By Mike Crawford & Grant SmithDrop the Suit, Boycott RevMass Cannabis Community to Gather to Boycott Big CannabisJ42On Friday, December 6th, city councilors, consumers, small business owners, and equity proponents will gather to announcea boycott of Cambridge and Somerville based dispensary group, Revolutionary Clinics with a demand that theydrop their lawsuit against the city of Cambridge.From the Drop the suit: Boycott Rev Clinics event page:“Revolutionary Clinics (a corporate RMD) is trying to sue to stop a first in the nation priority period for equity applicants inCambridge (unless corporate dispensaries are allowed into the priority queue).We, the consumers, small business owners, and equity proponents of Massachusetts this grotesque lawsuit, which clearlyseeks to put corporate profits ahead of communities who have been most impacted by the war on drugs.For context; in a milestone Massachusetts victory for small business, the Cambridge City Council granted local entrepreneurscertified as “Economic Empowerment” applicants a 2-year priority period to recreate wealth within their communityfollowing a September 2019 vote.However, because corporate profits would be impacted by that proposal, Revolutionary Clinics (and their lawyers) aredemanding a Judge rule that no town or city in Massachusetts should ever be able to have another such priority periodgoing forward (unless corporate RMD’s, who never suffered at the hands of the drug war, are included).As such, we are calling a collective BOYCOTT on Rev Clinics UNLESS:-Rev Clinics drops the lawsuit against social equity”On the latest episode of The Young Jurks, an interview with the lead organizer of the “Drop the Suit” event, Joseph Gilmore,President of Mass Recreational Consumer Council (MRCC), we’ve selected pertinent quotes from the guest, hostand listener call-ins.
Joseph Gilmore, President Massachusetts RecreationalConsumer Council;“We are calling for a collective boycott against RevolutionaryClinics, which is the dispensary currently engaged in alawsuit against the city of Cambridge for their involvementwith the Cambridge Equity Ordnance (which is meant tobenefit people who have been incarcerated by the war ondrugs and really create a market exclusively for people whohave economic empowerment status).That equity ordinance gives a two year priority period, forthose seeking recreational cannabis licenses in Cambridge,to applicants who are designed by the state with “economicempowerment” status. That status is meant to reflect thedisproportionate harm that certain communities suffered asa result of the war on drugs, and Cambridge followed theguidance laid out by the Cannabis Control Commission asto implementing a priority period, reasonable in length, forthose applicants.That proposal, at the core of Cambridge’s equity ordinance,is important because this is the first time that any City in theentire country put this together, but Revolutionary Clinicsbelieves that the city of Cambridge shouldn’t be able tohave this priority period. In fact, they believe that no town inthe entire state should be able to have an equity period ofthis nature.I personally know a lot of advocacy groups (and a lot ofpeople in the community) who fought really hard for the languagein MGL chapter 94 G section 484; it was in that law,created when marijuana was legalized, that mandated thatwe create meaningful participation in this industry amongcommunities that were harmed by the war on drugs. Out ofthat law, in turn came Economic Empowerment and SocialEquity status.So, if the state created this status for communities harmedby the drug war, and if we haven’t seen more than 1 or2 applicants from those communities granted licenses inMassachusetts, then creating the kind of exclusive marketfor those applicants (as was done in Cambridge) is onepathway to ensure those people are the ones to get licenses.However, Revolutionary Clinics believes they should be onan equal footing with those who are in those social equityprograms…that they should be prioritized because they gotthere first. They’ve maintained their monopoly on medicalcannabis sales since medical passed. These were thepeople who had enough money to get in to that market, andnow they’re in a position to transition to recreational useand attempt to monopolize that market. As such, we believethat the adult use market should reflect the social justicegoals of Question 4 rather than giving priority to the peoplewho have had the money all along (such as these RMDs).Fundamentally, this is where we’re drawing the line; ifgroups like these RMD’s are going to fight against the peoplewho were designated to benefit from this recreationallaw, and if those RMD’s want to put their profits ahead ofthose people (and equity on the whole), we’re drawing theline in the sand and loudly saying no.These RMD’s want to protect their investment. They wantto continue their monopoly even if its at the expense ofequity.”The Young Jurks Host, Mike Crawford:“So, just to be clear what we’re talking about here; the Cityof Cambridge decided that existing RMD’s (registered medicaldispensaries) that are already open should not get theleg up in priority licensing for recreational cannabis. In turn,the City of Cambridge has decided to make those RMD’swait two years and instead they gave an exclusive windowfor the first two years to those with Economic Empowermentstatus. So now, the big dispensary in town, RevolutionaryClinics, is suing the City of Cambridge that couldput programs/priority periods such as this at risk (as justhappened in Boston where the fear of this kind of lawsuitresulted in that city choosing not to have a priority periodfor those EE or SE applicants).This group, the Commonwealth Dispensary associationmembers, has made a lot of money already. We knowthat there is a lot of money involved here because of thecampaign that these dispensaries waged against this equityordinance in Cambridge. They spent money on the big timelobbyists, they spent money to “rent” medical cannabispatients to come out in “patient t-shirts”, etc.So people need to show up Friday night, I know I’m goingto be there; 6pm, 45 Mt Auburn St in Cambridge.People are really quite interested in this; this is about doinga boycott of Revolutionary Clinics (a medical dispensaryin Somerville and Cambridge) because they are suing thecity of Cambridge because Cambridge put forth an equityordinance that says, “you know what big cannabis, youhave to wait two years before you can open your recreationalstore, because we’re going to try to let the smallguy, the local, the people who have been most harmed bythe drug war, have an opportunity here. To actually have achance.”The reality is that these big dispensaries are already open,they already have a leg up on location, they have a leg upon money, they have a leg up on relationships, they have aleg up on every aspect of the permitting process. If it wasn’tfor this moratorium in Cambridge, those big companieswould simply monopolize in Cambridge just like they do inother localities with this kind of priority period. Cambridgedecided to do something different, to try to give the smallguy and opportunity, and for that they have decided to sue.They have tried to scare every other city and town by doingthat and, as I was saying, it should be the opposite.If these guys had any sense they would expand the market,J43