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Update: Advocāte Fundraiser Postponed Due to LAPD Threat

Sweeping changes to Los Angeles cannabis laws could deal a heavy blow to medical marijuana patients.

by Tyler Koslow

Updated August 20

A fundraiser aimed at uniting the Los Angeles cannabis scene has been postponed due to a threat from local police.

MERRY JANE received the following statement from event organizers:

On behalf of Greenlight VIP productions, Organic OC and the ADVOCĀTE event. We regret to inform everyone that the event cannot proceed onSunday, Aug 21st.Although our event was planned with great attention to detail and was complying with existing state laws, the stance of the local police was unfavorable. Our event was not for profit, involved local business owners, patients, advocates, and veterans. Our intention was to bring the community together around the changes that are happening right now in the state and local legislatures, and encourage others to get involved. We are sincerely disappointed in the stance of the LAPD that our party was unlawful, but it highlights the need for clear regulations to be constructed around all facets of the cannabis industry to prevent negative interactions between the community and law enforcement. All proceeds were to benefit the LA Cannabis Task Force and the California Growers Asssociation. Hezekiah Allen, president of CGA added "Good regulations will provide clarity for both the cannabis community and law enforcement and allow us to build stronger communities together" Our hope is that in the future events like ours will be allowed to proceed without impediment. The cannabis community should be allowed to congregate openly, and raise funds like any other group. Organic OC is represented by Frontera Law Group and is a state compliant, member based collective. There’s a battle brewing in the Los Angeles cannabis scene and the lack of regulation and oversight has led to infighting between dispensary operators and delivery services.

Previous report:

“A newly proposed initiative in LA would make delivery services illegal,” said Justin Carangi CEO of Organic OC, an Orange County medical marijuana delivery service.

The latest medicinal regulations have put delivery services like his in a sticky situation, one that seems to be more focused on business competition than the well-being of patients and customers.

Carangi told MERRY JANE, existing dispensaries are lobbying for delivery shutdowns, because they view on-demand medical marijuana as competition. But there’s bigger issues at stake, Carangi said, and that is patient access.

“Some patients are too sick to go to a dispensary, and many municipalities don’t want brick and mortar dispensaries on their streets, especially where I am in Orange County,” he said.

For these patients and others seeking convenience, using a delivery service can be the only viable solution.

The fundraiser will be hosted by comedian Joe Bartnick (writer for Louis CK and Lisa Lampanelli), and will feature stand up sets from Sam Tripoli (of the Naughty Show), Joey Diaz and Todd Glass, as well as a one-hour performance from the cannabis-centric reggae and hip hop artist Mod Sun.
 


Aside from the onstage entertainment, Advocāte will hold a silent auction with a number of cannabis-related goodies to bid on, and there will also be tons of vendors, extractors, cannabis giveaways, an open beer and wine bar, and of course, plenty to smoke. There will even be a dab bar, along with plenty of spots for attendees to go and self-medicate. Additionally, the MERRY JANE team will be present and providing media coverage throughout the night on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Advocāte will be the ideal place for cannabis business owners and advocates to congregate and work together to ensure that the future of marijuana in California is welcoming and fair to all.

The event welcomes those who partake in cannabis recreationally or medicinally, where all can come together and celebrate the impending California Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Prop 64), which will be voted on this coming November.

To Carangi, these recreational users may not be in medical need of cannabis, but they nonetheless belong to a community that is set on helping others.

“I think legalization is a good thing for a couple of reasons,” Carangi said. “One, I think medical and recreational should be separate, I think real patients don’t benefit from a recreational subculture when really all they’re trying to do is cure ailments that they have. I also think the recreational culture is an amazing thing, it’s a huge community of people that are very positive, that enjoy cannabis, and enjoy being together. They usually organize themselves to raise funds for people in need like veterans or homeless. Some would call it a hippie community, but there’s a big contingent of recreational cannabis that’s a very positive thing for California, for the world, and for everybody.”

Admission to the fundraiser event costs $90, a bargain for the amount of food, drinks, entertainment, and cannabis that will be consumed throughout the night. VIP tickets are available for $150, which includes a gift bag and access to the VIP smoking lounge. Tickets are limited, so be sure to jump on the opportunity while you still can.

Whether you have a heavy stake in the California cannabis industry or are just an average user and advocate, this fundraising event is sure to connect you with informed individuals and valuable resources, not to mention some hilarious stand up comedy and vibey music.

Ultimately, Carangi stressed the importance of being as knowledgeable as possible on the regulations and initiatives happening behind closed doors.

“We need everyone's help and everyone needs to be involved, things are happening in courtrooms and state legislative offices that are affecting your life, whether you know it or not. That’s something that I like to tell people and help them realize. Please come out and make your voice heard with us. Find out what’s going on, find out what these things are that are going to affect your life and your business, and let’s talk about them,” Carangi said.


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Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.



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