Unrivaled Bullshit: @Lab_Tested_Edibles is a Fraud. Korova and CW Analytical Hack Job.

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So in April this adorable and seemingly awesome Instagram account popped up that began testing edibles and publicly posting results #FORTHEPATIENTS. This no name anonymous Instagrammer would have you believe that they are just a patient who happens to spend thousands of dollars to get edibles tested so that patents know what they are getting. They go to random dispensaries and purchase products, and out of their own pockets and good heart, spend money for the edible and then to get it tested so that they can bring you “the real results.”

Here is their Instagram:

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So get this… this whole deal popped up in April, right? Here is a screenshot of their first posting being from April:

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But here is a post that was soon deleted from FEBRUARY from the kids at Korova Edibles:

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Notice the eerie similarity? Crazy right? Three months before this Dudley Do-Right @lab_tested_edibles Instagram page popped up this highly competitive edible company who is close friends with the owner of CW Analytical labs; and who is in a close knit group of other edible makers looking to gain competitive advantages in the marketplace, Korova edibles had almost an identical comparison model posted on their social media that was removed shortly thereafter? WOW!!!!! What are the chances?

So here is the ruse. Korova Edibles, in conjunction with CW Analytical labs have created this Instagram count to provide a clear competitive advantage for their clients and people who they are in bed with.  They can anonymously post skewed results that discredit some of their bigger competitors and support that the people who are doing business with CW and Korova themselves are the only ones being “truthful” with patients. But it is all bullshit.

Here is a look at some of the edible companies who use CW labs according to the scrolling logos on their own website:

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I know it is shocking, but the companies who happen to test with CW as clients edibles were all reported very favorably on the @lab_tested_edibles site, while other companies such as Cheeba Chews and Auntie Dolores (and my own Compassion Edibles) all came in well below listed cannabinoid levels. Hard to believe, right?

So here is how I confirmed my suspicions. Most all of the results on the site are done by CW, with the exception of a few done by Steep Hill. I have a good relationship with the Steep Hill kids, as their co-founder is publicly known as on of my good friends. I notices the results for the Actibliss Syzurup product were done by Steep Hill. Knowing about the Korova posting from February, I took a wild stab in the dark and went on @lab_tested_edibles Instagram page accusing Korova of dropping those samples off at Steep Hill. I never contacted Steep Hill once. Believe it or not, those guys never give me any information because they know the conflict of interest. They actually go out of their way to keep secrets from me because they have a business to run. But I figured if I made an accusation that someone would contact Steep Hill blaming them for telling me who dropped off the samples.

Sure as shit I was right! I get an angry text message from Steep Hill on why their lab was being accused of this shit in public when they had not done anything. The owner of Korova contacted them stating “Is there no confidentiality between lab and client?!?!…. Only employees at Steep Hill lab would know I dropped off these edible samples.” Yes…. I pissed off my friend to elicit a response, and it worked. Luckily my friend is understanding and knows what an asshole I am.

So there is a clear admission that Korova is indeed the one sending edible samples and anonymously posting them under the name @lab_tested_edibles. I never said that they did work at CW. I said they were in bed with CW, the same way Bhang and other edible makers have had relationships with CW that are more than third party verification relationships.

The Instagram account is complete bullshit and is no more valid than other anonymous websites that attempt to malign other companies to promote their own. These sloppy losers should be ashamed of themselves. If you want to pull this off you need to be less obvious whose interests you are serving. It is a pathetic attempt at catfishing and should not be thought of as a credible source.

A truly credible source would post WHO they are making these claims and investing in this grand experiment. They should post TRANSPARENT AND COMPLETE results that can be verified with the labs. They SHOULD NOT be another edible maker and lab that serves edible makers.

The entire overlap between lab companies and the clients they serve is gross and does nothing to serve the end user. CW is not alone in their intermingling with their clients and working to provide advantages for them, but this is a clear and gross misrepresentation of the service that quality assurance testing is supposed to be.

It is deceitful and wrong and the folks at Korova should be ashamed. It is bad enough that your products taste like dogshit. If I wanted to taste that much plant material I would just suck on a tube of RSO. But this is just sad and pathetic.

They should shut down the Instagram page and come up with a better ruse that does not unravel so easily on them. You guys are funny. Not really… but sort of. You are terrible at fraud. Maybe just try making better products?

It is even sadder that CW Analytical is still pulling bullshit schemes like this with losers this late in the game. They do not deserve to be anyone’s lab in the cannabis industry. They are the epitome of what is wrong with lab testing in cannabis and probably one of the reasons that lab testing will be turned over to state authorities sooner or later.

Way to go fellas… way to go.

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We will take a closer look at what the issue is with edible testing in the near future. For now, let this unsavory business practice and absolute fraud disgust you. There is no place in the cannabis community for overt shady underhanded bullshit like this.

What to do when you are friends with snakes…

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It happens to the best of us. One minute you are just kicking it with this seemingly cool person, and the next minute you realize they are really a snake. It is a tough pill to swallow.

First there is a sense of disbelief. You can’t believe your one time friend could actually be a down and dirty low-life snake in the grass. It can’t be, can it? Could this person, or group of people, who you trusted and admired sold you out for some financial compensation and fancy trinkets? Have you been lied to this whole time? Do ethics and morality mean nothing?

Do not worry. We have all been there. It is difficult to admit that we were wrong about people and supposed goodwill organizations. We often deny the truth because we do not want to have to admit that we were so incredibly wrong; but generally in the end we have to come to grips with the fact that our one time friends are snakes.

Like with any dangerous and poisonous snake working to destroy everything that is right and just, the best solution is to cut the head off.

It might sound harsh and be difficult to imagine, as you have probably grown sorta fond over your snake friend over time. But a snake is a snake, and will do what snakes do. Snakes do not care about you, and in fact prey upon your seeming affection for them.

