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March 24 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
What a week. I’m very sorry about the delay. We had a technical issue.
California pro subscribers. Look out for this week’s edition later today.
Will you be at Benzinga in Miami? Drop me a line if you’d like to meet.
In the newsletter:
- Big booze endorses REC
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- Sr. Manager, Consumer Insights, Curaleaf — Chicago
- Sr. Manager, Forecasting, Kiva Confections — U.S.
- Infused Product Manager, Jushi — Minneapolis area
BIG BOOZE GETS ON THE REC WAGON
The trade group Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America called on Congress to “comprehensively legalize and regulate” REC.
It notes that after 10 years there has been “no meaningful effort to undo” REC laws and that it’s time to build a national regulatory framework based on how alcohol is regulated.
In a 14-page policy document, suggests the existing Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is “uniquely qualified” to regulate cannabis which it would like to include:
- A federal permitting process for producers, importers, product testers and distributors
- “A robust [federal] process for approving new products (labels and formulas)”
- A federal excise tax
LEAFLY SHUTTERS NEWS SHOP
In an email to staff, CEO Yoko Miyashita wrote that the remaining content operation will focus on “revenue generating” functions like driving shopper behavior versus investigative reporting.”
- The site still has its strain directory, the scientific credibility of which the company has declined to defend to me.
I’m proud to say that at WeedWeek investigative reporting is a revenue generating function.
- Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services., said the assessment of cannabis’ legal status ordered by President Biden, won’t be ready for 4/20.
- Senate banking chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who’s pushing for bank reform, said recent banking collapses have put the legislation on hold.
- MSO Curaleaf is closing one of its two New Jersey grows. It said the move is unrelated to a union drive at the facility it is closing.
- Earnings season has been challenging.
New Cannabis Ventures
- After first announcing a planned acquisition in 2019, MSO Acreage Holdings said it would be acquired by Canadian player Canopy Growth‘s new U.S. holding company.
- Data shop BDSA says vapes have become the second most popular product category, after flower.
- Companies advertising on Twitter report mixed results so far.
State and local:
- A price collapse has created a crisis for the Oregon industry. The average price per gram has fallen to $4.
- Massachusetts regulators unwittingly shared too much information with a blogger about their investigation into Curaleaf’s ties to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. A brief panic suggested the leak had put people in danger.
- Oregon’s health authority issued its first license to a psilocybin mushroom farm.
- New Mexico’s top regulator is stepping down.
Santa Fe Reporter
- Most of New York’s Long Island, is opting out of REC retail.
- Detroit’s first Black-owned “legacy” REC shop, Nuggets Cannabis Co., opened.
- Hawaii lawmakers blocked a REC bill. On LinkedIn, Oakland attorney James Anthony celebrated its defeat, saying it did “nothing for social equity.”
- Chinese investors and workers are a growing presence in unlicensed operations, in California and other states, Politico reports.
Fun and interesting:
- As she prepares to give birth, journo Jackie Bryant reflected on her home grow journey.
- The trendsetting Coachella festival will have booze-free bars hosted by booze-free Venice (Calif.) bottleshop The New Bar.
- Adam Ill of The OG Potcast ran the LA marathon while smoking weed.