January 20 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy Friday all,
I’m excited that “Billions” is back on Showtime this weekend.
The pandemic-interrupted fifth season gave us a truncated psychedelics biz storyline and then an unsatisfying cannabiz storyline. Maybe this time they’ll get at least one of them right.
In the newsletter:
- MedMen founder Adam Bierman speaks
- Snapchat cracks down on drugs
And so much more,
TODAY in WeedWeek Live:
Jackie Bryant talks to Jesus Burrola, CEO of outdoor grower Posibl.
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MEDMEN FOUNDER SPEAKS HIS PIECE
Adam Bierman, founder and former CEO of MSO MedMen, gave his first interview since he was pushed out of the company in 2020. The SoCal-based company built a significant national footprint and perhaps the best known legalization era brand before a series of missteps nearly forced it out of business.
Business Insider, Politico
- Bierman largely blames his inexperience and the difficulty of attracting top corporate talent to the cannabiz for MedMen’s struggles under his leadership.
- “Compared to any other 10-figure valued public company in the US, our board was a thin joke,” he said.
Bierman and his MedMen co-founder Andrew Modlin are now back in the industry as part owners of retailer Coastal.
- In October they sued their partners at Coastal over an attempt by The Parent Company to buy the company.
Separately, several days ago, MSO Ascend Wellness Holdings sued post-Bierman MedMen after it broke a deal to sell most of its New York business to Ascend.
SNAPCHAT CRACKS DOWN ON DRUG RELATED CONTENT
Snapchat parent company Snap said it would step up its fight against drug related content.
The move appears motivated by the need to deter opioid dealing on the platform. In October an NBC news report found several young people died of overdoses from fentanyl they bought on Snapchat.
- Snap said 88% of the drug-related content it finds is identified by automated systems.
- Another feature aims to discourage teenagers from connecting with accounts outside their network.
It’s not immediately clear what this means for cannabis content. In 2019 Snapchat signaled an openness to the industry in Canada where it’s federally legal.
- Snapchat which is popular with people under 40 said it would be sharing more content from anti-drug abuse group Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, which opposes legalization.
- This March 2021 post from marketing firm MediaJel discusses whether dispensaries should create dispensary Snapchat accounts.
- As far as I’m aware, Snapchat is a much less important platform for the cannabiz than Instagram, which frequently removes and shadowbans weed-related accounts without warning. Do you know more about this? Email me: email@example.com
- A year after President Biden took office, his promises with regard to cannabis remain largely unfulfilled.
- Louisiana U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers Jr. (D) released a campaign ad with him smoking a joint. He discussed the ad with Politico‘s Natalie Fertig.
- Longtime industry and legalization advocate Morgan Fox has joined NORML as national political director.
- Syracuse.com dives into a lawsuit filed by attorney David B. Feder against MSO Acreage Holdings and other defendants over a New York state license.
- MSO Cresco Labs terminated a deal to acquire Maryland MED dispensary Blair Wellness. citing unspecified unmet conditions. In December, the founder of Blair pleaded guilty to charges related to a kickback scheme at a pharmacy he owned before obtaining a MED license.
- Armored car firm Empyreal, which serves the cannabiz, is suing federal and San Bernardino County, Calif. law enforcement claiming police target its vehicles to seize the cash they’re carrying.
- MSO Trulieve expanded its partnership with California brand Connected to Florida. (Read my story about how Connected sells product for twice as much as competitors.)
- (WeedWeek advertiser) Dama Financial said it would acquire B2B software platform GrowFlow for an undisclosed sum.
- Ag-tech company Agrify reaffirmed its Q4 guidance a few weeks after a short-seller report hit its stock. Agrify has called the report inaccurate.
- Leah Bailey, an exec at MSO Audacious, discussed the canna-curious opportunity.
Muse by Clio
- With U.S. legalization looking farther off, Canadian player Tilray is building out its U.S. liquor properties.
- Cartoonist Brian “Box” Brown takes issue with Arizona’s equity program.
- East Bay Express has a good piece on why smaller California businesses are struggling.
- A MED bill will get priority status in South Carolina.
- MJBiz looks at which California cities may see their first pot shop in 2022.
- An Oklahoma lawmaker sponsored a bill proposing stronger local control of the wide open market.
Health and science:
- A study found young people who smoke cannabis have better sexual function.
- Double Blind shares a new theory for why ecstasy hangovers can be so unpleasant.
- The discovery of a Chinese soldiers’ tomb from about 1,300 years ago suggests cannabis was an important food source at the time.
South China Morning Post
Fun & Interesting:
- Actor turned pot farmer Jim Belushi thinks cannabis could’ve saved his brother John Belushi’s life. His reality show “Growing Belushi” has returned.
IN THE WEEDS
- A paper discusses corporate HR issues in legalizing states.
- