New York Networking & Newfangled Vapes
Plus: A weed-y wilderness retreat.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, February 6, 2023
Time to read: 5 minutes, 26 seconds. Contains 1088 words.
The month of love has arrived. As a February baby, a fan of pink and red eyeshadow, and someone partial to all those extra cute desserts at grocery store bakeries this time of year, I’m here for it.
February also means something special in the Broccoli Report universe: The Lonely Hearts Board. The series of entrepreneurial want ads started as a Valentine’s Report idea, inspired by a CBD chocolatier seeking their licensed THC match for a dream project. Now, it’s a recurring fixture that brings readers together, connecting brands and freelancers for unique opportunities. So consider this your official notice for companies to start thinking about your pressing niche needs and for freelancers to start envisioning the gigs you’re seeking in the cannabis space.
This month’s Big Friday newsletter hits next week: It’s a candid dive into the impact of splashy gift guide mentions with Another Room and Tetra. The founders will break down how their holiday season mentions in big guides like the Strategist and GQ came about, whether they were paying for PR representation at the time, and how those mentions impacted their traffic, conversion, and sales. It’s the dishy sequel to our Gift Guides, Unwrapped newsletter. That dispatch demystified the mechanics of how gift guides work, and this one will reveal whether working to get on those lists is worth it. It’ll hit paid subscribers’ inboxes Friday, February 17.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Congratulations to Claudine Field Apothecary for successfully making the switch from hemp to cannabis in New York and for the excellent reimagining of American Gothic.
If you’re preparing to jump into the New York weed scene or want to learn more about it, check out the next Revelry Cannabis Conference on February 25 at Brooklyn’s City Tech Theater. The all-day event will have panels about getting your license, real advice from experienced operators on navigating the market, and it’s a great way to meet people in NY’s scene. Now is the time to connect and share essential information before the market gets a lot more crowded, and the On The Revel team draws a conscientious crowd.
I also recommend watching this IG post from Vic Styles, the founder of Black Girls Smoke. She opens up about her negative experiences working with a well-known member of New York’s cannabis community, and numerous comments on the post from past employees support her claims. It’s a validating reminder that integrity matters in our young industry, no matter the clout, and that if you are taking advantage of people, they will speak up. Building the industry we want to see is also about distinguishing real allies from profiteering bullies.
Those recent LA Times pieces exposing rampant corruption, worker abuse, and uninvestigated worker deaths in both illegal and legal cannabis operations across the state have stirred up California’s lawmakers. Assembly members cited the article in a recent hearing calling for task forces to fight labor trafficking and funds to support exploited workers, drawing on a similar approach used with garment factories.
In a sign that Illinois is moving into mature market territory, Ayr Wellness is backing out of its plan to buy Dispensary 33—their falling stock prices mean that they basically can’t follow through with the deal. Michigan is a different story, though. Cannabis markets are still in full gear there, though wholesale prices are starting to dip.
Money spent on cannabis lobbying hit $5.43 million in 2022, an all-time high, but weed remains a small fish in the sea of congressional influence. Some context: Amazon put $21.38 million into politics last year.
The newest outpost of hyped California retail brand STIIIZY opened in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood through a partnership with Rudy Corpuz. Corpuz is the founder of United Playaz, an organization responsible for getting 4,500 guns off the streets and putting thousands of people through UP's transformative youth programs since its start in 1994. Corpuz grew up surrounded by gang activity in this same neighborhood when he was young—now, a portion of all proceeds from his dispensary will directly go to the org’s work in restorative justice.
A Texas-based CBD company attempted to trademark the lame tagline “Just Hemp It” and Nike is not having it. The sports giant issued a trademark complaint a couple of weeks ago in protest, but the company continues to display it on their homepage. If it is all just a cynical (and possibly costly) ploy for press, I guess it’s working.
The most charming part of Houseplant’s AirBnB in the Hollywood Hills is not that you may get to throw some pottery with Seth Rogan during your stay at the midcentury chic pad stocked with music and munchies. It’s that the three one-night stays are going for $42/night. I cannot wait to see the random people who end up snagging those bookings when the listing goes live tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST.
On the other end of the affordability spectrum, Dimensions Algonquin Highlands’ Valentine’s Wellness Retreat will host seven couples in luxury lakeside cabins in the Ontario wilderness for two to four nights of meditation, forest and sound baths, float tanks, massage, and more, and most of the experience is cannabis-friendly. Meals and snacks are included; it’s not officially clear whether cannabis products are a part of the $1,350 per night, per couple rate.
The Farmacy, a dispensary in Santa Ana, California, is bringing vendor day to the seniors in their community. On specific dates, they provide a free shuttle from Laguna Woods and Freedom Village senior living communities; the next one is on March 21. The visits include education seshes with cannabis-savvy medical professionals, and brand reps are on hand for any questions folks may have while shopping.
Ah, the dugout. A brilliant example of stoner ingenuity, in which a pipe is connected to a small stash area for a hit or two, with a cover for pocket-friendliness. New York-based product designer Jesse Iozzio has taken this concept several steps further with a dugout that fits onto a bicycle. Iozzio also invented a whole series of compact devices for vaping flower inspired by the mechanics of a single stroke engine.
If any tokers want to flash some femme Texan pride during their next sesh, Papers + Ink collaborated with Dani Davila and graphic designer Abigail Dergazarian on rolling papers printed with pro-choice, pro-weed illustrations. 30% of all proceeds will go toward funds supporting women’s access to abortions.
To making every puff count,