic is SO TWISTED that is pains me to hear their irrational justifications for fleecing an entire industry out loud.
I wish you the best Oakland, but your elected officials have made me no longer feel welcome. They have not learned from the past. They continue to travel down the same road filled with flawed logic that removed competition from the industry and created collectives of 50,000 members and $65 eighths of medicine. What have we seen in areas where there are more collectives for patients to choose from?…GREATER VALUE.
In Oakland, many prices are higher than average (Not all. Some organizations still are reasonable), but most are high. What will creating 4 behemoth grows do to the industry? Well first off, it will make these interested parties that are willing to pony up $211,000 the heads of a CONTINUING CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, punishable by 20 years in prison. Do you hear that Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Mann? I would suggest you reach out to the US Justice Department and see what they think of your 170,000 acre Field of Pipe-Dreams. 2 decades is a long time. Ask Luke Scarmazzo. Maybe write a letter to Eddy Lepp. Do you guys even know who they are?
Secondly, your products will be rejected by US- your “peers.” The patients you wish to serve. You see, we do not like being railroaded by those who know nothing about how we got here, but want to use their cash assets to reap the benefits. I think I speak for a large majority of the industry (including those who you want to buy your product) when I say, “Go fuck yourself.” You can continue to buy people off that you perceive to be intricate parts of the industry, but all you will do is further tarnish their reputations, as well.
The raising of taxes and turning over the industry to the Rich and Famous bring me to the conclusion that Oakland is not the sanctuary city it once was. It is just another money hungry municipality that chooses to pay its bills off the backs of those whose quasi-legal situation makes them easy targets. Thanks for nothing. Watch as you push yet another industry away from your City because your greed got the better of you. Yes, Oakland…I love you dearly and it is a shame that we elected these people that would so selfishly abuse their powers to push good people away from the beauty of your culture. I am sorry. Maybe one day soon I will run for City Council in Oakland and do my best to create the environment and understanding that you so deserve. But for now, I WILL NOT roll over and play dead and continue to allow theses officials to rape and pillage our industry at will.
Hopefully the vote in November will be rejected by the good citizens of Oakland. May the force be with all of them. I know I for one will be voting NO….