There is the parable of the old woman and the snake to reflect upon:

An old woman was walking down the road when she saw a gang of thugs beating a poisonous snake.  She rescued the snake and carried it back to her home, where she nursed it back to health.  They became friends and lived together for many months.  One day they were going into town, and the old woman picked him up and the snake bit her.  Repeatedly.  “O God,” she screamed, “I am dying!  Why?  I was your friend.  I saved your life!  I trusted you!  Why did you bite me?”

The snake looked up at her and said, “Lady, you knew I was a snake when you first picked me up.”

Do not be naive where snakes are concerned. There is no room for error. You cannot afford to risk everything you have worked for to foster some perceived affection for a snake. We have come too far to allow a bunch of snakes to wander in and destroy the fabric of this community.

Make no mistake… divide and conquer is happening. Big money and wannabe big shots are infiltrating every sector of this community and exploiting as many as they can to help them in their snake missions.

Do not be fooled. Your gut is right.

Yes… it is true. That person has lost all integrity and joined the legion of snakes working to control and manipulate the market through fraud and corruption. they will try to ease your fears and tell you that this is “just business.” It is anything but. It is fraud. It is unsavory business practice. It is evil. Do not be a sucker.

Demand ethics and morality in every person you deal with. There are many great people woven into the fabric of this community that will stand with you. The snakes are not your friends. They never were and they never will be.

They are snakes.

The human experience is full of disappointment, and none are so difficult as the feelings of betrayal and mistrust. I am sorry this is happening to you, but understand that it is better for you to find out now before the snakes could do their damage.

Now chop their head off…

The Game Needs Me and I Need the Game

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A couple of months ago I was not sure I would ever write this blog again. It has been a difficult journey for me lately and I was exhausted. My words did not seem to come as easily as they once had, and I was unsure about if what I wrote actually even mattered any more. I was frustrated, tired, and experiencing massive changes on all fronts in my life. I needed to take some time to gather my thoughts and reassess what it was I was doing here in the weed game any more.

While it was a nice break, it was also very difficult. For me, writing is an outlet where I can express my ideas and put down in words the many thoughts that run through my head constantly. This blog is a place where I write for me… not for any of you.  I dig that people enjoy my work and I can appreciate that my words can touch people. It is awesome to feel like you have helped educate so many by taking the time to share your inner-most thoughts and intimate details with the world. But it really is about me.

Weed Activist, and Cannabis Warrior before it, and Free Tainted before that have all been cathartic exercises in getting out a lot of the chaos in my own head, and putting it onto a page so that it can make sense. It helps me to examine and look more closely at the industry and movement I am so much a part of. The words I write give me guidance and help me to understand myself and my surroundings much more clearly.

So while it has been fun taking the time I spend here and focusing it in other directions, the reality is that the game needs me and I need the game.

I look forward to bringing new and interesting content back to the scene; and making people ask questions they never might have thought to ask. The truth is that there is A LOT happening in cannabis right now, and it is going to take A LOT of work to ensure that at the end of the day it is still just about a plant and some freedom.

There is no shortage of new and exciting developments to look at with a critical eye. From CBD only bullshit laws to new invasive regulatory models being supported by people we once trusted that will likely destroy everything we have built, I certainly have plenty to write about. It seems every day there is a new sellout and huckster to expose, or “next big thing” that is really just another fraud. There are also some great and very exciting things happening that deserve some love and attention.

So I am proud to say my retirement from the weed writing game was short and fruitful and that I am back with a vengeance. Not for you or anyone else, but solely for me… I do hope you will enjoy the show. It is about to get live up in this bitch.

Look for some extremely hard in the paint pieces in the coming months that will blow your mind and make you question reality. It is gonna be that kind of party… I have missed sitting down and letting the world know exactly what is on my mind.

I hope the snakes enjoyed my leave of absence because it is coming and there is not shit they can do about it. I invented the game.

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Bought and Paid For: Cannabis media in the era of fraud and deception

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Who can you trust? The answer is probably no one. Everyone seems to have a price these days.

It is becoming commonplace to see well-known one-time activists cross the line to bought and paid for shills. It is disheartening and to be honest, it continues to sadden my existence in the cannabis landscape. I am so exhausted at trying to keep up with who is on whose team now, and who bought which activist for what sell-out scammer project to legitimize their efforts. It is becoming more folks than not, and I can no longer let my respect or affections for folks cloud my judgement.

If you are a sell-out fuck working for people whose intentions are to whore out this industry for their own personal gain then we are no longer friends, associates, or whatever the fuck it was that kept me from telling you to go blow a goat years ago. I don’t care who you are. If your moral, ethics, and your ability to influence people are for sale to the 1% of the cannabis industry, then you too can go take a walk down Go Fuck Yourself Street.

But the way these frauds are getting to you is what you may not even notice. On top of enlisting well-known activists to huck their bullshit scam at events and directly in person, what you see are these fraud savvy assholes infiltrating cannabis media sources to get them to push their messaging in a way that just seems like normal everyday reporting. They attempt to tie in the product to a storyline, or gloss it over in a manner that makes an obvious fraud seem palatable.

It is affinity fraud. I have discussed this before, but here is that definition one more time for review:

From the SEC:

What is an Affinity Fraud?

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the group. They often enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile.These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist in groups of people who have something in common. Because of the tight-knit structure of many groups, it can be difficult for regulators or law enforcement officials to detect an affinity scam.

The “spread the word” part is where media becomes so handy. It used to be cannabis media would just shill out over someone’s fancy new grow product or stupid grinder. The company would buy a bunch of advertising and give a bunch of free gear to the magazine, and one of the well-known writers for the mag would throw them a bone in the form of a positive review of their deal. It was fairly transparent and people understood that relationship. To be fair, publications would often reject doing these pieces too if the products really were inferior.

Fast forward to now, and what you see is a much different playing field. The scams we see being put forth, and paid for in our cannabis media, are large scale corporate frauds that are using these outlets to push their ruse. I was reminded of this after discovering a series of article on Kannaway/Hempmeds products in Cannabis Now Magazine by a well-known activist named Angela Bacca. (DISCLOSURE: Angela Bacca worked for me last year for a couple of months, and it did not work out due to differences in work ethic and responsibility issues)

Angela has worked hard to make herself a known commodity in the cannabis industry. She worked with Ed Rosenthal for a long time, claiming she basically wrote his book for $12 per hour and she made a lot of contacts at that position. She also worked with Ladybud Magazine for some time, to which she made a lot of contacts with cannabis writers and activists. She has used these relationships and positions to create credibility and she is generally well-liked in most circles. I generally think Angela is a good person, who has been put in a tough place by the folks at Cannabis Now, who are making the money for her work.

Which is why I was ultimately shocked to see her writing fluffy push pieces singing the praises of the Kannaway/MJNA/RSHO/Hempmeds bullshit scammers. Medical Marijuana Inc./Cannvest are at the forefront of scamming folks in the name of cannabis. Their CEO was brought up on fraud charges, and their entire operation is slimey. Their latest ruse is Kannaway, a multi-level marketing scam that preys on the goodwill of others by claiming their CBD rich products derived from hemp are legal in all 50 states. They are taking this one step further and encouraging people with needs for cannabis medicines to “don’t move,” offering their hemp alternative as a legal substance. The truth is it is not. CBD is very much an illegal schedule 1 drug still according to the DEA. For more details on this ruse check my Snake Oil story.

But here are the three pieces done by Angela Bacca and Cannabis Now Magazine that make zero mention of possible conflicts or lies; but instead, use their content and trust with their audience to basically push press releases from these folks as if they were legitimate and worthy opportunities. WTF?

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I bring this up as an example of what I know to be a direct payola scheme, where money from a company is going to a publication to push their scam. I have friends who operate publications who have been approached by these folks offering a lot of silver coins for their willingness to sell out Jesus. It is obvious that Cannabis Now magazine, and their bona fide activist Angela Bacca, have taken the bait and have been obliged to run these push pieces to further the legitimacy of these known scam artists. It is sad.

What is sadder is that I know a lot of people who write for that publication, whose names are being tarnished in association with this bullshit. Cannabis Now is certainly not alone, but it is such a blatant example of cannabis media selling out morals and ethics for money, that it is impossible to ignore. Yeah… that is a nice advertisement they took out in your magazine. Bet that cost them a pretty penny. But the reward of having a person who has won over the hearts and minds of the community out there shilling your scam products is worth it. You see…the fraud cannot happen without the affinity.

The truth is that it is becoming more and more difficult to tell who still has their morals and ethics in tact. The circle of trust is shrinking considerably, and it will likely only get worse as we go.

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We are surrounded by people who are willing to offer their morals up for a few lousy bucks to get by. It is a sad reality, but reality nonetheless. It is nice to think we would all stand on ethical principle and be trustworthy people, but human nature tells us this is not the case. Those with the ability to use their influence to penetrate the affections of cannabis users and activists will be heavily targeted for their support. When the money is on the table and no one else is looking it is interesting to see who is willing to cough up some affinity to help sell the frauds.

There are lots of people willing to use their voice to convince you that the devil is just an old friend. As cannabis media continues to grow, those who control these messages will be courted for their allegiances, and unfortunately, many will sell you and your affection for their publication right down the river for some shiny trinkets. You can choose not to believe it if you want. The fact is that it is happening, and it is happening A LOT.

So as you glance over the latest piece from your favorite weed magazine, ask yourself, is this a real piece of journalism or is it a cleverly disguised advertisement for someone or something? Look deeper into what you read to try and find the real motivation behind the piece. Look beyond the glossy headline and the introductory paragraph that makes you want to believe this is a real story, and see if by the end you have not been influenced to support a product or organization. Use a critical eye to more deeply examine the purpose of a story, and do not blindly read shit believing it is legit because the person who wrote it is a trusted source. There is no such thing when big money enters the equation. People will sell-out.

Even my shit you can question if you like. Notice I carry no advertising on this site. It is by design to ensure the views here are not influenced by any other interests than my own bad attitude and desire to make weed legal. I can promise you I will never sell-out to the highest bidder and use my influence to huck some bullshit scam…but who the fuck am I? Question everyone.

A lot of what passes for journalism in the cannabis world is simply not. It is well-crafted pieces of bullshit that were bought and paid for by the subject. If you cannot see it for yourself, there is only so much I can do to point it out to you. I am asking you to use your awareness and intellect to look past the distraction, overcome your trust of this person or that magazine, and ask the hard hitting question of “what is this piece pushing?”

You can be sure a lot of what you are reading are bought and paid for pieces meant to sucker you out of your money.

Culture Magazine is literally one long advertisement made into a magazine of “reviews.” When is the last time anyone saw a negative review of anything in that piece of shit rag? LOL. The fact that they allow Carol Sherman a monthly column should make it pretty clear that their goal is to help their advertisers take your money. Nothing more. Nothing less. There is no education or real news in there. Just one fluff piece pushing some bullshit after another. Culture magazine is the worst. At least Cannabis Now has the courtesy to try and cleverly hide their sell-out pieces under the guise of real stories. Culture is basically one whore piece followed by another with very little qualms about it. I am not sure which is worse.

What I do know is that there is a lot of bullshit floating around that is being pushed off as media and journalism. It is up to you as a reader and consumer of media to look for the scam and decide if you want to keep patronizing publications that are nothing more than sell-outs and cheap hookers for big companies trying to win over the cannabis community. I will keep my weed media radar set to “highly skeptical.” You should too….

Go Fuck Ourselves

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Are we our own worst enemies? The answer is “PROBABLY.”

The cannabis industry is in a bizarre state of bullshit and egotistical positioning. As we emerge from prohibition there is no shortage of people within our own ranks willing to literally fuck over our entire mission of cannabis freedom to meet some financial objective, or to realize some competitive advantage. It is no longer the prohibitionists and drug warrior who are gunning against our fight for freedom….It is us.

Go fuck ourselves….

Was anyone surprised to see that the indictment of CA State Senator Leland Yee included charges that, as a lawmaker, he was taking bribe money from the FBI to create legislation in California that was favorable to a particular medical marijuana business model, so said company could have an advantage in the marketplace? You shouldn’t be….This shit is happening ALL OF THE TIME in our industry and the results are becoming disastrous.

Here is a look at that indictment:

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The reality that you need to look at is that A LOT of the new investor type folks, and many of the “old guard” who have done pretty well for themselves in the industry, are conspiring to make money…not cannabis freedom. Their goal is to set things up so that they, and they alone, can make a lot of money through limiting freedom and allowing what I like to call “prohibition light” to take place.

“Prohibition light” is a reference to the over-regulated market we see being developed mostly by who?……people who are supposedly a part of this “movement.” To be clear, there is no fucking movement anymore. I am not even sure there ever was. But what is masquerading as a movement for social change is really anything but. What you have now is a bunch of money hungry pricks pretending to give a shit so they can secure their piece of the pie; and they are totally willing to fuck over your rights and freedoms to do so.

It amazes me when I hear the call for “unity” in this movement. What is funny is it is usually the most scandalous and shady motherfuckers who want to unify their imagined movement. “Unity” is a code word for shut the fuck up and get in line because we are about to fuck you over real good like.

Take the Americans for Safe Access “Unity Conference” happening in Washington D.C. I know of several high-profile dispensary groups and producers of cannabis medicines who were not even given the courtesy of notice that there was a conference going on. Granted these are folks that quit donating money to ASA, but since when does unity cost money? If we really wanted to unify the industry, aren’t the folks who produce and dispense medicine ultra-important in that equation?

Not really. The position being taken is one that “cash rules everything around me.” The money folks could give a shit about your freedom and hard work. They can afford to replace you or buy you out. You are irrelevant. So what becomes “Unity” is getting a bunch of token activists and industry “moguls” to attend a conference to give the impression of relevance to the big money losers who are driving the direction of reform and pushing the industry to a place where only they can compete.

Many within our own ranks are suckers….There is no getting around that.

Which is why it is not surprising to see those who we have respected and fought in the trenches with for years being lured away by shiny beads and nifty trinkets. It is like the Native Americans struggle all over again. It is bizarre to watch really because the funny part is that the real money has not even arrived. The bullshit money people are selling their souls for now will be irrelevant when the whole thing plays out.

You know you’re being used…..but it’s okay if you like the abuse.

I am so tired of seeing people I once respected disregard their principles and morals for a shot at some quick coin. It is like I cannot even look at half the people in this movement any more. You bunch of sell-out pricks know who you are.

So how is it going to play out? What is the end game?

Simple….People are working to fuck you over as we speak. They are working on corrupting public officials to pass overly-burdensome regulations that all but ensure that you will not be allowed to compete in the market.

Don’t believe me?

Who do you think keeps making sure that rigorous lab testing is included in every regulatory model and ordinance? If you guessed people who provide lab services and/or folks whose models are focused around the marketing scheme of lab testing, you would be correct.

Who is lobbying to limit licensing and to have the industry operated through departments where they have more control and influence? If you guessed organizations which are already established in areas who have the resources to keep the playing field un-level then you too would be correct.

Ready for another? Who wants to make sure that cannabis production is regulated to a few large homogeneous entities that produce all of the cannabis for the masses instead of a small farmer/producer environment based on free market principles? You guessed it….Big money assholes who think they can hire minimum wage workers to tend the plants and make the products who could give a shit about your dedication to the craft.

One more. Who is working to ensure further “medicalization” of the movement? Doctors and medical focused groups. You guessed it. Regardless if the best thing that could ever happened to medical cannabis was adult use legalization. That is never good for the bottom line. It becomes money over morals.

So who is the enemy?

It is us….or at least people who are pretending to be us that are buying and selling cannabis activists like they were baseball cards to display on their fancy ruse to take over the industry. They are using their money and influence to limit competition and to sucker people out of their hard work and intellectual property. Their mirrors all have smoke in them, and the reality is that most of the petty bartering and trading for souls we see now will become irrelevant and real business principles take over. What will be left is a bunch of poor saps who sold out their morals, principles, and reputation for a few lousy bucks and some lofty promises.

If you believe all of the bullshit promises being made right now then I have a bridge to sell you made of cannabis brownies. It only will cost you a billion…with a “b.”

It is sad but true. We are fucking ourselves in way that lawmakers and regulators could not even imagine.

Most of the efforts we see that are limiting cannabis freedom and which are morphing into barriers to entry for the industry are created by people who we entrusted to carry our message. The cannabis reform game is filled with snakes who are willing to barter and compromise our values to get ahead. Some of it is so blatantly transparent that it is easy to spot. But most of this is some backroom hand-shake shit that is happening right under our noses.

Check out this email from lawmakers in Wisconsin talking about getting a “template” for CBD-only legislation for the State that was provided by who? Realm of Caring

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With friends like these who the fuck needs drug warriors any more?

It is us. Our enemies are within. They are here…. They are sitting at the conference with you hitting their vape pen and pretending to give a fuck about your life at this very moment. Welcome to the show.

