Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
High Inseams & Dry Joints
Plus: I 💔 New York.
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Time to read: About 5 minutes. Contains 893 words.
I know consistency is key. My goal is to deliver piping-hot cannabis news and product trend analysis every Monday morning, no matter what. However, I also know that moving is always more time-consuming than one expects, and I should’ve accounted for that during last weekend’s move into a new spot across town. So, here we are on Tuesday, with me wading through boxes to find my computer charger, and you are probably still getting through Monday’s emails and wondering wtf I’m talking about.
In any case, thank you for being here, and here’s to a season of change.
I don’t just mean falling leaves or ripening buds, either. It’s been about a month since The Broccoli Report evolved into Sticky Bits with yours truly. I’ve noticed a few longtime cannabis colleagues leaving the game for mainstream gigs, and as many THC farmers trying out hemp as the other way around. There was a seismic shift in the conversation around scheduling cannabis a few weeks back (no update there). A big change hit New York most recently, which we’ll get into in a second.
It’s shaping up to be as unpredictable a holiday season as ever, but you can bet this newsletter will be here to help you stay on top of the biggest issues and innovations hitting the scene each week. Maybe not on time every Monday, but definitely each week, and always crafted with care.
Let’s get caught up!
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
After New York was hailed as a leader for a trailblazing program that put cannabis licenses in the hands of those most negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition, and months of legal challenges and a bottlenecked roll out due to the ambitious legislation, New York legislators have seemingly caved to big money. Initially, the law didn’t allow multistate giants to apply for licenses until 2025. As of last week, newly approved regulations allow existing multistate operators with a medical presence in the state—including Curaleaf, Columbia Care, Cresco Labs and Green Thumb Industries—to pay their way into the adult-use retail market before this Halloween. It’ll just take a $175,000 retail license fee and an initial $5-million installment toward a one-time $20 million “special licensing fee.” It is not accessible to anyone but big dogs with massive footprints.
This is…not great news. It’s a grave betrayal of the tenants initially laid out by state regulators concerning creating a diverse, ethical program. It’s also a real hit to trust between legislators and operators, proving their word is only as good as their ability to refuse millions of dollars in licensing fees. The one condolence I can offer is that if these businesses don’t see customers, they may take a hint and seek warmer waters elsewhere. Let’s not forget that Curaleaf abandoned the West Coast, where consumers didn’t go out of their way to shop there. As long as cannabis is limited in its advertising and marketing capacities, people have a particular power; their choices still impact whose doors stay open.
Apparently, the fundraising well isn’t totally dry out there: a Chicago-based edible company called The Bettering Company just announced a $6.7 million funding round. This brings their total funding over the past 16 months to $11 million, comprised of experienced venture capital, cannabis sector, and consumer packaged goods investors. Notably—this is just another gummy company! They’re likely tasty gummies, I don’t have anything against them, but this is a good reminder that sometimes it’s just about targeting the right sectors and investors.
In reality, despite stressed headlines, there’s a lot of promise across the industry at the moment—just not in the regions you might expect. August’s sales reports showed Michigan is doing triple the numbers of established states like Oregon.
A fun out-of-home marketing campaign executed by accessories brand Laundry Day on the streets of Portugal.
MJ BizCon is just around the corner—this is a reminder to any attendees to start strategizing how to get into the right after parties and finding a fellow attendee to buddy up with to split Lyft costs. You can peep my recaps from 2021 for a sense of the experience and how I recommend making the most of it.
On the more laidback event side, the next moodRXtreat will take place October 20–22 at a cozy destination in Ellicottville, NY and include sound bath sessions, contrast therapy, an in-house chef preparing meals infused with terpenes and CBD, and a “mood bar” stocked with flower, prerolls, edibles, and much more.
High Finds: Lifestyle Goods I Like
Just in time for the season finale of Winning Time—HBO’s chaotic, electric depiction of the Lakers’ rise to fame that I’ve very much enjoyed—sporty CBD brand OFFFIELD dropped a purple and gold pair of the “Run High” mesh shorts. The unisex shorts come in both 3” and 5” inseams.
Preorders of the pink edition of Thnk 1994 Museum’s Mary Kate & Ash Tray have opened.
Here’s a free product idea for the Sticky Bits fam: joint umbrellas. This DIY innovation brought me back to misty smoke seshes between lit classes during my time at UC Santa Cruz, squishing together under Redwood branches to keep the joint from catching too many drops—a problem that’s yet to be reliably solved, I believe. Last time I mentioned the idea of a floating ashtray for tokers in the tub, y’all made it happen. 👀Just saying.
Of magic, Macguyvers, and alternative materials,