01/27/21 Debby Goldsberry
Debby Goldsberry, long time cannabis activist and dispensary owner re covid caravans of cannabis criminals, pricing, Debby is author of Staring and Running a Marijuana Business. + Houston DA Kim Ogg indicts 12 cops for corruption and 2 for murder of drug users
DEAN BECKER: (00:00)
I am Dean Becker. Your host. Our goal for this program is to expose the fraud misdirection and the liars whose support for drug war empowers our terrorist enemies, enriches Barbara's cartels, and gives reason for existence to tens of thousands of violent, new as games who profit by selling contaminated drugs to our children. This is cultural baggage.
DEAN BECKER: (00:30)
If they stop Afghanistan from growing opium and they cut down the Colombian cocaine. When in Mexico runs out of marijuana will quit getting high, but the drug store on the corner, it was sanding. Buy me loose, set me free, judge. What I do, not what I put inside of me. Why do you get PIP in my pocket? My rocket who died and made you boss and me get out of my life. Let me be Pfizer and Merck. Kill more of us in a car, tills, crap, ever food. Thank us for our silence. Each year's a hundred billion dollars and the chance to do it for album or drugs first term, or cut me loose. Set me free, judge. What I do, not what I put inside of me. Why do my pocket just letting me live? My rocket, you boss me. Get out of my life. Let me be. Are we just peasants in the field? Let's stand for truth or ever heal. Every 16 seconds. We hear the slamming door and we owe it all to a char wall. The first eternal war.
DEAN BECKER: (02:30)
Hi friends. Welcome to this edition of cultural baggage. I am Dean Becker. The Reverend most high that song you heard is called eternal war. It was sung by yours. Truly. Sorry about that. Uh, we're going to be talking about corruption, uh, in Houston and around the world, around the globe a little bit later in the show, but first up, we're going to talk about a lighter subject marijuana, one of the pioneers and, uh, the advances being made California.
DEAN BECKER: (03:00)
Let's get to it. Well, folks, she's been our guest a few times over the years and, um, I'm proud to have with us once again, the author of starting and running a marijuana business, the idiot's guide, uh, a lady with decades of experience in the cannabis industry. Uh, one welcome Debby Goldsberry, hailed. Hello, Debbie. Hey, nice to be here, Debbie. Um, well, let's, let's talk about your experience for a minute. And you have been at this for at least 20 something years. Have you not?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (03:36)
I think 32 years. Yeah, my first, uh, pot rally, the great Midwest marijuana harvest festival back in 1986, the late great Ben Maizel organize those things forever.
DEAN BECKER: (03:46)
Right. And Ben, yeah, he was a pioneer. Was he not? Absolutely. Yes, he was. Yeah. We're losing a few, uh, over the recent years here, but uh, if you, you lived in Berkeley now or Oakland, where are you?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (04:01)
Yeah, Oakland, California, Oakland.
DEAN BECKER: (04:03)
And last I was aware, I, I got to visit your dispensary Magnolia, um, wellness if I got the name right. And, uh, with the COVID and, uh, I don't know the focus of the police kind of changing, et cetera. There have been several burglaries, robberies of dispensaries out there in Oakland. Um, uh, tell us a little bit about that if you will, please.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (04:35)
Yeah, it's been really awful. Um, Oakland is known for being an innovative city, but unfortunately we innovated this new form of crime, uh, caravan robberies. This is where, um, an announcement goes out on Instagram. Everybody show up at a certain place at a certain time and we're gonna all hit it at the same time. So the cannabis industry became the targets of, uh, these caravan robberies where all, all of the dispensaries in Oakland were targeted on the same three-day weekend. Small businesses were targeted all around town. Uh, pharmacies were robbed all around town. Um, it was just a horrific experience for everybody involved. This is, um, the end of may, beginning of June. And it was just a new thing for the police department. They were caught completely unawares. They didn't know how to handle it. They put a bunch of protocols in place. They had an idea, and then it happened again on election night.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (05:27)
Um, and a bunch of cannabis businesses were hit again by caravan robberies. Um, in between there was another little mini attack. So three different times the cannabis industry was hit by these caravan robberies in Oakland. Um, uh, people died. It, it was a mess, not at any of my facilities, but, um, but there were definitely, uh, several associated deaths. Um, this isn't what any of us signed up for it, what a mess. Um, the police have really had to scale up their response. Um, and, uh, again, it's not what we want because as far as I know now, from what I heard from the police to what they announced is they've got, um, 300, uh, police officers on call from res corresponding or close by districts. And from maybe the state police ready to flow into Oakland, if it happens again, um, and they intend to stop it.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (06:27)
So this is not good at all. Let me tell you not good at all. My shop was hit. Um, we were robbed a few times over the course of 24 hours and we lost everything. Um, I look, I stepped back a little bit. I own the shop, Magnolia wellness still. We did get it reopened, but honestly, Dean, I didn't want to go back in there. I got a little bit of PTSD. I watched the cameras, I saw the guys, um, it just isn't what I wanted to do. So I, uh, took a step back and turned my management role over to, um, to some people who've been friends of our dispensary for a long time. Um, almost like a sister company. And so they're in there doing the corporate recovery for us, propping up the company, getting it restarted. And um, and yeah, so that's, what's happening now on the flip side, my other shop in Berkeley had no problems because, uh, it's a very small city. Um, none of the Berkeley shops got hit at all now. They haven't been hit one single time. So, uh, knock on wood. Everything's going just fine. And as always in Berkeley, and in fact in Berkeley, we barely have seen a, even a downturn due to COVID where a lot of the businesses have been hit hard by COVID, but we haven't experienced that. So I'm going to say that's a 50 50, uh, plus or minus like life often is. Um, so that's where I'm at. Yeah.
DEAN BECKER: (07:45)
Well, and Debbie, I want to, I don't know, kind of just get, get another opinion or assessment if you will. Um, with the COVID I see reports online that, uh, uh, the use of cannabis is actually going up, uh, the use of alcohol is going down. Uh, would you agree with that assessment?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (08:06)
I'm not sure what the use of alcohol is. Like. I would say that the use of cannabis is steadily trended upwards. Um, what we've seen is, uh, the only place you see a downturn really right now, I think is in brick and mortar retail, because a lot of people switched over to home delivery. So, um, so that's the only change. It shifted a little, the sales shifted a little bit away from retail towards home delivery. Uh, maybe somewhere between 25, 15% of sales actually flipped from retail to home delivery.
DEAN BECKER: (08:35)
No, I live in Texas where, you know, basically it's all illegal here. We, we have some, uh, provision that allows for weak hemp to be sold, but we, we don't have actual marijuana being sold in this state. And the, and the prices here range from 200 to four announced still. And as I hear from, uh, Oregon in particular, it's down at a hundred and under, in some cases, have you seen the same thing happening there in California?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (09:08)
We're now seeing prices out low? No. I mean maybe, maybe, well, yeah, come to think of it. I mean, a pound of fairly decent cannabis right now, um, can be bought at the distribution level for, um, $800 maybe, maybe between six and $800. That's not top shelf. That's not even mid grade, that's kind of a step below, but something that you and I would still be happy to, um, consume in a joint or in our bong. Um, so yeah, then you know, that, that breaks down well below a hundred dollars an ounce when you break it out by the ounce, but you know, if you still have to Keystone at a retail, um, that's a different story. So yeah, I'd say the prices are, um, the prices have not dropped hugely significantly over the course of the year. I wouldn't say.
DEAN BECKER: (09:53)
Okay. And, um, as a comparison that six to $800 you're talking about, well, it'd be I'm in Texas. I can tell you that's what a pound of Mexicans selling for here in this state right now. So I'd much rather swap that out. I'm pretty sure if I could. I mean, you have been a pioneer yourself really? Uh, you, you talk about 32 years. If I remember you said you've been at this, um, give us a sampler, um, uh, your understanding, your perspective, what it was like back then, was it something like Texas? I mean, were there people going to prison for minor amounts of marijuana and, and how has that changed now? What would it take to actually get in trouble for weed in California now?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (10:43)
Uh, Oh, okay. Back in the day, it was bad because the laws allowed the police to stop anybody that looked like they smoked marijuana. That was a probable cause for a stop and search. And, um, and so people were getting stopped all the time. They're getting searched all the time. They were getting sent to jail. Um, a lot of state States had misdemeanor infractions, you know, in the seventies they had, they had stopped criminalizing in, uh, put them in jail type of way, but they they'd be like, Oh, you get a ticket, but it's still a misdemeanor on your record so that it's doing nobody, any favors. Um, so yeah, the environment's way better. Um, that is for sure.
DEAN BECKER: (11:24)
Now, is there a chance we'd feed him a hamburger or something?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (11:28)
I know I'm going to go lock them upstairs. Do you mind if I just take
DEAN BECKER: (11:30)
A second, take a minute. That's fine. That's fine. All right. This gives us a chance to take a quick break here. We'll be right back in about a minute. Okay.
