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September 22 2023,
Excited to catch up with many of you next week at Benzinga in Chicago. (Hopefully I’ll get a picture for High Society.) Drop me a line if you’d like to meet up.
In the newsletter:
- EXCLUSIVE: Herbl partner brands still waiting for payment
Lots more too!
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WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
Former Herbl brands still waiting for payment
Three months after distributor Herbl ceased operations and went into receivership, its former partner brands are waiting for millions of dollars in payments.
“I’m not holding out much hope,” Joshua Keats, CEO of Mendocino-based Henry’s Original said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re going to end up holding the bag.”
Execs at several of the former Herbl brands said they hadn’t heard much about the money over the summer. But in recent days an apparent member of the receiver’s team has asked for a meeting to discuss its plans to recoup at least some of what the brands are owed.
Herbl is considered the largest receivership in industry history, and how it plays out may offer insight into how future industry receiverships may play out.
But there’s a catch for the long-suffering brands: the receiver is asking that they pay 10% of what they’re owed up front “which will be crucial to fund collection efforts.”
Former face of Humo accuses brand of intimidation
In August, Latino-oriented California brand Humo sued its former marketing partner alleging that she engaged in a social media “campaign of retaliation” to tarnish the brand. Responding last week in a court filing, defendant Susie Plascencia denied that she had said anything negative about the brand. She also alleged the lawsuit is an attempt to encroach on her free speech rights to discuss Latina representation in the cannabis industry.
- Humo did not respond to requests for comment.
- A revised version of banking reform, now known as SAFER Banking, has support from Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The revisions amended Section 10 of the bill which Democrats feared would undermine safeguards in the broader banking system. With cannabis banking a reality, American Banker asks if banking reform is still necessary.
- The group Cannra, which represents industry regulators, is calling on Congress to modify the 2023 Farm Bill to address hemp-derived products.
- I wrote a story for Slate about what Schedule III would mean for the industry.
- In a report, a group funded by alcohol and tobacco companies suggested a national track and trace system and pot “tax stamps” to curb the illegal market. It’s also good to see longtime weed journo Ben Adlin writing for Marijuana Moment full-time.
- Wholesale prices hit a historic low, according to Cannabis Benchmarks.
Green Market Report
- Subversive Capital, the firm best known for closing The Parent Company’s SPAC deal, launched a new cannabis ETF, symbol LGLZ, buoyed by hopes of federal reform.
- A judge dismissed an investor lawsuit against REIT Innovative Industrial Properties.
Green Market Report
- Leafly is suing New York state over its ban on third party marketers.
- We’re in “pretty turbulent times” for cannabis insurance.
Insurance Business Mag
- Financial services platform Square entered the Canadian market in partnership with Jane Technologies.
- Weeks after its $2B acquisition by Cresco Labs went bust, MSO Columbia Care renamed itself The Cannabist Company. The announcement came days after it landed a $25M private placement.
State and local:
- A Rhode Island judge ordered that an “administrative hold” remain in place over a major grower.
Providence Business News
- Minnesota named hemp entrepreneur Erin DuPree as its top cannabis regulator.
- Missouri player Show Me Cannabis made a video taking on opioids. Local broadcasters rejected it.
- In Connecticut, the appointment of a former industry CEO as the state’s top regulator raised eyebrows.
CT New Junkie
- Michigan activists mourned the death of activist Rick Thompson.
- An Oregon group is pushing a ballot initiative that would rein in the state’s decriminalization of hard drugs.
- Oregon regulators said they would allow products that test positive for the mold aspergillus.
- The new book “Agents of Chaos” by Sean Howe tells the story of High Times founder Thomas King Forçade. Rolling Stone recently published an excerpt.
Fun and interesting:
- Cookies CEO Berner, his Instagram account restored, wants to publish a cook book.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will be reviewing 17 weed-related bills. Craft growers and others are pleaing for him to veto a labeling bill.
High Times, MJBiz
- Canna Law Blog discusses common misconceptions about the state’s new psychedelics bill.
- An email I received from hash brand 710 Labs said it is no longer partnering with delivery service Amuse. Neither company responded to a request for comment.
- Unrivaled Brands said it had settled a lawsuit it brought against an insurer and broker for being denied coverage.
- Sacramento leaders are thinking about consumption lounges.
- West Hollywood seeks to expedite the licensing process.
- A former Compton City Council member was arrested on suspicion of taking part in a license bribery scheme.
- Vegas attraction Area 15 wants a consumption lounge.
- Santa Barbara County supes conditionally approved another controversial grow.
- In Guadalupe (Santa Barbara Co.) two shops are moving ahead with city council support.
Santa Maria Sun
- In Oakland the industry is squeezing out artists at a live/work warehouse.
- WeedWeek advertiser FundCanna was named preferred lending partner of distributor Nabis.
- Leef Brands closed the acquisition of a 1,900 acre property in Santa Barbara Co. where it plans to build a major grow.
- Cookies opened a store in Harrison, N.J.
- Embarc opened the first pot shop in Ventura (Ventura Co.)
Health and science:
- A study looked at Black and Latina people’s experiences of using cannabis during pregnancy.
- The Orange County Register honored the OC’s best dispensaries.
- A farmers market tomorrow in Arcata (Humboldt) will celebrate craft growers.