March 4 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
I’ll be going to Benzinga’s conference in Miami then coming to New York for a few days. Should we meet? Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
In today’s newsletter:
- Another question about TPCO’s deal
- How’s the Biden initiative coming along?
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
Another question for TPCO
Last week I wrote that The Parent Company’s (TPCO) announced merger of equals with vertically integrated Gold Flora confused investors. This week, filings raise additional unanswered questions about the deal.
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WHAT'S GOING ON WITH BIDEN'S DIRECTIVE?
In October President Biden directed the U.S. Justice and Health and Human Services Departments to evaluate cannabis’ status as a schedule I drug. What’s the latest?
- Attorney General Merrick Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the department is still working on a marijuana policy but confirmed that it will be close to the Cole Memo, which made state legal activity a low priority for federal enforcement.
- Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo in 2018, but it has remained de facto in place.
- Garland noted that the Health and Human Services department, led by former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, is also at work.
Legalization advocate Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is circulating a position calling for the administration to explain its decisions. “We urge you to make available…any evidence cited to demonstrate marijuana is more prone to drug abuse than descheduled substances already regulated at the state level.”
- The Washington Post checked out Glass House‘s massive grow in Ventura Co. Calif. The company said it is bringing another million square feet of growing capacity over to weed. That means roughly 2M square feet of cannabis canopy at the 5.5M square foot facility. (I recently spoke with Glass House president Graham Farrar.)
- In another crack in the equity thaw, SF-based Nalu Bio, a maker of synthetic cannabinoids, raised a $12M series A investment.
- A miscommunication between seed to sale software provider Metrc and licensees almost led to a shutdown of state sales.
- Digiday finds the brands starting to market on Twitter.
- The trucking industry’s research institute is studying legalization.
- Steep Hill Labs‘ Arkansas Branch has been sued by a MED patient alleging potency inflation. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.
State and Local:
- CalMatters reports on Emerald Triangle farmers looking for work outside the industry and how legalization has hurt communities economically.
- Washington state Bills to limit product potency appear to have fallen short.
Columbia Basin Herald
- In Florida, a Trulieve-backed REC 2024 initiative has half the votes it needs.
Green Market Report
- Oklahomans vote on REC Tuesday.
- The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City plans to open a consumption lounge.
- A limited MED bill stalled in Kansas.
- Colorado’s first licensed tour bus is ready to roll in Denver.
- The North Carolina Senate passed a MED bill.
- Virginia lawmakers won’t create a legal REC market this year.
- New York has lots of legal weed, not many legal shops.
Health & Science:
- One doctor said reports of fentanyl-laced cannabis, typically unregulated D8 products, have not been confirmed. (WeedWeek is not clear on this.)
- Yale Medical School is creating a center for the study of cannabinoids.
- Former pro wrestler and Mike Tyson’s business partner Ric Flair will be the face of MED for erectile dysfunction.
Fun & interesting:
- Oaklandside reviews American Pot Story: Oaksterdam about the Bay Area activists who legalized weed.
- LinkedIn account Chad List blasts non-paying accounts.
In the news
- Weed beat veteran and San Diego Magazine managing editor Jackie Bryant has a new podcast called The Plant Lady.
- Former Business Insider reporter Jeremy Berke has a new Substack called Cultivated.
- Snoop Dogg signed an “exclusive international licensing” deal with Atlas Global, a Canada-based player. The deal applies to products in Canada, Germany, Israel and Australia.
- MAKR House, led by Amber E. Senter, is partnering with Embarc dispensaries on a “Black in Business Box” featuring products by four Black-0wned brands.
- Erykah Badu is launching her line That Badu at Cookies stores in California.
- Law firm Harris Bricken, which publishes Canna Law Blog, hosted a webinar on distressed businesses.