DEAN BECKER: (11:41)
It's time to play name that drug by its side effects, welling of the tongue crease, bone marrow fever, chills infection, nervous system degeneration, confusion, loss of consciousness, fatigue, memory loss, muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, seizure, speech, disturbance cancer.
DEAN BECKER: (11:54)
And that time's up the answer. Love Amazon, a dog dewormer that has become America's number one, cutting agent for cocaine.
DEAN BECKER: (12:04)
Well, once again, we're speaking with Debby Goldsberry. She's the author of starting and running a marijuana business. I got a picture of it right here for you. It's still available out there on Amazon and elsewhere. Now, Debbie and your expertise and, and folks should be, should realize that you have that experience. You've been, uh, working for the Berkeley patients group. Uh, I think, uh, as maybe your first dispensary, I'm not sure, but you have, as you say, now, the Magnolia wellness and, and a new shop that I'm, I guess, unaware of, uh, in Oakland, um, that, uh, you know, in Berkeley, uh, as you said that, uh, um, you know, shows your expertise, your ability to, uh, to run these shops. But as you indicated with these caravan robberies, you described them as, uh, it kind of took away the, the glory from working at Magnolia and you're, you're probably looking for a different type of job, a different situation. What, what are you looking for?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (13:05)
Well, thank you. Okay. Let me say this. The cannabis industry has become very difficult for mom and pop companies. So Magnolia, even though we had 10 companies hit in Oakland with these caravan robberies, Magnolia is one of the only ones that were mom and pop. So the other companies like Harbor side, um, or if I tology, they could count on the parent company to fund the rebuild, but a company like Magnolia, that's mom and pop, we tried to get the money to rebuild. We couldn't get federal money, we couldn't get state money. We couldn't get city money and finding money on the private market for a dispensary. That's just been robbed by 20 armed robbers. It's a little bit of a challenge. Let me say this. So, um, so yeah, but like I was mentioning, I just didn't feel, I just didn't, it, it takes a lot to come back from that and it takes a form of energy that was beyond what I felt so down, seeing the place shredded during these robberies, I didn't feel like I had the energy, it was going to take to bring the thing back.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (13:58)
So I turned it over to my friends who had a bigger company, um, who were partnered with my CFO for a long time. Who's been running the shop with me all these years and turn management over to them so we can stay small ownership, but we're in a bigger, um, we're in a bigger vertical with these guys who have more shops across California for economy of scale and stuff like that. Giving me an opportunity to step aside from my daily role, knowing that competent people are running the shop. So, so yeah, I left my daily role in Magnolia because I really want to fulfill my own vision, which is more mission, mission, and values based, which is helping small mom and pop companies survive in the cannabis industry, starting from when we used to be small growers and dealers up until now, when we can go and get legal, but we have to compete with all of these challenges in a market that's dominated by multi-state operators.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (14:48)
So my goal is, and continues be to be, uh, a small business management coach, mentor and consultant, helping smaller cannabis businesses, both get their permits and then survive in the marketplace. Um, doing everything from helping, uh, develop business plans, developing brand strategies, uh, being a brand coach, helping people figure out how to, uh, to build their brands and get them in shops. Um, and just doing every kind of small business management that I could do to help, uh, mommy Poppins, all businesses, both get licenses and stamp business and compete against these big giant companies, because there has been a trend over the last, especially since 2018 and an accelerated trend towards rolling up small businesses into bigger companies. And if we can maintain a foundation and footing for small businesses, maybe we can stay on the same track that I've been on since 1986, which has cannabis is a healing plant that spreads peace and kindness.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (15:50)
And it's not a commodity that's attached to a dollar bill and nothing else. So, so yeah, so I'm doing a lot of consulting right now and also just looking for small business projects to join, um, to help add that expertise to people's teams. And I've always done it by the way. I've only worked part-time for Magnolia all this time, even though I was a CEO running the show, a small shop can't afford a full-time CEO. So I've always been part-time with my own entrepreneurship and part-time helping other people. So, so right now, yeah. Um, I am for hire you're a cannabis expert.
DEAN BECKER: (16:22)
Well, tell folks how they can get in touch with you then.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (16:26)
Um, I'm on other social medias, Debby Goldsberry w with the Y um, you can find me, um, and then, uh, wow, good question. Email me D Goldsberry two email@example.com. And I'm always an ear for throwing some advice towards you. And if you're looking to hire you, you know, maybe we can find a good hit at fit and we can, uh, help your company build a foundation that you can grow from and stick around as long as you want to stick around.