So before you go getting all high-horse on a player and disparaging me for my skepticisms and unwillingness to comply with the fake calls for unity, just know that unity is also another word for collusion. Many in the game right now have one goal and one goal only….It is money. Surprise!!!

Not really….Humans suck.

Maybe it is too much to ask to have the right for adults to use cannabis however they would like without fear of jail or arrest be the focus of our “movement.” Maybe the human experience is lined with greed and corruption and it is too idealistic of me to expect cannabis to be anything but another shitshow on the blip of history that we are now experiencing. Maybe it is impossible to avoid the bullshit that is coming. Maybe it is all inevitable….

But maybe not.

It is possible that we are at an apex in history and that we have the ability to shape the future. Maybe we have learned enough as a society to reject the frauds and hucksters for once. Just maybe we can influence the emerging market and work to ensure a level of consciousness in the future of corporate cannabis. It takes discipline and the willingness to speak truth to power.

But we must find our voice before it is too late. We must drive the frauds and sell-outs from the industry, and demand that hard-working ethical providers of cannabis have a fair and honest seat at the table. We can no longer sit idly by and just hope things are going to be okay. Without us they most certainly are not.

Kick a fraud in their proverbial nuts, and do not fall for the sweat shop cannabis get rich quick bullshit that is passing off as a movement these days. The movement is within you, or it is not. It is not a tagline for people to solicit their donations and fuck us out of our rights any more.

It is going to take a lot of heart to beat it back. Are you ready? Because the battle has already begun. Selah.

The Wolves of Weed Street. Weed stock scams for dummies.

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A sucker is born every minute and in the newly emerging and quasi-legal cannabis market I am pretty sure that number is much higher (pun intended). I just finished watching Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street last night. Beyond the shock value of a lot of it was a sad and true story about the way “Wolfie” Jordan Belfort was able to fleece millions of dollars from hard working people by selling shitty pink sheet stocks that have little to no real company value behind them.

I was starkly reminded that ALL of the cannabis stocks we see floating around right now are traded on these same pink sheets to avoid regulation and oversight. The stock market is hard to pin down with its constantly moving targets, and most of the fraudsters who are putting on these scams to profit off of people’s love for weed are about as shifty and unethical as they come. They are the lowest of low; and it is their goal to separate you, the stupid small time hard-working investor, from your hard earned money selling you shit stocks from companies with little to show for their promises of fame and fortune.

The Wolf of Wall Street did a great job of showing how the pink sheet traders are indeed the lowest scum of the investment world, comparing them to the dirtiest and most disgusting low budget prostitutes:

“The three of us exchanged glances but said nothing. After all, what was there to say? The truth was that hookers did take credit cards—or at least ours did! In fact, hookers were so much a part of the Stratton subculture that we classified them like publicly traded stocks: Blue Chips were considered the top-of-the-line hooker, zee crème de la crème. They were usually struggling young models or exceptionally beautiful college girls in desperate need of tuition or designer clothing, and for a few thousand dollars they would do almost anything imaginable, either to you or to each other. Next came the NASDAQs, who were one step down from the Blue Chips. They were priced between three and five hundred dollars and made you wear a condom unless you gave them a hefty tip, which I always did. Then came the Pink Sheet hookers, who were the lowest form of all, usually a streetwalker or the sort of low-class hooker who showed up in response to a desperate late-night phone call to a number in Screw magazine or the yellow pages. They usually cost a hundred dollars or less, and if you didn’t wear a condom, you’d get a penicillin shot the next day and then pray that your dick didn’t fall off.

― Jordan Belfort, The Wolf Of Wall Street

I have been trying to warn people about the pink sheet fraud that is happening in the world of cannabis stocks for a long time. I called this shit in 2009, when the King of Fraud himself, Bruce Perlowin, began pushing Medical Marijuana Inc. and trying to recruit people from the industry to manifest their scam. The problem is that stock fraud is difficult to nail down, and the way these companies evolve are through smoke and mirrors tactics that play on the affinity of the investor, while shifting the liability of the scam among veiled stakeholders and other fake shell companies to enhance the books and create the illusion of short term success.

In simple terms, most of the marijuana stock companies are participating in plain and simple affinity fraud. Here is a little information from the SEC on what affinity fraud is:

What is an Affinity Fraud?

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups (or cannabis lovers). The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the group (or activists for a cause). They often enlist respected community leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile (a lot of this going around). Many times, those leaders become unwitting victims of the fraudster’s ruse (or willing participants).

These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist in groups of people who have something in common. Because of the tight-knit structure of many groups, it can be difficult for regulators or law enforcement officials to detect an affinity scam. Victims often fail to notify authorities or pursue their legal remedies and instead try to work things out within the group. This is particularly true where the fraudsters have used respected community leaders to convince others to join the investment. (Or in a movement where people are scared to go to authorities in fear of prosecution for weed)

Many affinity scams involve “Ponzi” or pyramid schemes, where new investor money is used to make payments to earlier investors to give the false illusion that the investment is successful (A LOT OF THIS HAPPENING). This ploy is used to trick new investors to invest in the scheme and to lull existing investors into believing their investments are safe and secure. In reality, the fraudster almost always steals investor money for personal use. Both types of schemes depend on an unending supply of new investors – when the inevitable occurs, and the supply of investors dries up, the whole scheme collapses and investors discover that most or all of their money is gone. (Any minute now)

But do not take my word for it. This week the well-respected Forbes Magazine did a piece entitled, Inside the Pot Stock Bubble where they examine the real time fraud happening with stocks in the cannabis sector. It is an eerie resemblance to the scams portrayed in the Wolf of Wall Street movie. These guys are driving up the value of a bullshit stock through false hope and media propaganda to sucker you, and whoever else is interested, out of their hard-earned cash. They are not preying on rich folks, but those who work hard and are hoping to invest their savings in “the next big thing.” It is shameful and disgusting. The cannabis industry should be outraged that these charlatans are working to fleece the public through using our good name and reputation.

