The cannabis community suffered a great loss September 18th after losing longtime freedom fighter, Rick Thompson. Rick leaves behind 3 children, his mother, his sister, and his granddaughter. The contributions raised will go to support Rick’s family, who will be the first grant recipients of the Rick Thompson Memorial Fund.
We really urge you to read this amazing feature on Rick in mLive to get to know him better and to know why the cannabis community is in shock this week.
With the passing of Rick Thompson Monday morning, Michigan lost a champion for legal & medical cannabis.
While I didn’t know Rick as well as many, I knew him more than well enough to see his impact on Michigan’s burgeoning cannabis industry and more importantly, his impact on Michigan’s groundbreaking medical cannabis laws.Rick was also a huge driver of the growth of the Michigan Cannabis Trail, making a point to invite us to events, have us on his show, and in general be the best friend a new cannabis project could have.
I could share the story of the time I went to a Northeast Michigan NORML meeting up in Tawas where Rick saw that I knew nobody at all & called me over to his table where he proceeded to roll absolute cannons as he introduced me to everyone. Or how about the first time I met him at a patient & caregiver conference when he introduced me to John Sinclair, and I was smoking with a group I think of as The Usual Suspects within an hour of meeting him?
Instead, let me share the tale of how back in October of 2019 (article), Northport Village Trustee Will Harper reached out to Rick & his good friend Jamie Lowell to come north and speak on the behalf of medical cannabis. Now Rick could smoke with the best of them, but he always made it a point of pride to present an impeccable business exterior to “meet them where they are.”
Rick spoke eloquently on the benefits to patients and the community for honoring the will of the voters. He answered questions and when the anti-cannabis trustees’ guest (retired state police chief & all-around cannabis hater Donald Bailey) started dropping distortions & lies, Rick straight up demolished him. There were actually people laughing at Bailey and then one after another people rose to speak on the issue. The crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of legal cannabis and when the time for the vote came, medical cannabis passed the board. Then, to the surprise of pretty much everyone in the room, the trustees voted to approve recreational cannabis!
Northport remains the only community in Leelanau County that has recreational or medical cannabis, so it’s pretty clear that one man can and DID make a difference. Thank you Rick for everything you did.
-by Andrew McFarlane