Jul 132022
 

Another week has passed, and there is more good news for the caregivers.

Lume announced earlier this week that they are shuttering four of their storefronts. Lume is one of the largest dispensary networks in the state, and they abruptly announced they would be closing their shops.

Lume made the announcement on Monday through its public relations firm Byrum & Fisk. Remember, it is Mark Fisk who supplanted Steve Linder as the head of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association. This is the monopoly group at war with the caregivers trying to mandate total control of the state’s cannabis industry through onerous legislation.

Lume is owned by Bob and Don Barnes, who are the owners of Belle Tire. They could be nice well-intentioned guys for all that I know, but their lack of understanding of the cannabis industry has caused them some hardships. They came into the industry looking to make money, looking to maximize profits, and trying to corner the market. At some level, I can respect the hustle, but overambition and lack of understanding of the cannabis community has hurt them.

The storefronts offered by Lume are clean, well-maintained, professional and impressive. The supply, however, is lacking. The prices are often exorbitant. In an industry that is experiencing massive deflation, the model pushed by the Barnes boys is completely nonviable. Why would a consumer who can buy some nugs from his local dealer cheaper than ever waste his time on overpriced nugs that do not compare in quality to what is offered through the black or grey markets? It just doesn’t make sense.

Cannabis consumers were used to buying from their dealer for years as they heroically used civil disobedience to undermine prohibition. They have no problem going back to that model, which has proven to be effective and built the cannabis industry into America’s top cash crop, rather than pay exorbitant costs. The caregiver model replaced the black market in Michigan and was effective because it did not overregulate the market. People could grow in their homes, and the overages could end up in medical marijuana dispensaries. This system worked for everyone, except of course for the tax man.

During the golden age of medical marijuana dispensaries in the early years after medical marijuana was legalized, there was immense innovation. The prices were low, the consumer was happy, but plenty of entrepreneurs were making money during a time of recession and tremendous economic uncertainty. And contrary to the propaganda spread by cops and other reefer haters, there were no problems that were being caused in communities. An industry was booming, and it would have kept booming, except for the regulations that came in.

The marijuana industry is fueled by a core of people who have great loyalty to growers who they know provide the best product. They would never buy corporate weed in a million years. There is also the problem of unlimited Class C licenses. Myself and my former lobbying group, EverGreen Management, argued to cap these Class C licenses. We were ignored by the lawmakers. They spit in our faces. They listened to the Big Money Bastards, and now we are all suffering as a result.

The problem with giving the government regulatory authority over an industry is they do not stop at sensible regulation. They will use whatever initial sensible regulations to get a foothold in on an industry, and before long, they and the interests who own them dominate it. There are many other industries (think Energy, Beer & Wine, etc.) that operate under this sort of monopoly. But cannabis will never be one of them. Too many lessons have been learned during prohibition. Too much sacrifice has been made for it to be swallowed up.

This is why the corporations find themselves at an unexpected impasse right now, and they are finding their economic power is rapidly waning in Lansing when lawmakers see the industry hemorrhaging cash Those of us involved with the Michigan Caregivers Association (and all similar-minded activists who have been in the trenches fighting the takeover) helped put a chink in the armor of the bad guys. We put up the road block that caused them to stumble. And stumble, they have. The national recession has not helped them, but it is their own greed that was ultimately their undoing.

As much as we would like to take absolute and total credit for their failure, they have been their own worst enemies. They saw the cannabis industry as nothing more than cash cow that they could corner and milk endlessly for their own delught. The corporate villains came into Michigan looking to gang rape another industry. Instead, they have realized that there are limits to their ambition. We saw it with Terrapin, and now we are seeing it with Lume. This industry will always belong to this people, and the corporate raiders are finding it out about the consequences of trying to overthrow it.