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Here are some highlights from the Forbes piece:

…Who needs the heavily regulated casino industry when there’s far more cash on the table in the penny stock market, with nary a protection for investors, save a warning from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority last August to be on guard for “con artists behind marijuana stock scams”?

…The perfect window on a huge, emerging red flag for mom-and-pop investors looking for a way to cash in on the legalization of marijuana. A multibillion-dollar industry run for decades by criminals and now traded on the vehicle of choice for financially savvy swindlers and hucksters! What could possibly go wrong?

Perhaps the most incredible part of the pot stock boom: Even though the Obama Administration says it will not enforce the Controlled Substances Act in states with a robust regulatory regime, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. “You can’t have an industry where they say, ‘We can put you in jail for the rest of your life, but we probably won’t today,’?” says Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor. “Who would invest in that? Who would put their money in that in terms of raising capital?”

In Colorado, for example, recreational and medical marijuana businesses have to grow and sell their product in the state. That is why Medical Marijuana carefully structured its joint venture with Dixie so that it does not actually do anything connected with marijuana. It is also a big reason that hemp–a variety of pot plants that has only trace amounts of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient–has become the buzzword with the pot stock crowd.

You can read more about the details of who these fraudsters are specifically in the Forbes article. There has also been some good pieces done over at Seeking Alpha that have tried to follow these scams and expose their fraudulent activities. There are also many articles working to “pump” these scams too on there, but an article entitled “Medical Marijuana, Inc.: Definitely a Dope Opera”  and others are good insightful reporting on what is often a complex and woven web of bullshit that is the stock game.

The reality is that there is very little legitimate stock investment opportunity in the cannabis sector right now. Why? Because of it being federally illegal.

Real investment folks are not at the table yet. What you see now are a lot of ex-mortgage fraudsters and tech bubble vultures circling looking for easy prey. They are taking the “sizzle” of the surging popularity of marijuana and are using that to sucker good folks out of their good money based on bullshit lies and false promises.

So how does it work?

I am glad you asked. The racket these companies are engaged in is most commonly called the “Pump and Dump.” Below is an explanation of what that is more clearly in context of the wolf of Wall Street:

PUMP AND DUMP

A pump and dump scheme consists of artificially inflating or ‘pumping’ the price of a stock to benefit those that own it. Once the price has been pumped up, owners quickly sell off the stock or ‘dump’ it at a huge profit causing the price to plummet. Jordan Belfort would often buy large amounts of worthless stock and then, using his army of stockbrokers at Stratton Oakmont, spread rumors and positive statements about the company. This caused the price of the stock to spike exponentially. Once the stock reached record highs, he and his associates would sell it off, causing the price to reach record lows.

So the most obvious example of “The Pump” is the Martha Stewart of Marijuana herself, Cheryl Shuman. I began writing about her fraud in a piece entitled “Cheryl Shuman is Full of Shit” last year. Her “pump” of a company called Rapid Fire Marketing (RFMK) and their crappy product the Cannacig put her on my radar. What she did was create this false persona through the “Martha Stewart” rip-off deal. The woman cannot cook, so where Martha became relevant is beyond me. She sells herself as some Beverly Hills socialite, when she really does not live in Beverly Hills at all.

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To pump her company Rapid Fire she needed a hook to attract television producers. She latched on to a hot button topic, being kids who use cannabis, and conned the parents of a girl named Mykayla who is battling cancer, to take their story public with her on the Ricki Lake show. The company promised the family a generous donation based on sales from the show if they helped pump their company on their website and social media channels. The family trusted this woman and her pump scam, only to find out they were used and tossed away after the company made a bunch of money by pumping their stock based on the story of their family’s struggle. A detailed account of this experience can be found at the father’s blog entitled “Sly Generosity: Cheryl Shuman Meets Brave Mykayla.”

RFMK sent the family less than $50 for their efforts, dumped a bunch of overvalued stock, and wandered off into the night with their riches.

Shuman also began to pump for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA) last year, right before she was exposed for her bullshit. She was selling “Hempmeds Px” products at every stop. She used her experience with the Ohio Rights Group to pump her bullshit snake oil on her propaganda “media tour.” She even convinced some of the Board to invest in the company and had their logos plastered all over the campaign website. In September she went on social media to claim she suffered a “mini-stroke” and was miraculously cured by using Hempmeds Px CBD products LESS THAN A WEEK LATER. Amazing, right?

After pressure from people who would no longer tolerate Shuman’s shameless pump scheme, MJNA released Shuman from being their brand manager. Now the company has put together and elaborate multi-level marketing pyramid scheme called Kannaway to continue the pump. Shuman is off pumping other bullshit, and talking about taking her own company public for the pump and dump ride. Should be exciting.

Other forms of “the pump” are overzealous press releases pushed out claiming untrue and manipulated facts to increase the value of the stock. You see this happen all of the time. It was more prevalent, nearly daily, before it was found out the SEC was investigating MJNA.

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It is unclear when the Wolf of Wall Street scenario will fully play out. Remember, in the movie based on real life, Jordan Belfort was allowed to scam people for years while the FBI investigated him before any charges were filed. Who knows if, and when, anyone will get around to investigating and cracking down on these crazy scams. It is exhausting to have these folks stealing money based on bullshit promises about weed because they know people love weed and will want to invest.

The penny stock scams going around now are disgusting and incredibly immoral. Or maybe scumbags like Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, were right…

 See, money doesn’t just buy a better life, better food, better cars, better pussy. It also makes you a better person. You can give generously to the church or a political party of your choice.

