Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
Weed and Weed-Adjacent News
Plus, exclusive cannabis fundraising advice.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, November 1, 2021
Time to read: 6 minutes, 9 seconds. Contains 1232 words.
Feliz Día de los Muertos!
I’ve always adhered to a spiritual November 1st; always held space for processing change and loss during this time of year when the veil between the physical world and everything else may be a bit thinner. It feels balancing to make time for reflection after a month of simulated spookiness. Pack an extra bowl in celebratory remembrance today, and I wish everyone a pleasant stroll if they visit any loved ones. 💨✨
News from a more material plane: This Thursday, November 4th, at 2:00 p.m. PST, I’m hosting an ask-me-anything Zoom chat with cannabis fundraising expert Alison Gordon. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Gordon for guidance on their individual challenges and questions. She wants to be of real help to independent entrepreneurs and knows that one-on-one advice is what makes a real difference, so don’t be afraid to get specific with your questions. This event is open to paid subscribers only, and attendees can submit questions during the live Zoom.
Friday subscribers: See you at 2:00 p.m. PST Thursday!
Monday-only subscribers: Sign up for Friday newsletters by 5:00 p.m. PST tomorrow to get access to this event, and I’ll see you, too!
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
So, that headline about the U.S. Postal Service’s banning vape products: This is indeed bad news. “Verified businesses” can still mail vapes to each other, and there’s a little more leeway within the states of Alaska and Hawaii. Still, generally speaking, it is now prohibited for a company to send a vaping device to a consumer via U.S. mail. The agency clarified that hemp (see: CBD) is “generally mailable, but only to the extent that they are not incorporated into an ENDS product or function as a component of one.” (“ENDS” meaning “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device.”) The USPS stated that CBD vapes are prohibited until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves them. The one bit of good news is that the FDA just announced a refreshed data-gathering campaign to establish guidelines for cannabinoid-derived products. If that goes well, the resulting guidelines could restore companies’ abilities to distribute product by mail.
Not that any California operator needs a reminder, but illegal sales continue to be a massive obstacle between the current precarious state market and a stable, profitable industry. A recent POLITICO piece put it plainly: “The state’s illegal market approaches $8 billion annually, twice the volume of legal sales.” Oof. I’ve almost exclusively bought from dispensaries since things went legal in Oregon, but that’s largely because until the past couple of years, Oregon had no cap on licenses, so it was easier to choose from the four shops within a mile of my apartment than wait around on a dealer’s schedule. More shops alone won’t solve this situation, but making it easier and more worthwhile for Californians to buy weed through legal venues is key to turning this situation around.
Luxembourg legalized cannabis! (To a degree.) People living in Luxembourg aged 18 and over can legally grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use. Selling anything other than seeds won’t be allowed for a while, though, and oddly, the country retained penalties for getting caught with weed outside the home. The consumption and transport of a quantity of up to 3 grams will be classified as a misdemeanor with a small fine of €25. For anything more than 3 grams, officials clearly stated that “nothing changes” and “you will be considered a dealer.” A tepid congratulations to Luxembourg.
You have to join the Friday Subscriber Fam to access my full recap on the MJ BizCon and MJ Unpacked Las Vegas cannabis conference extravaganza, but here’s one useful find from my schmoozing: The Athenuem Collective offers a ton of helpful online workshops to entrepreneurs (cost: $200–$400) ranging from “Intro to Digital Media Buying” and “Influencer Marketing Roadmap” to “Cannabis Marketing Master Courses.”
Wyld just announced it reached carbon neutrality. The MSO has prioritized and switched systems to renewable energy wherever possible, and then to offset residual emissions, Wyld purchased an additional “30% of Carbon Credits” through South Pole. In a comprehensive report, the company even outlined the projects its credits supported.
Eaze is now accepting applications for the Class of 2022 for their Momentum business accelerator supporting under-represented founders. Participants receive a $50,000 grant and a 12-week industry expertise curriculum. Notably, Eaze does not walk away with any equity from program participants. Applicants must be either a licensed cannabis business (you’re still eligible if your application is pending), a hemp company licensed by your local department of agriculture (CA exempt), or an ancillary business with a local business license in the jurisdiction where they operate. Head here to apply.
Has anyone else been following the New York Times Presents docu-series on Hulu? They did a big episode on the Britney Spears conservatorship episode earlier in 2021, and the latest installment, “Move Fast and Vape Things,” profiled the rise, peak, and current litigious state of Juul. It’s an interesting watch that made me realize that I’d forgotten how the original vape pitch was to help people quit smoking cigarettes. Then, this Forbes headline about a hemp cigarette maker securing $8 million—on top of a $5 million previous investment—reminded me just how massive the business of “helping people quit cigarettes” is. Hempettes is another brand mimicking cigarette look and feel, and these Creme hemp cigarettes by a brand called Sugar look like a popular substitute for menthols.
Lil’ Kim is getting into the weed game. Through a partnership with CA cannabis brand Superbad Inc., Aphrodisiac should hit shelves in 2022. Based on that partnership, I’m assuming the products will only be in the CA market to start, but she implies a long-term plan for the brand in this interview encompassing New Jersey, New York, and Michigan.
Could nonfungible tokens (NFTs) be a solution for breeders and cultivators struggling to protect intellectual and botanical property? 8 Strains hopes so. The cannabis-focused crypto trading platform aims to serve as a marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade digital versions of sought-after varietals. It has yet to launch, but you can join a waitlist here.
OR-based ceramicist Stonedware dropped a new standard colorline of their ergonomic pipes, available via direct-to-consumer or wholesale orders. It’s been an existential couple of years for many one-person, handmade accessory brands, so it’s awesome to learn that Stonedware found a local partner—a fellow woman-owned ceramic production business in Portland, OR—to support their growth while remaining 100% handmade in the U.S.
A new cannabis-centric series from the crew at High on Feminism: High Talks features topical, educational conversations with industry figures like Laura Eisman, co-founder of posh cannabis brand Her Highness NYC, and Evelyn LaChappelle, community engagement manager of The Last Prisoner Project and founder of 87 Months, who was incarcerated for cannabis at one point.
Queens of the Scene, a showcase of female resin and glass artists, including—but not limited to—many beautiful smoking devices, is happening this Saturday, November 6th, in San Antonio, TX.
Dirt restocked their blobjét: a wonderfully amorphous ceramic blob that can serve as an ashtray, incense burner, jewelry tray, inspirational art piece, and whatever else you envision.
Time for a blob rip,