In The News- 2016

July 12, 2016

Read some of Rick’s more quotable media statements from the year 2010

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Read some of Rick’s more quotable media appearances from the year 2016



High Times Documents Michigan’s Marijuana Legalization Movement

January 13, 2016

also on:




“We see Senator Jones having to drum up support for the new version of the bills after last Tuesday’s hearing because he’s introduced some ridiculous restrictions into the language of the bills,” said Rick Thompson, board member with Michigan NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

“(Jones is) going to introduce a three-tier alcohol model system for distribution of the medical marijuana; that’s not demonstrated to be needed.”

Supporters like Thompson told FOX 17 they are no longer on board with these bills, but still support the non-smoking bill, or medical marijuana concentrates legalization through HB 4210.

The National Patients Rights Association Legislative Liaison Robin Schneider was also not attendance Tuesday but told FOX 17 both NPRA and several pediatric patient groups do not support the added regulations; instead they favor “vertically integrated” companies that would create a more affordable system for patients to get their medicine.

The point of contention here, again, is the proposed tiered licensing system for growers, distributors, and retailers in a system that is similar to alcohol regulations. Schneider said the tiered system could drive up prices, while those in favor believe it prevents a monopoly.

“I would rather have us start from scratch with positive interaction from patient organizations and not just business organizations, than to have these bills passed right now,” said Thompson.

“It disturbed me that the language has been so radically changed from where it was at the end of 2014: it’s gone from a functional piece of legislation to a non-functioning reward system for big commerce and big business.”

Disagreement over push for stronger medical marijuana regulations


Detroit Dispensaries on Edge as Licensing Nears

The current estimated number of dispensaries in Detroit proper, 211, could shrink to as few as 30-50 citywide as the municipality implements its new rules, said local activist Rick Thompson, who runs the Compassion Chronicles blog and is on the boards of Michigan NORML and other pro-cannabis groups.

The outcome many are hoping for is that the petition-gathering is successful, city voters overturn the ordinances, and then a new citywide initiative written by MMJ stakeholders is approved in the November election, to rewrite the regulatory system for dispensaries. (An initiative for November is already in the works.)

But it’s not necessarily that simple, Thompson warned.

“There are several things the council and the city government could do to stop us. They could challenge the signatures, they could challenge the nature of the petition itself,” Thompson said. “There are a lot of stalling tactics they could use. This is far from over.”


Recent Marijuana Dispensary Raids Result In Massive Seizures

March 15, 2016

Unfortunately, the most recent raids took place before any of the 12 dispensaries could relish in the protections of the newly passed ordinance.

“Apparently the State Police wanted to squash businesses before they could gain the protection of local zoning laws,” wrote Rick Thompson, editor of The Compassion Chronicles.

Marijuana activists are considering taking legal action against state police.


12 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Raided in 48 Hours

12 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Raided in 48 Hours




Medical marijuana, the Green Triangle and 4/20 Day

April 20 2016

The medical marijuana industry in Thetford, Richfield and Mt. Morris townships have become known as the “green triangle” because of the proliferation of these types of businesses and friendly zoning ordinances.

Rick Thompson is on the board of directors for the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Michigan Legalize and editor of Compassion Chronicles, which is an online news resource for the cannabis community.

Thompson doesn’t know where the name came from.

“The ‘green triangle’ is a unique commerce area in Genesee County where medical marijuana businesses are located due to advantageous location and zoning,” he said. “The ‘green triangle’ is just another extension of Genesee County of the pro-marijuana attitude expressed by the community and community leaders.”


Former Red Wings player Darren McCarty speaks up for marijuana at Hash Bash

April 2 2016

Rick Thompson, another marijuana activist who spoke on Saturday, at one point told all rally attendees to get out their phones, take pictures, and post them on social media with the hashtag #HashBash. He said social media is going to play a role in the MI Legalize campaign and it’s important that everyone votes.

Many cheered loudly when another speaker mentioned U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who supports marijuana decriminalization.


