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Seun Adedeji is breaking boundaries as one of the select few young Black leaders in the industry.

At just 27, Adedeji is the founder and CEO of his own cannabis dispensary called Elev8, which is now located in central Massachusetts’s hinterlands. According to a Bloomberg cover story on Adedeji, he is a Nigerian immigrant with only a high school diploma. At 13, he experienced being arrested for doing the very thing he is doing now – feeling marijuana.

The cannabis industry is dominated by white business owners, while people of color are still serving time for crimes that are now legal. Adedeji says he wants to do his part by making sure Black people specifically become a part of the marijuana industry, saying that he wants to fix system racism inequities. “We need to create generational wealth in the minority community,” he said.

On Nov. 3, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota will vote on whether or not they’d like to legalize recreational marijuana. Bloomberg reports that some state and city governments have also started social equity programs for marijuana businesses, which would help business owners of color as well as those who have non-violent marijuana convictions who live in areas with disproportionate drug arrests.

Minority Cannabis Business Association estimates that only 200 of the nation’s more than 7,000 licenses dispensaries are Black-owned. And the marijuana industry itself is a $16 billion a year business. Bloomberg reports that it regularly costs $500,000 to $1.5 million to open a dispensary, which sets marginalized groups of people at a disadvantage. In Adedeji’s case, the $1 million he needed for his first Massachusetts shop was gained with the help of a marijuana Industry supplier. They loaned him the money, at 8 percent interest, but also levied a $3 per item fee and made a deal that Adedeji had to buy 70 percent of his product from the lender, writes John Hechinger of Bloomberg.

Adedeji opened his first dispensary in Eugene, Ore. and then chose Massachusetts as his next dispensary location because it had a less saturated market. After that, he moved to Boston and got licenses to operate three dispensaries in the state. The first is in Anthol, where he paid $50,000 to buy his latest building that used to be a gas station.

The name of Adedeji’s dispensary Elev8 has two meanings: to get high and the effort to push forward the legalization movement’s social equity mission.

Seun Adedeji – elev8cannabis.com/about




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NY Times Columnist Calls Out Pepé Le Pew For Perpetuating Rape Culture

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In keeping up with an ever-changing world, another childhood fave is being called out for problematic messaging.

Last week it was legendary children’s author, Dr. Seuss, for his work’s racist depictions of black and brown people. This week, in a NY Times Op-Ed article, a writer calls out some Looney Tunes cartoon characters. Most specifically, “Pepé Le Pew” for perpetuating rape culture.

According to TMZ, columnist Charles M. Blow wrote a thought-provoking op-ed piece titled “Six Seuss Books Bore a Bias” that highlights how deeply embedded racism is in American pop culture and points out just how early racist themes are fed to young children.

“Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture; Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans; and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset Black maid who spoke in a heavy accent,” Blow wrote.

He maintained that the French skunk, who incessantly pursued Penelope Pussycat, time after time, normalized and perpetuated rape culture, and after some readers attacked his points, he took to Twitter with an example of Le Pew’s now-cringe-worthy, problematic behavior.

“RW blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture. Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger repeatedly, w/o consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping.” It’s true … Penelope Pussycat was often in Pepe’s clutches,” Blow tweeted.

“This helped teach boys that “no” didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of “the game,” the starting line of a power struggle. It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK,” he explained.

Does he have a point?




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Prosecutors Move To Permanently Dismiss Charges Against Breonna Taylor’s Boyfriend, Kenneth Walker

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Prosecutors in Kentucky are moving to permanently dismiss criminal charges against Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, in the wake of legal battles that have lasted almost an entire year.

According to CBS News, the move will mean that Walker will be unable to be recharged for the crimes if the judge grants the request in the motion from the Commonwealth Attorney for Jefferson County.

Walker was originally charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer after he allegedly opened fire and wounded a Louisville Metro Police Sergeant last March during a chaotic raid at Taylor’s apartment.

Officers stormed Taylor’s apartment looking for an ex-boyfriend of hers in a raid to search for illegal drugs. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician with no prior criminal record, was fatally shot during the melee.

Walker said he thought that he and his girlfriend were the victims of an attempted home invasion, and his lawyers have argued that he was acting in self-defense.

While charges against Walker were dropped last May, they were dropped by prosecutors without prejudice — which meant he could face the same charges again in the future. At the time, Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said that more investigation was necessary and warned that Walker’s case could be brought before a grand jury again if necessary.




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Kehlani Shows Support to Women Accusing Actor Kaalan Walker of Sexual Assault

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Kehlani has come forward to use her platforms to show support for the women who have made claims of sexual assault against a rapper, actor, and photographer named Kaalan Walker.

Kehlani took to her Twitter account to help spread awareness about the claims made by numerous women.

“I apologize in advance if everything I’m going to be retweeting involves rape & assault, I am standing with the victims of a serial RAPIST who i knew personally to be aggressive, dangerous & twisted,” she tweeted after giving her followers a trigger warning.

Kehlani claimed Walker was released on bail & was already back to shooting photography. “Refer to all my retweets for all of the details on his case, stories from his victims, directly from their mouths. resources on how to support them/fight for them,” she continued.

Walker is a 23-year-old actor who appeared in the movie “Superfly.” He was arrested back in September of 2018, after multiple women came forward accusing him of sexual assault and rape in numerous of incidents that dated back to April 2016.

Walker was released Friday on a $1 million bail and immediately took to social media to proclaim his innocence posting videos of his release and thanking ASAP Rocky for “saving his life.”

ASAP Rocky responded to Walker’s post on Twitter saying, “Huh?? IDK That Clown And I Ain’t bail out Sh*t. Stop playing wit me.”

Walker also took aim at Kehlani for “breaking his heart” and vowed, “I will not be bullied, especially as an innocent black man. I’m just addressing the things that were said about me, I have a right to defend my character,” he wrote in his IG story. He also clarified that he never said ASAP Rocky bailed him out but “saved my life.”




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