How Farm-Fresh Cannabis can save New York’s industry and equity
Cannabis, Medicine, and Advocacy: A Closing Perspective on Long Island's Journey.
In this series, we’ve explored how cannabis left its mark on Long Island (from Hempstead to the Hamptons), how the Shinnecock Nation plans to help bring medicinal and adult-use (or ‘recreational’) cannabis to Long Island residents, and how finding success with today’s legal market may have everything to do with real estate, regulations, and learning from history.
The first three parts of this four-part series also frequently made reference to the fact that cannabis is, in addition to being a source of protein and fiber and cultural mainstay, a powerful and generally safe source of medicine, with dozens of known medicinal applications and likely plenty more we don’t know about yet. This fact is evinced not just by bountiful contemporary testimony from patients and doctors across the country, or by the millions (if not billions) of dollars that big companies have poured into medicinal cannabis operations, but also by the fact that major American pharmaceutical players, as well as the United States federal government itself, have laid claim to the plant and its uses.
To wit: for nearly 20 years, the National Institute of Health has held a patent on certain cannabinoids as related to their anti-inflammatory properties and capacity for treating oxidative stress in the body, as related to stroke, autoimmune disorders, aging, and so on. And in fact, our nation has known that cannabis is a medicine (and a relatively quite safe one, at that) for well over a hundred years, and yet has prohibited its use and sale since the 1930s, with dramatic impacts for patients, doctors, and medicine as a whole, and for the Black and brown communities who have consistently been criminalized over cannabis.
With that in mind, we’ll close our series with a few thoughts from legacy cannabis operator and advocate Julian Murray, co-founder of Vitabudz Organics, an advocacy and consulting firm doing the work of educating communities, promoting better products, and helping bring safe, effective, New York-grown cannabis products into legal retail stores right here in our region. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.