Lunar Smokes & Biz Advice
Plus: Learning from Trulieve's misses and moves.
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Time to read: About 4 minutes. Contains 703 words.
Good morning, and hello, February!
I love the ceremony and sentiment this month brings (and not just because it’s my birthday month 🐟). If your business is doing any Valentine’s-related drops or activations, I want to hear about it! I’ll share a roundup of interesting innovations in the space next week.
In the past month of headlines, one trend caught my eye again and again. No, not Dry January (although it is interesting to see how January is becoming a reliable annual bump for cannabis sales). It was nicotine. In particular, ZYN nicotine pouches. There is much to discuss and learn from the latest youth vice, from its popular energizing effect and TikTok takeover to the way it’s factoring into political party rivalries. Is this the end of vapes? I’m going to get into all of it in Friday’s dispatch, breaking down this trending intoxicant and how it relates to the weed world.
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One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
A New York judge shut down the latest license-related lawsuit. Northern District of New York Judge Anne Nardacci concluded that the latest challenge by two Los Angeles residents to the state’s prioritization of local applicants was not worth the additional damage further holdup of the rollout would cause. Just in time for a new lawsuit to get filed this week by a group of seven women-owned companies alleging an unfair licensing process.
A Massachusetts retailer challenges exorbitant local fees and wins. Most, if not all, states with adult use laws permit cities to implement their own tax layers on cannabis businesses. Massachusetts allows cities to charge “impact fees” via Host Community Agreements with the municipalities in which they plan to operate, although they require documentation to legitimize the fees. Uxbridge dispensary Caroline’s Cannabis challenged the fees she was being asked to pay and, last week, settled a return of $1.2 million after the town failed to provide any documentation. If you’re dealing with exorbitant fees, don’t be afraid to ask for receipts — you may not owe what you (and they) think you do.
You might be able to get 280E refunds, too. A guest column in MJBiz Daily penned by tax attorney Nick Richards points out that if Trulieve is attempting to claim $143 million in federal tax refunds by filing amended federal tax returns for 2019-21, others probably can too.
Breaking down Trulieve’s monopolistic trajectory and conflicted origins. Worker-minded media site More Perfect Union did a deep dive for their YouTube channel into the cannabis megalith’s history and how it’s actively fighting worker protections and anti-trust laws.
Germany really is about to legalize weed. As Thailand reels its adult use market in, Germany is moving ahead with possession, consumption, and, eventually, cultivation clubs, starting with lifting the ban on possession April 1. I did not expect Germany to become a 4/20 destination as soon as this year.
Where is the weed version of orthopedic shoes? I talked about my grandma’s cannabis habits and the ongoing need for cannabis products marketed to seniors in the latest episode of the How To Do The Pot podcast.
High Finds: Celebratory Sparks & Sparkles
Papers & Ink dropped a special rolling paper adorned with dragons in time for Lunar New Year seshes. 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon (there are elemental subsets for each of the signs in the Chinese zodiac), which is associated with growth, abundance, and progress.
I’ve been looking at inspo ahead of my annual birthday manicure at the weed-friendly Nomsternailz salon in Portland, and while I do typically ask for her to freestyle whatever weed-related call-outs she’s feeling, I’m intrigued by some designs I’ve seen featuring these glitter leaves.
Sophisticated accessory standby Rogue Paq just dropped a fun deck of gold and silver foil-stamped playing cards.
I’d never heard of Imbolc before now, but the pagan holiday marking the midpoint between winter and spring solstice has been all over my feed this past week. I’m here for honoring nature-based festivities with more naturally-harvested buds.