THE STATE OF CANNABIS NEWS HOUR
SHARES 1,000 STORIES IN RECORD TIME
Industry Insiders Get Their Daily Dose on the Stickiest Show on Clubhouse
September 1, 2021
LOS ANGELES – Just four months after launching on 4/20, The State of Cannabis News Hour has already delivered 1,000 cannabis news stories to eager audiences on the Clubhouse platform. At a time when the media lags, the overwhelmingly popular legalization movement remains mired in archaic reefer-madness propaganda and oppositional agendas, cannabis industry professionals are desperate to hear and discuss the many positives provided by The State of Cannabis News Hour.
“Each weekday at 9 am Pacific Time, 12 of our 36 industry experts review the day’s headlines, pick out the frostiest nuggets, and discuss the topic for 4:20 with audience participation,” says Susan Soares, creator of the State of Cannabis News Hour. “In just one hour, you can absorb all the latest and most important cannabis news, with analysis and insider insights.”
When Soares discovered Clubhouse in late 2020 she quickly recognized its audio-only discussion format as an innovative new way to get cannabis professionals from across the globe together to share information in a safe place when precious few media platforms are cannabis-friendly.
She structured the show to feature the most important cannabis news delivered by and debated among experts, starting with a broad cross-section of industry experts she knew personally from her decades of industry advocacy. “It’s such an honor to be working with these highly motivated industry Rockstars. We’ve really become family. I think some of them are in it just for the back-channel!”
News Hour-fans agree: in addition to reaching the 1,000-story milestone in only 17 weeks - quoting from more than 200 news sources - The State of Cannabis News Hour is already the stickiest show on the Clubhouse platform. The show is already nearing 15,000 followers from around the world, including superfans, daily listeners, company owners, investors, doctors and nurses, growers, manufacturers, and members of the news media.
“The State of Cannabis News Hour is the most exciting passion project I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of,” says Nichole West, industry pro and co-producer of the show. “This is so needed in the cannabis industry. These correspondents are helping everyone from experts to those just breaking into the business keep their finger on the pulse of the business.”
The State of Cannabis is enthusiastically comprised of cannabis industry leaders, elected officials, regulators, and lovers of cannabis. Our mission is to collectively move cannabis policy forward in an inclusive and sustainable way. “The State of Cannabis News Hour” airs on Clubhouse every weekday at 9-10am PST. Industry pros and canna-curious can tune in to hear leading cannabis experts announce and discuss headlines and critical industry issues, social topics, and more – “Cannabis News by the People Who Make It.”
Clubhouse launched in April 2020 and is the fastest-growing social media platform online including 5x user-growth in 2021. The app currently has more than 10 million users every week, who create 700,000 rooms every day. More than 180 venture capitalists have provided a combined $10 Million to help the company reach a $1 Billion valuation - known as a “unicorn.” Clubhouse is currently considered the 5th most popular social media networking app.
Contact: Susan Soares
Original Article by By Bobby Black
told by Jason Beck
edited by Nichole West
Eddy Lepp is a medical cannabis pioneer and P.O.W. whose courage and compassion have cemented his place in cannabis history.
Born in La Harpe, Illinois in 1952, Charles “Eddy” Lepp was the son of a military man who spent much of his childhood moving around before eventually settling in Reno. In 1968, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the army alongside his brother and was shipped off to Vietnam. It was during basic training that he first started smoking marijuana—a habit he continued during his year in the war.
“I used marijuana for years to keep from killing myself,” confesses Lepp. “I was using cannabis to treat myself, but in the beginning, I didn’t realize that I was medicating because we didn't have the information.”
Eddy and his wife Linda got heavily involved in the cannabis legalization movement and quickly formed friendships with all of the major players of the time: Peron, Brownie Mary, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, and his hero and mentor Jack Herer, with who Lepp grew very close—eventually embarking on a worldwide speaking tour with him.
