The Broccoli Report
Monday, November 15, 2021
Time to read: 4 minutes, 44 seconds. Contains 947 words.
I want to start with a shout-out to the new subscribers and Friday friends who made it to our first virtual event with Alison Gordon. It really was special to see the Broccoli Report community take root (and see some take things offline! 👀), and it definitely left us inspired to make more of these events happen. It became clear that another, more specific chat with Gordon on assessing the value of a start-up or executing a first friends-and-family round could be useful to many of you. Sound off in the comments on any topics of which you’d appreciate a deeper, in-real-time discussion with an expert.
I’ve been on the road again, this time to Detroit for a multi-day press extravaganza put on by Michigan brand Common Citizen to launch their social equity initiative, Principle. I’m gathering my thoughts on the midwest scene, cannabis brands marketing to mainstream media like HypeBeast and NYLON, and everything else I took in during my trip, but look for a post on all of that soon. In the meantime, this Friday, I’ll be sharing the other half of my chat with Joline Rivera of Kitchen Toke. While her perspective on the cannabis culinary scene is fascinating, her infused—and yet non-infused—CBD food product is just as intriguing and reveals where edible trends may be heading. I’ll see Friday subscribers with all the details on Red Belly Honey and Rivera’s work getting it into mainstream grocery stores. If you only receive Mondays, subscribe as a paid subscriber and never miss a Report again.
Alrighty—we’ve got a lot of news to catch up on. Let’s get to it!
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
My biggest takeaway from those leaked documents revealing Big Cannabis’ master plan of domination: license caps are corrupt—period. There is no evidence that more dispensaries lead to more crime or more underage use; in fact, I believe that California’s extremely tight caps are contributing to illegal sales thriving. The only real argument for license caps is making it easier for Big Dogs. These documents essentially reveal how the country’s biggest cannabis companies—including Curaleaf and Cresco Labs—are coordinating and angling for regulations that do exactly that. If a state only issues 10 production licenses, the 10 companies that already have the money to secure licenses will be the only winners, making it impossible for new companies to have a shot at the market. Given these realities, it’s no wonder that an investment trust paid US$49 million for a former tool factory in Massachusetts that’s licensed to grow. How can average Janes compete?
On that frustrating note: Is anyone else watching Dopesick on Hulu? It’s phenomenally informative and a hell of a reminder of what Schedule 1 addictive substances really are. Unfortunately, it’s also shocking to see just how easy it was to get the Food and Drug Administration to say something was totally safe to take as directed, even if many of those directed doses were enough to kill someone.
It’s likely no one is all that surprised that getting retail licenses going in New York might take over a year, but what fantastic news for the community of bold legacy growers already establishing brands and vibes all over town! More to come on the New York speakeasy scene and the state’s thriving grey market in an upcoming interview with a certain someone in the know.
“Connected TV” is the new media term for streaming platforms like ROKU and Apple TV, and it’s becoming known as a slightly more friendly venue for cannabis advertising content. Meet Cannected TV, a new, free “omnichannel” that aims to provide a range of quality cannabis content via those platforms. They have a few shows in the pipeline, including 5th Quarter, a series that follows Super Bowl champion Marvin Washington on his journey through the facets of plant medicine as he speaks with other athletes, nurses, doctors, and attorneys. Washington’s show will debut on November 25.
Most surreal—and yet radically logical—headline I’ve seen in a while: The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission passed a new rule this week that allows cannabis business owners to use their licenses as collateral for bank loans.
It’s high time for an educational dispatch catching you up on newer cannabinoids showing up throughout the industry. Until then, Dazed Beauty did a nice dive on CBG, covering topicals, tinctures, and effects.
Sonoma Hills Farm and Sensiboldt Organics are the first companies to be certified as “OCal” by the California Certified Organic Farmers group. OCal, which stands for “Comparable-to-Organic,” features standards, a certification process, and regulations that almost exactly mirror those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organics Program.
California brand Pure Beauty debuted their take on a pack of menthols. Their “proprietary hollow wood-pulp crutch” is soaked in organic mint, lending a natural menthol flavor to each pull on the joint. College freshman Lauren might just have avoided her tobacco chapter if she’d been able to smoke these instead of starting with those menthol Camel No. 9s. (Though I probably didn’t stand a chance ignoring that packaging at age 19.)
Surfside, an end-to-end marketing platform for cannabis companies, just released a trend report based on their transaction data from customers across the United States and Canada. Finding of note: New Year’s Eve is actually the greenest day of the season, averaging more sales than Green Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving).
ICYMI—we’re vaping with lasers now. Hitoki is a very fancy standalone vaporizer brand with patents pending on technology that ignites and burns flower with a concentrated beam of light, like a sci-fi version of lighting a joint using a magnifying glass focusing sunlight.
To vapes in space,