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Friday, April 15, 2016

Bob Marley Weed is Here — And You Can Buy Some

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 3:40 PM

  • Jessica Christian/SF Examiner
  • Lively up your stash.

If you hadn't heard, the estate of one Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley — reggae music superstar, cultural icon, and reputed cannabis smoker — has its very own Bob Marley-branded line of cannabis and cannabis-related products (backed by $75 million in venture capital, including investment from Peter Thiel's Founders Fund).

And starting today, you can buy Marley Natural rolling trays, pipes, topical lotions, and — of course — marijuana in San Francisco.

The Marley family-approved red, gold, and green (if you know what I mean) rolled into select Bay Area medical cannabis dispensaries this week. (Sorry: it's not Jamaican collie; just mere California outdoor, grown by selected local cultivators. Which means it's better than Jamaican weed.)

There is already Bob Marley-branded just about everything — including Jamaica-bred consumables like coffee — so cannabis was a natural next step. But Marley Natural is making pains to have it known that it's not just about selling weed — or pure corporate culture.

"This is not Big Pot buying out Bob Marley," said Tahira Rehmatullah, the brand's general manager.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NAACP Leader Calls For Medical Marijuana Industry to Get a Black Business Owner

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 5:35 PM

  • Gabrielle Lurie/SF Examiner file photo
  • Rev. Amos Brown, left.

California's multibillion-dollar medical cannabis industry is largely a white man's game. It's rare to see a person of color owning a marijuana dispensary or running a major cannabis business; most black and brown people you see in the industry are working security or maybe behind the budtenders' counter. 

The fact that the Green Rush is more of a White Rush is not news. One of the organizers at a marijuana investors' summit last year joked that the event was "the most white and male convention you can go to." Citing its own research, BuzzFeed reported fewer than 1 percent of the country's estimated 3,200 to 3,600 dispensaries are black-owned. We can name a single black-owned dispensary in Oakland; and according to our own informal count, as many as 22 of San Francisco's 28 dispensaries are owned by whites (though a couple are Russian, so there's that).

At least one black entrepreneur is trying to open up a dispensary in San Francisco, and civil rights leaders are taking notice. The cannabis industry is "another table we are not invited to sit at," according to Rev. Amos C. Brown, the head of the San Francisco NAACP, who urged city planning officials to approve Tikisha Ong's effort to open up a dispensary in the Outer Mission "without delay."

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Supervisor: Homelessness is in "State of Emergency" in SF

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 11:01 AM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner

Supervisor David Campos says homelessness in San Francisco has reached a state of emergency. He is blaming Mayor Ed Lee for not doing enough to alleviate the problem, while calling on his colleagues on the board to take immediate action to help those living on the streets.

Declaring a state of emergency — the kind of proclamation usually reserved for the aftermath of a natural disaster — would be unique for addressing homelessness. It would cut out much of the red tape that slows government-led projects. In Campos’ mind, it would mean the city could immediately build more of the popular Navigation Centers on municipal property.

Campos’ move could create controversy for several reasons, not the least of which is the plan to build a shelter for alcoholics and one for intravenous drug users. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported, people would be able to drink and safely inject drugs at the respective sites.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Friends Without Zenefits: Layoffs Hit Firm Known For Sexytime

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 9:55 AM


HR platform Zenefits — which, according to the description of office culture that made waves this week, is a frat house masquerading as an office in San Francisco — announced Friday that it’s laying off 17 percent of its workforce, some 250 people.

This comes just days after revelations that the company that helps other companies “run a business without having to worry about all the administrative work” sent a memo to employees instructing them to stop getting drunk and having sex with each other while in the office stairwell.

All this from a company that Silicon Valley considers a “unicorn” — i.e., a startup valued at more than $1 billion, but apparently with the ability to magically disappear like a row of Fireball shots.

Zenefits recently hired a new CEO, David Sacks, and on Friday he told the New York Times that the layoffs were merely a reflection of a company that grew too fast. He offered this well-manicured quote:

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mayor Lee Asks the City to Cut its Budget and Gets Accused of Corruption

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 12:58 PM

  • Sean Davis/Flickr
Mayor Ed Lee asked the city to cut its budget, and the Ethics Commission just plain said no.

In fact, it was closer to “hell no.”

