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Damian Marley Interview: a Reggae Revolution From the Most High

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This article was originally published on HoneySuckle Magazine and appears here with permission.

It’s easy to undestand why one of our favorite artists and public figures, Damian Marley, has made such a strong impact on the entire world. The renowned lyricist  is the youngest son of Jamaican Reggae legend Bob Marley. The famous rapper and DJ discussed spirituality, social justice, cannabis and his role at Last Prisoner Project.

“I Am ‘Jr. Gong'”

Damian Marley by Nabil

It’s not every day or ever, really, that you meet someone whose work you can follow for their entire life. Most people crash and burn when they find early stardom, but Damian Marley, it seems, has found a way to always stay ‘slick.’

Damian’s entire family is prolific, his brothers, sisters, and parents. But to me and most of the Honeysuckle staff, Damian has always stood out.

We saw him perform with his family at Kaya Fest in 2018, the first time in a decade all the Marley siblings had appeared onstage together, and have written about his distinctive place in music in past issues. Yet weaving throughout his entire career, and his natural way of life, is cannabis.

While the Marley Family in general has been lauded for bringing greater awareness to international cannabis consumption through various brands and projects, Damian has struck a particular note for social justice in partnering with the California-based company Ocean Grown Extracts. The family-owned business, co-founded by Damian’s long-time manager Dan Dalton with siblings Casey and Kelly, operates on 24 acres of land in the city of Coalinga, including a 77,000 square-foot facility that was formerly a prison.

Damian Marley by Nabil

“I just think he’s brilliant,” Dan says of Damian. “So well thought out, so talented, an incredible lyricist and producer. I think his approach to music [and cannabis, and life] is so authentic, no bullshit. It’s all for the right reasons. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

In 2019 Ocean Grown launched the brand Evidence, which donates proceeds from each bag of flower sold to the restorative justice nonprofit Last Prisoner Project (LPP). Damian and Dan both sit on LPP’s advisory board, alongside numerous influencers in the cannabis space such as the organization’s founders Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, actor Jim Belushi, and musician Melissa Etheridge.

After a long public silence during 2020, it seems Damian is now blazing all his fires. He sat down for a phone chat to discuss his next big moves, which include developing the brand HURB with Dan and global cannabis pioneer Berner, new music that pays homage to Jamaica’s legacy of reggae and dancehall genres, and the many ways that life is a circle.

“Jr. Gong” on Covid, Cannabis and Religion in Jamaica

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: How have you been throughout the pandemic? You took a break from social media for several months.

DAMIAN MARLEY: Yeah, because of lockdown, we are like everyone else basically, taking it easy and I need some time to just be at home and self reflect a bit. Honestly, I’ve been in Miami throughout the whole ordeal, since February of 2020. Which is the first time since I was 17 that I’ve been in one place so long.

But in Jamaica they’ve been having lockdowns where from Saturday until Tuesday, you couldn’t leave your house. And then you’d go out Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then for half of the day Saturday. Then Saturday evening, lockdown again. So they just went through about three to four weekends straight of that; they’ve been having major lockdowns there. And of course, the population isn’t anywhere near as vaccinated or likely to take the vaccine as people here. So in the poorer communities it’s been a little bit rough. We don’t have the facilities that you have here when it comes down to hospital beds and such.

If you’re overwhelmed in America, imagine how it is there. They’re trying to make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand, even though it’s already very taxing… It hasn’t really ripped though the population like how it has here, per se. But at the same time, we can’t afford for that to happen. At one point, there were only 20 ventilators on the entire island.

Is there a lot of religious opposition to the vaccines in Jamaica?

Not necessarily religious. I think it’s overall mistrust, not having trust in our government and leaders. Jamaica is a very politically tribal place, so there’s always been a lot of general mistrust of our politicians. You can even hear it in our music… I guess the world in general is very polarized when it comes down to the vaccine. But Jamaica, for the most part, I would say leans toward being not in support of it in terms of the average citizen.

When I was in Jamaica years ago, nearly everybody smoked weed, but the government was very conservative and against it.

Ganja Culture in Jamaica

How …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

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The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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