This weekend's protests over police brutality and systemic racism touched legal cannabis dispensaries as many stores suffered extensive property damage and empty product shelves.
The protests, which spread across the US in the past week, were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was suffocated under the knee of white policemen in Minneapolis on May 25th. According to CNN, a June 1st independent autopsy determined that Floyd's death was a homicide and the unarmed black man died from "asphyxiation from sustained pressure."
According to several social media and news outlets, Los Angeles cannabis dispensaries Cook, MedMen, LA Kush, and Sweet Flower were all cleared out of their products and left with broken windows and other damage. In Oakland, California, ECO dispensary was emptied, along with the California Street Cannabis Company across the Bay in San Francisco. In Cleveland, Rise medical marijuana dispensary met a similar fate, as did The Herbal Care Center in Chicago. Across the country, a number of other dispensaries were similarly affected during the protests.
A recently posted Instagram video shows the Cookies location on Los Angeles being broken into, with people jumping the fence, entering the store.
“It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to our store tonight on Melrose. But as a human living in the world today I can’t expect anything less until justice is served. We can rebuild our store, but you cannot bring someone back to life. With that being said, we stand with what is going right now in the world. A statement needed to be made. All I say is, I pray everyone stays safe and protects their family in a time like this."- Berner, Rapper and Entrepreneur
In Oakland, Magnolia Wellness was among a number of stores that were hit by a similar fate. Owner Debby Goldsberry posted the following statement on Facebook.
“Our shop can be rebuilt, but the black lives taken by the police, again and again, are gone forever. Simply put, the police are murdering people right before our eyes, and the anger has boiled over. We saw it on camera, watching these men rampage through our space. Anger like this is based in injustice. Anger like this is based in facts. Anger like this is based in hundreds of years of oppression, and in never, ever getting a fair shot, no matter what, because the system is set up in a systematic manner that assures you never will.”- Debby Goldberry
In response to the recent protests, MedMen has temporarily closed all its dispensary locations, according to Marijuana Moment.