Wooden Grinders & Grassy Hand Bags
Plus: An Aussie hemp doc.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, September 19, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes, 36 seconds. Contains 920 words.
This Thursday marks the official start of autumn and the start of a fresh season of sungrown harvests, industry conferences, and holiday season drops. I’ve already begun gathering goodies for an upcoming trend report on witchier weed. 🔮
I’m up to something new next Friday, September 30th, when I’ll join a panel to discuss collaboration. It’s hosted by Upper Left Ladies, a creative community of 2,000+ femme entrepreneurs based in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. An open Q&A will follow the panel, and there will be snacks, an open wine bar, a raffle, and more fun. Tickets are $60, but any entrepreneurial Portland-based gals interested in making some connections can use the code WHISPER at checkout for $20 off. Head here to RSVP or learn more about tuning in virtually.
This Friday, we’re addressing the giant elephant in any hemp-related room right now: Is the CBD craze over? A lot of editorials are posing this question and it is a hot topic in industry channels, so I reached out to several familiar North American CBD brands for an unvarnished answer. Speaking anonymously, they told me how things are going, what trends they’re seeing in their actual numbers, and what they think about all this talk of a CBD crash. Subscribers won’t want to miss this one.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
In British Columbia, an interesting intersection of legal, government-run cannabis stores and the rights of government employees is happening right now—one that could impact how future legalization regulations are shaped. BCGEU, the union for BC public service employees, has initiated a strike action that includes striking liquor and cannabis distribution warehouses after being denied a cost-of-living wage increase. In Canada, private retailers must go through government-sanctioned distribution warehouses to stock their shelves, so this strike is hitting shops hard. (The constrained supply chain results in multiple stores with the same offerings, boosting the allure of unlicensed stores operating outside the system—a topic for another day.) Liquor supplies are so constrained that some bars limit the number of drinks people can order. I doubt this situation is what the Canadian government envisioned when they decided to keep all cannabis distribution on the public side.
Congrats to Akwasi Owusu-Bempah and Tahira Rehmatullah for the release of their book, Waiting to Inhale: Cannabis Legalization and the Fight for Racial Justice. I’ve spoken with Owusu-Bempah before about the sorry state of data around cannabis and equity in Canada, and Rehmatullah—a partner at Highlands Venture Partners, co-founder and chief executive officer of cannabinoid brand Commons, and board of directors member for multiple major cannabis companies—knows what’s happened at the highest levels of business over the past five years. The book shares stories from the front lines of the war on drugs and offers a roadmap to real redress and smarter legislation.
New York cannabis brand Medly has revived its infused dinner series. Their second annual Medly Supper Club is scheduled for October 1st at Canoe Studios, with chef Andrew Gerson returning to prepare a special multicourse microdosed menu. Their IG DMs are open to any brands interested in sponsorship and participation opportunities.
Slate organized the limited scientific and anecdotal data on popular cannabinoids and increasingly common synthetic cannabinoids into a useful guide. “All the (Technically) Legal Cannabinoids You Can Buy Right Now” calls out caveats on this area’s limited data and breaks down the legal loopholes that’ve made this booming, confusing realm possible.
I really enjoyed connecting with Lilach Mazor Power, founder of the Giving Tree dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona, for a Thrillist story. We talked about how the Israeli-American entrepreneur got into the biz, why she chose to launch targeted brands towards specific AZ communities, and her recommendations for food and adventure when seshing like a local.
If you listened to the Broccoli Talk episode featuring Afends, the Australian hemp fashion brand, you may remember that the founders bought a hemp farm and are working towards creating their own raw materials. They’re sharing this journey via Weed Need Change, a documentary series cataloging the development of Sleepy Hollow Farm. The first couple of episodes are live now.
Thoughtfully-designed accessory brand Vessel released a cool new grinder with wood inlay on the exterior—the warmth complements their industrial design, and there are the same sharp aluminum teeth inside.
When it comes to rolling papers, folks have opinions. Some people could care less whether it’s a 20-year-old Zig Zag or the finest from Devambez. Others live by rice papers and rice papers only. If you know someone who’s never been wild about the usual options, ask if they’ve tried flax papers. Z’s Life—an offshoot of the JOB rolling paper dynasty—offers flax papers in a variety of simple but well-made colored packs.
Edie Parker will merge with its cannabis-loving Edie Parker Flower brand for a fall collection of bags and clutches featuring weed-friendly winks to EP’s traditional silhouettes, starting with The Grass Bag. Available in full tinsel or full AstroTurf-like fake grass, these touchable purses don’t necessarily scream “weed”—although the “Weedie” label does—but there’s just something about the touchable, footloose-and-fancy-free grass associations that does feel a bit stony (the former use of “grass” as slang for weed, notwithstanding).
The bags made me think back to Nike’s “Dog Walker” release—a canine-themed pair of Dunks featuring grassy colored panels and dalmatian spots that dropped on 4/20/2019.
To my fellow hay-fevered stoners who mainly associate Claritin with grass,