It is up to you if you want to give your hard earned cash to the Jordan Belfort’s of cannabis or not. We can have the “I told you so” conversation later.

Because Fuck You

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I will not be silenced.

My reality is that I face a lot of attacks for my writing, and for my ability to transcribe the crazy shit that happens in the cannabis movement into understandable and digestible pieces that people seem to enjoy. My writing is not exceptional by any means, but it is real. People read what they do here because they know that, like it or not, I am going to tell the fucking truth.

The truth is a scary proposition for many, especially when it can be told by a person who has the ability to express themselves. The truth becomes dangerous when people knowing it can cause others to lose money and/or face. This, in turn, angers many and forces them to lash out in bizarre, and sometimes violent, ways.

Because of my writing I have had tracking devices put on my car, and have been threatened and followed. I have had all of my tires slashed. I was violently pepper-sprayed as I left a dispensary one day. My wife and kids have been followed, and pictures of them were sent to me with a letter stating if I cared about them I would “stay off of the internet.”  I am threatened by some chump who is mad about something I posted or wrote on social media at least weekly.

I am no stranger to being attacked and threatened. It has become par for the course. When people listen to what you have to say and value your opinion, those who you say it about cower in fear.

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“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

-MASTER YODA

There are plenty of hate-filled people in the cannabis movement. Because of the current “quasi-legal but not really” scenario that is the cannabis industry these days, the environment is ripe for fraud and abuse. We have a far higher percentage of con-men and shysters running around due to the perception of easy money by people who can basically do nothing about it when they get fucked.

Which is why the call for unity always makes me laugh. Who the fuck would want to unify with this band of crooks for real? No thanks. I will pass.

Save your unity for the folks who deserve it, and not just any jackass who gets off the boat spewing bullshit about how awesome they think weed is so they can sell their fancy “next big thing” weed product. Gag. They are getting off the boat faster than I can keep up these days, most with some money to buy off this group or that influential individual to get their foot in the door.

It is a sad reality.

There are a lot of fucked up people and organizations running around the game right now. There are a lot of great ones too. My point in writing about this industry has been to examine the trends and which way the political winds are blowing, and try to educate people on what is happening, and what needs to happen, for this movement to be successful. I am not perfect, but I do my homework. Most of the pieces I write are on target and accurate.

I pull no punches. I have never found that beating around the bush was a good angle for me. I am terrible at masking my feelings and thoughts to make them more palatable for the world. Generally what you get from me is pure unadulterated reality. I know that if I lay out the absolute truth, no matter what that might be, that I have the ability to make sense of complex issues.

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In telling these truths there are often those who become angry. Not like a little angry. Like super angry. Like shaking angry. Like cannot even speak clearly anymore angry. Like I think I will do some crazy revenge shit angry.

Which is why I was not surprised to learn that Cheryl Shuman and her lapdog Kevin Saunders, in conjunction with Attorney Matthew Pappas, had begun spreading the godawful lie that I was a pedophile. Now I am generally all for some good old-fashioned name calling; but this shit crosses a line.

I am a hard-working father of two kids whose wife is lucky enough to not have to work and can raise our children. Our family is about as vanilla as it comes besides my activity in the world of cannabis. We try to raise our two sons the best we can in a world that is often a pretty fucked up place. It is certainly not easy and we know the dangers of the world we live in.

Both myself and my wife were molested when we were younger. Needless to say, these were life-changing events for both her and I. Nothing is more vile than destroying a child’s innocence and affecting the trajectory of their life forever. These incidents have certainly altered who my wife and I are as people, and how we view the world.

We do not take these falsified charges of me being a pedophile in some sort of twisted act of revenge lightly. It is disgusting and incredibly sad. I must be getting pretty close to sinking a person’s battleship if they are willing to stoop this low.

I have two sons. I worry daily about them being manipulated and attacked by sexual predators. My sons are not allowed to spend the night at people’s houses that we have not known for a long long time. If there is a sleep over event happening with their school my wife has to attend with them. There is no exceptions there. Because of my experiences I refuse to leave my kids in any sort of vulnerable situation until they are old enough to understand and do something about it.

So for me to be called a pedophile by some people who are so desperate for revenge that they will literally do anything to silence me is absurd. It is so transparent and pathetic that many have told me to “just let it go” or to “get over it.” Easier said than done. I am terrible at letting things go.

Things affect me deeply and I have a tendency to work to destroy things I perceive as threats. I rarely just walk away and let things be….especially when people want to accuse me of raping children. So you can be sure that not only will I not be silenced, but that I will be more vocal and willing to crush these folks by any means necessary. Game on, bitches.

What is hilarious really is the website they put up to try and scare me. I will not link to it here because I do not want to give it traffic, but there is a screenshot below:

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Nice, right? What a bunch of losers. Yes…I am a convicted felon. This is true…FOR PROVIDING MEDICAL CANNABIS EDIBLES. It is always nice when folks who claim to be in the movement want to kick a person for being convicted for providing cannabis. Especially when the people making the accusations have been convicted of fraudulent activities and are admitted heroin junkies. But alas, I digress.

What I though was hilarious is here is a site charging me with being a pedophile complete with a “VICTIMS” tab; but when you click on the VICTIMS tab not only is there not one child who I supposedly molested on there, it reads like a Who’s Who list of fraudsters and charlatans. Check it out:

SUPPOSED VICTIMS

  • Rick Simpson
  • Phoenix Tears
  • Steve DeAngelo
  • Harborside Health Centers
  • Rob Kampia
  • MPP
  • ​Serra Frank
  • Moms for Marijuana
  • The Stanley Brothers
  • Josh Stanley
  • Realm of Caring
  • Incredibles Edibles
  • Bob Eschino
  • Cheryl Shuman
  • Aimee Shuman
  • Shari Peterson
  • Dragonfly Lyoness
  • Med Men
  • Charles Vest
  • Michael Llamas
  • HempMeds PX
  • ​MJNA

Yes….I have written negative pieces about each and every one of these folks at one time or another because of their nefarious activities and willingness to defraud our community. They forgot a few chumps like Russ Belville and Allen St. Pierre; but I guess #bitchface only listed the folks she had in her coalition of the willing to fuck you out of your money. But I stand wholeheartedly behind my “attacks” on “some of the most beloved and successful leaders in the cannabis community,” as the site puts it.

