More Pardons & More Problems
Plus: Is Berner’s app safe?
The Broccoli Report
Monday, November 28, 2022
Time to read: 5 minutes, 19 seconds. 1065 words.
I wish you all luck rolling into the workweek after the long weekend, whether you’re still reveling in relaxed family time, in the middle of processing zillions (🤞🏼) of orders, or procrastinating by putting up Christmas lights. Between MJ BizCon happening later in November and Black Friday becoming a three-week affair, the news is quiet/mostly gift guides, but we’ve managed to gather some interesting updates today.
This Friday, we’re diving into the cannabis safety space again, but from a different angle: safe storage. I’ll be sharing my interview with Sharon Kevil, the founder of Forti Goods, a line of lockable minimalist furniture and accessories designed to keep adult substances in the right hands. The company has seen a fascinating response from customers, revealing an increasing interest in safe storage solutions that I think signals an emerging trend in 2024 and beyond. More and more people in the U.S. are comfortable with cannabis, and they’re ready for practical conversations about cannabis safety—not just defensive, stigma-conditioned retorts that the plant is totally safe. But is the cannabis industry ready for real talk on safety? Friday subscribers, see you then; Monday readers—I hope you join us.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
The biggest story in the weed world last week was That Shirt at MjBizCon. There was a squad of white men wearing shirts made to look like Jasmine Mans’ now iconic “Buy Weed From Women” tee, but with the words “Buy Weed From Rich White Men,” strolling around on the massive trade show’s floors. Many took to IG to share their outrage at the intentional disrespect and utter privilege of this marketing move—which was only so successful, as I’m not familiar with the brand they’re tied to, and many are being careful not to give them more exposure by tagging them. Mans’ creation—who, by the way, doesn’t have a stake in any cannabis brand—has resonated with all women who enjoy, cultivate and/or work in cannabis, and it’s infuriating. Even more infuriating: within days, the BWFW IG page was taken down. There is a likely theory that her page was flooded with flags by people reacting with hate towards the degree of outspoken support for her, as anytime a page gets a flurry of flags it often gets removed. She was able to get it reinstated since, but what a blow; what an expensive cost of labor and time and trauma, all for someone else’s racist, selfish marketing ploy. Here is Jasmine Mans’ website if you’d like to share and support, and—as gender inequity remains so incredibly shitty in our industry that 23% of executive positions are held by women—here’s another reminder to buy weed from women.
A new white paper with the click-bait title “Clinical and cognitive improvement following full-spectrum, high-cannabidiol treatment for anxiety: open-label data from a two-stage, phase 2 clinical trial” showed some promising results in a small group of subjects. For this trial out of McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, researchers carefully selected 14 folks with moderate-to-severe anxiety to test the effects of CBD. It would’ve been 15, but one subject got kicked out midway for consuming other kinds of cannabinoids. 👀
Anyone on Berner and Weedmaps’ 17+ cannabis-centric social app, Social Club? Berner (also the founder of Cookies, the multistate cannabis brand) has certainly leaned into promoting it since the app made it back onto major app stores. I’m not hearing enthusiastic feedback, and conspiracy theories are already popping up about privacy violations and law enforcement. It hasn’t gotten any easier for cannabis folks on Instagram over the past year, but it doesn’t sound like the next best thing has arrived yet.
I can almost hear the celebration cries of New York’s first retail licensees over here on the West Coast—and, based on last week’s Bloomberg story about the ~300,000 pounds of weed sitting in New York cultivator’s storage sheds, it’s not a minute too soon. There are another 139 licenses to be issued; those in Brooklyn and parts of upstate New York are on hold while a lawsuit challenges application requirements. Still, the 28 entrepreneurs and eight nonprofits that received licenses last week are on track to open their doors before the end of the year. Home deliveries? Potentially even sooner.
Danksgiving has come and gone, but the infused holiday party season is only getting started. If you’re hosting any get-togethers, Xula shared a groovy Edibles Dinner Party playlist for setting the mood.
Following President Biden’s lead, then taking it one step further, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown just pardoned 47,144 convictions for possession of small amounts of cannabis and waived the $14 million in associated fines and fees. For those who qualify, the state’s Department of Justice will help progress the court’s expungement of the record without the individual’s involvement.
A former UCLA decathlete just got sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for scamming investors out of more than $35 million in a vape scheme. According to his plea agreement, David Joseph Bunevacz created several businesses starting in 2010 that he claimed were involved in the cannabis industry and vape pen sales, and used the money to fund an expensive lifestyle. A brief Wikipedia search would’ve revealed Bunevacz has a history of scammy business dealings—a reminder that every partnership requires at least light vetting.
For any LA-based readers looking to get a foot in the cannabis industry: The equity advocates & powerhouse entrepreneurs of Supernova Women are helping throw a mixer at the Mayfair Hotel this Saturday, December 3. Los Angeles Cannabis Unite will include networking, food and drinks, art installations, jobs boards, topical rooms, and opportunities to connect with industry experts.
If you’ve finished Broccoli’s Smoke & Petals and Magic Moment puzzles and seek a new, plant-inspired jigsaw, Jonathan Adler released a whimsically-shaped 750-piece puzzle of lips and blossoming smoke clouds.
Big ups to Old Pal for making a very fun box of infused brownie mix for the holidays. Just like the Costco four-pack of Ghirardelli brownies sitting in my pantry, all you have to do is add eggs and butter.
I’m also a fan of Papers + Ink’s Bathing Lady Ashtray drop, which includes a ton of color and finish options of the milky glass ashtrays.
Every one of Munisa Ceramics’ Arbol de la Vida bongs are a colorful gift that keeps giving, but the latest, gold-embellished Arbol featuring dangling papayas and lounging cheetahs is truly worth taking a moment to enjoy.
Como las flores 🍃,