Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
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Monday, September 12, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes, 18 seconds. Contains 861 words.
It’s great to be back with y’all. We’ve got a lot of weed news to catch up on!
Before we get going, a quick tease for this Friday’s dispatch: a refresh of one of our most-clicked pieces about how cannabis brands are using social media right now. Things change fast, and new apps and algorithms emerge, so we figured it was time for another edition of this roundtable, where brands share the details on what platforms they use, the types of content they post and where, and what’s converting and what’s sticky. For this social status check, I chatted with California brand Sundae School and New York-based accessory brand House of Puff. Catch all of it in this Friday’s newsletter for paid subscribers.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Here’s a headline that made me do a double-take: One-third of Toronto cannabis retailers are expected to close within the next year. The usual issues—a sales slowdown, dropping prices, and market saturation—are to blame, challenges every maturing cannabis market is experiencing. Then there’s also the high cost of doing legal cannabis business. Just last week, POLITICO ran an article ominously titled “Why weed companies can't make any money.” It covers these difficulties, plus the insurmountable tax bills and fundraising challenges U.S. cultivators face.
Related: If you needed a visual to understand just how rampant unlicensed cannabis grows are in California right now, the LA Times shared a hard-won satellite map that really puts things in perspective.
WeedWeek conducted independent tests on California prerolls purchased in stores to shed light on the state of potency inflation. Popular brands like Jeeter, Lowell Farms, Raw Garden, and Field Extracts were in the testing mix. While the full report is subscriber-only, an IG post teased that “of the seven brands (and nine total products) included, all of them tested below the THC levels on their label. The implied potency inflation on various products ranged from 14% to more than 500%.” So, should we worry about these numbers? For sure. There’s a problematic incentive for labs to round up numbers to retain cultivator customers. We can extend a little benefit of the doubt to some parties due to the variations in how weed is tested—typically, only a few grams from each multiple-pound batch is tested, so a variation of 14% may be plausible. But a 500% variation in potency doesn’t seem accidental.
In a potential landmark moment for its state employees, California legislators sent a bill to Governor Newsom’s desk that would restrict companies from penalizing employees who get high on their own time. The bill notes that common urine or hair tests detect only the presence of cannabis molecules and have “no correlation to impairment on the job.” It does give employers the right to react when workers fail saliva tests (those are more indicative of recent consumption).
A team of researchers at King’s College London is currently gathering subjects for what will be the largest independent study of its kind on how a person’s biological makeup impacts their response to cannabis. The £2.5 million study aims to enroll 6,000 participants. Researchers will use a combination of virtual reality, psychological and cognitive analysis and DNA testing, as well as epigenetics—the ways behavior and environment can impact the way genes work. It’s hopefully the first of many more similar studies to follow.
This Thursday in New York City, YANA Canna Creative Agency is throwing a weed party on a three-story yacht. There’s a fashion theme for the festivities, with a runway exhibiting brands, plus a DJ, a body painter, and free-flowing cannabis consumption, all while the boat tours the Hudson River. If the weather’s right on the high seas, you’ll get nice views of Lady Liberty, too.
Houseplant’s Stack Lantern won one of Arch Digest’s 2022 Cleverest Awards. This win is a testament to the brand’s continued innovations in multipurpose smoking tools and their skill in playing the affiliate marketing game.
As a passionate proponent of the weed + nail art phenomenon, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see these matching packs of papers and nail wraps made via a Papers + Ink and Scratch Nails collaboration. Looking forward to the UGC!
In an unexpected twist, accessory brand Eyce released a line of classic-looking spoon pipes made via patented rubber technology. The Oraflex series uses two layers of “platinum-cured silicone,” giving it the look of blown glass. Visually, it evokes the first pipe you ever bought, but it will outlast a hundred of the drops that ended your first. (I accidentally shatter something on my countertop monthly, so I’m hoping Eyce goes ahead and makes a whole cup collection out of the stuff.)
Dreaming of a non-tippable bong stand made for cat owners,