San Francisco is looking at a projected $100 million shortfall next fiscal year, and another $240 million hole the year after, so the mayor’s office directed all city departments to trim their budgets 1.5 percent. This is a far cry from 2014, when Lee’s administration adopted a “let the good times roll” policy and told everyone not to worry about cuts.

A representative from the mayor’s office came to this morning’s special meeting of the Ethics Commission to helpfully explain that department’s obligation to cut back. (Actually, he ended up explaining the budget process from start to finish, because Chairman Paul Renne kept prompting him to continue, and when Renne asks you for something in his soothing, James Garner-like voice, it’s basically impossible to say no.)

Once they’d reviewed the entire procedure, Commissioner Benedict Hur posed a deceptively simple question: “What if we don’t do it?”

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Friday, December 4, 2015

SF Attorney Sues the World's Largest Beer Producer to Halt Proposed Merger

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 11:53 AM

  • Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

The world's largest beer company wants to swallow the world's second largest, in a merger that San Francisco attorney Joseph Alioto says would create an unfair beer monopoly.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV — which produces Budweiser, Michelob, Stella Artois, Natural Light, and Beck's — is the beer industry titan looking to buy SABMiller, brewer of Miller, Coors, Foster's, and Blue Moon.

As Bloomberg reports, Alioto filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 23 consumers who argue that the proposed $110 billion acquisition would violate antitrust laws. The suit was filed in Oregon, which attorney Christopher Cauble explained to The Oregonian is "more impacted...due to our large craft beer industry and the large amount of people who drink craft beers."

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Here's an Easy Way to See the Median Income in Your Zip Code

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 10:36 AM

  • Courtesy of ESRI

A new map from the demographic data analysts at ESRI breaks down San Francisco by zip code, measuring info such as age, income, population density, and “tapestry,” (i.e., generic categorizations like “trendsetters” and “laptops and lattes.”)

As Curbed SF points out, most of the city is colonized by the laptop and latte crowd: people who “don't own a home but invest in mutual funds and put money away for retirement. They exercise regularly, travel, and partake in all sorts of cultural events. And they dominate most zip codes in San Francisco, from the Marina to Glen Park.”

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Organized Labor is Taking an Active Interest In Marijuana Legalization

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2015 at 12:30 PM

  • A real thing.
California's booming economy has not been much of a boon for labor. Though security guards at Apple and tech bus drivers for Facebook have recently made modest gains, the state's famous Silicon Valley firms have been famously resistant to organized workers.

Luckily, there's another emerging industry in California that's both labor intensive and insanely lucrative. That would be marijuana, where the United Food and Commercial Workers — the same union that represents the folks at your friendly local Safeway — have been organizing workers since 2010.

In that time, only about 1,000 weed workers have signed on statewide. That's something, but union honchos are looking for more — which is a big reason why UFCW is taking an active role in laying the foundation to legalize recreational marijuana in California, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

California's Marijuana Farmers Average $100K Annually

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:14 AM

This is where the money starts. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • This is where the money starts.
Litigious agribusiness giants, extreme poverty, drought: Farming is tough work. And the reward farmers reap isn't exactly worth such risk. Mean annual wages for farm workers in America is about $30,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In California, it's a bit higher: $16 an hour, and $35,060 a year for farm workers, provided, of course, that the work is there and that the crop comes in and is purchased at a fair price. And in Northern California, it's even higher. The average farm worker in certain parts of Mendocino, Humboldt, and other Northern California counties is netting $41,800 a year, according to a recent survey, with farmer-owners netting over $100,000 a year.

Because, of course, those triple-figure farmers are growing marijuana.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Mexico to SF: Quit Watching Breaking Bad and Come Visit Our State

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 6:50 AM

Coming to a billboard near you... - NEW MEXICO TOURISM DEPARTMENT
  • New Mexico Tourism Department
  • Coming to a billboard near you...
The state of New Mexico would like San Franciscans to know that, no matter what perceptions they've gleaned from popular culture, New Mexico is not a hub for suburban meth cooks and intricate drug cartels.

Nor is it patchwork of desolate rancheros where everyone speaks Spanglish, and every dish oozes with green chiles.

Well, okay, the green chile stereotype might be true. And New Mexico's Tourism Department doesn't mind capitalizing on other familiar features, including the Navajo reservations, the sand dunes, the woven blankets, the steel-toed boots, and the Southwestern hospitality.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"