February 17 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy long weekend everyone!
When they list the greenest shopping days of the year, President’s Day doesn’t make the cut. Why not?
I’ll be taking the holiday as well, and will return on the Friday the 24th. Enjoy your well-deserved long weekend.
In the newsletter:
- Ascend calls MedMen cannabiz “pariah”
- A legalization avalanche
- Calif. kids group like high pot taxes
WeedWeek regularly links to paywalled content.
A LEGALIZATION AVALANCHE
Like many of you, I’ve never wavered from my belief that legalization was inevitable. Also like many of you, I thought it might happen sooner. But a flurry of activity nationwide this weeks suggests the state by state processing is accelerating, even as the timing of federal reform remains an open question.
ASCEND CALLS MEDMEN CANNABIZ "PARIAH"
In two new court filings, MSO Ascend Wellness Holdings calls its estranged partner MSO MedMen a a “broken and mismanaged cannabis company that has repeatedly reneged on its promises to its employees, suppliers, shareholders, medical marijuana patients, regulators, and now Ascend.”
Ascends filings also say:
- MedMen is “a pariah in its own business community” with “incompetent and unethical leadership” whose business practices led the company to the “brink of insolvency.”
The legal dispute stems from MedMen backing out of a publicly announced deal for Ascend to acquire most of its New York business for about $73M.
- In court filings MedMen has accused Ascend of improperly using political influence on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) so that regulators would approve the deal before a deadline when it would have expired.
- Hochul has denied the charges, but a judge ruled she has to respond to a subpoena from MedMen.
- Ascend alleges MedMen is engaging in “seller’s remorse” and has fabricated allegations that support its countersuit, Jackie Bryant writes in Forbes.
CALIF. KIDS ADVOCATES SUPPORT POT TAXES
While industry insiders warn high taxes have pushed the industry to the brink of collapse, a letter signed by 152 children’s advocacy groups claims that lowering them would have “an immediate, negative impact on thousands of children living in poverty and children of color across our state.”
- Child care– and health care–related organizations statewide rely on $385.8M in Prop. 64 funds to support their programs benefiting 21,486 low-income children.
- One south LA activist said cutting services would be “an insult” to those disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
- Infused beverage start-up Cann raised $27M and announced a deal to expand to Canada in partnership with Truss, a joint vehicle between Molson Coors and struggling Canadian operator Hexo. Cann co-founder and CEO Jake Bullock is moving to New York, which he sees as the industry’s new epicenter.
- Cann investor (and partner of legalization supporting Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) discussed her involvement in the industry.
- Edibles are keeping pace with overall market growth.
- Jackie Bryant talks to Colorado-based Honeybee Collective about why it’s employee owned.
- Business Insider meets Óskare Capital, a Paris-based venture firm, raising a 150-million-euro fund (about $171M) to chase down European deals.
- James Whitcomb, CEO of MSO Parallel, announced a partnership with the Minority Cannabis Business Association and called for a new equity push.
- Dan Runcie, founder of newsletter Trapital, which covers the business of hip-hop, explains Snoop Dogg’s $44M Super Bowl halftime NFT play.
- Draft rules in Michigan would allow synthetic THC manufactured from hemp to compete with REC.
- An industry group is suing Pennsylvania following the recent far-reaching vape recall.
Lehigh Valley Business, MJBiz
- An equity bill fell short in Washington state.
- The N.Y. Times looks at equity issues in New Jersey. A Rutgers study begins to explore what legalization means for the Garden State.
Health and Science:
- An Israeli study found MED could help with PTSD.
- An Australian study will look at MED for weight loss.
- A Dutch company plans to build a psychedelics resort in Oregon.
Fun and interesting:
- Christopher Walken likes to smoke pot.
IN THE WEEDS
- Green Market Report is hosting the Women’s Leadership Awards April 28, 2022 in New York. Nominations cost $99.
- The application to speak at the Cannabis Marketing Association’s June summit closes March 4.
- Law firm Thompson Coburn and Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation are hosting a webinar about the endocannabinoid system on February 24.
- Accessories brand Flower by Edie Parker released a new heart one-hitter necklace. (pictured)