In this week’s cannabis news round-up, Ric Flair’s Wooooo! energy drink teams up with Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians votes to legalize cannabis; a NYC mother awarded $75,000 following a dispute over cannabis use and child custody; and Illinois is set to host its first-ever cannabis-friendly music festival.
Ric Flair’s Wooooo! Energy Drink Teams Up with Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio
WWE legend Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair’s latest creation, Wooooo! Energy Drink has secured an exclusive partnership with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I’m from Cleveland, so you know it’s exciting for me. Woooo! Energy has been gaining tremendous momentum,” Chad Bronstein, Chairman and President of Carma HoldCo, said. “Ric had a productive meeting with Giant Eagle, a store I’ve been familiar with my entire life. After several months of negotiation, we struck a partnership. Given their role as grocery partners for the Cavs, we decided to establish a collaboration with the Cavaliers as well.”
Flair will make special appearances in Ohio this week to promote Wooooo! Energy Drink and the newfound partnership at Giant Eagle and Market District supermarkets, starting Monday, September 11 in Cleveland.
Woooo! Energy has disrupted the energy drink scene with its unique mushroom-based beverage, designed to enhance immune and cognitive function while providing clean energy without the dreaded sugar crashes. The beverages are formulated using Taurine, L-Theanine and Gotu Kola Extract, along with a medley of functional mushrooms, including Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Chaga, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Maitake and Reishi.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Votes to Legalize Cannabis
In a milestone move, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee have overwhelmingly supported the legalization of cannabis for individuals aged 21 and above. This historic decision paves the way for North Carolina’s first legal recreational cannabis sales.
More than 2,400 people voted in favor of the referendum, showing strong support for legalization and the development of regulations by the Tribal Council, while approximately 1,000 members voted against it. The vote doesn’t immediately make cannabis available on the Boundary; it marks the beginning of the process for the Eastern Band Tribal Council to create adult use regulations.
As a sovereign nation and federally recognized tribe, the Eastern Band can enact cannabis measures independently, regardless of state or federal restrictions. The tribe had previously legalized medical cannabis in 2021, enabling cultivation and sales on the Qualla Boundary.
Joey Owle, EBCI Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, expressed his excitement about the outcome, highlighting that change at the federal level should have occurred earlier.
“For us, as the EBCI, as a sovereign nation, we are going to move forward with the results of tonight with an adult use program, and really the way that I see it is that we are putting an issue to bed,” Owle said.
Bronx Mother Awarded $75,000 Following Dispute Over Cannabis Use and Child Custody
New York City’s child welfare agency has agreed to pay $75,000 Chanetto Rivers after her newborn son was briefly removed from her custody due to her legal cannabis use. Rivers sued, alleging racial bias by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), which has faced criticism for its treatment of Black families and cannabis-using parents.
This is the first case holding ACS accountable for violating a provision in New York’s cannabis legalization law that forbids child removal solely for a parent’s cannabis use. A federal judge approved the agency’s compensation offer.
In August 2021, after New York legalized adult use cannabis, Rivers smoked at a family gathering, leading to contractions and a hospital visit for childbirth. During delivery, she and her baby tested positive for cannabis and ACS initiated a neglect case, seeking to place the child, referred to as TW, in foster care.
Rivers had to go through a legal process to regain custody of TW and ACS continued unannounced home visits and required parenting classes and drug tests for months. Rivers’ lawsuit alleged racial discrimination, emphasizing a pattern documented in a 2020 audit. The city’s settlement does not admit wrongdoing but signifies a resolution in both parties’ best interests.
This case serves as a model for challenging family separations by ACS based on cannabis use and highlights documented disparities in the treatment of Black families by the agency. Rivers emphasized her lawsuit was for all affected Black families, signaling a call for change.
Illinois to Host Its First-Ever Cannabis-Friendly Music Festival
Illinois is set to host its first-ever concert allowing on-site cannabis consumption this weekend, marking a historic occasion for music fans in the Prairie State. The concert features cannabis-friendly headlining artists, including Cypress Hill, Stephen Marley and Action Bronson.
The Miracle in Mundelein festival will provide attendees with complimentary rolling papers, lighters, grinders and even dab bars and rolling stations. Cannabis products will be available for purchase from a nearby dispensary.
Inside the event, cannabis consumption is permitted for those 21 and older, while any usage outside the event’s perimeter is strictly prohibited. Organizers emphasize the importance of adhering to these regulations to set a responsible and respectful example within the cannabis community.
Attendees are required to follow possession limits applicable to nonresidents of the state, which include 15 grams of flower, 250 milligrams of infused edibles and 2.5 grams of concentrates. All cannabis products must be bought from licensed Illinois retailers and remain in their original packaging.
Smoking devices, such as glass, metal, wood or ceramic pieces under six inches in length, are allowed. Vape pens are also permissible if they adhere to the state’s 2.5-gram concentrate limit.
Illinois legalized cannabis through its state legislature in 2019, with the first legal sales commencing a year later.