Rescheduling Updates & Gen Z Trends
Plus: Hype grow supplies.
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Time to read: About 5 minutes. Contains 963 words.
Well, the poll results about newsletter scheduling were overwhelming: y’all do not care if this lands Monday or Tuesday, as long as it lands! So, Tuesdays it is. Thank you for your adaptability! This is going to work way better for me.
Last month, a LinkedIn post from Lex Corwin—founder of the California farm Stone Road—caught my eye. He was processing the news of the closure of the massive delivery company Glassdoor, which still owed him tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid invoices. In the post, Corwin reflected on his early days pre-legalization—a time when no invoice went unpaid, ever. How times have changed.
In the past couple of years, Corwin’s experience has been unfortunately common in our community. Upon hearing about the sheer scale of this loss for Corwin, I reached out to learn more about how it got to this point and where he and other brands dealing with the same issues can go from here. For this Friday’s dispatch for paid subs, I will be sharing our whole conversation. Tune in, get an insider’s update on the state of getting paid by retailers, and if you’re in the same boat, find solidarity and support during these stormy times.
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
The Schedule 3 recommendation gets unredacted. The biggest news in cannabis right now is the big reveal of the full, unredacted text of the Department of Health and Human Service’s 252-page recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Agency to reschedule cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3. It shows that the department does indeed recommend dropping it to Schedule 3 due to cannabis’ lower potential for abuse than other scheduled substances and accepted medical use. Big thanks to Texas lawyer Matthew Zorn for his diligent Freedom of Information Act filings to get the docs released and unredacted—his colleague Shane Pennington wrote a helpful breakdown of the full text in their latest Substack drop.
2023 sales show late summer slumps. MJBiz Daily assembled graphs comparing revenue across all legal state markets throughout 2023, and it’s super interesting to compare month-to-month rhythms across the country. For instance, the majority of states show a slight decrease in sales from August to October, ramping up again in November. Are the productive vibes of autumn bringing down consumption levels? A winding down of summertime recreation? If you’re planning a splashy campaign in Q3, September may not be the month to invest in. Or perhaps it’s the month that needs to help most.
Another European country steps towards legalization. In the Czech Republic, possession of cannabis for personal use has been decriminalized since 2010. A new bill may soon broaden herbal allowances to include home cultivation and the establishment of cannabis social clubs, if not more.
Reeling in bad actors through anti-scam laws. Connecticut is cracking down on unlicensed retailers and wholesalers violating potency laws via the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, under which violations carry fines of up to $5,000 per offense.
Gen Z cools on cannabis across the pond. Intrigued by numbers showing a 4% decline in cannabis use among 16- to 24-year-olds, Dazed interviewed a group of Gen Z Brits about their relationship with cannabis. Some indicated a higher sensitivity to the idea of being dependent on any substance; others cited more mindful consumption rhythms. One harm reduction expert posited that COVID-19 lockdowns removed a chapter of opportunity for many in this generation to pick up the habit.
Gen Z still spends more on wellness. The latest Future of Wellness report from McKinsey, which amassed data from more than 5,000 consumers across China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, showed that Gen Z and millennial consumers purchase more wellness products and services than older generations. “Wellness” here embodies health, sleep, nutrition, fitness, appearance, and mindfulness. For cannabis and cannabinoid brands targetting younger generations, opting for language around “getting high” may no longer be the right approach.
Gift shop bong hits. It’s super cool to see that SF MOMA will be stocking WEED’D accessories in the gift shop. I’m not actually sure whether the bongs will be sold there (it could just be their candles and trays). BTW, their chess set with bongs and ashtrays as pieces is indeed for sale on their site. More well-designed, weed-themed board game moments, please!
High Finds: Growth Mindset
Of all the saturated spaces in our industry, seeds are still a weird, inconsistent realm. I feel like I no longer see them sold at Portland, OR, dispensaries I visit, and it can be so unpredictable to order stuff online. I know you can go directly to growers with whom you have a rapport or try your hand in the DMs (sometimes I see farms announce in Instagram Stories when they have clones/seeds available). For people interested in growing high-CBD, low-THC plants, I can at least recommend checking out the selection of seeds from the trustworthy folks at East Fork Cultivars based in Southern Oregon.
If you’re craving some extra ceremony in your home harvest practices, these small, snakeskin-patterned bud-trimming scissors by Rogue Paq are a useful and aesthetic addition to your gardening kit.
First time growing? I recommend Grow Your Own by Nichole Graf, Micah Sherman, David Stein, and Liz Crain for an accessible, knowledgeable guide to setting up a grow area, planting, raising, and harvesting buds. Plus, how to manage pests and molds without pesticides, how to bake edibles, and a lot more.
In my germination phase,
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