DEAN BECKER: (16:55)
And I, I just got to give you a strong, uh, reference recommendation, and I've known Debbie for decades. Now I know that she's a straight shooter, she's intelligent, knowledgeable, uh, you wouldn't go wrong, hiring her to help your efforts. Thank you, Debbie. I, I, uh, I think about you, you talked about big marijuana and I think we talked about it a little bit last time. Uh, we, we spoke that, um, the big players in Canada were able to go to hit their stock market, so to speak, to present their companies and, and reaped in millions of hundreds of millions of dollars. And that money has been used to buy up, uh, many of the efforts in the United States and elsewhere. Um, it's, it's, I, I I'll say it a, a threat. Would you agree with that? Absolutely. It's sort
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (17:50)
Of undermining the original vision that many of us got involved in, you know, 30 years ago, 10 years ago, um, have built using cannabis as a, uh, crop that is used for right. Livelihood and healing. So, yeah, it's, I think I find it's undermining and there, and there's really nothing we can do about it except build our own company stronger. Um, be the stronger brand, attract the clients, using our, our vision and values and, um, outperform the big companies.
DEAN BECKER: (18:18)
Yeah, no, I think I had told you last time, my, I don't know for decades, my goal was to open up a little strip center shop, uh, shopping center, uh, uh, location, you know, maybe 800 square feet Beckers buckets just to grow my own and, and, and sell that. But, uh, uh, that seems very unlikely given our current circumstance and the growth of these multinationals, am I right?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (18:47)
Well, it'd be very hard and you know why it's because, you know, they, they can have a purchase power level of purchase power that none of us mom and pops can have. If somebody has got 10, 15, 20, 60 dispensary's, and they're purchasing for all of them through centralized purchasing, they obviously have a bigger buy and a lower wholesale cost me. They have a lower retail cost and it just all spirals from there.
DEAN BECKER: (19:11)
Yeah. Yeah. It's um, it's hard to compete against that sort of thing. Oh, well, Debbie, what am I leaving out? What's happening in California? That, that folks should know what, what's a hot off the press,
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (19:25)
Pandemic recovery, you know, that's, what's hot off the press. The dispensaries are coming back. We're all looking at what's going to happen in the future. Um, we are looking towards the end of the year 2021, just going to be about slow, incremental growth and just continue to foundation build. And then I think you're going to see just an explosion of creativity, um, incredible cannabis. Uh, you know, as you can imagine, the growers right now are, are doing nothing but thinking about the killer crop, they're going to create over the next six months with nothing else to do, but give love and attention to that crop. So I think that you can expect an incredible crop out of California come this fall and, uh, excellent prices, cannabis tourism coming back in a big way. Um, the onsite cannabis consumption, lounges coming back, and maybe some of the joy coming back to being a cannabis community. So that's what I'm preparing for. Anyway, getting back with the community, um, being together face to face, uh, consuming cannabis as a way to sort of uplift our minds, our ways of thinking in our creativity and our, just our passion for the things that we have passion for
DEAN BECKER: (20:32)
Sure. Well, all right. Uh, let's say what Debbie, I'm going to wrap it up for now. I want to thank you for, I don't know, for just hanging in there for, um, your commitment to this effort over the decades. And, and I want to, I don't know, get your thoughts, your pep talk, if you will. Um, there are people here in Texas that want to change the cannabis laws. They, they almost secretly want to change them. They, they very seldom contact their legislators or newspapers or broadcasters to try to, um, I don't know, influence or change the situation. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that in California, it was courage from day one. It seems to me that, that there were people that stood boldly. I think of Eddie left. I think of, uh, um, you know, Richard Lee and, and others who stood boldly sold marijuana, uh, against the state and federal law, even though it was embraced, if you will, in Oakland. Um, it's hard for me to imagine a city in Texas allowing that to start up, but it takes courage. Does it not?
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (21:51)
Yeah. And it's good. It's always starts local. You know, that's what happens. It starts with a few local cities passing ordinances. They usually say something like we're going to do this once the state law changes. So a few cities start passing laws that say, we're going to do this when the state law changes suddenly the pressure or the interest perks up, you know, from the people at the state. Well, we've got this city in this city and this city with these ordinances on the book, maybe we should look at what's happening at the state level. So yeah, people who are passionate should actually just pick up the phone and call their local elected officials and their state officials, because they might find somebody more receptive on the other end of the phone that then they imagined because the legislators and elected officials, they don't do anything that the voters don't ask them to do. So they might just be sitting there waiting for the vulnerable voters to ask them to do this, having a secret passion for it, but nobody's put the political, giving them the political will. So call don't be afraid. Call your elected officials. They're probably going to be happier to hear from you than you think. And you might actually make movement that you never imagined you could make just by picking up the phone and getting something like that. Done.
