Discover more from Sticky Bits by Lauren Yoshiko
Weed-Growing Robots & Better Descriptors
Plus: Gatorade bongs.
The Broccoli Report
Monday, June 27, 2022
Time to read: 5 minutes, 57 seconds. Contains 1190 words.
Whew, what a time to be in weed. The pandemic sales surges have officially ended, prices are dropping while inflation is soaring, increasing the cost of doing business, and federal law enforcement agents and their partners apparently arrested 25% more people for cannabis-related crimes in 2021 than in years prior. At the same time, the Arizona woman placed on the state’s child-abuser registry for using medical cannabis while pregnant sued to have her name removed and won, and, in pop-cultural progress, Patricia Arquette just starred in a weed ad. My head spins every time I sit down to write a Report, but I am grateful to be here, offering these weekly updates on our world, and am grounded by the creative, restorative work so many of you are doing out there.
Speaking of signature Broccoli Report offerings: another Lonely Hearts installment is coming soon. I’m still getting emails from folks who found work or a dream hire through our entrepreneurial want ads, so we’re going to do a third round of the Lonely Hearts Board. Start brainstorming any current needs you could add or offer to the mix, and stay tuned for details.
This Friday, we’re sharing the best of our newsletters on all things social—from content strategies to what influencers really charge, and which apps to invest in and why. For new subscribers, it’s a perfect primer on how and why cannabis and cannabis-adjacent companies use social media. For longtime readers, this refresher will get you ready for next Friday’s dive into the realm of rising cannabis influencers. These are the ones to watch.
On Monday, July 4th, we’re taking a break, but I wish everyone a glorious, hopefully long, summer weekend away from their inboxes. Thank you for supporting independent journalism. 🌸
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
I’m excited about this new study diving into cannabis genetics. In partnership with Leafly, a team of researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder analyzed the cannabinoid and terpene lab reports from 42,843 cannabis samples in six different legal states to learn about phytochemical diversity in commercial cannabis. One finding highlighted in the report: most flower on the market falls into three dominant terpene combinations—caryophyllene and limonene; myrcene and pinene; and terpinolene and myrcene. While more testing is needed to verify this finding, it could be, as the meme goes, big if true. Three dominant combinations in the market could offer a more accurate way to loosely group chunks of varietals—think a red, white, and rosé-styled classification that helps move us away from the misleading indica/sativa/hybrid approach.
Excited isn’t quite the right word to describe how I feel about this stark, accurate conversation between TIME and a couple of University of California, Davis economists on the harsh reality of doing business in the legal cannabis market. Still, it’s refreshing to hear them bust various myths around the Green Rush. One potent quote: “It’s been a gold rush, and a few people have found some gold, and a lot of people haven’t. What I like to say is the company that made a lot of money in the California Gold Rush was Levi’s. It was making jeans for the guys digging for gold.”
Many headlines highlight how cannabis use among youths has gone down over the past few years, and that’s true. Also true: Teenagers are using vapes and concentrates at way higher rates, and some are developing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome—a formerly rare condition that leads to severe bouts of vomiting following cannabis use that typically occurs in daily, high-THC long-term users. The NYT spoke with teens who described horrible experiences with vaping and dabbing and getting sick. It also cited medical and scientific evidence showing this issue is more pressing than anyone would like. The article’s photographs of bright, candy-colored vape and concentrate products raise uncomfortable questions about how these products are packaged and marketed—even if underage folks can’t get into dispensaries to buy them. The even bigger, far less popular question is: Do we really need products that are 90% THC per inhale? Do they serve a medical purpose? If so, should extremely high-dosage products only exist in the medical market? And if those dosages are indeed a needed treatment for consumers, it could even be a boon for the withering medical market. Makers of vapes and concentrates would be wise to consider the case of JUUL—a product positioned as a smoking-cessation tool that has just been shut down as a potential danger to kids—and start thinking through how to make a case for their products. Enraged parents wield a lot of power.
In the latest episode of the Different Leaf podcast, host Brit Smith visited the manufacturing facility of a cannabis-growing robot, and I’m still not sure whether I’m more freaked out or excited about its implications. Created by Boston-based company Boundless Robotics, the Annaboto resembles a household lamp and uses artificial intelligence to monitor environmental conditions and plant development; it won Boston University's 5th annual cannabis start-up competition. You can listen to the story on your preferred platform here (and check out my chat with Brit in a past ep, if you like!).
Cannabis accessory site Canna Style dropped a “Stoners in Paris” collection, complete with a croissant ashtray, macaron-shaped silicone stash containers, and a pink glass bong shaped like a bottle of rosé. Santé!
In other news of beverage-inspired bongs—I just discovered the Gatorbeug, a glass bong designed to look like a bottle of Gatorade. Made in Australia, the brand’s name comes from regional slang for bong, “beug.” There’s even an orange cleaning/travel cap available as an add-on that looks just like the real deal.
Major League Baseball is batting for their chunk of the Green Rush. The sports organization officially approved CBD sponsorships for team jersey patches and CBD advertisements during MLB games. CBD partners must be verified by the National Sanitation Foundation—a nonprofit certification organization I’d never heard of before today. An exciting opportunity for athletic-minded brands, in any case.
Puff Herbals launched their take on a rose petal cone. Unlike common iterations of rose cones, which affix petals to the outside of a paper cone, these ~one gram cones are made of nothing but organic rose petals and a paper crutch.
In more herbal news, Barbari—the brand featured in an early newsletter that created a new licensed product category for their THC-herbal spliffs—released a new herbal blend called Free Time, a citrusy blend of lemon balm, calendula, and wormwood. I’ve long been a fan of their multipurpose blends—I love that they can be smoked, steeped in tea, or used as a bath soak.
Goldleaf has cornered the market on strain journals with its collection of Moleskine-like notebooks filled with prompts and labeled sections for sesh-tracking details. For those looking for a more lightly structured sesh-tracking journal, Strain of The Day has space for thirty days of seshes and some activities to complete once you’ve filled in your notes, and it happens to be created by the talented nail artist behind The Clawset.
To weed-fueled nail artists, famous and amateur 💁🏻♀️,