Evolving Equity & Unique Launches
The latest weed news.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, May 24, 2021
Time to read: 6 minutes, 7 seconds. 1225 words.
Good morning, readers!
You know, I have to admit—sometimes it’s difficult to get in the mindset of a cheery industry greeting. As we attempt to continue creating and working, making time to heal and find “normal” rhythms, unrelenting tragedies continue to unfold. There is so much to digest, and there’s an ongoing pressure to understand the complex world around us more deeply, all the time.
All this is just to say—on those Mondays when you’re feeling a little existentially wobbly in the weed and weed-related worlds, rest assured that cannabinoids are playing a pretty huge role in many people’s ability to process anything right now. I know they are in mine. So, here’s to another week helping each other stay sane between rounds of breaking news.
Before we get to the latest legal updates and intriguing product launches, here’s a reason for all of you Monday-only readers to subscribe: this Friday, I’ll be sharing a fascinating interview with the director of research and development at a major hemp processor. She breaks down the system, scale, and certification standards that determine a CBD oil’s quality, what first-timer brands need to know when it comes to vetting production partners, and what’s next in botanical-extraction trends. Any CBD tincture, topical, or edible brand seeking to source oil from a processor can’t miss this one. Subscribe for $8/month or $80/year, and support the women behind the Report’s independent journalism.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
New iterations of equity programs and priorities are taking shape along the East coast. An adult-use legalization bill in Rhode Island contains stipulations directing a percentage of collected license, registration, and penalty fees to a social equity assistance fund. The fund would provide no-interest loans to cannabis businesses owned by people impacted by cannabis prohibition and support social welfare programs. Meanwhile, Connecticut’s adult-use legalization bill is packed with auto-erasure clauses for cannabis possession charges of now-legal amounts going back to 2000; simplified pathways to expunge prior convictions for possession, drug paraphernalia, and the sale of now-legal amounts; and equity-minded stipulations. For example, it would ensure that social equity applicants get priority for 40% of the maximum number of applications to be considered for eligible license types and give those applicants a 50% reduction in license fees.
This Wednesday, May 26, the Minority Cannabis Business Association will host a forum on federal equity policy. Panelists, including Mario Guzman of Sherbinskis and Seun Adedeji of multistate retailer Elev8 Cannabis, will discuss questions like: What does economic justice in the context of federal cannabis reform look like? What are the policy priorities of minority cannabis operators? How can the minority cannabis community build a coalition that accurately reflects the needs of our community? Learn more about the event here.
In continuation of Potli’s AAPI happenings this month, the CBD brand launched their Courage Over Comfort campaign—”a radical reimagination of care.” It includes a chance to win an amazing package of goodies—a SF Roots x Potli Protect Our Elders Joint, Potli’s hemp olive oil, a cookbook, a special new infused shrimp chip, and The Pollinators Zine, featuring a piece written by yours truly on the industry we wish we could build. To enter the giveaway, entrants make a donation to Alma Backyard Farms—an LA-based organization that provides support and employment to formerly incarcerated people through repurposing land into productive urban farms.
Last week, an investor in California cultivator Kings Garden got hacked, resulting in emails that looked like they were coming from investors containing fraudulent documents and extortion attempts. They’ve contacted law enforcement and had their PR people circulate a note—which is how I got wind of this—warning others to disregard questionable communications. This actually happened all the time at a large cannabis company I worked for—I received multiple emails on our internal Microsoft Office server that looked totally legit, except for how odd it was for the CEO to be emailing the copywriter to get their credit card info. Remember to change your passwords at least annually, folks! And make them weird—always nonsense words with random numbers and symbols.
Wondery debuts a new podcast series charting the rise of Juul and the eventual #VapeGate that resulted in widespread Vitamin-E acetate bans in the fall of 2019. Only a few episodes are out, so I’m not sure how much “The Vaping Fix” will touch on our industry. Wondery productions can get cheesy at times, but so far, it’s well-reported and sure to provide plenty of caveats for entrepreneurs in the business of vaporizing.
Portland-based readers: East Fork Cultivars’ Hemp Bar opens in Portland this weekend! Oregon’s beloved hemp company’s new flagship retail space will feature CBD mocktails, plant-based foods, and plenty of East Fork goodies for purchase. They’re hosting a special opening event on May 29, and though the first 50 guests will get a free gift, Caesar, the “No Drama Therapy Llama,” will be making an appearance from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. (An actual llama(s) lives on East Fork's farm—this is all very on-brand.) See you there!
Stay Stoned, an artful new book of contemporary weed tattoo flash, honors the craftsmanship of tattooing and cannabis culture. Every one of the 420 copies made features a hand-bleached cloth cover, making each book one of a kind, and every page is numbered by hand.
Dieux dropped their highly anticipated serum, Deliverance and immediately sold out. In true Dieux fashion, all ingredients were tested twice a day for six to eight weeks, including the encapsulated cannabinoid complex. They list the active percentage of cannabinoids in their product—a far more logical but still uncommon way to denote cannabinoid content, compared to the current industry standard of listing the amount in milligrams—and they appear to be the first skincare brand to do so. While you’re waiting for the restock, pick up their Forever Eye Mask or the Awakening Hand Sanitizer (truly the best-smelling sanitizer option out there).
To celebrate the opening of Brain Dead Studios on Fairfax in Los Angeles, Rose collaborated with the multifaceted Brain Dead team on a new cherimoya-lime-chili Delight infused with Hammerhead flower rosin from Royal Key Organics. I can’t yet report on the flavor, but the packaging features a calmly chaotic collage design that is *chef’s kiss* perfect for the tart, tropical ingredients.
I actually interviewed Rose’s founders for my latest Thrillist column, and I guarantee you will never, ever guess the pair of friends’ pie-in-the-sky dream chef collaboration. While the fantasy is waiting to be realized, you can taste the results of a more recent collab.
The smell-proof bag of the summer has arrived. Accessories brand Higher Standards collaborated with the odor-proof aficionados at Revelry on a stylish fanny pack, zip pouch, and full-size backpack in heavy-duty black canvas that contains a carbon filter.
Slipknot band member Clown has released a line of pre-rolls, and they feature an absolutely terrifying, very high clown on the package. I know design rules forbid appealing to children, but what about the nightmares of adults? However, looking at the clever metalhead-pothead branding of Heavy Grass—the farm powering the collaboration—it might be a savvy campaign? I’m upset about the creepy clown imagery, but I applaud Clown for finding his niche.
I’m taking next Monday off for Memorial Day, so there won’t be a newsletter on the 31st. I hope you take some time to chill, too!
Until next time,
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