Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
All Eyes on ELFBAR Vapes
Plus: Jeeter & Sava face consequences.
The Broccoli Report
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Time to read: About 6 minutes. Contains 1,175 words.
Apologies for a later Report this week. It took a bit longer than anticipated to get back in the swing of things (and through all my unread emails). My brain definitely needed last week’s break, as this juicy, substantial Report will demonstrate. 😏
I feel the same way about my writing skills in general—it’s when I’m covering a variety of topics in and out of weed that my reporting is sharpest. In this pre-book publication, post-Thrillist window of my career I find myself in, I’ve had available bandwidth to dig into some unique, non-cannabis projects, like this incredibly rewarding story map highlighting 20 businesses and individuals that helped build Portland, Oregon’s Japantown in the early 1900s. One of which I got to expand upon for my first Eater byline that ran last week: the Teikoku Company, whose legacy is upheld by a new Asian-owned mercantile called Goodies Snack Shop now operating in the same 139-year-old building.
Getting to flex my curiosity and storytelling in different directions has been inspiring, and I’ve got major plans for honing and developing the Report’s contents this summer. Now that I’m back in the saddle, I’m raring to go.
On that note: Before we get to the news, I want to get us caught up on a major trend in the broader vaporizer world—one that weed can learn from and one that may indicate where cannabis regulation could end up. We need to talk about ELFBAR.
ELFBAR: The new Juul and a glaring symbol of drama to come for the weed world.
Has anyone else noticed colorful, rectangular-shaped, palm-sized vapes showing up absolutely everywhere?
Multiple UK publications started referring to them as “Gen Z’s favorite vape” as early as May 2022, but it wasn’t until the past few months I noticed everyone exhaling clouds in my vicinity was puffing on the same device, from the 40something comics at a stand-up show to college buds at a recent wedding.
In 2022, leading online vape supplier Vape Superstore reported an approximate “450% increase in ELFBAR sales.” While its supply chain remains a bit opaque, the Chinese-owned company boasts flavors like “blue razz lemonade,” “kiwi passionfruit guava” and “blueberry sour raspberry” — flavors that Juul can’t touch with a 10-foot-pole since the lawsuits and FDA crackdowns on their marketing towards underage consumers. While Juul struggles to stay afloat, ELFBAR has successfully infiltrated TikTok, where influencers review flavors, hawk custom vape holsters, and participate in trending challenges.
To keep reading and learn how ELFBAR is getting away with vapes containing the same kinds of childlike flavors that got Juul in hot, litigious water, and how this all connects with the freedom of flavors within the cannabis industry, head over to the audio version of this newsletter for paid subscribers.
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One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Working in weed remains an unpredictable path, but one thing has become clear: a company treating employees badly is going to face consequences. Employment lawyers have no qualms working with cannabis-related plaintiffs. Infused joint king Jeeter has been hit with at least five lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and other labor violations at its facility in Desert Hot Springs, California, according to a WeedWeek exclusive.
Sava, a California brand that describes itself as a “premier women-, LGBTQ-, Latinx-owned cannabis marketplace,” is currently being sued by a past employee for discrimination and harassment based on race, retaliation to complaints, and illegal labor violations regarding intentional misclassification of employees.
Business isn’t so hot for the big dogs either at the moment. Trulieve reduced its California footprint, shuttered its Nevada and Massachusetts operations, and downsized its total workforce by approximately 16% last year.
On Wednesday, June 14th, Christina Wong and Chef Wendy Zeng are hosting a salon and conversation exploring Magu, the ancient hemp maiden depicted throughout ancient Asian art history, at The Aster Los Angeles (the same beautiful hotel that hosted me for a panel about cannabis and creativity in April). The event will include the unveiling of the first in a series of new works of art depicting Magu and continuing her story, and it is sure to be an absolutely glorious vibe fest. The event is free to RSVP, and a special CBD flower-infused food menu will be available for purchase. “Goddess chic” attire encouraged.
Sundae School is hiring a full-time Social Content Producer based in Los Angeles or New York City. Peep the link for additional opportunities at their Los Angeles warehouse.
Cannabis Noire is looking for a few more sponsors for their inaugural Higher Conference later this month. The June 24th and 25th event will bring together women of color from all over the cannabis industry to network, educate, and elevate, featuring virtual and in-person programming in Philadelphia, PA. It’s only a matter of time until this state legalizes adult-use, and this will be an unprecedented opportunity to make contact with a key part of the East Coast cannabis community. Email email@example.com for more information.
PAX created an attachment to be able to vape with a bong, and I’m just like… Why? If you vape, isn’t it because you’re choosing to vape rather than hit a bong? To me, this “water pipe adaptor” signals a confused attempt to gain market share of consumers that stick to glass. I think PAX should focus on what they’re good at, premium vaporizers. I own a bong and a PAX for different reasons—not because I dream of using them simultaneously.
High Finds: Lifestyle Goods I Like
Very into the name of this new Filipino-founded cannabis brand, COUSIN. I don’t know about y’all, but my first puff and flower purchase happened with my cousin at my side.
Laundry Day’s frosty glass pipe drop was announced with artful montages of the thought process and inspiration behind the new texture, which serve as their own form of inspiration for social content that doesn’t get an account flagged for overtly weed-related things.
The newly opened Gotham dispensary in New York debuted its e-comm site. Among the usual players—Tetra pipes; Tsubota Pearl lighters; House of Puff ashtrays—there are fun finds like weed-themed cocktail napkins and post-sesh goods like puzzles and a bougie backgammon board by Maison Goods.
A fun, glittering Pride collab between G Pen, Stündenglass, and the queer-owned Beedazzling Psycho has brought about the blingiest cannabis accessories I’ve ever seen. All profits from this collection of rainbow rhinestone-encrusted pieces will go to the LA LGBTQ Center.
Recent trips out of town have reminded me of the usefulness of a handheld smoke filter at all times. If you’re headed on vacation and envision exhaling during your stay in a no-smoking Airbnb, I’ve found that Sploofy’s works best. It’s got a replaceable filter within and features a newly redesigned mouthpiece to mitigate resiny remains around the lips.