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Why We ❤️ NY & Pipe Jousting
Plus: A new rhythm.
The Broccoli Report
Tuesday, January 3, 2022
Time to read: 5 minutes, 33 seconds. Contains 1113 words.
What’s up, 2023! Cheers/bong-clink to a new year and the start of another chapter in the cannabis industry. While I’m not going to venture any predictions, I know it’s going to be an exciting year—state cannabis markets will keep developing at an ever-faster clip, and that whole Commerce Clause thing makes interstate commerce an intriguingly near possibility.
Whatever 2023 brings to the cannabis, hemp, and cannabinoid realm, you can be sure I’ll be keeping tabs and sharing exactly how I feel about it. (You can keep sending me tips, too, just in case 😏: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The coming year is bringing exciting changes to the Broccoli Report, too. Since September 2020, we’ve published a dispatch every Monday and Friday. It’s been a demanding schedule, and sometimes that showed—some Mondays were sparse, and some Fridays leaned on links to past dispatches.
In 2023, we’re committing to quality over quantity and refreshing our rhythm. Going forward, I’ll be sending two Monday posts each month—those will go to all subscribers. Then, paid subscribers will have access to one in-depth Friday post each month, plus the archive of all past posts.
This is a significant shift, but it will let me give you more of what you value most from the Broccoli Report: in-depth, honest reporting on the cultural, legal, and entrepreneurial happenings in cannabis and hemp alongside valuable lessons and resources for small business owners.
Conventional newsletter wisdom says quantity is key, but from day one of the Broccoli Report, we’ve championed trying to build better ways of running a business. Your time and attention are privileges, and I value them. Everyone who reads this newsletter only has so many minutes in the day, after all, and I want to make sure the time you spend here is worth it.
Getting to write these 100% independent, ad-free newsletters is a gift—thank you to everyone who has subscribed to or shared the Report this year. And I hope some of you Monday-only readers consider signing up as a paid subscriber to catch all the 🔥 Friday dispatches in store.
I’ll see you next Monday!
One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance
The most exciting part of New York City’s first-ever legal cannabis sales last week? It’s where they happened: Manhattan’s Housing Works Cannabis Co. The city’s first dispensary is operated by Housing Works, an established city nonprofit known for its work in AIDS rights and affordable housing advocacy. Their beloved resale shops and resale book shop in Soho are NYC institutions.
Housing Works is one of the multiple nonprofit entities that received the state’s first social equity licenses. Nonprofit NYC weekly City Limits did a commendable job digging into the cannabis use policies at these orgs. The article pointed out that while Housing Works has long held a nuanced, nonpunitive approach to drug use in their clientele, the Doe Fund—another nonprofit moving into the cannabis space—is an abstinence org that banned clients who tested positive for cannabis from their work program. One can only hope the Doe Fund sincerely believes in safe access to safe product and isn’t just looking for a profitable arm.
News from the Hill: The SAFE cannabis banking provisions ultimately got cut, but I think we’ve been wasting our energy there. Even if it had passed, this op-ed by activist and equity license holder Amber Senter points out that the act never guaranteed banking access for all. In other words: It doesn't mean anyone other than the most wealthy, established businesses would benefit.
Cookies is doubling-down on big-name music industry collabs. It ended the year with two big announcements: an upcoming partnership with Erykah Badu on a custom strain by Mad Cow Genetics, and news that select Cookies California stores will be the first to carry Death Row Cannabis, the latest brand from Snoop Dogg.
Carbon monoxide poisonings, deadly accidents, forced starvation—these are just a few of the cannabis workplace conditions mentioned in the LA Times’ latest investigative dive into the cannabis industry. From 2017 through 2021, at least 35 workers died on California and Oregon cannabis farms, and only one of these deaths was investigated. And no, we’re not just talking about illegal operations. State officials inspected some of these farms, but the article points out that regulators typically focused on the inspections they came there for—water runoff, generator noise levels, etc.—not on laborers who were potentially unpaid, sleep-deprived, and working under the threat of violence.
In lighter news, it’s very good to see that 29 lawmakers submitted a letter calling on the Biden administration to deschedule cannabis. The word “deschedule” is key here. Not rescheduling to a less serious classification—even at Schedule 5, the lowest tier, cannabis doesn’t match the addiction and physical damage wrought by similarly classed substances, like codeine—but descheduling it totally, putting alongside a substance like alcohol.
Alcohol and cannabis are not exactly equal, though. Cannabis is often touted as a healthier alternative, and a new study indicates that it might just help our bodies recover from the damage of long-term alcohol intake, too. A study in mice showed a significant decrease in inflammation due to liver toxicity in the test group that consumed cannabinoids. The cannabinoids also seemed to inhibit the negative cell responses that come with liver damage.
A righteous win for medical cannabis card holders: Scott Martin worked as a Buffalo Fire Department EMT for nearly 12 years before he was suspended and terminated for testing positive for cannabis in December 2020. As a licensed medical patient, Martin filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Buffalo—and won. As of this week, the case reached a successful settlement, and he’s back at work.
Coming to a small, shielded racetrack near you: Glass piece-fitted RC car jousting.
A Baptist church in Atlanta is turning to an unexpected place for new congregants: the cannabis community. Pastor Jamal Bryant wants his church to grow, but he’s not trying to lure people away from other churches. “I’m looking for people who smell like weed,” Bryant told Atlanta News First.
If you’ve caught any of the recent Broccoli Talk episodes, you know that our bittersweet podcast finale dropped. In it, Mennlay and I talk about our favorite chats and where weed goes from here—culturally, legally, and conceptually. While it may not be goodbye forever, for now, we’re bidding a fond farewell to a project that has culminated in a lovingly-crafted library of cannabis-centric conversations that I hope folks will continue to share and enjoy. If you’d like to tune in, you can catch it on Spotify, Apple Pods, Stitcher, or Overcast. 🥦
Let's get it, 2023!