January 8 2021,



The Democrats' victories in the two Georgia run-off elections were quickly overshadowed by a Trumpist mob storming the U.S. Capitol. However, the Democrats will now control both houses of Congress, fulfilling the cannabis world's top priority for the 2020 election cycle. Now the question is what kinds of reform legislation can be achieved.

  • Charlie Bachtell, CEO of MSO Cresco Labs, called the result a "big win" for cannabis. But it's not clear whether the result will be full legalization or more modest reforms such as banking access, the end of 280E or none of the above. I spoke to Vertical Wellness CEO Smoke Wallin, and Drug Policy Alliance national affairs director Maritza Perez about what happens next.
  • Among other things, Wallin predicted that no matter what else happens, the current ban on interstate trade will remain in place for much longer than many in the industry hope. He argues the states have too much invested in the infrastructures and rules they've built, not to mention the jobs they've created. 
  • Separately, Michelle Rutter Friberg, a lobbyist with the National Cannabis Industry Association, shared the lay of the land in Congress. Bottom line: Real change is possible but there's "not a lot of room for error."  
  • In his newsletter, Dai Truong discussed the Georgia races' implications for cannabis investing.
  • Cannabis world is lukewarm on President-elect Joe Biden's selection of Merrick Garland for attorney general. Marijuana Moment explains why.

Quick Hit

  1. It's looking more like 2021 is the year New York legalizes REC.
    New York Times

Kris Krane, president of multi-state operator 4Frontrecently made the case to WeedWeek that “a gummy is a gummy is a gummy.” Specifically, he discussed how the company’s strategy is to streamline manufacturing so it can produce and sell quality edibles at lower cost than the best known brands. 

Customers haven’t yet developed deep brand loyalties, he argued, and are more than willing to experiment with lesser known competitors, especially when they cost a few bucks less. The approach has enabled 4Front to produce seven of the top 10 edibles brands in Washington state. 

Kristi Knoblich Palmer, CEO of Kiva Confections, one of California’s leading edibles brands, respectfully disagrees, and thinks consumers see it her way. “I guess it depends on what your goals are,” she said. ”If you’re just looking to play in the gummy space and not hoping to be a major player, you can get away with that strategy.” 

In an interview with WeedWeek, she discussed the most exciting opportunities for novel products. 


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IN THE NEWS — 1/9/21

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