The Lepps also worked closely alongside Peron and his team to help pass the Compassionate Use Act, gathering the necessary signatures to get the initiative onto the ballot.
The Lepps efforts proved wildly successful: within a year or so, the Lepps had become responsible for a third of the approximately 100,000 registered medical marijuana patients in the state.
As word spread about Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens, more and more patients approached Lepp asking for help. His gardens and ministry continued to grow. Unfortunately, though, patients weren’t the only people who took notice of what Lepp was doing; up until that point, the farm had pretty much operated with impunity. Lepp had developed an understanding with the Lake County Sheriffs Department, allowing them access to inspect the property periodically to avoid any legal action. But that unofficial accord ended one afternoon in 2002: while the Lepps were down in the Bay Area meeting with the SF Patient’s Resource Center, the Lake County Narcotics Task Force, in cooperation with the DEA, raided the farm—confiscating around 400 plants and arresting four people. Surprisingly, they ended up being released the next day and no charges were ever pursued.
Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t long before all of that attention brought with it the scrutiny of the law. On August 18, 2004, the DEA swarmed their property, arresting Lepp and 14 residents and workers at gunpoint. It reportedly took authorities two full days to chainsaw down the crop of 32,524 plants, which they valued at around $80 million (300-400 lbs of which they apparently spilled along the highway on their way to the dump). It was the largest medical crop seizure from an individual in US history. A few days after Lepp was released on $200,000 bail, he traveled up to Seattle to speak at Hempfest. And despite his legal issues, began replanting as soon as he got home.
“Linda said to me once, ‘I just wish sometimes it wasn’t so overwhelming,’” Lepp remembers. “And I replied, “Well, I’ll do whatever you want…you pick the first person we say no to.” She turned to me and started crying and said, ‘Honey, we can’t say no to any of them.’ And we never did.”
The DEA raided the farm again on February 16, 2005—seizing another 6000 plants and re-arresting Lepp—charging him with cultivation and possession with intent to sell/distribute. This time, he wasn’t released until two months later, on a $500,000 bond—thanks to the help of his legal dream team of Tony Serra, Omar Figueroa, and Shari Greenberger, as well as a $10,000 donation from comedian and cannabis advocate Joe Rogan. Initially, his lawyers planned a medical defense based partly on the sovereignty of states rights versus federal jurisdiction…but that strategy had to be abandoned after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Raich vs. Gonzales on June 6, which established the federal government’s right to enforce the Controlled Substances Act regardless of state law. So instead, they tried to pursue a religious use defense, but US District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel refused to allow it. His trial last three days, with a guilty verdict returned after just four hours.
After his conviction in 2007, there were several appeals, during which time the judge incredibly granted him permission to travel to Amsterdam in November for the Cannabis Cup. Eventually, though, his appeals ran out, and in May 2008 it was time for him to face sentencing. With the total of all charges against him from the combined raids, Lepp was facing an unbelievable four life sentences, plus 40 years and $17 million in fines. Luckily, the judge showed him some mercy and sentenced him to only the mandatory minimum of ten years, which he began serving months later. Lepp served eight and a half of those years before being released on parole in December 2016. While he was behind bars, both his beloved Linda and best friend Jack Herer passed away…
Sadly, in October 2020, he announced that like his late father and wife Linda, he too is now battling an aggressive form of cancer that has metastasized into his lungs, groin, and brain. He currently takes up to four grams of RSO a day for the pain. Lepp’s wife Sandra has created a gofundme.com page to try to raise money to help with his medical costs. Despite the tragedies and tribulations he’s suffered, Lepp says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I don't regret a fucking thing I’ve ever done,” Eddy proclaims, then after a pause adds, “except when I’ve lost my temper.”
Eddy Lepp is a modern-day marijuana martyr whose bravery, conviction and sacrifices helped pave the way for the freedoms we enjoy today. Regardless of whether he chooses to use the title or not, our reverence toward the Reverend remains. Eddy left this earth peacefully in his sleep