The Broccoli Report
Monday, June 7, 2021
Time to read: 4 minutes, 52 seconds. 975 words.
It’s good to be here! Monday subscribers, I missed you, and you missed an eye-catching dive into the world of weed-themed jewelry and glittery accessories last Friday. A reminder that once you become a paid subscriber, you can access the entire archive of past newsletters, from the roundup of weed-friendly payment processors to a roundtable with cannabis influencers on their rates and content agreements.
Last week, I went to a hemp bar opening, flew on an airplane, caught up with a friend over brunch about her visit to Boston, where she checked out (and loved) Pure Oasis dispensary—life is happening! And the weed scene is similarly shifting back into gear. I recently attended the Cannabis Certification Council’s latest Cannabis Sustainability Symposium and will be sharing some thought-provoking takeaways for this Friday’s newsletter. Yes, there will be some dish on the latest in packaging innovations, but keep an eye out for recaps from fascinating panels, like the one on sustaining live events that included a cofounder of the production company behind Bonnaroo and the Outside Lands Music Festival, and helpful insights on what multiple channels of the industry could look like in the next six-12 months.
Without further ado, onto the news. Thank you for supporting independent journalism.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
It’s Pride season! Here’s hoping vax rates and decreasing cases allow for some safe parades; I know it’d be a boon for Portland’s downtown. Some creative Pride campaigns on our radar: A “sweet and spicy” limited-edition Hot Honey PAX cartridge made in collaboration with LEUNE (proceeds go to Equality CA). Mello will donate 100% of June proceeds from their popular CBD suppository Mello Bottoms to For The Gworls. A special new flavor of Space Crystals (think Pop Rocks) from the queer-founded Sonder: Cheers Queers, a “strawberry-champagne explosion celebrating the queer community’s roots in cannabis activism and equality.”
You know the massive shortage of lumber and building supplies? Hemp Build Mag muses that this just might get more builders to consider hempcrete, the carbon-sequestering hemp-lime insulation blocks already popular in Europe.
In Michigan, a social media-spurred backlash leaps beyond the digital realm. Recent comments by the executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association—a Republican-led trade group that represents the state’s largest adult-use cultivators—questioned the legitimate dealings of medically licensed operators. This led to loud calls on social media to boycott MCMA companies as a show of respect for medical cultivators and the legacy growing community. This kind of drama is par for the course of the average 2021 weekday, but the virtual vitriol got some businesses to cut ties with the MCMA and its members IRL. Things got spicy enough for MCMA to take their website down. (It was still offline as I wrote this newsletter.) It’s a welcome reminder that despite the pace of adult-use legalization, the impact of the medical community—the one that had to fight and risk much more to make the adult-use market possible—should not be ignored.
You may have caught this recent, slightly misleading Leafly headline: “DEA finally ends fed monopoly on schwaggy research-grade cannabis.” This does not mean that anyone will be able to buy said schwag (slang for the kind of low-potency, subpar-quality flower grown and studied in research labs till now). It’s a much bigger deal: the latest statement issued by the DEA lifts some significant barriers as to who can grow cannabis for research purposes. As a result, data on the effects of the actual weed people buy and consume from dispensaries is about to get a whole lot better. It could bring us closer to understanding correlations between different terpene concentrations, body chemistry, and consistent medical outcomes.
Congratulations to Supernova Women’s first Social Equity Workforce Development cohort, making it through Phase One! Participants in this paid workforce development program will now apply the skills they've learned over eight weeks of training to support social equity operators running their businesses in Oakland's EquityWorks! Incubator, a shared manufacturing facility of equity licensees.
Urban Outfitters has quietly launched a full-blown online smoke shop of cannabis accessories and CBD products. Yew Yew pipes, patterned rolling papers from Burner Babe and Papers + Ink, that gold Sackville & Co. grinder, and acrylic trays a-plenty can be found in this expanding division of UO’s Lifestyle offerings. While the massive customer base is huge for brands, so, too, is UO’s potential ability to display these smoke shop items in Instagram and Facebook ads. At the very least, their relationship with their payment processor is presumably reliable.
Two new but very different weed books land on shelves. Weed of Wonder is an illustrated guide to the history of cannabis through the collection at Amsterdam’s Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Written for children by an author with two parents in the biz, Kids of Cannabis is meant to create a space to talk about weed with kids and families.
French perfumier Room 1015 debuts Sweet Leaf, a cannabis-inspired fragrance steeped in 1970s vibes. Base notes include jasmine, patchouli, and cashmeran wood, greened with accents of cannabis, eucalyptus, and grapefruit.
ICYMI: Sundae School dropped their first femme collection over the past few weeks. The body-skimming button-up dresses with an asymmetrical line sakura blossom buttons, swimsuits, and cardigans culminated with a pastel fuzzy bucket hat that positively radiates with Y2K nostalgia. They collaborated with Sungbin Eileen Hong on the pieces—the designer behind nibgnus—and you can read more of the collection and its inspiration here.
Looking for something other than weed to give your herbally-inclined dad for Father’s Day? Check out this paint-by-numbers set of a lovely cannabis botanical. Oh, wait—you meant your friend who calls themself “Daddy”? Hemp brand Dad Grass has them covered, too, with this new “Daddy, Chill” bucket hat.
Off to pick some flowers (in every sense),