Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
Laying Out The Lawsuits
Plus: Japanese weed jeans
The Broccoli Report
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Time to read: About 6 minutes. Contains 1,125 words.
Apologies for the belated dispatch! I meant to get this out on time yesterday, but you know how it goes. We’re back on track now, and I’ve got some exciting updates I’m almost ready to share—big, bountiful announcements to come in next Monday’s newsletter.
Thank you to all who read, forwarded, and reposted Friday’s dispatch covering the lack of brands targeting older adults who consume cannabis. In the responses that came my way, I learned Falling Leaves Events out of Michigan is hosting senior-focused infused dining events right now, which is so cool to see! Let me know if you know if you know of other projects operating in the space, I’ll definitely be checking in on the trend as it develops.
Alright—let’s get caught up on the news, shall we?
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
A halt on issuing licenses in New York has been top of many people’s minds. In plain terms: a group of military veterans filed a lawsuit against the state’s Cannabis Control Board (“CCB”) and Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”). They allege that creating the conditional adult use dispensary (“CAURD”) program and its prioritizing of individuals or their immediate families convicted of cannabis-related offenses was unconstitutional. They argue that per the original law legalizing cannabis in the state—New York’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”)—service-disabled veterans should qualify as first-priority social equity applicants. The lawsuit resulted in a New York state judge halting the CAURD program pending further court decisions. Per the latest hearing that happened last Friday, August 11, the judge isn’t interested in extending the hold-up program as long as changes are made to the CAURD program that would satisfy the veteran plaintiffs. It’s worth noting that the OCM intended to open up licensing to them in 60 days anyways and that the mega multistate operators keen to get into the NY market are using this as a chance to bring down the barriers stopping them.
If you are an entrepreneur in New York or want a clearer understanding of what’s going down and what happens next, Our Academy—the non-profit workshop series and mentorship group of professionals assembled to support folks pushed to the margins of the cannabis industry—is hosting a seminar this Thursday, August 17 with attorney Cristina Buccola to break things down and answer questions. You must register (it’s free) to attend.
Massive, publicly-traded Canadian cannabis producer Tilray Brands acquired eight beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch, including Breckenridge, 10 Barrel Brewing out of Bend, OR, and Shock Top breweries, which is interesting because it sort of feels like backsliding. The beer market is shrinking. However, the move did successfully spike their stock prices, which was likely the driving factor.
Although I knew the Mexican-American-owned brand HUMO had something to do with influential cannabis advocate Susie Plascencia, I wasn’t exactly sure to what degree. According to a lawsuit recently filed by HUMO, neither was Plascencia. Although the messaging I was aware of was that she was a “brand partner” working on brand development, social media, marketing, and sales, the suit alleges she overstepped clear contractual bounds by fostering the impression she was an owner. Optically, it was admittedly hard to separate her from the brand—although that was part of the agreed-upon marketing work. If you look at the comments on her recent IG post addressing this story breaking on WeedWeek, you’ll see the impression clearly contributed to sales and benefitted the brand. There’s a lot to take away here for business owners: the importance of clear roles with independent contractors, wise approaches to long-term influencer partnerships, and the enduring gap in the market for cannabis products targeting underserved demographics.
The NYT dove deep into another issue that comes with doing business that involves a federally illegal substance: trademarks. It’s not an easy call to make, but one that many wish they would’ve done earlier. You can hear from a handful of brands on their approach to IP in this past Report, which I’ve unlocked for all to read.
Just when I’m sure that I’ve seen it all, or at least that the CBD craze has officially mellowed out, I read about a company providing CBD via IV drip.
One idea for multidisciplinary collabs: Los Angeles-based band Frankie and the Witch Fingers—recent openers for bands like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, and Cheap Trick—have developed their own strain of cannabis called Data Bloom which will be released alongside their new album, Data Doom, on September 1. It’ll be exclusively available at MOTA in Silver Lake.
Hesitant city leaders who remain on the fence about inviting cannabis stores into their communities might take a note from Pomona, CA, where approval of a STIIIZY location was contingent on an agreement to donate a percentage of sales to the city. I’m not positive what that percentage is and if it lasts in perpetuity, but I do know that STIIIZY just presented a $293,539 check to Pomona parks and schools.
I’m pleased to see the cannabis community getting some much-deserved recognition on at least KnowYourMeme.com’s history of “algo speak,” a term for the replacement of keywords and phrases to elude censorship on social platforms.
High Finds: Lifestyle Goods I Like
Amongst the useful ashtrays, handmade pipes, and chic board games available at New York’s Gotham dispensary—and available to order online—the Duo Spiky Smoking Device by LA-based ceramicist Eunbi Cho stands out for numerous reasons. The sculptural piece features colored details to indicate where to pack the bowl and where to inhale, but how you hold it; how it sits on display is all up to you. It’s reminiscent of one of Miyazaki’s animated soot sprites; it’s also like some kind of living coral from the ocean on another planet.
Attention weed-loving denim nerds: Alterior & Mister Green collaborated on a full-cut denim trouser handmade in Vancouver, B.C. from 14 oz. hemp selvedge denim milled in Japan. I don’t know enough about denim for those details to mean much to me, but I think they look sick, and I love that the craft and care that went into every contrast stitch extended to the unused denim scraps, which they transformed into equally sick five and six-panel caps.
Did you miss out on Offfield’s Run High mesh short drop? Good news: they just released a sweet, ultra-breathable hat with the same satisfying message and a sweatband built in.
Stay cool, calm, and cannabinoid-rich out there,