The Broccoli Report
Monday, November 22, 2021
Time to read: 4 minutes, 58 seconds. Contains 995 words
As holidays descend, I’m wishing every one of you many good meals, light traffic, and more weed than you think you’ll need for any cortisol spikes in between. A special shout-out to everyone out there running or working for a brand with a brick-and-mortar or e-commerce presence—I can only imagine what those pre-Black Friday preparations feel like. You’ve got this; you’re going to get those sales—and I hope you get to enjoy a very relaxing break afterward.
Friday subscribers—we won’t be sending a newsletter out this Friday, but I’ll be back next week with a very fun dive with Another Room into the art of 3D prototyping, the manufacturing processes behind some of weed’s most whimsical accessories, and making experimental creations sustainable. Subscribe to stay in the loop with Friday Reports and future Broccoli Report events.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Last Friday, we learned about a hemp honey brand’s journey to the shelves of stores like Whole Foods and Costco, and other mainstream grocery brands are in talks with hemp companies. Veritas Farms just announced a distribution partnership with Kroger for their line of CBD skincare products. They’ll be stocked in 1,200+ locations across 27 states.
I wasn’t able to attend this year’s Luxury Meets Cannabis Conference (I recapped last year’s edition), but I did see some familiar faces winning the event’s Gold Leaf Awards: Joline Rivera took home the “Innovation Award” for Red Belly Honey, Superette won “Retailer of the Year,” and Stone Road Farms won for “Best Whole Plant Brand.” A couple of newcomers of note: Koan was named “Best New Brand,” and the very Aesop-looking Natureofthings won “Best Skincare Brand.”
In other recent events, Revelry’s New York cannabis licensing conference ended up being quite the gathering for emerging figures in the NY cannabis scene. You can watch some recordings of the panels during the event via their YouTube channel, and they have already put out a cute highlight video.
Cannabis regulators in New Jersey announced that the state will begin accepting applications for business licenses next month, with retail license applications to open in March 2022.
Did any Report readers out there attend Black Canna Con in New Orleans last weekend? I’d love to hear what it was like! My travel books are strictly family-dinner-related through the new year, but I’ll be looking for more experiences and events to cover in 2022. You’re always welcome to recommend upcoming events to email@example.com.
As more sales management platforms set up shop in newly legal states, their annual trend reports get a lot more useful. Leaflink just released the 2021 Leaflink List, which now compiles data from dispensaries in 29 states and Canada. Awards range from top-selling to social equity leaders and fastest-growing. The latter included a seltzer brand out of Michigan—to me, this is one of the first real indicators that cannabis beverages might actually be taking off.
New York hemp brand Hudson Hemp premiered “Women of the Earth: Hemp Sisters,” a documentary directed by Chiara Hollender. It depicts how Freya and Melany Dobson, sisters and cofounders of Hudson Hemp and Treaty, draw on their familial farming practices to heal soil through hemp and support regenerative agriculture. The documentary is available to watch via PBS as part of the “Made Here” series featuring regional filmmakers.
In additional weed doc news: a “female-lead cannabis industry doc” titled “LADY BUDS” by director CJ Russo debuts this Thanksgiving. The film sheds light on the women’s experiences navigating California’s legal industry, following figures like second-generation cannabis farmer Chiah Rodriques, 72-year old African-American retired Catholic school principal turned dispensary owner Sue Taylor, Latinx queer activist Felicia Carbajal, and Humboldt elders The Bud Sisters. You can check out the trailer here.
As a cannabis enthusiast who appreciates a bourbon old fashioned on occasion, I am taken by the way The Pathfinder’s design nods to classic spirits and old-timey tonics. This new “herbal elixir” meant to be enjoyed with a mixer, and the design is steeped in early 1900s broadside vibes (check out that radiant all-seeing eye!) while the “fermented hemp” formulation hearkens back to older distilling methods. I absolutely harbor a soft spot for this aesthetic style, and fun fact: My first official weed job was managing a Prohibition-era medical dispensary that required period-appropriate outfits. It was a very fun (and very stressful) four months.
Good Green, a subsidiary of Green Thumb Industries (GTI), is a new sort of nonprofit funnel for supporting education, employment, and expungement efforts in communities devastated by the war on drugs: “We have the green. You have the power to make a responsible choice.” They invest in nonprofits supporting underserved communities and are currently seeking 501(c)3s to apply for impact grants. You can learn more about applications here.
Here’s a new infused product I didn’t see coming: cannabis-lined drinking straws. No, they aren’t plastic—isn’t it wild to live in a time where “plastic straws” carry more stigma than cannabis in some circles? While I can’t speak to the taste or efficacy, there’s something clever about a different form of discreet edible. I sarcastically tried THC-infused toothpicks for a review a few years ago and ended up becoming a true believer after enjoying them while visiting very anti-cannabis locales. This is an intriguing trend to watch.
The weed universe answered my calls for more cleaning products: Higher Standards sells bong caps for vigorous cleaning seshes, Dr. Dabber dropped these pre-soaked alcohol swabs, and Session Goods just released a glass cleaning solution.
A couple of other stoner home goods hitting my wishlist this year: 024 candles, which are crafted by a fragrance industry veteran to truly neutralize cannabis smell, and Friends NYC’s new candle, Head High, which uses notes of hemp, lavender, and firewood to complement the scent of good times.
May the highest heads prevail,