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July 30 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
There is no shortage of weed biz news.
I’m also very happy to report the return of our High Society column at the bottom of this newsletter. Send your event pics to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered.
In the newsletter:
- EXCLUSIVE: Legal battle for Cookies rages on
I hope you find it valuable,
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LEGAL BATTLE FOR COOKIES RAGES ON
A California judge denied investors’ request to impose a temporary restraining order on top Cookies execs. The plaintiffs made the plea, they allege, to stop CEO Gilbert Milam — better known as Berner — and president Parker Berling from “continuing to run Cookies into the ground.”
Berner and Berling apparently remain in charge. But the fight to control the biggest brand in weed rages on.
(It’ll also be on Google and across the internet.)
- DEA Administrator Anne Milgram testified before Congress that the agency has not received the assessment from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on cannabis’ status as a schedule I drug that it needs to conduct its own assessment. President Biden initiated this process last fall.
- CEO compensation fell from 2021 to 2022 due largely to the shrinking value of the stock they received in their pay packages.
- The new CFO of MSO Trulieve Tim Mullany left after 10 days, which the company attributed to personal reasons. His predecessor had lasted about three months. New interim CFO Ryan Blust has been with the company since 2018.
- Fintech firm (and WeedWeek advertiser) Dama Financial is looking to double the size of its bank network for serving the industry.
- Hip-hop photographer T. Eric Monroe sued Leafly alleging it used his work depicting Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur without permission.
- Canna Law Blog discusses strategies for distressed businesses.
- Allure declares the CBD beauty market “over.” But the author isn’t sure whether it was doomed by lack of consumer interest or regulatory issues. Some brands hope for a revival.
- GreenBroz unveiled what it calls the industry’s only fully automated trimming and data reporting system.
State and local:
- Forbes looks at gray market New York business Empire Cannabis Club’s lawsuit against New York State.
- NBA Hall of Famer Chris Webber is scaling back plans for an industry campus in Detroit.
Crain’s Detroit Business
- With REC becoming legal next week, Minnesota Republican lawmakers are calling for an emergency special session to address their concerns with the law.
- Nevada approved its first conditional license for a standalone consumption lounge. The first Vegas lounges could open as soon as October.
- Also in Nevada, a new law loosens purchasing limits.
Las Vegas Sun
- An Oregon industry group and three businesses sued to block the state’s new ban on cannabis containing the fungus aspergillus.
- The chairwoman of the Massachusetts regulator abruptly announced that executive director Shawn Collins is departing. She said the agency is “in crisis.”
- Massachusetts regulators’ new head of product testing, James Kocis, previously worked for a lab where the testing came under scrutiny.
- Almost a year after it was created, Massachusetts’ social equity fund remains completely unfunded.
Boston Business Journal
Fun and interesting:
- Beard Bros. Pharms discusses “Why pre-rolls suck and what you can do about it.“
- Shawn Gold, CEO of brand Pilgrim Soul, has launched a Kickstarter for a game called “That’s Not Funny!” described as a cross between charades and Cards Against Humanity.
- “The Thin Green Line: Who raised you f***ing people?”
- A state appeals court held “proposed land uses relating to commercial cannabis businesses are similar to existing and defined land uses within a zoning ordinance district and do not require additional environmental review under CEQA.”
California City News
- A 2024 ballot initiative to legalize psilocybin was cleared to gather signatures.
- Miklos Campuzano, the WeCann agent who’s handling the receivership sale of distributor Herbl, told me the first week produced a “good amount of inquiries.” The listed assets include an ongoing breach of contract lawsuit.
- Jeff Nordahl, founder of Jade Nectar, thinks direct to consumer sales could save craft weed.
WeedWeek Industry Voices
- MJBiz profiles high-end edibles company Rose Los Angeles.
- In growing hub Santa Barbara Co., wealthy homeowners and the wine industry have grown weary of grows.
- SF’s newly appointed Cannabis Oversight Committee held its first meeting as the city imposes a moratorium on new shops.
- Indio (Riverside Co.) approved its first five dispensaries.
- Fresno threw a lifeline to three shops by allowing them to change locations.
- The former manager of a Humboldt farm was arrested for allegedly robbing the farm “with a squad of armed men.”
- Monterey Co. said the value of its pot crop dropped 54% from 2021 to 2022.
- LA’s regulator is looking for a new executive director. The position pays up to $276,000, not including benefits.
- Wheelhouse Lounge in Port Hueneme, Ventura Co.’s first consumption spot, opens tomorrow.
- Dozens of people who were apparently smuggled into the country were found working in “horrible” conditions at an illegal operator in the Central Valley.
- A major unlicensed grow was found on Flower St. in the heart of downtown LA.
- Kiva Sales and Services signed a California distribution partnership with Arizona brand Timeless Vapes.
- Tech platform Jointly launched an AI-powered product recommendation engine called Spark.
- Brand Old Pal is landing in New York.
- PAX has a new platform for personalizing vaporizers.
- Cheech Marin was at the White House to receive the National Medal for Museum and Library service. He donated his Chicano art collection to a new museum established with the Riverside Art Museum.
- The inaugural High Spirits Awards celebrated their favorite infused beverages.
The Clever Root
- The High Times Cannabis Cup SoCal announced its winning products.
- Native Oakland Delivery is hosting a rooftop launch party on August 5.
Wrestlers showed off their moves at the High On Life 2 party, hosted by Farechild Events at The Lexi Hotel in Las Vegas to accompany Champs Trade Show. (Courtesy: Farechild Events)
Send your High Society pics to: firstname.lastname@example.org