There is no room for hate in the marijuana industry. There is no room for hate anywhere in society, but that absolutely and especially includes the marijuana industry. Discrimination should not be tolerated in the marijuana industry whether it’s discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military service, or other protected status.
Oregon’s marijuana industry was rocked this week when reports surfaced that a well-respected CEO was reported to be a white supremacist. Bethany Marie Sherman is currently the Manager and CEO of OG Analytical, one of the most established cannabis testing companies in Oregon. According to a lengthy report by Eugene Antifa, Ms. Sherman is a very active white supremacist. Per an article posted by Eugene Antifa:
As “Mrs. Blackhat,” Bethany runs her own white supremacist Twitter account under the handle @14th_word, with which she participates in private, group fascist chats and retweets her boyfriend’s white supremacist tweets, as well as other racist Twitter accounts. In her everyday “normie” life, Bethany Sherman is the CEO of OG Analytical, a state accredited cannabis testing company, and maintains a significant presence within prominent cannabis industry and regulation circles in Oregon.
Her boyfriend, Matthew Lee Combs, is described as follows in the article:
He can be found on Twitter where he uses the handle @basedMLC and tweets out neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and derogatory tweets. Until recently, he has been known as “Blackhat16,” but he has since changed his username to an odal rune symbol. It is common practice for modern day Nazis to use the symbol of an odal rune to replace the somewhat less socially acceptable swastika. Matthew is the Eugene, Oregon organizer for the American Patriots Brigade, an American Front support group. The number “16” in “Blackhat16” is numerology code for the neo-Nazi group American Front (headed by Creswell resident Jake Laskey), where 1=A and 6=F representing AF, or American Front.
The information about the couple was discovered by Eugene Antifa as follows (via the article):
Anti-fascist activists from Eugene Antifa, Rose City Antifa, and Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective have been able to get access to the logs of a Discord server used by a variety of Pacific Northwest fascists and white supremacists, given the tongue-in-cheek name, the Cascadian Coffee Company (CCC). Discord is a chat app, originally developed for online gaming, but often used by the far-right and white supremacists groups to organize their groups and events. These logs contain thousands of messages detailing activities, organizing, and interactions of one particular bunch in the region. In an ongoing series of articles, the coordinating anti-fascist groups will publish revealing information about this particular set of Nazis organizing throughout the Pacific Northwest region, located from Ashland to Seattle. You can follow all of these stories by visiting our blog, following us on Twitter or Mastadon, and using the hashtag #PNWfascistlogs and #CCC.
The article goes way in depth, and I encourage you to read it, especially if you are from Oregon. I do not know Mr. Combs and Ms. Sherman and have never met them as far as I know. I have not seen a response from them as to whether or not the accusations are true, but the article lays out a case that is about as irrefutable as it gets. Ms. Sherman has been a very prominent member of Oregon’s cannabis community, having even served on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Technical Advisory Subcommittee for Laboratories and Traceability. If the accusations are true, which it appears very much that they are, no one should do business with OG Analytical.
This would not be the first time that a white supremacist has been outed in Oregon’s cannabis industry. A dispensary, which I will not name because they took appropriate action and fired the employee, had employed a white supremacist as a budtender for a time. When I saw Portland Antifa post about the employee I immediately informed someone at the dispensary and the employee was quickly fired.
That case was a bit different in that it was an employee, and swiftly firing the employee after it became known was an appropriate remedy. This case, if true, is different in that it is the CEO of a company, not an employee. I will be curious to see where this situation goes and if more Oregon cannabis community members are outed as being white supremacists. Again, there is no room for hate in the marijuana industry. People are obviously allowed to feel how they want in a free society, but that does not mean that they should get the financial support of cannabis consumers and industry members.