At Cannabash over the weekend, we heard that the booths for High Life and Skymint were eerily dead. These firms have taken massive reputational hits for selling out the caregivers and being part of the corporate takeover of the Michigan cannabis industry. The rebel spirit within the cannabis industry is still alive, and educated consumers can make a big difference. From the chatter to the boycotts to the legislative fights to our aggressive media campaign to expose the monopolists, it is all coming together to have an amazing impact.

The caregivers are suffering right now, but ultimately will win because they provide the best product. Through the compassionate relationship between caregivers and their patients, they know how to tailor the product to the unique needs of the individual. The recreational system cannot compete with that. The love behind the caregivers system is something to behold, and educated consumers will continue to appreciate that and reward that proven system as the corporations fall.

There is a place for dispensaries but only if they operate under honest principles within the marketplace and work alongside caregivers. There is enough demand for dispensaries to give convenient options to casual cannabis users while caregivers provide the best quality product to true connoisseurs and medical patients who need it. But there is no room for the corporate kingpins who hate competition and hate liberty. They will be snuffed out, and this is just the beginning of their end.

Mar 302022
 

Friends,

I have gone on the record, with God as my witness, that reprehensible hooch pimp Tom Celani is the King of Sodom, pushing liquor and gambling on mostly poor communities in order to line his filthy pockets.

This trafficker of sin and vice, Tom Celani, first tried to keep marijuana illegal because he saw it as a competitor to his booze empire. He lobbied to keep people thrown in cages for possessing a medicinal plant, tearing families apart, devastating communities, in order to keep his profit margins high.

But Celani, his lobbyists, and the enemies of justice lost. The people won. The cannabis industry is a national powerhouse that cannot be stopped with legalization becoming a reality everywhere. This victory caused many to breathe a sigh of relief, but the uber-rich criminal class, exemplified by Liquor Pimp Tom Celani, saw dollar signs and the opportunity to seize another industry.

Celani, joined by his sons, who I will now call the Qusay and Uday Hussein of Michigan, became marijuana entrepreneurs overnight. They invaded the cannabis industry to run the same gangster tactics they did in the liquor industry to illicitly dominate market share. They want to run their competitors out of business, or have them under their thumb paying tribute, as so many party stores were forced to do for years, hurting minority entrepreneurs specifically.

The Celani family has founded High Life Farms, Kiva Brands, Kiva Manufacturing and Mountain High Products (or Wana Brands) in order to exert control in the Michigan marijuana industry. It should come as no surprise that they are fellow travelers of notorious dirtbag Steve “Dr. Evil” Linder and stand to gain from his agenda to put the caregivers out of business with burdensome regulations, an agenda which has involved Linder’s signature tactic of shuffling dark money around amidst the familiar Lansing backdrop of strippers, blow and debauchery.

They are making the case that it is the caregivers, the small growers, and the medical marijuana industry that are responsible for tainted and unsafe products. Although there is no concrete evidence showing that the caregiver product fails safety standards, the kingpins have repeated these absurd talking points to shiftless, corrupt and ignorant public policy officials who are already biased and bigoted against cannabis in general. They move at every level toward their takeover, but we at the Michigan Caregivers Association have raised awareness of their plans and slowed them down.

The gangsters, particularly Qusay and Uday themselves, have been accused of all the offenses that the caregivers have been cruelly defamed by the opponents of freedom and progress. A lawsuit filed in Feb. 2022 contains shocking allegations about how Qusay and Uday, through their shameful recklessness, put a pregnant woman’s life in danger by drugging her with falsely-labeled marijuana products.

The lawsuit names Qusay and Uday, whose birth names are Benjamin and Vincent Celani, as appearing at a vendor day hosted by the Kai Cannabis provisioning center in Adrian. The pregnant plaintiff was given products that were labeled as having no THC content in them. They allegedly included Kiva Confections and WANA Gummies, two brands tainted with the foul stench of Celani. She got behind a wheel believing that Qusay and Uday were reputable actors, a grave mistake. Soon, her life was allegedly in danger because of her trust in these wicked Sons of Gomorrah.

