A group of anti-fascists have publicly condemned the owners of a prominent Oregon cannabis lab for suspected ties to white supremacy, causing a ripple in the Pacific Northwest's cannabis community. The lab's clients have since denounced the once-popular business, as well as a handful of other canna-businesses in the area due to perceived connections.
In a public doxxing, first published by the anti-fascist group Eugene Antifa, activists identified Matthew Combs and Bethany Sherman, owners of state-approved cannabis testing lab OG Analytical, as active members in the area's white supremacist community. The antifa group says they were able to obtain information logs from the app Discord — a chat app once used for gaming that's been adopted by America's far right — in order to support its claims.
"Matthew Combs assisted his girlfriend Bethany Sherman in establishing OG Analytical," the unnamed authors of the Eugene Antifa post wrote. "His photo is still featured on their website even though his personal profile, position, and name has since been removed. We believe this is due to Combs attempting to take precautions against being exposed as a neo-Nazi."
Eugene Antifa also released screenshotted tweets from a Twitter account that allegedly belonged to Sherman, as well as a number of retweets on an account believed to be Combs'. Both were riddled with neo-Nazi imagery and sentiment, including references to the "14 words," a popular neo-Nazi slogan.
First published on November 23rd, the anti-fascists' findings didn't turn into national news until late last week, when reporters from The Oregonian were able to reach Sherman for a comment on the doxxing. The longtime OG Analytical CEO all but confirmed the antifa accusations, and announced that she would be stepping down from the company.
"I find it extremely disconcerting that it is admired and revered to have 'gay pride,' 'black pride,' 'Asian pride, or pride in any other cultural heritage, but if you have 'white pride' it automatically makes you a Nazi, and you are ostracized, attacked, and lynched by your community," she wrote in a statement issued to The Oregonian. "I admit, I am proud that I am white, and I'm not ashamed of my heritage. And I admit that I have been so conditioned to feel shame about this pride that I discreetly sought community where I could. Knowing the potential ramifications of my actions, I did my best to keep them incredibly discreet."
Following the statement, OG Analytical's employees, local cannabis companies, and Nazi-haters of all kinds came out of the woodwork to admonish Sherman, Combs, and their place in Oregon's cannabis industry. In an updated version of the same Oregonian article, OG Analytical lab director Rodger Voelker said that none of the other employees were aware of Sherman's beliefs, and that business has entirely vanished since the owners were accused of neo-Nazi sympathy.
"It blindsided all of us," Voelker told The Oregonian. "It's unbelievable that you can work with people — our relationship is purely professional. We don't share personal beliefs, religious, political, or anything else. This is just unbelievable… We have already seen a 100 percent decline in our business. Nobody likes Nazis."
Now, after a week without any business for what used to be one of the state's most highly respected cannabis testing labs, at least two other Oregon cannabis companies are getting dragged into OG Analytical's mud, all because of one of the weed industry's most common naming devices.
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According to the Associated Press, Eugene OG and OG Collective — in Eugene and Salem, Oregon, respectively — have both dealt with harassing phone calls from confused nazi-haters looking for Sherman and OG Analytical. The "OG" moniker is common across the cannabis industry, and spokespeople from Eugene OG and OG Collective have both been adamant that they have absolutely no connection to OG Analytical.
But while that initial report from The Oregonian quoted Sherman in saying that she would step down from her role as CEO and actively look to sell the business, subsequent information from former OG Analytical employees paints a different picture.
A separate report from the Eugene Weekly quotes an unnamed OG Analytical employee who said that the entire staff was fired after The Oregonian article came out last Wednesday, December 6th. Since then, Sherman has not turned over the company, and has allegedly been involved with two blow-ups with OG Analytical's previous staff.
In response to the situation, a number of Eugene and Portland area cannabusinesses came together to release a "statement of nondiscrimination," voicing public support for a cannabis industry that is welcoming to all.
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