DEAN BECKER: (22:59)
Alright. Then one last time, um, Debby Goldsberry, an expert, um, very knowledgeable person, uh, looking for some new, um, professional work. She is seriously knowledgeable. She wrote this book starting and running a marijuana business. And if you'd like to, um, gain her expertise, I'm sure she'd like to hear from you. Tell them one more time, how they can reach you. Debbie,
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (23:26)
Just email me D Goldsberry two firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEAN BECKER: (23:33)
Thank you. All right. Good. Very good. That was rather painless. I'll come on up.
DEBBY GOLDSBERRY: (23:39)
DEAN BECKER: (23:40)
And, um, I thank you for your time, Debbie, and thanks so much.
DEAN BECKER: (23:47)
That is the sound of the hitting the fan from New York time, a launder Mexican profits of drug cartel.
DEAN BECKER: (24:04)
The fact is the stuff has been hitting the fan for so long that the residue now covers the globe in a stinky layer of corruption and evil. Here comes a story from Fox news out of Houston, Texas. My hometown, where at one time the da was locking up more people than any city on this planet. I used to open the show with a braise broadcasting from the Gulag filling station of planet earth. At that time. So many people were being thrown in jail. They were sleeping under the bunks in the hallways. They were hauling them to different cities every morning, uh, via buses to, uh, up till the time that the da had to quit because of his own drug abuse, the same city where the crime lab had several fiascos where the police now are showing their as well. Again, this is thanks to Fox news.
FOX NEWS: (25:05)
Tonight, six more Houston police officers now indicted for their involvement and the deadly no-knock raid on Harding street. It's been nearly two years ago, two years to the day. In fact, now that the botch narcotics bus will lead to the deaths of two Houstonians and then opened an investigation into what now appears to be a wider, organized corruption effort within the department, Fox 26 is Natalie joining us with what we learned today. Hi Natalie, either Kaitlin, Jonathan, good evening, while the indictment of those six officers today now brings the grand total up to 12 Houston police officers that have now been indicted or charged in connection to this case of those six officers today, one was indicted for murder and five others. Others indicted for organized criminal activity.
FOX NEWS: (25:57)
On Monday Harris County district attorney came off announced the names of six additional Houston police officers that have been indicted in connection to the deadly drug rate on Harding street in January of 2019, those six narcotics officers, former and current join another six from HBD squad, 15 who were previously indicted or charged with the various felonies, bringing the grand total up to 12 officers. What we consider a game changer in terms of how narcotics policing and prosecution maybe handled in the future, not just here but elsewhere. Philippe Gayegos will now face first degree felony murder becoming the second officer to be indicted for murder. On the case. Last year, Gerald Goins was indicted for two counts of felony murder. Da org says the developments now wrap up a two year investigation into the shooting that led to the deaths of Dennis Tuttle, Regina Nicholas, and their dog four Houston police officers were also shot and wounded.
FOX NEWS: (26:56)
One paralyzed to this day. The investigation determined first that going slide to judge to obtain a no-knock warrant. And that officers had been involved on that squad in a long-term scheme to steal overtime money from the city of Houston. And the statement on Twitter, Houston police, chief art Acevedo, is that in part, I have said many times that the other officers involved in the incident, including the officer in data today had no involvement in obtaining the warrant and responded appropriately to the deadly threat, posed to them during its service. The total family's attorney also released a statement saying in part, what is clear is that squad 15 was allowed to develop and thrive for years as a completely untethered, dangerous and lawless culture with no accountability whatsoever. Now the district attorney's office as their work to uncover corruption when the Houston police department will continue.
DEAN BECKER: (27:56)
I want to thank you for being with us on today's edition of cultural baggage. I want to thank Debby Goldsberry for her time. Want to wish her good luck in finding new professional work out there on the West coast. And I want to invite you to join us next week when our guest will be the former president of Switzerland, uh, Ruth Dreifuss, we're going to be talking about the global commission on drugs and the need to expose an end, the madness of this eternal prohibition. And again, I remind you that because of prohibition, you don't know what's in that bag. And I urge you to please be careful
DEAN BECKER: (28:33)
To the drug truth network listeners around the world. This is Dean Becker for cultural baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural baggage is of production of the civical radio network. Archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker, the third Institute for public policy, and we are all still tapped on the edge of an abyss.