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The Broccoli Report
Monday, March 6, 2023
Time to read: 5 minutes, 10 seconds. Contains 1034 words.
To any West Coast sungrown cultivators reading this: I hope your plants survived the storm! What an insane snowfall; tornadoes—I still can’t get over the image of the Hollywood sign framed by snowy peaks. The snow has melted in Portland, and now that March has arrived, it’s hitting me that April is close—just six weeks till 4/20!
That means it’s time to send in your Lonely Hearts posts. It is a great opportunity to start a conversation and broaden your network, even if you aren’t 100% ready to hire or take on a new project. Lots of like-minded folks read these Boards. To be included, submit a brief description of your dream business connection (feel free to peruse past Boards for ideas) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm PST on Monday, March 21, with “Lonely Hearts” in the subject line.
Thank you for reading the Broccoli Report, and if you haven’t already, consider signing up as a paid subscriber to help me keep this publication independent and ad-free. 🌸 Plus, a paid subscription gets you access to past dispatches, like this roundtable on three brands’ best and worst marketing moves, an investigation into rumors that CBD is dead, and tips from cannabis influencers on brand partnership etiquette.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
ICYMI: The RAW rolling paper empire is in ashes. In early February, I caught wind of a lawsuit over the legitimacy of RAW’s “organic” claims. The plaintiff was Republic Brands, the company behind OCB, JOB, and other long-established rolling paper brands. RAW lost in court, and the ruling forbids RAW’s mother company HBI International from making a litany of claims that were proven false, including stating or implying their rolling papers are “unrefined,” that they are “the world’s first or only organic (or organic hemp) rolling papers,” that the rolling papers are made in Alcoy, Spain, or made utilizing wind power. On February 22, I received a surreal dispatch from their PR representation spinning the court judgment into a win, listing “clarifying facts” about the company that were all carefully phrased within the bounds of the ruling. Then, Forbes published a full exposé on this saga with the catchy title “The Pinocchio of Pot.” Their reporting touches on a charitable foundation that possibly never existed. All in all—I’d opt for alternative papers.
A Humboldt County-based environmental nonprofit has secured $2.5 million in grant funds to assist small cannabis farmers through the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program. With these funds, Cannabis for Conservation (CFC) will remodel irrigation systems on 17 farms for more sustainable consumption and help another 89 farms across priority watersheds refine their processes to work toward the organization’s goal of conserving natural resources and restoring ecosystems negatively impacted by unsustainable cannabis cultivation.
Props to writer Abigail Weinberg for questioning the clickbaity nature of one of the New York Times’ recent cannabis coverage. In this piece for Mother Jones, she looks at the NYT story about an anecdotal increase in dogs needing the vet's attention after consuming found joint roaches since legalization. Weinberg points to this telling line: “There are no precise figures about the number of dogs picking it up on the street, but the data show they are getting sick from weed more often in places where recreational use is legal.” The bigger problem Weinberg sees is how these stories push a problematic narrative of causation—because weed was legalized, dogs are getting high. To be fair, no one is actually arguing we shouldn’t legalize cannabis to protect the wellbeing of pets. Perhaps the underlying issue here are cultural growing pains that come with shifting norms, and we’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Well, the number of states that have legalized cannabis just went down by one. The law legalizing cannabis in Virginia had a number of key provisions that needed to be dealt with by a specific deadline, and none were. The law has essentially run out of time, and regulators currently see “no path forward” for implementing a retail program by 2024, as stated in the law’s original text.
If you were looking to memorialize a meteorologically insane winter—or just covet a cool, blue, unbreakable bong—Dangle Supply dropped a limited edition Icy Camo version of their signature titanium DangleBong.
On the other end of the color spectrum, Italian brand WEED’D is dropping a fresh round of their uniquely-shaped bongs in light gray and my favorite shade of orange-red.
CBD may feel normalized in mainstream conversations, but government agencies everywhere are far from being cool with hemp. When recently asked about the Drug Enforcement Agency’s stance on THC-O, a cannabinoid extracted from hemp oil, the agency stated that since these forms of THC do not naturally occur in the hemp plant and “can only be obtained synthetically,” they consider them Schedule 1 substances, just like regular THC. Currently, no U.S. government agency is actively doing anything to regulate this new synthesized realm, though.
CBD legality is also playing out on a global stage. In Hong Kong, CBD has recently been completely banned, and someone was arrested for receiving two one-ounce bottles of CBD oil in the mail. Because CBD was added to Hong Kong’s Dangerous Drug ordinance, now anyone arrested for trafficking CBD is eligible for a maximum of life imprisonment.
In San Francisco’s more flower-friendly regions, Nouera, a wellness event company, is putting on regular consumption-friendly sound bath sessions that include traditional tea ceremonies led by co-founders Cynthia Boedihardjo and Jessica Sharp. Events are BYOC, with one on March 15th at New Mission Yoga and another at Green Yogi in Berkeley on March 17th.
A new accessory brand out of Stockholm called holk debuted a sleeker-than-sleek joint case with four individual slots to securely transport joints. It’s available in gleaming silver, gold, and shiny black.
It’s too soon to be an April Fool’s Day product spoof, so I think Brandon Blackwood joint heels are for real?! The pumps—featuring what looks like a real joint sealed into the transparent heel—are destined to be a status symbol for weed-y NYC It-Girls this summer.
Pondering if being stoned makes walking in heels more or less tolerable,