Dangerous Dank & CBD Bees
Plus: NY Gets Strict
The Broccoli Report
Monday, June 13, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes, 6 seconds. Contains 820 words.
It’s a light week for weed news, so today’s dispatch is a bit shorter—unfortunately not any sweeter, thanks to that wide-reaching Wall Street Journal op-ed that still has me fuming. Rant to be continued shortly.
We’ve welcomed a lot of new subscribers recently, so I wanted to take a second to thank you for joining us and flag a few reader favorites from the archive. One perk of a paid subscription is access to past posts, like this roundtable on cannabis-friendly payment processors, advice from four editors and writers on getting into gift guides, this Q&A on cannabis finances 101, and founders getting candid about when (and how much) they first paid themselves.
I’m super proud of the resources and support the Broccoli Report has provided so far, and I’m very excited about what we have to come, including this Friday’s interview with accessory brand Sackville & Co. They’ll be chatting about Sackville Studios, a brand-adjacent endeavor helping them pay the bills and expand their horizons beyond the cannabis industry. It’s a vital read for any businesses aiming to maximize their skill sets in creative ways; set up a paid subscription by clicking below so that you don’t miss a dispatch.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Last week, Laura Ingraham and a Wall Street Journal op-ed argued that there is a connection between the actions of mass shooters and their cannabis use, suggesting that cannabis legalization and increased use are contributing factors to mass shootings. Laura Ingraham’s take is not surprising—consider the source—but it was a jolt to see the WSJ run with Allysia Finley’s impressively narrow-minded op-ed. Finley heavily references Alex Berenson’s book, Tell Your Children; its claims of cannabis-induced psychosis leading to upticks in violent crime have been largely debunked as cherry-picked, “Reefer Madness”-style fear mongering. Even if mass shooters consume cannabis, correlation does not equal causation. That said, it’s troubling to see these arguments in mass circulation. If there is anything that the last few years have taught us, it’s that fake news has real consequences. Industry folks would be wise to keep an eye on how these arguments are evolving and if they are gaining traction.
New York revealed its first round of rules for cannabis packaging and labeling, and it looks like the state’s liberal approach to allowing public consumption is not carrying through when it comes to presenting products on shelves. Forbidden imagery considered “attractive to individuals under twenty-one” is broadly defined, including “bubble-type or other cartoon-like font,” “bright colors that are ‘neon’ in appearance,” “any imitation of food, candy, soda, drinks, cookies, or cereal,” and “terms ‘candy’ or ‘candies’ or variants in spelling such as ‘kandy’ or ‘kandeez.’” My advice for designers looking to get work in the New York cannabis scene: Absorb these rules and start getting creative with them. Back in a freshly legalized Portland, the first design agency to wrap its heads around the state rules got all the big cannabis-related gigs.
On the cultural side in New York, Brooklyn’s Rice Studios is establishing itself as a destination for the creative cannabis community with exhibitions of trippy illustrations from @sunflower_form and events like the monthly Smoke-‘n-Sketch—a cannabis-infused, live figure-drawing class.
Cartoonist Brian Box Brown illustrated a visual breakdown of what’s happening with popular cannabis brand Stiizy, parent company Shryne, and the leaked contract showing terms that outside lawyers deemed disproportionately favoring Shryne.
California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is trying out an equivalent tax credit to allow cannabis businesses to claim expenses. Senator Weiner’s legislation, Senate Bill 1336, would establish a carryforward tax credit for commercial cannabis retailers that is 25% the amount of qualified business expenses like employment compensation, safety-related equipment and services, and employee workforce development and safety training. SB 1336 has passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 26-3, moving to the Assembly for hearings.
I’m excited to try Rbel Bee Honey Gummies, the first edible from Red Belly Honey, the company that creates naturally-formed CBD honey by feeding bees hemp nectar. You can learn more about that process—as well as founder and cannabis culinary editor Joline Rivera’s observations as she worked on getting CBD products into grocery stores—in this past newsletter.
Big bets on physical retail: British Columbia cannabis brand Burb just opened a four-story dispensary, lounge, and gallery in Vancouver, and delivery titan Eaze will open their first two flagship California dispensaries in San Diego and Santa Ana soon.
I’ve never been a blunt gal on the regular, but these blue lotus petal-coated hemp blunts made by Barbari and Sway are beautiful enough to change my tune.
To the fresh sounds and seshes of modern weed,
Editorial correction: In June 6th’s Broccoli Report, I incorrectly stated that Medly is paying for PR representation at this time. They are not.