45th Annual Hash Bash Takes Over Downtown Ann Arbor

April 6, 2016

Rick Thompson, board member of MI Legalize and Michigan NORML as well as editor of  the online journal Compassion Chronicles, organized a crowd-unifying social media burst when he inspired everyone to wave their cell phones over the crowd, take a picture, and post it to the Twitter feed  #hashbash. “Tag everyone you know. Flood them with posts. And vote.”


April 8

Michigan NORML Gives Awards To Irwin, Komorn, And Others

Michigan NORML Gives Awards To Irwin, Komorn, And Others


From WEMU- radio interview

Pro Marijuana Group Continues To Collect Signatures To Put Proposal On The Ballot

Board member Rick Thompson says they want more signatures than needed, in case some are found to be duplicates or invalid.


Marijuana debate goes mobile as ‘magic number’ for driving while stoned sought

May 5, 2016

Michigan marijuana activist Rick Thompson of Flint, author of the Compassion Chronicles, believes the legislature wants to forego the evaluation of whether the chemical THC impairs driving, saying the science is inconclusive.

“This is backwards science,” Thompson said. “Instead of asking the University to study if THC has a negative effect on driving, and if so at what level, the legislature is directing the scientists to make an assumption that is not clearly established and start from that premise.”


Former NHL Player Says Marijuana Saved His Life

May 14, 2016

When former NHL enforcer Larry DePalma retired from professional hockey in 1997, he faced a gruelling off-ice battle with addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts after suffering numerous traumatic brain injuries as a player. He says that using marijuana medicinally not only treated his symptoms but saved his life.

“These concussions ruin people’s lives,” he told Rick Thompson of The Compassion Chronicles – a marijuana news site serving the American midwest. Before turning to cannabis, DePalma says he put a “gun in my mouth three times…And finally the cannabis came out and saved my life.”

DePalma played 148 NHL games for the Minnesota North Stars (now Dallas Stars), San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. During that time, he says that he suffered eight major concussions and “countless normal concussions, if you want to call them normal.”

The former player spoke with Thompson during an event for MILegalize – an initiative to make legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan a ballot question in 2016. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2008, and DePalma has become one of its noteworthy patients. He’s now endorsing recreational as well as medical marijuana because cannabis helped him get his life on track when he found that prescription pills were dangerous and ineffective.



August 4

Detroit: Despite Threatened MMJ Crackdown, It’s Business as Usual

Detroit authorities, up to now, have refrained from imposing a widespread crackdown on dispensaries. And some dispensary owners have relocated their businesses outside the city, according to one source.

“Many of the distribution centers that we feared would be closed by now are still open,” said Rick Thompson, editor of the marijuana website Compassion Chronicles and a board member of Michigan NORML, a pro-cannabis group.

“There has been some action by the city, but we haven’t seen the gigantic sweep of closures that we anticipated,” Thompson added. “I drive through Detroit, and I still see a lot of locations that they swore that would be shut down still servicing customers.”

It’s also unclear exactly how many have closed since the end of March, or merely relocated to avoid problems with law enforcement.

Thompson, of Compassion Chronicles, estimated that there could be upwards of 75 that have closed; but Abel said it’s probably more like 20.

One thing they both agreed on, however, is that the dispensaries that closed their Detroit locations haven’t left the industry.

“They didn’t leave the industry. No way,” Thompson said. “When Detroit started to shed those distribution centers, they traveled out to other locations. Now, cities like Lansing, which had a moderate level of centers, have all of a sudden spiked. The city of Flint, which licensed up to 13 centers, now has about 25, because there are some wildcatters that have come in without authorization from the city. So we’ve seen that some of those folks have moved to other areas and set up shop.”

State’s medical-pot fees paying for police raids, vests

August 6, 2016

The practice of turning medical-marijuana users’ fees against them by police agencies is not new in Michigan, although this year’s escalation of grants was shocking, said Rick Thompson, editor of the online Compassion Chronicles, a blog for medical-marijuana patients.

“The language said it would be for education about and enforcement of Michigan’s medical marijuana act, but you can see what that turned into,” he said. In the first year, four counties spent $116,000, state records show.


