A bong maker changes the coffee scene.
Plus: the NYT on weed drinks.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, August 29, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes, 57 seconds. Contains 993 words.
I hope everyone relishes these last weeks of summer—I can feel a bit of momentum building in the air as we head into a productive fall season. To everyone working at or with sungrown cultivators, here’s a reminder to stop and take a moment to stretch as work ramps up toward the big harvest and trim. To everyone else, here’s a reminder that writers will start pitching and writing holiday gift guides within the next five to six weeks—it’s time to mark your calendars and get those pitches out before you check out for one last, long summer weekend.
Before the long weekend hits, I’ll share my recent conversation with a representative of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable in a subscribers-only dispatch. After hearing this ambiguous policy-influencing committee mentioned a few times in the last couple of years, I finally reached out to learn more. I spoke to Jonathan Miller, the group’s general counsel (i.e., lawyer), about how its members connect with legislators, what priorities they’re pushing right now, and how they determine those priorities. Their work impacts everyone working in and around hemp—and cannabis, for that matter—and he shared a surprising update on how the Food and Drug Administration is most likely to categorize hemp.
There won’t be a newsletter on Monday, September 5. We’ll be back on Friday, September 9, though, with another subscribers-only dive into email marketing for cannabis brands. We’ll dig into how it works, if it works, and whether it’s the best safety net for cannabis brands increasingly wary about the ever-shifting world of social media platforms.
If you aren’t already, sign up as a paid subscriber to get Friday newsletters, as well as full access to a complete archive of our past Reports.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
The NYT ran another cannabis piece questioning our industry, this time about increasingly popular cannabis-based drinks with the clickbaity title: “Weed Drinks Are a Buzzy Alcohol Substitute. But Are They Safe?” The article calls out the “healthy” marketing applied in this realm, with brands often aligning their products with more mainstream wellness drinks like kombucha or sports beverages. It also notes the potential issues around dosage—both by inaccurately labeled products and by consumers who don’t understand what the dosage might mean. It’s good that the newspaper of record is bringing up the flaws within the current testing system. Hopefully, this will raise awareness around how small amounts of cannabis can have varied impacts on different people at different times. Still, these same issues are happening across all cannabis categories, and low-dose, 1-5mg beverages are doing some of the most effective work to help open some consumer minds to the positives of low-dose cannabis experiences—a key component to reigning in the ultra-high THC consumption trends that can lead to the serious risks of addiction and long-term health consequences mentioned in this piece.
Looking to sample some infused cocktails yourself? After trying Jeng’s nonalcoholic, hemp-infused gin & tonic-inspired cocktail and Crisp & Crude’s nonalcoholic Paloma, I’m impressed. And the Flyers Cocktail Co. take on a bourbon highball has an oaky warmth to it, like the real deal.
A glass artist who originated in the cannabis space is now using their skills to make every cup of (pour over) coffee more sustainable. Etai Rahmil launched the Pure Over in early 2021—an all-glass, pour-over coffee maker that doesn’t require the use of a paper filter—following a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2020. Since then, Ramhil says a Pure Over has made its way into 12k homes, making a real dent in the estimated 750 million paper coffee filters that head to landfills each year, and he just announced a partnership with Coffee Relief, a cafe in Quito, Ecuador that will use the Pure Overs in house for all drip cups.
Californian consumers are about to have the perfect strain to smoke while listening to Beyonce’s Summer Renaissance for the 198th time. Big Freedia herself—prominently featured in “Break My Soul” and other tracks on the album—just launched a cannabis brand called Royal Bud featuring strains like Mardi Grass and Release Ya Wiggle. All offerings are currently available at Green Qween dispensary in Los Angeles.
Also happening in Los Angeles: On Saturday, September 17, the Corey Helford Gallery will unveil “Friends in High Places,” a solo exhibition of Australian contemporary pop art painter Ben Frost. Both a “satirical critique of consumer culture and a begrudging celebration of it,” Frost describes the show as a “blurring [of] the lines between the visceral and addictive experience of drug use with the seductive products of consumerism, our love/hate relationship with these products and the characters who sell them to us.” Think Super Mario emblazoned across a prescription package for ketamine and Fred Flintstone and Grogu [a.k.a. Baby Yoda] passing joints.
Looking forward to getting my hands on the new flavor of infused lollies from California brand Cosmic View. Moon is made with toasted black sesame, makrut lime, flaky Maldon sea salt, and 10mg Mango flower rosin from North Country Farms. Cosmic View’s ginger-flavored Moon lozenges are one of my favorites—it was the first >10mg edible I ever tried post-college-brownie-nightmare. That transformatively different, low-dose, sublingual cannabis left a lasting impression.
I’m obviously still rocking the Broccoli X Afends pattern, but my favorite stoner tee of late is this Pink Kush cotton tee from B.C. cultivator Pure Sun Farms—a comfy bubblegum-pink cotton tee that I was delighted to find out changes to white with heat. I didn’t actually realize that for a couple of wears, as I run so damn hot that it is almost always a fun tie-dye situation.
From my sweaty, stoned corner to yours,