Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
ChatGPT’s Stance on Cannabis
Plus: Send in Lonely Hearts!
The Broccoli Report
Monday, February 27, 2023
Time to read: 5 minutes, 55 seconds. Contains 1184 words.
Last week, I leaked some news on my Instagram that I want to share with Broccoli Report subscribers: I’m writing a book! It’s a massive project—a guide to cool cannabis businesses and experiences operated by good people in legal states across the U.S. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend time learning about states that I haven’t reported on before. I’m honored and excited to share more about all of these wonderful places and the people who are shaping their scenes. It won’t be published until 2024, but it’s my whole world right now—besides the Broccoli Report, of course. Stay tuned for dispatches covering everything I’m discovering that won’t go in the book. 👀
Before we head to the news: The time has come for another round of Lonely Hearts posts! From the beginning, the Broccoli Report’s virtual entrepreneurial want ad board has worked to connect folks with the help and opportunities they need, whether they are a small business looking to expand the team or a driven freelancer looking to make a mark. The next “board” will go live to all Broccoli Report readers on March 24th, so take a moment and think about your needs: New clients? A freelance gig? Investment? A mentor? Maybe a group of like-minded folks who can talk you through start-up woes and wins? A collaborator with a shared dream and vision? Lonely Hearts can make it happen.
Any and all interested brands, entrepreneurs, and freelancers are welcome to post. Submit a brief description of your dream business connection to email@example.com by 5:00 pm PST on Monday, March 21. Please include “Lonely Hearts” in the subject line. The more, the merrier, but if we max out on space, we might save some posts for next time. 🌸
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
No matter how challenging things feel right now in or around the cannabis industry, I doubt anyone reading this newsletter is in as deep a hole as MedMen. The fall of the former cannabis giant has been discussed at length, but it’s still something to hear that a recent regulatory filing reported a whoppin’ $137.4 million debt.
One cannabis business that is thriving: Forbidden Flowers, Bella Thorne’s cannabis brand. When the Hollywood Reporter interviewed the actor/Only Fans influencer at Sundance, they asked whether she was making more money off her film career or her other business ventures (bold!). She responded, “It’s hard to say now for sure, but I would say my cannabis company. That’s the big revenue stream.” Who knew? I got a sample Forbidden Flowers eighth when it launched in 2020, and it seemed like a white-label situation. (I’m still not sure how—or if—the flower is vetted.) I do remember the glittery red glass packaging, though, and the legitimately cool smoking accessory and jewelry line that launched last year. Thorne is definitely in tune with a young, feminine demographic in a very real way.
There’s an amusing drama unfolding in my neck of the woods that could lead to much-needed change in Oregon’s cannabis legislation. Earlier this month, the Oregonian reported on the results of an “explosive” investigation into the Oregon Liquor Control Commission—the entity that regulates liquor and cannabis in the state. Apparently, top-level execs diverted rare liquors like Pappy Van Winkle to their own bar carts instead of to public outlets. This story dropped days after the newly instated Governor Tina Kotek requested and received the resignation of the head of the OLCC, and, once the story went national, the chair of the OLCC also resigned. This leaves some powerful seats open at the table that determines the future of Oregon cannabis, which may be a godsend in our mature market, where legislators have grown set in their ways and aren’t prioritizing cannabis laws.
California hemp farm Ranchera Familia found a creative way to use extra plant material post-harvest: joint crowns fit for regal weed queens.
Twitter announced it would allow cannabis ads to run on its service in states where cannabis is legal, but there’s a lot of fine print. CBD and THC companies can promote their brands in ads and provide informational cannabis-related content, but the ads can't promote or offer the sale of cannabis. Hemp topicals can, though? I’ve been using Twitter slightly more frequently over the past couple of years, and I can’t even visualize where ads go without opening up the app. And are any cannabis brands even using Twitter?
I recommend checking out Heylo’s concerning but helpful IG info carousel about live resin. Because of live resin’s hyped status—which is nationwide and going strong—some brands are getting fast and loose with the term, using it to describe products that are not full-spectrum extracts.
The lawyers at Harris Bricken have been having a ball playing with ChatGPT on their site’s Canna Law Blog. First, in light of some discussion around AI standing in for legal representation, Hilary Bricken published her “conversation” with ChatGPT about being a cannabis lawyer and requested that it draft a cannabis contract; ChatGPT declined to do so. Then, inspired by Kevin Roose’s unsettling NYT column about Bing’s Chatbot falling in love with him, Jesse Mondry asked Bing’s ChatGPT why we haven’t legalized cannabis yet. It concluded that “legalizing marijuana at the federal level in the United States is a complex political issue, with several challenges that need to be addressed.” Well, yeah.
I played with the Open AI Chatbot, and it is indeed impressive how nuanced its answers can get. I asked it, “What is the best strain to smoke?” The Chatbot replied:
As an AI language model, I cannot offer opinions or make value judgments, as the "best" strain to smoke depends on personal preferences and individual experiences. Different strains of cannabis have different effects, flavors, and aromas, and what works well for one person may not work well for another.
Moreover, the effects of a particular strain can vary depending on factors such as dosage, method of consumption, and individual physiology. Some strains are known for their uplifting, energizing effects, while others are more relaxing and sedative. Some strains may be more suitable for treating specific medical conditions, while others may be more appropriate for recreational use.
Ultimately, the best strain to smoke is one that aligns with your individual needs, preferences, and goals. It's essential to research and experiment with different strains to find the one that works best for you. Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional or a cannabis specialist can also be helpful in selecting the right strain for your needs.
Plans are shaping up for me to host a very fun panel around 4/20 in Los Angeles—stay tuned 👀. Heading to LA means I’ll be able to pick up more of Leune’s Gem Drops for my mom—their 5mg Cloud Berry formula is her current favorite nighttime gummy.
Just when I thought I’d never need another glass pipe, Edie Parker dropped an absolutely beautiful clear fried-egg piece. There’s even a green version! I would smoke it here and there; I would smoke it anywhere.
Believer in breakfast and bongs,