Suing CBD and Smelling Garlic
What’s new in weed?
The Broccoli Report
Monday, January 10, 2022
Time to read: 5 minutes, 27 seconds. Contains 1090 words
I’m finally (mostly) caught up with emails, which has allowed me to complete some unfinished New Year’s business: cleaning. Cleaning house is among my favorite activities while high, and a necessary one when your cat and your bong share your news desk. I’m also enamored at the versatility of vinegar and could rant about how it’s the cannabis of cleaning products, but I’ll save that metaphorical musing for another time.
Complementing the clean slate of a new year is this Friday’s dispatch about clean cannabis. I’ll be sharing an interview with Rowshan Reordan, chief executive officer of Oregon-based Green Leaf Lab, the nation’s first licensed and accredited cannabis testing facility. Amidst reports of lab inconsistencies everywhere, she shares insights into the testing process and why it matters more than ever—subscribe to stay tuned.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Last week, a sponsored Instagram post crossed my radar regarding a potential class-action lawsuit against CBD-beverage brand Recess. Upon closer inspection, it does indeed look real, and it’s not this law firm’s first CBD lawsuit. The complaint? Per the plaintiffs: “Recess products claim to contain CBD, among other ingredients, to help provide users with calming effects. However, these claims may be false and/or misleading. The products do not contain enough CBD to provide the advertised relief.” Making things is complicated, and large disparities between the amount of CBD on the label and the actual amount in the product are not uncommon. That makes this news fairly concerning. I venture to guess that most brands have one product out there with content that is a little off from the labeled formulation, making them vulnerable to predatory consumer protection attorneys.
When I shared the post on IG, someone who worked at a kombucha company said their company was targeted with lawsuits like this all the time. She mentioned that major kombucha companies had united to form an international committee to handle these suits, with standard operating procedures, third-party lab testing, and lobbyists working on getting variances in the content of fermented foods. Does something similar exist for CBD companies? I can’t think of a particular group that serves this purpose, but if lawsuits like this become a trend, perhaps one should.
As of New Year's Day, weed is legal for anyone over 21 to purchase in Montana. This is going to be a state to watch in 2022 and beyond. Expect the state’s established medical shops to thrive—they have a head start on newly licensed recreational shops that can’t open until July 2023. Over the past year, shops report daily calls and visitors inquiring about adult-use purchases. With ongoing COVID-19 variant concerns inhibiting international travel, I imagine the state’s tourism numbers will be back to normal sooner than most. Not to mention Montana is the setting of the most popular TV show to run since The Walking Dead. The first brand to make a Yellowstone-themed cannabis play will get a ton of press.
A new employee-owned cannabis startup just raised over $100k via Mainvest. The Colorado-based Honeybee Collective actually broke the crowdfunding platform's 48-hour funding record, raising $80,000. The company’s campaign reopens today for a second round, with an overall fundraising goal of $250,000.
Woah, MJ Biz got acquired for $120 million in cash. The media publications, the annual Vegas conference, the science-y Emerald Conference—all of it. The new owners are Emerald X, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerald Holding, a New York-based business-to-business event and media company. The MJBiz leadership team and staff will continue under the new ownership.
In today’s science corner, a connection between the pungent aroma of cannabis and garlic emerges. You most likely know that terpenes contribute to the unique scent and effects of a cannabis plant, but there is another compound at play when it comes to aroma: volatile sulfur compounds, commonly referred to as “VSCs.” A recent study showed VSCs might be more responsible for that particular “skunky” scent found in cannabis—that signature funky note that us weed writers are still figuring out how to best put into words. Interestingly, a newly discovered group of VSCs found in all of the thirteen strains studied closely resembled those found in garlic. My palate makes more and more sense.
While many countries are showing increased openness to cannabis legalization, the United Arab Emirates is not. A 24-year-old British football coach is currently serving a 10-year jail sentence in Dubai after getting caught with four cartridges of CBD vape oil at the start of 2021.
Well, Instagram still hates weed; zero updates there. I actually had one of my posts from 2016 flagged for prohibited content just last week. At least more resources are emerging to support cannabis companies navigating these apps. One new entrant is Highlyte from AMNESIA media, co-founded by Courtney Wu and Ray Ting. It uses AI to scan text, images, and video for infractions that might cause an account to be flagged for deactivation. You can get an idea of its services by running a free Instagram “health check” via their Freemium option here.
Trendspotting: I’m noticing shatterproof one-hitters hitting the market. Not that they ever really went out of style, but it’s interesting to see how a droppable mini pipe is becoming an essential backup piece for all flower consumers—like that trusty old Nalgene I keep kicking around. Budwell released a no-frills (but monogramable) steel pipe; Vessel offers the Helix pipe, an artful piece with a patent-pending “spiral filter”; and although I wouldn’t call ceramics shatterproof, Jaunt’s Stem pipes are much more durable than glass and feature a flat edge so they won’t roll around.
This sensory video of a visit to a farm Rose LA sources flower from makes me miss visiting outdoor grows a lot.
Mexico City-based cannabis brand Xula, co-founded by my Broccoli Talk co-host, Mennlay Aggrey, started the year by launching two new Solo Hemp tinctures. The price points are notably affordable: Balance (1300mg of CBD and 120mg of CBC) is $34, and Relief (650mg CBD and 650mg CBG) is $38. Although consumers are begrudgingly accepting inflation in grocery stores, they aren’t paying more for cannabis. Expect pricing to remain competitive as wholesale hemp prices continue to plunge.
Now that we’re well into January, I can confidently say that Onyx & Rose’s Sleeping Mask is my CBD skincare pick of the winter. No breakouts here, just happier skin and a more aesthetically-pleasing vanity. Very cute, colorful ombré packaging.
From my weed vanity to yours,