Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
Weed Fairs & Anti-Vape Gum
Plus: 86% THC from hemp?
Monday, August 28, 2023
Time to read: About 5 minutes. Contains 1,070 words.
Week two of life as Sticky Bits! For anyone who missed last Monday’s dispatch, head there to read about the evolution from The Broccoli Report to Sticky Bits. Tl;dr: It is a loving, conscious uncoupling that serves both of us best at this time. I’m still a part of the Broccoli universe, and we’ll keep abreast of Broccoli updates here, too. In fact, I did a bit of an Instagram takeover on the main Broccoli account last week—check it out for a peek into a day in the life of a cannabis journalist.
For a peek into the mind of two cannabis journalists catching up over a long-distance sesh, listen to my candid industry chat with Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey. It’s a good temperature check on current trends and CBD sales and a breath of fresh air for any entrepreneurs who’ve felt a little jaded about the state of our biz of late. The podcast dispatches are only available to paid subscribers, but you can sign up for a free one-week trial to listen and explore the back catalog of pods and posts.
Thank you for supporting independent journalism. ✤
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
Remember how New York regulators talked about creating more venues for direct cannabis sales outside of dispensaries, i.e. farmers' markets? It’s happening! Right now! The Great New York State Cannabis Showcase technically isn’t part of the state fair, but the pop-up exhibition and market is running concurrently through September 3, less than a mile from the fairgrounds in Syracuse—a short ride on the free shuttle bus provided by organizers.
While we’re on the subject of New York, here is a little update on the licensing hold at hand. The CAURD program is still frozen; however, a group of licensees who’d already submitted their paperwork will be able to proceed with opening their businesses, and more will be able to get approved on a case-by-case basis.
For this former tobacco consumer, low-THC cannabis wrapped in hemp flavored to mimic tobacco was the secret to my success at quitting. For my friends who got into vaping their tobacco—especially those without access to legal weed—that journey has not been so easy. That’s why I’m excited to see the launch of Blip, a very vibe-y smoking cessation brand of gum, lozenges, and toothpicks founded by the entrepreneur behind Starface and Julie contraceptives and designed to help make quitting tobacco more fun. It’s also a signal of consumable trends right now—after the pandemic drinking binges and post-quarantine decadence of the past few years, I think many young people are interested in reeling it in.
I loved seeing the Philadelphia Inquirer shine a light on 69&Sunny’s Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of Edwin Eats an Edible, a cannabis alphabet book for grown-ups. There’s still time to support this unique project!
PAX has entered the Delta-8 chat with a line of hemp-derived pods that can ship all around the country. Pods that are all 86% THC!!! I flat out don’t understand the math that makes that work under the 2018 Farm Bill rule—the one that defines hemp products containing under .3% THC—but it’s a big enough company that I assume it wouldn’t let anything illegal fly at this scale. The site shows these are currently sold in stores in 22 states and can be shipped to 11.
This really brings the Delta-8 conundrum into sharp, clear focus: On one hand, this is delivering serious cannabinoids to places that don’t have access to trustworthy cannabis sources. On the other, there’s the chance that this makes people feel like, “Okay, good enough,” taking the air out of legalization efforts that would keep people out of jail and expunge past cannabis charges. This issue will only get bigger from here — What are your thoughts? Comment below and spark some conversation. Or email me: email@example.com. It might be time for another deep dive into the subject.
Also happening in Philadelphia: To celebrate the launch of Allen Iverson’s collab with Viola on a special cross of F1 Durban x Gushers x Runtz—named ‘01, after the season Iverson was named MVP—Iverson and Viola founder Al Harrington, will appear at a meet-and-greet event at RISE in Port Richmond on Sept. 2. All attendees will have to be registered medical patients.
Are there any Colorado-based social equity licensees in the building? The application window just opened for another round of low-interest loans facilitated by a trusted organization, NuProject. The loans range from $50,000–$150,000 and can be used for equipment, expansions, renovations, working capital, and more.
High Finds: Lifestyle Goods I Like
If you aren’t yet ready to bid farewell to mermaidcore either, I have an ashtray recommendation to maintain the shimmering, reflective vibes. Daniel Piršč’s Wave Incense Burner comes in two iridescent colorways and is available at Tetra for all your underwater fantasies.
There was a time when I would’ve ruthlessly mocked a brand touting CBD-infused menstrual pads. But now that I’ve received a sampling of Hempress cotton products and tried out their very premium cotton swabs and rounds, I’m intrigued. The high-quality organic cotton products are noticeably more soft on my skin and more durable with contact. I can’t yet speak to hemp content making a difference, but they feel and work better than the cotton balls I pick up at Walgreens.
My biggest issue with most smell-proof pouches is that they’re just too bulky/too aesthetically utilitarian, so I’m excited to see Littlejohn NY drop Mini Clip Cases with a mesh pocket inside to organize your tools.
Who would’ve expected that the gravity bong—smoking tech typically involving a 2L soda container, or in my experience, a Brita jug in my college dorms— would be leading the charge of fancy bong design in 2023? Between the dramatic 360-degree rotation of a Stündenglass piece and GRAV’s elegant new Monarch Gravity Bong, it’s so interesting that this bulky shape has inspired some of the most glamorous bongs on the market. I love how GRAV’s Monarch resembles a vintage cut-glass whiskey decanter. I was curious about historical influences, so I reached out to the designer, Micah Evans, to learn more. Our in-depth Q&A about its inspiration, process, and the glass scene in general is coming soon to paid subscribers' inboxes.
To time-traveling bongs,