Now as we take this deal to the next level and really begin to heat up the nail of life on this matter, I wonder how many of the folks on this list are ready for another dose of reality and for me focus on their bullshit again?

As far as I am concerned, while I am 100% positive this site was created by Cheryl Shuman herself, every person who is on this list at a site that accuses me of raping children is guilty by association. Anyone on this list who is not working to have this site shut down and removed are part of the fucking problem and will be dealt with accordingly.

Why? Because FUCK YOU is why.

I will never sit down and/or shut up. You fucking losers should know that by now.

Shit like this just makes me grow louder and stronger. i will work 10x as hard to make sure you never work in cannabis again. There are no bounds as to what I am capable of when I am falsely accused of such heinous bullshit.

Some people may notice that I have removed them from my FB feed. Below is an explanation about that in case you were wondering WTF?

Hey there….Sorry you got caught up in a mess. I have been falsely accused of being a pedophile by Cheryl Shuman, Kevin Saunders, Attorney Matthew Pappas, and a profile named Jennifer Brown Johnson (which is also Cheryl Shuman). In order to insulate myself from these folks I am not accepting any friends who have mutual contact with these folks. These threats have put myself, and my family in danger. I am more than happy to be your friend and I am glad you value my input. But I have to draw a line here somewhere and begin to move past what has become extremely messy…and now dangerous. Below is a list of the pages I have deleted, and will continue to delete mutual friends from:

https://www.facebook.com/CherylShumanInc
https://www.facebook.com/CherylShuman
https://www.facebook.com/Coasterdam
https://www.facebook.com/matthew.pappas.73
https://www.facebook.com/matthewpappaslbcityattorney
https://www.facebook.com/DesireeBrownJohnson
https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyHillsCC
https://www.facebook.com/shaman.therapeutics
https://www.facebook.com/Cannalebrity.Magazine
https://www.facebook.com/Beverly.Hills.Society
https://www.facebook.com/PotWives

If you go through and remove these folks and or no longer “like” their pages, I am more than happy to add you back on. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience and have simply drawn a line in the sand for myself on this issue to protect myself. I appreciate your understanding. I can assure you it was nothing personal. I even deleted some very close friends and even one of my staff. It is just how it is, and has to be, for me right now. No exceptions will be made.

Be Well,
Mickey Martin

So I have begun to take necessary steps in my life to shield myself from this bullshit. It is a defensive strategy to circle the wagons and eliminate areas where these issues lie.

Then will come the offensive attack. We will take this shit to the next level. I can assure you that. For those of you who just wish it would all go away because you hate conflict, I apologize in advance. This is likely going to get even more messy.

I am not completely innocent. I admit that since Cheryl Shuman went on Huffington Post Live and originally made these veiled attacks on me I have been on a mission to destroy any and all credibility she may have left. In this battle, names have been called and memes have been posted. While some of the things I might say seem mean spirited and uncalled for, just remember this bitch went on a national media outlet and accused me of luring school-aged girls in with my weed candy, doing meth, being an armed robber, and stating that I went to prison for these crimes. All absolute fabrications. But these losers have doubled-down and have begin to directly attack my dignity with louder and more prominent bullshit accusations of pedophilia.

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Believe that my first reaction was to pack a van of motherfuckers and to go turn out a good old fashioned ass whooping on each and every one of these coward fucks. But that is probably what they want. Cheryl Shuman, Kevin Saunders, and Matthew Pappas are all miserable people who would probably thank a person for putting them out of their misery and taking them away from their pathetic existence. I am not one to do them any favors.

But what I can assure them is that at every corner they turn, and at every point they try to make, myself and my associates will be there to meet them. They will no longer be able to con people and make a living off of their bullshit. Our foot will be on their neck for the rest of their time on this planet, making sure that whatever they want to do they are challenged and exposed.

Cheryl wants to be famous more than anything. Notice she has not done a major media appearance in over 6 months. People will be sure to encourage producers that she never sees the other side of a TV camera again. Anyone who hires this #bitchface will be a target and i will make sure their business loses money.

Kevin Saunders wants to operate a cannabis collective. He is facing charges for selling a pound to undercover cops in the Monterey area and is facing over 20 charges of harassment from a school he used to attend for threatening staff and students. As one goes before the court, they generally look for support from the community. What is the opposite of court support? That is what Saunders has coming.

Matthew Pappas is running for Long beach City Attorney. I have been working to outreach people in Long Beach through media channels and friends in the area to ensure I lose him at least 10 votes a day. Pappas is the asshole whose arrogance and bullshit legal strategy nearly shut down the entire industry in the Pack case, in case you were wondering. He claims to be supported by this community, but the reality is he has done more harm than our opposition in his self-centered work.

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Each of these fucking people are scumbags who are actively telling people I rape children. It is beyond bullshit, and I will not be just letting anything go. These fucks have no idea of the Pandora’s Box of bullshit they have opened with their pathetic smear campaign against me and my family.

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So before folks get all holier-than-thou with their tales of “being the bigger person” and “turning the other cheek” just put yourself in my shoes. Not only is it gross and disgusting, it is very damaging to my work and my reputation. It is not something I am going to walk away from, and you can be sure all bets are off going forward.

Because FUCK YOU.