The plaintiff was lucky to arrive at her home “without physical injury” after she “began to feel the impairing, intoxicating, paranoia inducing, and euphoric effects of THC while driving home.” The plaintiff “experienced severe emotional distress,” which included “panic, racing thoughts, fear, hopelessness, loss of consciousness, memory loss, disorientation, dysphoria, anxiety and psychosis” as a result of Qusay and Uday’s negligent and disgraceful alleged acts.

Additionally, the plaintiff testified that she suffered from “severe physical discomfort,” which included “sweating, convulsing, general sickness, imbalance, temperature swings, and feeling her unborn child squirm, jerk and twist inside her womb.” According to the testimony in this lawsuit, Qusay and Uday put an innocent baby, nearly fully formed, in great danger because of their lack of concern for their customers and fellow man. Talk about living up to the family name.

She reported that other workers at Kai Cannabis who consumed the products experienced similar effects. The plaintiff said that the anguish over potential damage to her baby caused her to experience sustained distress. Although the baby was successfully delivered with no complications in Sept. 2021, she remains worried that the heavy dose of THC she unwittingly ingested may have long-term negative mental health impacts on her child, considering she has a family history of schizophrenia.

While I am a wholehearted supporter and enthusiast of cannabis products, drugging someone against their will is a despicable and criminal thing to do. Edibles can be very potent and do a great deal of damage if someone takes them not knowing what to expect. The fact that a pregnant woman was allegedly dosed with multiple edibles because of lies peddled to her by the Celani family should make everyone disgusted. The lawsuit also identifies certain criminal acts, involving an illicit interstate drug trade, that the plaintiff has alleged is being perpetrated by the Celani family.

The plaintiff noted that “some of the products appear to have been procured by Defendants from California and Colorado” and that “the delivery of marijuana products from foreign states is criminal under both state and federal law.” She noted that the products “alleged did not comply with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Regulation Rule 420, generally.”

This indicates that the Celanis may be involved in the illegal drug-smuggling trade that is meant to muscle Michigan home growers out of the cannabis industry. The word on the street for months is that tons of low-quality marijuana smuggled from out of state and out of the country is hitting the streets, with regulators looking the other way, in order to drive down prices and put the economic squeeze on the caregivers. A story from earlier this year showed that over 2,000 pounds of foreign marijuana was interdicted across the Canadian border by customs officials. This is just one of many examples of what is happening in our state. This is nothing short of economic terrorism and warfare against the rights of the people enshrined in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008.

Stay tuned. We will provide updates throughout the legal process as Uday and Qusay are brought to justice. The Celani may lose some of their riches if they are found liable for the shocking allegations in this lawsuit. Regardless of how it is ultimately settled, this woman deserves massive plaudits for telling her truth. It is not easy staring down oligarchs like the Celanis, with their massive wealth and overextended influence, within this corrupt system. But more of us need to unite and stand against these interests. Our freedoms and the future of our families truly depend upon it. The Celani family wants to put us in a chokehold through regulations so we must kiss their rings in order to prosper. This is fundamentally un-American. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Together, we will repel the likes of the Celanis and achieve justice and preserve an inclusive American Dream for all.

Feb 032022
 

This week, a whistleblower has come out and revealed a wicked pay-to-play bribery scheme that has turned Lansing into the most corrupt state Capitol in the nation.

Matt Marsden, a long-time GOP operative in Lansing, blew the whistle on the insanely corrupt practices that are being perpetrated in the state Capitol. Turns out the den of vipers is just as dirty as we thought.

Marsden pointed to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, who now stands accused of committing incestual pedophilia over the course of many years, as two particularly guilty and shameful figures who abuse dark money rules and have made a complete mockery of the law.

“Over my time in Lansing, I began to watch the 501(c)(4)s begin to morph into something that was a little less above board,” Marsden told 7 Action News.

“If you’re a 33-year-old or 34-year-old person elected to office and you hire a consultant that tells you ‘Don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Everybody has done it before you. This is just the way it works,’” Marsden said. “That’s not the way Lansing works. That’s not the way Lansing used to work.”

