The 11 People Leading the Charge for Legal Pot in Philadelphia
Two local politicians — er, pot-iticians? — stand at the forefront of the movement. State Senator Daylin Leach (left) has co-sponsored legislation in Harrisburg both to legalize medical marijuana — a bill that passed the Senate — and to legalize pot outright. (See Leach’s hilarious appearance at ThinkFest below.) City Councilman Jim Kenney (center) has recently fashioned himself into a millennial folk hero, championing gay-rights legislation and marijuana decriminalization that saw passage in September. Michael Bronstein (right), of the Bala Cynwyd political consultancy Bronstein & Weaver, is helming a nascent pot lobby called the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, designed to persuade states to pass cannabusiness-friendly legislation.
Without these three, marijuana decriminalization doesn’t happen in Philadelphia. Start with comedian N.A. Poe (center) and PhillyNORML co-chair Chris Goldstein (right), whose Smoke Down Prohibition legalization rallies led to their arrests and galvanized their efforts. They joined with former Philadelphia public-school teacher and activist Anne Gemmell (left), whom they met at Occupy Philly in 2011. Gemmell had worked with Kenney in the past, and secured them a meeting with the Councilman in the fall of 2013. One conversation later, the decrim bill was in the works.
The cannabusinessman with the most promise is David Dinenberg (left), whose KindBanking start-up could revolutionize an industry that’s still operating in cash. Dinenberg, who moved from Penn Valley to L.A. last year, has at least one high-profile local investor: Lindy Snider (right), daughter of Flyers owner Ed, who says she’s invested in several weed start-ups. Claudia Post (center), a polymath businesswoman, founded a transportation company before her son, a glassblower, introduced her to the weed business. Now her Smokin’ Hot Solutions provides sales and marketing counsel to would-be bud moguls.
Scrapple TV, a sometimes hilarious Web channel based out of a studio at 420 Green Street in NoLibs, is run by Marc Brodzik (left), a massive dude with a massive beard and a massive affinity for pot. He wants to take Scrapple national as a niche channel for stoners. On the culinary front, one prominent chef has been experimenting with gourmet edibles (from duck confit to popcorn) and plans to host underground dinner parties for paying customers.
Originally published as “Who’s Who in Philly’s Wide World of Weed” in the December 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
More from our December pot package: