August 12 2021,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy Friday WeedWeek readers,
I hope you’re making it to the bottom, where our new High Society section features pics from cannabis events around the country. Send yours to email@example.com.
Lots of news today:
- Eight state votes to watch
- A big earnings week
- Husband of Trulieve CEO boasted of influencing lawmaker
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Cannabiz Q2 earnings don't disappoint
Husband of Trulieve CEO boasted of influencing lawmaker
In bombshell testimony, J.T. Burnette, a Florida businessman and husband of Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers, confronted a secretly recorded conversation from 2016 in which he boasted to undercover FBI agents about working with a state representative to add legal barriers that would benefit his then-girlfriend’s company.
- The Capitolist reports, “On the recording, Burnette describes how he worked with then-state rep. Halsey Beshears(R) in 2014 to put “little tweaks” into the criteria for those applying for a MED license into Florida’s MED bill at the last minute, making it impossible for certain competitors to qualify for a license.”
- Testifying under oath, Burnette said that in the recording he had given a false impression to the FBI agents because he thought it was what they wanted to hear. ‘The reality is I was kind of bragging about something that happened before my time,” Burnette said.
Burnette is currently on trial for federal bribery and corruption charges. Neither Trulieve nor Rivers has been accused of wrongdoing.
- New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who’s replacing disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), is a “pragmatic but not passionate” advocate for cannabis reform. But the transition could delay the industry’s rollout.
- Illinois’ licensing fiasco dragged on.
- I wrote a story about how brands appeal to heavy users.
MJ Brand Insights
- The FDA rejected an application from Charlotte’s Web for a CBD product to be sold as a dietary supplement. The decision is a setback for CBD makers and mainstream brands who aim to add the compound to toothpaste, packaged foods and other products. Supplement trade group the Council for Responsible Nutrition, denounced the decision. (Disclosure: I have done a small amount of indirect consulting work for Charlotte’s Web.)
- A survey of 5,000 users by e-commerce platform Dutchie found them to be “successful, motivated and health-conscious.“
- Publicly-traded gardening company Scotts Miracle-Gro, which has a hydroponics unit, created a cannabis investment vehicle called The Hawthorne Collective, which invested a $150M convertible note in Toronto-based RIV Capital. Business Insider talked to RIV CEO Narbe Alexandrian about his plans to dominate the U.S. market.
- Insider also looked into the booming world of cannabis real estate.
- Michigan’s Attorney General said people fired for cannabis use should be eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Beyoncé discussed the hemp and honey farm she’s building.
- A study suggests CBD could be used to fight baldness, but research is at a preliminary stage.
IN THE WEEDS
- A California report discussed progress enlisting growers in water usage programs.
- On the Investing in Cannabis podcast, Brian Ward, CFO of MSO Verano, nerds out about vertical integration.
- Headset updated its report on the Michigan market.
- Canna Law Blog dives into M&A purchase prices. The blog’s publisher, law firm Harris Bricken, will host a September 9 webinar on what to know before setting up a ketamine clinic.
- CBD & Hemp White Label Expo, September 1 &2, Las Vegas.
- Headset data-night, August 26, Oakland.
- Industry network, The Cannabis Society virtual conferences, MSO growth and consolidation and the European MED market, September 21.
- Poseidon Asset Management’s virtual pitch day, August 31.
- Arcview Conscious Investing in Psychedelics, August 18, virtual.
- Prohibition Partners Business of Cannabis: New York, September 29, New York City.
- The Black Canna Conference and Expo, November 18-20, New Orleans.
- WeedWeek advertiser MJUnpacked’s conference for brands and retailers, October 21-22, Las Vegas.
- Consulting firm Allay, third annual Allay Palooza, September 24, Denver.
- Happy Munkey after hours event at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, August 18, New York City. Read more in the N.Y. Post.
- Double Blind a conversation on Psychedelics, Pregnancy & Parenthood with Omolewa the Entheogenic Medwife, August 26, virtual.
- There are several cannabis options in the Panel Picker for SXSW 2022, in March.
- Marketing and design guy Greg Welch weighs in on the differences between a heritage farmer and a corporate brand.
- Oaksterdam University executive chancellor Dale Sky Jones and a special guest remind East Bay residents to support Mia Bonta for state assembly in the August 31 special election.
- Also in the Bay Area, Stephanie Bozzuto of Cannabis Connect Insurance calls on San Jose to exclude cannabis from a proposed ban on smoking in multi-unit apartment complexes.
WEEDWEEK HIGH SOCIETY -- 8/13/21
Do your part to make High Society possible: Get vaccinated.
White Rabbit High Tea returned with an event in Venice, Calif. Here’s the High Tea Hostess (middle) taking a break with the tea tarts staff and Eve Maltzman (second from right), director of partnerships for White Rabbit.
Send pictures for High Society to hello@weed
Pics should be between 600 and 1000 pixels long and wide. Each should include the name and affiliation (if relevant) of everyone pictured as well as the event’s name, date and location. Ideally submit several pics so we can pick our favorites.