Marsden pointed to one particularly crooked non-profit group, the Michigan Jobs and Labor Foundation, as leading the way toward extreme corruption taking root in Lansing. They raked in $2.8 million in dark money contributions between 2011 and 2015, money that was likely used as a slush fund for corrupt lawmakers who serve Satan.

Who was the President of the Michigan Jobs and Labor Foundation while all this dark money was being thrown around? None other than Dr. Evil himself, Steve Linder.

“What I think began to happen with the (non-profits) is they began to be used for more personal use than they were for messaging use,” Marsden said. “Trips, rental cars, drivers, bar tabs. You name it.”

“You can’t show a $700 dinner out bar tab on your campaign finance report,” Marsden said, “because someone like me who does opposition research would love to see that.”

As someone who runs a legitimate nonprofit, it is disgusting how vultures like Linder exploit the rules in order to operate political slush funds. Nonprofits are meant to stand for social justice causes, for the common good, for the betterment of society. This is exactly what the Michigan Caregivers Association is all about. We stand for the caregivers, the patients, the medical marijuana patients, against the corporate monopolists out to destroy the compassionate industry we have built with blood, sweat and tears. Every lawmaker must run from Linder in order to avoid association with this filth or have their reputation ruined in their communities permanently.

Linder continues to create new shadow fronts in order to hide his money. His latest is the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, which creates deceitful propaganda in order to dupe the masses into supporting his Big Money agenda. He was a fierce opponent of legalization for years, but now he and his corporate monopolist buddies are coming to swallow the whole industry up. This is what Linder and his Republican cronies do: They gangrape the American Dream each day with their despicable efforts.

Alleged womanizer and bloated alcoholic Matt Hall has pimped himself out to these same interests. Hall is considered by some to be the front-runner to be the next House Speaker. He is certainly cut from the same cloth as his predecessors. This pig is lining up at the trough. That is why he does the bidding for dark money kingpin Steve Linder to screw the caregivers. He would sell his dirty momma down the river for the brass ring so he can get access to Chatfield’s vaunted blow and hookers supply (Note: I would not surprised if the weaselly shitbag Jim Lilly was involved in these sort of perverted schemes as well).

This fight is so much bigger than just weed. This is about upending this entire crooked system and restoring power to the people. After we protect the caregivers and stop the government-granted monopoly over the cannabis industry, we will use that as a springboard to accomplish so much more. Our enemies will figure out that we are freedom fighters. We are valiant warriors for liberty. We are the heirs to our heroic revolutionary ancestors. What is coming has been long overdue to restore our nation, and this movement will be successful one way or another.

Linder is only one demonic face of this vast machine. We have forced out this weasel into the light. He likes to hide in the darkness, with his dark money, with his lies and his blackmail, and his rolodex of scum whore lobbyists. We put his ugly bald head on a billboard so the world could see who is really running the show in Lansing. This is how we defeat their system — by organizing viciously and ferociously against these villains. The powerful shall be brought to their knees, and the meek shall inherit the Earth. This is the essence of our righteous battle against Satan and his unholy minions.

Look at the truckers’ convoy in Canada. The people are ready to rise up. They are ready to throw off the shackles of this tyranny. They hate their public officials. They know they are all trash, with only very very few exceptions. Do not be discouraged. Do not surrender. We will win in the end and make examples of all these sorry bastards who have looted us. They may think they are off limits with all their rules, and their lack of accountability and transparency. But we will bring accountability and transparency, Founding Fathers’ style, with pitchforks and torches, if necessary. We are coming. Expect us. And if you are corrupt, you shall pay dearly in this life and the next.

Nov 172021
 

Friends,

I need to expose a lowlife who has victimized the people of Michigan and been particularly cruel and unfair to members of the Chaldean community. I am talking about the shameless booze jockey and greed mogul, Tom Celani.

