The Broccoli Report
Monday, August 2, 2021
Time to read: 5 minutes, 38 seconds. 1129 words.
Where did July go? How?
If your sense of space and time is as off-kilter as mine, you might’ve missed the latest Broccoli Talk episode that dropped: “Cannabis & Spirituality.” Mennlay Aggrey and I chat about whether the idea of “ritual” has been commercialized into meaning nothing, what it actually means to us, the things that make us feel connected to something bigger, and how cannabis intersects with all of that. It’s a good one.
Our last regional dispatch from Byron Bay, Australia, was a hit. So this Friday, we spin the globe again and land in Detroit, where our snapshot of a local weed scene comes courtesy of the folks behind Copper House, a queer- and cannabis-friendly Airbnb and event venue. During the pandemic shutdowns, it became even more integral to the city’s burgeoning legal cannabis community, and you won’t want to miss the Copper House team’s insights into running a weed-friendly space and what’s happening with weed in the Motor City. To get all the news, be sure to become a paid subscriber (if you aren’t already) and help support The Broccoli Report’s independent journalism. ✿
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
In new Olympic-related weed drama, CBD brand Mendi has found itself in a not-so-flattering spotlight. U.S. soccer star and gold medalist Megan Rapinoe has been on a PR blitz promoting CBD for athletes and the Mendi brand (her sister Rachael is Mendi’s co-founder), all while Sha’Carri Richardson’s absence from the Games due to testing positive for THC is still fresh. The optics of this white woman championing CBD without consequence are … bad. Ask a grower to distinguish cannabis and hemp plants, and they’ll laugh—there is no difference. They’re just variations of the same plant. It’s inane to continue this dichotomy of “CBD=not weed, thus good” and “real weed=still bad.” Cannabinoids are cannabinoids; let’s treat them—and the people who consume them—equally.
I wish I knew more about this whole Sensitivity Content Control thing on Instagram. I don’t even see this new feature in my Account Settings, so I can’t gauge how it would change my feed. Things aren’t getting better for weed and weed-related businesses on the ’gram, and I wonder what comes next. What will it take for us to conduct ourselves as freely online as any other consumer brand? Where will we go when Instagram and Facebook are no longer worth the trouble? If you’re already on your way elsewhere, let us know in the comments.
The Cannabis Business Times profiles how Nevada’s Paiute Tribe has embraced legal cannabis, cashing in on investments in unique retail and consumption licenses. The Native presence is strong in Nevada’s market—I just read about Native Gro, a consulting firm and grow supplies distributor that aims to provide all the resources for Tribal entities interested in entering the industry.
Weed Week reports on GoDaddy’s weirdness with weed clients. Apparently, cannabis news site HeadyNJ was told that although GoDaddy would host the site, they would not provide any tech support "due to the nature of the content."
A legit cannabis-friendly hotel is operating in Phoenix, Arizona. The Clarendon Hotel and Spa features a wing of “cannabis sleeping rooms” outfitted with air purifiers so guests can partake in edibles, vapes, or flower. They can even call on the hotel car service for a ride to a dispensary.
Cannabis businesses are feeling the sting of hiring challenges impacting the restaurant and hospitality sectors. One business in the Palm Springs area was reluctant to raise wages any higher than the $16/hr offered for most entry-level positions; the owner decided to “pay his employees in weed,” making 50-60% discounts on retail products a part of their compensation. As an additional persuasion, the company offered stock options that would vest quarterly over two years. These solutions increase employee compensation while conserving the company’s cash stores, but time will tell if it’s enough.
Colombia legalized the export of cannabis flower. It’s for medical cannabis only, and technically, they’d already removed the ban on exporting concentrated cannabis, but it’s still wild to me to envision legal iterations of cargo holds filled with vacuum sealed packs of green.
Herbal blends brand Barbari launched Hemp Tea Infusions. Their original blends were novel because of the way they positioned them to be smoked with weed, steeped in tea, or smudged for a vibe. These Infusions are all-intentional, capital “T” tea. I got to smell the Bright Idea blend—made with jasmine green tea, lemon myrtle, lemongrass, spearmint, licorice root, ginseng, lemon peel, and “phyto-cannabinoid rich hemp oil”—and it’s amazing. More amazing: The ingredients are organic, and the tea sachets are 100% certified biodegradable and packaged in a non-laminated, fully recyclable paper tube.
The big-dog industry conferences will happen this year, after all. The Cannabis Conference in Las Vegas is scheduled for August 24th to 26th, with Sherbinskis' Mario Guzman as a keynote speaker. MJ BizCon is set for October 19th to 22nd, again in Vegas, featuring a keynote from Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank and FUBU. I’ve never made it to either one, but I know that over the course of a conference weekend (and with some investor networking), an idea can grow into a real company. Smaller brands in my circles skip the expensive tickets and participate by spending that money on a nice Airbnb to host an after-hours networking party.
Other events of note on the horizon:
In the Los Angeles area, munchy is hosting a DIY Ceramic Social on August 5th, Stoned Yoga on August 8th, and plans more summer events to come.
Washington, D.C.’s National Cannabis Festival will take place on August 28th, with Method Man and Redman headlining the day’s festivities.
The Cannabis Wedding Expo hits Las Vegas on August 29th, Denver on October 10th, and Boston on November 7th.
420NJ Events will host an expungement clinic in Newark, New Jersey, on September 14th, with pro-bono legal services for nonviolent cannabis convictions on site.
In other multisensory news, Stone Age—an immersive, cannabis-centric, “multisensory experience”—launches in NYC this September. The limited-run pop-up (located in the Flatiron District) is designed to “offer participants a unique, captivating experience dedicated to cultivating awareness on the wellness and lifestyle benefits of cannabis.” Eight installations will fill the 9,000-square-feet space for a multifaceted, cannabis-inspired journey.
We’ve talked before about the need for truly low-dose edibles—so many people are still biting their 5mg gummies in half. Rose Los Angeles kept that in mind. Their latest product, Singles, is a half-moon-shaped 1mg edible that looks like those half-bitten gummies rolling around in your tin for later.
Off to eat that other half,