January 11 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Sending some LA sunshine to those of you buried in snow. Stay warm and safe everyone.
In the newsletter:
- Bad day for Tilray
- Forbes goes long on unicorn Dutchie
And so much more!
What’s on your mind? firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIDAY in WeedWeek Live:
Castetter Cannabis Group managing director and vice-chair of the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association Kaelan Castetter.
Last Friday on WeedWeek Live, Chris Anderson, CEO of Redwood Roots, which distributes for some of the Emerald Triangle’s most celebrated farms, got real about the crisis facing California craft growers.
WeedWeek regularly links to paywalled content.
Budweiser owner AB InBev ends partnership with Tilray
Beer giant AB InBev, parent of Budweiser, has ended its infused drinks partnership with Tilray. Trade publication Just Drinks landed the scoop from a regulatory filing on the same day Tilray released a narrower than expected quarterly earnings loss.
In late 2018, as international beverage giants rushed to partner with Canadian operators, InBev and Tilray announced a 50/50 joint venture called Fluent Beverage Co.
- The brand lives on under the management of Budweiser sister brand Labatt Breweries of Canada. It’s developing a CBD beverage.
- The split was reportedly a mutual decision.
- Thus far Canadians haven’t shown much interest in THC infused drinks, though many analysts remain bullish on the sector.
Regarding the company’s earnings, frequent Tilray critic Rob McPherson posted, “The bottom line is, their bottom line sucks.”
- Then he salted the wound, “If I was ABinBev, I would want to get as far away from [CEO] Irwin Simon and Tilray as I possibly could.“
HOW DUTCHIE WINS
Cannatech unicorn Dutchie made the daily cover of Forbes as the “Shopify wannabe” of weed. CEO Ross Lipson, now 34, started the company, an e-commerce platform for dispensaries, with his brother in 2017.
- The college dropout previously sold an e-commerce platform for restaurants for $30M.
Like many canna-tech companies, Dutchie has benefitted from mainstream investors’ greater willingness and ability to bet on companies that don’t touch the plant. With its latest funding, Dutchie announced a valuation of $3.8B.
Here are the juicy bits from Will Yakowicz’s interesting piece:
- Dutchie claims about 5,000 of the U.S.’s estimated 9,000 pot shops use one of its products. It accounts for $12B in sales across the U.S. and Canada last year, about 40% of the total.
- It’s packages cost between $500 and $1,000 per month.
- Forbes estimates Dutchie revenue at $45M in 2021 and $5M in 2020. (Lipson declined to comment on revenue.) The company isn’t profitable.
- Stalwart legalization supporter Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) said he wouldn’t run for re-election.
- NORML political director Justin Strekal is leaving the non-profit to form a PAC “advancing the legalization fight through elections.” He spoke to Marijuana Moment about how much things have changed in his five years on the job.
- Curaleaf settled 10 lawsuits over CBD products which mistakenly included THC. At least five of the defendants went to the emergency room after consuming the tainted products. A newly filed, and still-live suit, alleges wrongful death. The 78-year old man in question died weeks after consuming the product.
- MJBrand Insights shares 20 cannabiz luminaries’ predictions for 2022.
- Cannabis.net tries to define an “ethical purchasing standard” for consumers.
- Led by equity organization Supernova Women, representatives of California’s legacy and equity cannabiz are holding a rally Saturday at the state capitol in Sacramento, calling for lower taxes. The state’s budget surplus could exceed$45B. WeedWeek Pro community moderator Jackie Bryant tweeted the cannabis portions of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget speech. Cannabis journo Mary Carreon translated one statement from Newsom as “It’s not that we don’t care about the implosion of the cannabis industry, but it is not a priority right now.”
- Separately, California’s pot regulator is awarding nearly $100M in grants to local governments to help them transition provisional into annual licenses.
- NJ.com highlights 22 people, places and trends to watch as the Garden State’s REC market comes online. Incoming state Senate President Nick Scutari (D), a vocal legalization supporter, doesn’t see the state legalizing home grow any time soon.
- New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled House voted to legalize possession and personal cultivation.
- In Virginia, Republican lawmakers are sponsoring a bill to strip a major equity provision from the state’s cannabis law.
Green Market Report
Fun and interesting:
- Writers, photographer, mom and “reformed Party girl with a capital P” Allie Adams isn’t drinking this year. She started a Substack to document the experience.
- Medical doctor @@ryanmarino tweeted what he says is the DEA’s new list of slang terms for weed. Should I change this newsletter to MershWeek?
- Clerks filmmaker @thatkevinsmith ran into his daughter at a pot shop.
- CBD brand CV Sciences announced a distribution deal with supplement retailer GNC.
- Sunshine Brands‘ Paradise Club edibles line is now available through California distributor Nabis.
- Massachusetts-based MSO MariMed (the big brownie company) said it would acquire Maryland-based Kind Therapeutics U.S.A. for $20M.
- Through a deal with Israeli company Intercure, Cookies is opening store in London.
- MSO Curaleaf named Matt Darin president. He was founder and COO of Grassroots Cannabis, which Curaleaf acquired in 2020.
- MSO TerrAscend appointed Ziad Ghanem president and COO. He was previously an exec at MSO Parallel and before that at Walgreens pharmacy.
- As it prepares to go public via a SPAC deal, Leafly named its new board of directors.
- SōRSE Technology promoted Diana Eberlein to VP Sales & Marketing.
- Dip Devices introduced its new Lunar vaporizer (pictured).
- Cann co-founder Luke Anderson explains the rationale for Liquid Death, a heavy-metal themed water brand that just raised $75M. The company encourages drinkers to “murder your thirst.”
- Brett Puffenberger rants against excessive, wasteful and hard to open packaging.
- Frenchy Cannoli’s protégé @thedankdutchess has a video of making aged hashish a “treat for the knowledgeable connoisseur.”
High Society will return soon, fingers crossed. Send your party pics to email@example.com
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