For those who are unfamiliar with Celani’s machinations, this is a man who proudly traffics in vice and sin. He is the type of man who will happily sell hooch for alcoholics to go home and beat their wives and neglect their families. He will gleefully fleece the pockets of the ignorant and the destitute as they hand over their life savings at casinos where he exploits Native Americans in order to accumulate his nefarious millions.

Celani once served as chair for the Michigan Responsibility Council to oppose the legalization and mainstreaming of the cannabis plant. It was not because Celani, who revels in depravity and has earned the nickname ‘King of Sodom,’ wanted to protect the community or the children. Nothing could be further from the truth. What Celani was worried about was protecting his profits, seeing cannabis as a competitor to his poisonous alcohol.

It should go without saying the difference between alcohol and cannabis is massive. Cannabis is legitimate medicine, a miracle drug that can successfully cure or treat many illnesses and alleviate symptoms for extreme pain in all cases. This is why the cannabis community defeated the most powerful interests on the planet. This is why we defeated the federal government, the corporate machine, systemic racism, some of the most powerful lobbies in the world, and a multi-trillion dollar propaganda campaign. We defeated the bad guys, we defeated Tom Celani, we defeated prohibition.

Celani grew up in the cutthroat beer wholesaling industry before reinventing his image as an upscale wine merchant. He learned the ins and outs from his father, who gifted him with his business, to ruthlessly snuff out competition by any means necessary.  This is why Celani is now coming to swallow up the entire cannabis industry that he fought to destroy for decades and to shamelessly take money out of the pockets of the small entrepreneurs who put up the initial capital and took the risk in order to thrive. Celani, whose sons run High Life Farms, a monopoly cannabis firm at war with caregivers, is a major proponent of the HB5300-02 bills that will create a “Big Weed” monopoly, squeezing every dime out of the medical patients, turning caregivers into criminals, and making marijuana a monopoly similar to his Beer and Wine Wholesalers monopoly.

Celani has reveled in putting his thumb over Chaldean business owners trying to make a buck. He laughs from his $12 million dollar mansion as he puts Chaldeans out of business and leaves our families broken and destitute. I am not sure if it is a racial superiority thing with Celani, but from all who know the man personally, they will tell you there is hate in this man’s heart. Hate for his fellow man. Hate for others who are doing well. Hate for anyone who wants to make something of themselves. The way Celani sees it, he owns the plantation, and Chaldeans may toil for a pittance while he lords over us and allows us our ability to earn.

We had to pay tribute to the likes of Celani and his Beer and Wine monopoly in order to stay in business owning our stores, our gas stations, our grocery businesses in order put food on our family’s plate for years. Celani was happy to exploit Chaldeans as we came over from Iraq, many of us with little resources. He used his power to squeeze us, forcing us to work those 20-hour days, while looking down on us in contempt. He sees us as less than human, as human chattel he and his minions can toy with to his heart’s content. We will allow him to pull the same scam in the medical marijuana industry.

We came from America to escape indignities. We came from America to enjoy our freedom and to thrive. We have done so, despite the best efforts of connivers like Celani who wish to hold us down. We will kowtow to the likes of Celani no longer. Thousands of Chaldean families are THRIVING because of the medical marijuana industry and the caregivers system, which works so well for the patients. We are organized, we are formidable, we will not be exploited any longer. It is time to give Celani a much-needed reality check that we will not be his doormats and we will not settle for his scraps. I call on all Chaldeans to unite against Celani’s anti-American monopoly tactics that will hurt our community for his own ruthless profit-seeking avarice.

