New Laws & Cute Resin
Plus: Ask Me Anything (Tomorrow)
Thursday, January 4, 2024
Time to read: About 5 minutes. Contains 1,048 words.
Yes, we’re a few days late this week, but I’m back in action now! Happy belated New Year to all. I hope yours is off to a great start.
I have big plans for Sticky Bits in 2024, including new formats for helpful content. Coming soon: a roundtable with cannabis-related brands who’ve found ways to advertise on Meta successfully, an interview with a founder dealing with delinquent vendors, and a trend report on a theme popping up across multiple facets of our industry.
Coming tomorrow: the first all-call for a proper Ask-Me-Anything.
I have received a couple of questions directly to my email over the years, but I’m interested in making this a more useful, regular function for paid subscribers and more fun for all. If you are a paid subscriber, you’ll receive an email tomorrow with directions for submitting questions. These can run the gamut—weed biz-related or not. In a couple of weeks, I’ll write answers out and share the whole list of Q&A in a special dispatch to everyone, both free and paid. Excited to start connecting more with all of you! Thank you for being here.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Hemp efforts continue—as a dietary supplement. As many of you know, the 2018 Farm Bill was due for review last year. Congress got preoccupied with bigger fish to fry and time ran out, leading to an extension of the deadline to reexamine the legislation by September 30, 2024. Until then, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, the Hemp Industries Association, and the National Industrial Hemp Council have united to rally support for getting CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids regulated as “dietary supplements and food additives,” among other initiatives. When I spoke to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s general counsel, Jonathan Miller, about this mission, he said dietary supplements have “a system of existing, transparent rules that we know how to implement already” and how it’s a more comprehensible path for legislators and regulators to wrap their heads around. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, dear readers—how do you feel about CBD going the supplement route?
Where social equity is actually working. If you read far enough into POLITICO’s very depressing and very revealing year-end wrap-up on just how badly most social equity programs have failed and why, you’ll find some glimmers of hope. Something’s going right in Nevada, for example, “where nearly 40 percent of industry executives are Black or Latino,” according to a January report. In Colorado, 18.8 percent of licensed cannabis businesses are currently minority-owned.
Schedule 3 just might be. In other positive POLITICO reporting, this chat with a former top FDA official regarding the likelihood of cannabis moving to Schedule 3 per the Health and Human Services recommendation—and how that likely won’t be as bad as many op-eds swirling in our community say it will be—has me thinking this ish might really go down this year. This line has stuck with me: “DEA has never disagreed with an HHS recommendation. I think it’s unlikely they will do so here, though it’s certainly possible.”
New doors are opening in New York. Despite the threat of that new lawsuit challenging the retail licensing process of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, three new dispensaries have opened in the past couple of weeks. This includes the very beautiful Dagmar Cannabis, the first social justice applicant to open a dispensary in Soho. The interior design looks really cool, and I spotted a few artful accessories I hadn’t seen elsewhere, like these High Line ashtrays.
Payment processor drama in process. In Georgia, a $500M contract dispute involving a payment processor sheds light on loopholes and ongoing challenges for cannabis companies seeking to run debit and credit card transactions. FP Omni Technologies Inc., a company that processes payments for cannabis merchants, is folding after merchants were recently shut out of major card networks due to cannabis involvement. FP Omni had made an agreement back in 2019 with a larger company called TSYS Acquiring Solutions LLC, (a subsidiary of payment processing giant Global Payments Inc.) that essentially played a middleman role for these cannabis transactions to be processed, allegedly promising they’d smooth things over with credit card companies. Now that their agreement hasn’t worked out, FP Omni wants to be compensated.
New year, new weed laws. A big signal of legal weed reaching a more mature state: the latest round of legislation that went into effect in legal states this week. In California and Washington, employers are now prohibited from asking potential hires about past cannabis use. Colorado cannabis products now must show a “use by” date, and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will now hire “secret shoppers” to discreetly assist with oversight activities to review regulatory compliance at cannabis businesses.
UFC welcomes weed. In more progressive news: the UFC removed cannabis from its banned substances list. They haven’t been penalizing athletes with THC in their system since 2021, and now it’s official.
A 10,000-person cannabis study. It’s super exciting to see news of a National Cannabis Study in the works to better understand the efficacy and impacts of cannabis on health. Funded with a five-year $10 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers at Johns Hopkins University will track 10,000 medical marijuana patients for at least a year to collect data around dosing, delivery methods, the chemical composition of products, possible medication interactions and other treatment details.
High Finds: Lifestyle Goods I Like
Just when I was feeling bored with resin trends, I discovered the joyous, girl-powered nug encapsulations of Nancy Chains.
Hemp beverage brand Aplos released a cool lifestyle item in the form of Cocktail Commissions: A Recipe Book. The limited edition book is filled with vibey, thirst-inducing photography by Sergiy Barchuk, Sophie Tajan, Louis Dewynter, and Daphne Lejeune, aiming to provide a “visual exploration of cocktails inspired by mundane moments that deserve to be celebrated.”
These rainbow splatter editions of Dangle Supply’s signature titanium bong sold out in a matter of days (possibly just one).
Your weed trend dealer,