A Netflix Edible & A Bad Bill
Plus: Weed NFTs I like.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, August 15, 2022
Time to read: 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Contains 1100 words.
I hope everyone’s weedy week is off to a good start. Mine is kicking off with a visit to a couple of boutique grows around Portland today for a story I’m working on—always a stimulating but sinus-irritating experience that requires extra allergy meds but pays off in knowledge, wild stories, and/or the freshest samples. I know, it’s a bit ridiculous that live cannabis plants make me sneeze. I lived that Mask Life day in, day out during my days on a farm. Fortunately, once those buds are cured and combusted, they seem to agree with me just fine.
In addition to a medical farm, I worked a few shifts at dispensaries, managed one, and spent a full-time stint at a bigger cannabis company with multiple brands. I’ve gotten a peek into the experiences of workers throughout this industry, and all I can really say for sure is that things are still messy as hell throughout. The cannabis employment scene is a trip, and when you’re on the hiring end, even trippier. But no one has time for higher turnover rates than we’re already seeing, and the brands that retain harmonious teams will be all the better equipped to handle eventual turbulence ahead. This Friday, we’re diving into the questions, expectations, requirements and best advice every employer should consider when hiring people in any capacity in this industry. (Yes—that newsletter I promised a couple weeks ago!) It’s coming Friday.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Florida is considering legalizing adult use (again). This time, there’s serious effort and money behind the proposed bill, including backing from Trulieve—the state’s largest cannabis operator and the third largest cannabis company in North America. Trulieve’s $5 million donation helped get this campaign off the ground and towards a likely shot making it on the ballot, but they’re also incentivized to ensure this is the one that passes: there are no home grow allowances, and it gives medical operators freedom to immediately serve the non-licensed population, without setting a timeline or even a requirement for newly licensed dispensaries. Therein lies one of the big ethical challenges we face on our way to federal legalization and mass normalization: balancing which laws have the best chance of passing with the regulations that will establish the equitable, thriving future industry of our dreams. Florida—I don’t know if this is the one. Attorney and policy activist Shaleen Title pointed out the problematic intersection of self-serving interests within this bill pretty concisely in a recent tweet: “Congratulations to Trulieve for one of the most monopolistic measures yet.”
In a dark update from up north, new data released by Health Canada on 2021 cannabis numbers showed that more cannabis was destroyed than purchased in dispensaries last year. You read that correctly. Federally licensed cannabis producers destroyed appx. 425 million grams—a practice that is common for cultivators when unsold product degrades over time, but not at these volumes—and Headset estimates that appx. 293 million grams of dried cannabis was sold. All that water, energy consumption and labor, into the burn pile. I think it’s safe to say we do not need more of these million square foot warehouses in any mature markets on this continent.
On a more hopeful note: Nevada finalized regulations for cannabis consumption lounges and the legislature is planning for licenses to start being processed this fall. From where I sit in Portland, OR, where zero cannabis consumption laws exist, I’m green with envy looking at all the licenses built into the forward-thinking program: 40-45 licenses for lounges attached to existing dispensaries and 20 for stand-alone spots, including 10 with discounted fees reserved for social equity applicants. So much opportunity for creating spaces for cannabis consumers to connect together! So many vibe options! At least I hope so. Still waiting to see somewhere open with an espresso machine and simple cafe vibe, à la Amsterdam coffeeshops.
At last, weed-related NFTs that actually make sense to me: Weed Bags of New York is a digital art project by the creative duo Highley Varlet featuring found weed bags from the illicit market. Unhindered by regulations, copyrights or logic itself, pieces like “Budway: Burn Fresh” and “Supreb Mario” feel like fitting visual tokens of this fleeting point in pre-legalized cannabis time.
If you are physically in New York this week, B.C. cannabis lifestyle brand Studio A-Ok is hosting a pop-up on Saturday, August 20 at concept store Colbo. They’re bringing gear and goods for IRL browsing, with a DJ and drinks by Alex Delany on deck.
In more good news from the hemp fashion space, Mister Green released the line of premium hemp staples that founder Ariel Stark-Benz has fantasized about for decades. He said as much in an IG post announcing the World Piece, Hemp Goods collection that also highlighted all those wonderful qualities of hemp as a textile—how hemp requires less water while absorbing more CO2 than cotton crops; its biodegradability and the fact that it is one of humanity’s earliest known textiles.
If you want to hear me further rant about how insane it is that hemp isn’t more common than cotton or polyester blends, and even learn how those plants turn into soft, durable materials, listen to this episode of Broccoli Talk featuring my chat with the founders of Afends, the Australian hemp fashion brand we collaborated with for the Broccoli clothing collab.
Super cool to see that Netflix tapped California cannabis brand Sonder for a special release promoting their new film, Day Shift. Inspired by this vampire hunter flick starring Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco, the limited edition blood orange flavor of the brand’s signature Pop Rocks-styled Space Crystals features a fun, fanged design.
After hearing the concerns that Nisha Persaud, a.k.a. The Clawset, had about risking her booming, IG-dependent press-on business by posting about the strain journal she created, my fingers were crossed. I was worried social media censorship might spook the educator by day, nail artist by evening, and author by night from joining the cannabis community, but I’m happy to see she’s embracing the challenge and hosting a weed-friendly art show in New Jersey this Saturday, August 20 with cool local vendors and a painting workshop.
The spark of the summer may have to go to Sackville & Co.’s new Chili Pepper Lighter. She’s a proper size in your hand, the length of a real jalapeño, and the stem provides a perfect lever to reveal the flame—a delightfully unexpected ergonomic design.
To finding our answers in nature,