No One Actually Buys Celebrity Weed
Plus: Auto-rollers & Weed Auctions.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, May 30, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes, 20 seconds. Contains 868 words.
First off, thank you to everyone who attended last week’s AMA on doing your own public relations! We were thrilled about the turnout and even more boosted by the advice and insights that got shared. And a big thank-you to Monica for sharing her expertise so candidly.
If you missed our DIY PR Zoom sesh, don’t worry—paid subscribers will be able to view a recording of the chat via a link we’ll share in this Friday’s newsletter, and we’ll also include a roundup of the best of our reporting on all things PR. Subscribe to catch essential advice on identifying your brand’s story, writing and timing pitches to media outlets, assessing if (and when) hiring an agency will pay off (and what it costs), gifting etiquette, and a lot more.
And in the comments, feel free to share what kind of topic you’d be interested in tuning into for upcoming ask-an-expert-anything conversations. 👀
Now, to the news.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Delta-8 THC can be a lawful hemp product. The decision drew from the 2018 Farm Bill, which covers “derivatives” and “extracts” of hemp, with the court reasoning that Delta-8 THC is legal if it is derived from a hemp extract. Don’t get too excited, though—the court is saying, “Yes, this is hemp,” not “Consumable Delta-8 THC is legal to sell.”
Kate Robertson’s latest One Weed Please newsletter questioned the actual popularity of celebrity cannabis brands, highlighting statistics from cannabis data analyst Headset that showed just one California cannabis brand associated with a celebrity is a top-100 seller—and just barely. Per Headet’s data covering about 1,600 brands, Houseplant came in at 91st with $9.3 million sold in California in 2021. Marley Natural sold about $4.3 million in 2021, and ranked 163rd. Insane, which is Cypress Hill member B-Real’s brand, sold $3.6 million and ranked 182nd. Monogram by Jay-Z sold $700,000. It makes you wonder why celebs like Jay-Z even bother, for $700,000 in annual sales?
If you work at an equity-minded 501(c)3 or know someone running one, take note: Good Green, the social equity arm of Green Thumb, is giving out another round of grants to grassroots organizations fighting for cannabis expungement, education, or employment. To learn more about applying, head here.
I spoke with Tsehaitu Abye, the founder of Philadelphia, PA-based cannabis community Black Dragon Breakfast Club, for a recent Thrillist article on her cannabis origins, the weed scene in Philly, and creating welcoming cannabis spaces, like the upcoming Juneteenth event happening in Oakland designed for Black gamers.
On June 16, the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance and the Mendocino Producers Guild will put on the inaugural Mendocino Craft Farmers Auction—a charity auction supporting Redwood Community Services Crisis Response. Attendees will be able to bid on visits and overnight stays at local cannabis farms, wellness experiences, fine dining, and outdoor adventures while enjoying local wine and a special catered dinner.
The first fully automated joint-roller has debuted—and it is a little anticlimactic. The BEED device is essentially a Nespresso-styled cone-filler: Users place an empty pre-roll cone and a pod filled with ground flower into the machine. After about 20 seconds of mechanical whirring, the flower is dispensed into the cone. The perfectly filled joint pops out the side, but you still have to twist off the end by hand. I can see how this could be a gamechanger for arthritic hands, but there are less clunky automatic grinders out there that allow users to drop ground flower into a cone easily. I’m not sure if this is worth another $150.
Ascend Wellness Holdings—which includes brands like Besito and licenses 1906 and Flower by Edie Parker in certain states—is hiring a Retail Marketing Coordinator based in St. Louis, Missouri; Springfield, Illinois; or Southern Illinois, as well as a remote Retail Marketing Manager.
Two low-dose products debut: new California edible brand High Confectionery makes 1mg live resin gummies in traditional candy flavors like watermelon and strawberry lemonade, while Massachusetts retail brand Rebelle launches HALØ, a collection of .5–1mg THC microdosing mists that contain hype-y, health-oriented ingredients like green tea extract and chlorophyll.
The Boston Beer Company—makers of Samuel Adams and Truly Hard Seltzer— made a legit entry into the cannabis market with TeaPot, a line of cannabis-infused iced teas. Technically launched through BBCCC Inc., a cannabis-focused subsidiary of Boston Beer, each 12-ounce can contains 5mg of THC.
Heads up to any Monday subscribers working in the cannabis branding space: You may want to check out last Friday’s newsletter all about luxury, which includes my hot take that there is only one true luxury cannabis brand, and thoughts about the benefits and downsides of pursuing a luxury category in our industry.
Lifestyle brand Talking Terps is known for hype collectibles and ornate, imaginative imagery, but I just learned they make a water-bottle bong, too. Budsy looks like a neon Nalgene but features a little bowl beneath the screw cap. It’s made through a partnership with PuffCo—so it’s the same functional design as their Cupsy—but a lot more branded and cool.
Dreading the day I mix up my water bottles,