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IN MEMORIAM: Dale “Rick” Thompson

By Sensi Staff
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The legacy of one of Michigan’s giants of cannabis will continue to live on.

Dale “Rick” Thompson, a prominent cannabis advocate in Michigan, passed away on September 18, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of tireless activism and dedication to the cannabis industry. 

The 57-year-old father of three children and a grandfather died at his home with family in Flushing, where he lived with his elderly mother. He was diagnosed with colon cancer three months prior.

Thompson’s involvement in cannabis advocacy began in the early 2000s. Through his work, Thompson aimed to educate the public and destigmatize the use of medical marijuana. His efforts contributed to the passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act in 2008, which allowed for the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

A fervent advocate for patient’s rights, Thompson tirelessly fought for the rights of patients, ensuring their legal protection and access to safe, reliable cannabis products.  He often attended Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Meetings, voicing his concerns about the regulations he felt needed to change.  The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency even invited Thompson to join a consumer advocacy committee.  

Thompson also co-hosted the Jazz Cabbage Cafe” podcast and regulatory wrote about cannabis, including as the former editor-in-chief for Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, launched in 2009, and the Compassion Chronicles, an online medical marijuana publication started in 2012. 

When Thompson’s health began to decline, he resigned from his position on the board of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Which he’d held since 2014.  He held his role at the Redemption Foundation up until his death.  

Aside from his advocacy work, Thompson was also a respected journalist and expert in the field.  

He regularly contributed articles to cannabis-related publications, shedding light on new research, policy developments, and industry trends. His extensive knowledge and ability to communicate complex information in an accessible manner helped solidify his reputation as a leading authority in the cannabis community.  

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve and gain acceptance, Thompson’s imprint will forever remain, reminding future generations of the importance of fighting for justice, understanding, and equality. Whether through the successful legislative battles he fought, or the countless lives he touched, Rick Thompson will be remembered as a true pioneer in the fight for cannabis reform. 

“Rick” Thompson, here with Sensi’s Jamie Cooper, was a leader in cannabis advocacy for more than two decades.