The Broccoli Report
Monday, August 16, 2021
Time to read: 5 minutes, 27 seconds. 1092 words.
As in-person industry events return to calendars, I’m very curious about how everyone in the community is feeling. Are you excited to attend events? Which ones are at the top of your have-to-be-there list? What particulars matter to you right now in regards to COVID-19 and delta variant precautions? Feel free to sound off in the comments or reply to this email!
Before I get us up to speed on the news, a tease for this Friday’s helpful newsletter, where Studio Linear demystifies the work of design agencies—what they do for brands, how those conversations go, and when creative services are worth it. We’ll also cover what’s out in weed branding trends and what’s next.
Friday newsletters are where we dig into the trends, challenges, and solutions that matter most to entrepreneurs in cannabis and hemp—some of the best parts of The Broccoli Report. Paid subscribers get full access, and they are also what keeps us in motion, compensating our small team and enabling us to be the independent journalists cannabis needs right now. Sign up today for $8/month or $80/year.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Did you buy a Cura vape pen (a.k.a. Select brand products) in Oregon in 2018? You might be owed up to $200 in cash. The Portland company reached a $500,000+ settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers who bought mislabeled vape cartridges. Oregon regulators first discovered Cura was using botanical terpenes to flavor some oils in 2019; the company claimed the products included only cannabis distillate and cannabis terpenes. Cura faces a second (and much more expensive) class-action suit [link to PDF] in Multnomah County regarding THC products that contained significantly less THC content than what was noted on the label.
States invest in crafting social equity legislation, scoring and selecting applicants, and awarding licenses to the most deserving, qualifying recipients—but what happens if those applicants can sell that license to a rich, white dude for millions of dollars? This question is coming up in Chicago, where highly sought-after retail licenses are just beginning to be issued—primarily to equity applicants—and a red hot resale market is emerging. The Chicago Sun Times quotes an industry source who claims that “each of the 185 new pot shop permits is likely worth between $1 million and $3 million.” The source estimated that the going rate for cultivation licenses is $4 to $5 million a pop. Edie Moore, executive director of Chicago NORML, says she isn’t necessarily mad at the people who say yes to a lucrative offer, but that she thought people were here because they wanted to be here—not just to “make a quick buck.”
“That’s what we were fighting for,” said Moore. “For people to build generational wealth on owning and building and creating something within their communities, not giving it away to the white boys again.”
Leafly progresses forward towards an IPO. By merging with a blank-check firm owned by one of its biggest backers, Merida Capital Holdings, the deal values the combined company at about $532 million. It’s one of those SPAC things, where a “special purpose acquisition company” like Merida uses the capital raised through their initial public offerings to buy and merge with another private company. This practice has been huge for cannabis companies, which can’t trade on their own on the Nasdaq, but can if they go under an SPAC umbrella.
While Instagram may be a sea of shadowbans for cannabis lovers, Facebook Groups are becoming a destination for cannabis communities to solidify. In countries less friendly to cannabis, like Sri Lanka, people gather in Groups to find dealers, learn about different uses of cannabis, details on how to roll a joint, and more. Thriloka Wijaya Pathra has over 177k members.
Remember the Sioux-owned dispensary in South Dakota that followed tribal law and sidestepped waiting around for state implementation, commencing sales of adult-use cannabis? The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in the state of New York is angling to do that same thing.
NORML released an updated edition of its publication, Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000–2021. It compiles over 450 peer-reviewed studies assessing the safety and efficacy of either whole-plant cannabis or individual cannabinoids in 23 different patient populations, including individuals with autism, chronic pain, diabetes, fibromyalgia, migraine, and post-traumatic stress.
Fast Company highlights maximalist trends in retail cannabis spaces and the new generation of over-the-top dispensary brands emerging after the minimalist, clinical aesthetics that dominated right after legalization..
A Boston, Massachusetts, adult-use brand is offering bilingual services, highlighting an underrated element of positive retail experiences. In a press release from Happy Valley dispensary, a store manager described the reaction of Spanish-speaking customers to the offering as if “a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.” Around 13% of the US population speaks Spanish at home, and the complicated, niche vocabulary required to ask and answer effective questions for personalized recommendations can daunt newcomers to shops. It’s easy to see how speaking in a familiar language makes for more open, productive conversations at the counter.
Calvin Johnson, the co-founder of Michigan cannabis company Primitiv (and former Detroit Lion), is about to join the elite club of Pro Football Hall of Famers inducted before they turn 35.. Primitiv has collaborated with Harvard University to research how cannabis can help people with CTE (the scary head injury-related condition) and chronic pain, so Johnson gets the title of Mr. Congeniality, too.
Accessory brand Yew Yew drops their first opaque glass pieces with the Milky Mint Green Collection of pipes and an ashtray that looks like carved jade.
Cannabis software company Meadow announces the return of Meadowlands, a “gathering for the California cannabis industry” that will take place in the Redwoods October 1–October 3, 2021. The annual retreat features workshops, camp activities, infused snacks, and more. Learn more here. Who’s attending?
Studio A-OK’s Puff n’ Duff golf tournament is happening at noon on Sunday, August 22nd. Vancouver-based cannabis and golf lovers (of any skill level) are welcome to sign up as a single player, a business, or any group of two or more people. Email email@example.com by Thursday, August 19th to register.
On August 22nd in Los Angeles, artist Sand One is hosting a Stony Girl Exhibit where she’ll do a live painting session and release two new pieces from her Stony Doll collection. Guests will be able to enjoy cannabis, hibachi snacks, and wares from weed-friendly vendors, like the custom vintage smokeware brand Functional China.
Your fellow Stony Girl,