John Geluardi: Reppin' the 510
Fanatical readers of this blog will recall that I edited Cannabiz, John Geluardi's book on the medical marijuana business. That snappy little read was an eye-opener for me, largely because I was so accustomed to the policy and law enforcement angles on the weed meme. John convinced me that the big story belonged in Forbes and Fortune. Not unlike Indian gaming 15 years ago, medical marijuana is on the glide path to big bucks and mainstream acceptance.
John's back with the cover story in the current issue of the East Bay Express, the alternative weekly based in Oakland. It features my adopted city of Richmond--by coincidence, perhaps, the opening setting in Cannabiz. I moved here a year ago, and my little house stands a couple miles from the El Cerrito neighborhood of my misspent youth.
John's article, "The Man Behind Richmond's Renaissance," is a nice turn of events for this often overlooked city. As the article notes, what little media attention Richmond has attracted is usually related to its violent crime. And now that I think about it, the only bit of popular-culture status Richmond has secured for itself is the (largely negative) portrait in "Coach Carter," the Hollywood film starring Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond High basketball coach Ken Carter. (I played with Kenny on the 1977 Contra Costa County All-Stars; another teammate was Stan Van Gundy, now head coach of the Orlando Magic.)
John's piece indicates that Richmond's fortunes are beginning to improve, and much of the credit is going to city manager Bill Lindsay. Check it out, I say.