Oct 182021
 
The update about the HB5300-02 (“Big Weed” Corporate Monopoly Bills) is that the bad guys are attempting to buy off patients to accept the special interest takeover.
Our sources have told us that lawmakers are going to create a special fund that can be used by certain patients in order to get rebates or stipends for their medicine within the new corporate monopoly marijuana distribution system proposed in Lansing.
Really, this is just another subsidy for the corporations and special interests who want to dominate the industry. All of the money in the special fund will eventually make its way into the pockets of the corporations and special interests who are monopolizing the industry, as patients are forced to settle for substandard medicine and become completely dependent on these seedy profit-driven interests.
This is not acceptable. We will not allow them to paper us over as they destroy the industry, and patients will not be tricked by this disrespectful pittance.
Although the legislation is not on the committee agenda for Tuesday, the committee reserves the right to address “any business properly before this committee,” which means they may try to slip these bills through without making it public beforehand. This is a violation of the spirit of the law, but this may be what they resort to in order to try and slip this through.
I will be in attendance tomorrow at the House Regulatory Reform Committee to have eyes on these interests to make sure that their sinister dirty tricks do not go unexposed. Then, we will continue the fight regardless of what happens in committee. Rick Thompson of NORML MI is providing intel that they are planning to rubber stamp these bills in committee tomorrow morning.
The lobbyists are no doubt making it rain all over the lawmakers. They hope to demoralize us and to satiate us with their concessions. This is not acceptable, and we will push this fight to the bitter end if we have to do so.
We will make sure this bill dies in committee or on the House floor.
In the mean time, contact your lawmakers and urge them to oppose House Bill 5300, 5301 and 5302. Our petitioning tool makes it very easy for you to do so: mi-caregivers.com.
Oct 022018
 

I cannot express my disgust enough with the Republican Party and how they are stupidly squandering all the momentum that Trump built with his historic victory in the 2016 presidential election. I fear that the blue wave will be a reality in November because the Michigan GOP cannot stop shooting itself in the foot.

Tuning into a showing of ‘Let it Rip’ on FOX 2 Detroit last week, I saw two Republicans debate a leftist pro-Bernie Sanders activist on the issue of legalized marijuana. The legalization of marijuana is an incredibly popular move after its success in many states throughout America, which has proven the lies of the prohibitions wrong. It is also a limited government, pro-freedom issue. It is not something Republicans should concede to the Democrats.

However, we had two Republican leaders – former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and current House Judiciary Chairman Jim Runestad – appear on the program defending the status quo regarding marijuana policy. They spewed utter nonsense to defend their unpopular positions. Anyone under the age of 40 watching the program would want to run to the polls to vote for Democrats after listening to the absurdity of the Republicans on the panel. Worse yet, both of these hypocrites have taken money from the marijuana industry in the recent past.

Libertarian activist Tim Beck noted that he and other marijuana activists, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts once shelled out $250 a piece to Randy Richardville at a fundraiser, hoping that they could pay to play with the corrupt former Senate leader. Instead, he stabbed them in the back and promoted legislation that would have destroyed the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. Believing Rep. Runestad was a straight shooter, I personally helped raise over $17,000 for him to promote legislation to protect the little guy in the industry. He took the cash and immediately betrayed us to jump in bed with big tobacco and big alcohol to push his state senate ambitions.

This is not about how these men are disingenuous and do not live up to their word. That is very much commonplace in Lansing. There are very few men of honor in our government at any level. What is so offensive is how these men push terrible policies that will sink the Republican Party just to serve themselves. Runestad is trying to jump to the state Senate while Richardville is paid by a lobbying outfit tied to political hacks at the state and national levels. That is why they play ball with the anti-freedom prohibition lobby – to wet their beaks at the expense of the rest of us.

Because of these disgraces and others, I am very sorrowful to report that the blue wave is likely to take place in Michigan, but don’t blame Trump. Blame the sorry Republican politicians who have been around long before Trump ran for President. They continue the same failed policies, the same lobbyist-driven approach, and the same lousy results that turn off the voting public. Only after the disaster that happens in November might we be able to build something better from the ashes of this abortion of a political organization.

Sadly, it is going to take a whole lot of pain – pain that will have to be shared amongst our families, our friends, our neighbors, our communities, our businesses, etc. – before the situation ever improves. As we all suffer, remember the cause of that pain: The Republican cowards who put their own ambitions ahead of doing what was right for the people and surrendered victory to the Democrats.