Social equity, romantic weed, and more.

Weed-infused news for you.

The Broccoli Report 
Monday, February 8, 2021
Time to read: 6 minutes, 46 seconds. 1355 words.

Good morning!

We’re sweetening up reporting this week by unlocking a past paid favorite. Every month, we unlock one of our paywalled (and most popular) posts from the previous month, and this time, it’s “We need more low dose weed.” Any subscriber—free or paid—can now read our dive into the origins of a 5mg standard for “low dose” edibles, why it doesn’t really make sense, and how brands can better market their milder offerings. Enjoy!

Paid subscribers can look forward to a Friday roundtable on intellectual property. We’ll hear from a handful of brands on their adventures in trademarking, cease and desists, and whether those lawyer fees were money well spent. Subscribe here to receive every Report.

One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance

  • A hemp brand maybe just changed the non-alcoholic beer game with a product that has nothing to do with hemp. Oregon-based beverage brand Aurora was among the first brands in the state to put out pretty, sparkling CBD drinks meant to be enjoyed alone or incorporated as a mixer. Aurora Hops, their new hops-infused product line, captures the beloved, bitter aroma and flavor without the alcohol content. The drinks come in Pomelo Sage and Yuzu Orange Blossom flavors, and the brand suggests that hops, as a “naturally-occurring nervine,” can have their own soothing and calming effect. 

  • The National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency that protects private-sector employees’ rights to form unions, delivered a ruling that marijuana cultivators, trimmers, sorters, and packagers can’t form unions because they qualify as agricultural laborers; this accords with the position of U.S. labor regulators. In theory, retail employees remain eligible under the right circumstances. Unionizing isn’t the only path towards exercising worker’s rights, though. Groups like the Cannabis Workers Coalition are emerging, establishing nonprofit worker resource centers advocating for fair and equitable labor practices in the cannabis and hemp industry.

  • Oregon State House Bill 3112, a.k.a. The Cannabis Social Equity Act has three major provisions: 1) Direct investment in cannabis businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people, as well as people convicted of cannabis crimes, in the form of home and land ownership, job training, health care, education and other areas determined by the yet-to-be-formed Cannabis Equity Board; 2) Free, automatic expungement of eligible cannabis criminal convictions paid for by cannabis tax revenues as needed; and 3) Reduced fees and modified the initial requirements needed to qualify for equity licenses for Black-, Indigenous-, and Latinx-owned cannabis companies. The bill also includes funding for two Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission positions to aid in the licensure process and includes the addition of three license types beneficial for small businesses owners. The bill’s chief sponsor, State Rep. Ricki Ruiz, notes that input from a coalition of advocates, city representatives, legislators, and cannabis business owners was used to carefully craft the legislation. She sees it as a chance to execute on the commitments being thrown around by many governing bodies in legal states, particularly in regards to fixing the broken expungement process. Ruiz says:

Less than 200 out of 28,000 Oregonians eligible for expungement were able to successfully complete the process in the past two years. This bill provides us the path and the funding we need to efficiently remove previous cannabis crimes from people’s records and provide them the opportunity to repair their lives from the harm caused by cannabis criminalization.”  

  • Ean Seeb, Colorado governor Jared Polis’s cannabis policy advisor, facilitated a partnership between Wright-Oaks Farms, a family hemp farm in the San Luis Valley, and Patagonia to produce hemp to be used in the outdoors brand’s hemp textiles. Until now, Patagonia's hemp textiles were sourced from China.

  • An illuminating New Yorker piece on the future of “green energy” examines the environmental impacts of modern crops like cannabis in the United States (yeah, we’re definitely representing more than 1% of electricity use now) and oil palms abroad. 

  • California-based subscription service Nugg Club partnered with Last Prisoner Project on a special February box designed to showcase the names of people imprisoned across the country for nonviolent cannabis offenses. Inside, the box features brands that specifically support social justice work, including a new house flower brand from Nugg Club called Schedule ! that will donate a percentage of its profits to support LPP. Nugg Club has donated $2,500 so far and expects the donated amount to rise to over $10,000 in the next six months. 

  • For Valentine’s Day, hemp pre-roll brand Dad Grass drops a 5-pack packaged to look like a classic box of candy hearts. Other special editions of its covert packaging include a fake butter box, a cassette tape case, and a retro box of screws. Smokeable bouquet brand Lovepot stays ready for the holiday with their hemp-nug-filled box of chocolates-sans-chocolate.

  • House of Wise, a sort of soft-multilevel marketing CBD brand, throws subtlety to the wind with their new SEX gummies. They include extracts of horny goat weed (200mg), maca root (100mg), and ashwagandha (10mg), along with 15mg of full-spectrum CBD. Although seemingly all previous research on these medicinal herbs and sexual activity was oriented toward solving erectile dysfunction, icariin—the active ingredient in goat weed—does have a demonstrated ability to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow of a stimulating nature. At a whopping 200mg dose, you’re bound to feel something? 

  • Pot d’Huile collaborates with Chef Calvin Eng of Brooklyn’s renowned Win Son bakery/restaurant on a CBD-infused chili crisp oil. Loud Grandma pays homage to the cult classic condiment Lao Gan Ma, down to the impressionist portrait of the recipe’s no-nonsense matriarch featured on every bottle.

  • Adult-use flower brand Awesome Dope launches in California with a brand design that embraces and enlarges the legally required “contains marijuana” symbol. It covers the flower packaging and even serves as the preview icon on your computer’s browser tab. As someone who’s always been charmed by the enthusiastic weed leaf icon and exclamation point combo, I have been waiting for brands to have a little more fun with the symbol. According to hearsay (Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission gossip), at one point, a graphic designer at OLCC threw a little shade, claiming they designed the symbol first and that California’s regulatory agency copied it. A universal symbol we all use totally makes sense. But who doesn’t love a little artistic tension?

  • In Olga Mecking’s new book, Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing, the author explains a Dutch meditation practice, the purpose of which is to not have a purpose at all. I don’t know if it references cannabis or if Mecking is a fan, but I do think this would be a cool addition to any bookshelf in the waiting area of a lifestyle-y dispensary. 

  • GreenThumbEdu, the cannabis education house of creatives, educators, and advocates founded by Broccolini Calan Ma’lyn, launches the Make History Month campaign. The goal is to raise funds for their efforts to teach everyone (farmers, doctors, artists, lawyers, caregivers, moms) how this plant works and what we can do with it as a tool. Donations will support employing local artists and advocates, training classes for educators and small businesses, supporting nonprofits like the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine and The Crescent Foundation (a sickle cell initiative), and helping with the costs of a legally required rebrand the organization is facing. More on that trademarking adventure in this Friday’s newsletter for paid subscribers. 👀

Off to get my niks on,
Lauren Yoshiko