August 14


Marijuana Reform 2016 – Interview w/ Rick Thompson – Cannabis Lifestyle TV


Michigan poised to approve statewide medical marijuana business regulations

September 14, 2016 Marijuana Business Daily

Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of NORML and author of the Compassion Chronicles blog, said he’s heard lawmakers are trying to get the bills passed before the Nov. 8 election.

If that happens, the state could begin issuing business licenses for MMJ companies by September 2017 – though many, including Thompson, don’t expect that would happen until 2018…

In the long term, according to industry officials, the new regulatory scheme would mean an end to years of raids by various law enforcement agencies, given that dispensaries have been technically illegal.

But it wouldn’t necessarily mean an end to raids right away, NORML’s Thompson warned. That would be especially true for cannabis businesses located in municipalities that oppose them.

“We’ve seen, even before the passage of these bills, that law enforcement is raiding many places,” Thompson said. “Now that they’ve gotten a sign from Lansing … you can expect that certain law enforcement agencies are going to take that as a sign to clean up shop.”

Many dispensaries – which are the most visible of all MMJ businesses – only operate with the blessing of local government officials, like in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Ypsilanti. But in areas where dispensaries aren’t welcome, they may still face raids before they can obtain a legal license, Thompson said.


September 14

Michigan legislature passes MMJ industry regulations

And Rick Thompson, a longtime activist, called the legislative process that produced the bills “a tale of special-interest concessions, law-enforcement lobbying and political manipulation.”

my photo used in a story:


But Rick Thompson of suburban Flint, editor of the online Compassion Chronicles site on medical marijuana, said the bill on dispensaries “represents everything bad about the legislative process in Michigan” as “a tale of special-interest concessions, law-enforcement lobbying and political manipulation.”

Lowell said the security required in the bills to safely transport cannabis is excessive. “You don’t need two armed guards to transport medical marijuana,” he said.

Also, “the marijuana now gets taxed — no other medicine is taxed in Michigan.”



A pair of conferences aims to teach the public about new medical marijuana laws

Rick Thompson is hosting the “Understanding the New Medical Marijuana Business Laws in Michigan” conference. He says it’s primarily for people opening dispensaries.

“This conference is one way in which they can interface with some of the attorneys and some of the experts that really know what expect and how best to advise them and in what direction they might proceed,” Thompson says.


New medical marijuana laws are being discussed at a conference that’s wrapping tonight.

The Michigan Cannibis Business Development Conference offered legal and development information to potential business owners at the Holiday Inn Express.

It included a panel of attorneys who specialize in marijuana laws.

They talked about the new laws that benefit business owners and how to break into the business.

Governor Rick Snyder recently passed the Medical Marijuana Facilities Act, which legalizes and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and non-smokable forms of the drug.


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Days before new Michigan medical marijuana laws, industry gets ready

On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group held a conference in an effort to make sure all in the industry know of the upcoming changes…

Organizers say this event is critical for an industry that is still a work in progress.

“It’s very new and part of the problem with new is that people don’t know what the rules are and they also don’t know where the limits are and the boundaries are,” organizer Rick Thompson said. “For a small business person, that can be disastrous.”


Medical marijuana in apartments? New bill might nix it

With marijuana and its medical version becoming big business in Colorado and other states, the organizer of today’s Capital Conference in downtown Lansing said more than 300 profit-minded Michiganders were registered to learn how they might someday turn the drug into dollars.

In the banquet area of the Radisson Hotel Lansing, they’re scheduled to hear from a champion of Michigan’s marijuana movement, said convention organizer Rick Thompson of Flint Township, a longtime board member of statewide groups that favor legalizing the drug.



Interview with Cannabis Lifestyle Magazine on Youtube August 2016

November promo video for Capital Conference

Interviewed by Tim from the rock band Sponge.


The podcast:

Rick Thompson and Jamie Lowell are on the board of MILegalize. MILegalize is a group seeking to place recreational marijuana on the 2016 state ballot. The MILegalize proposal would make the recreational use of marijuana legal in the state of Michigan while enforcing age restrictions and other minimal legal parameters.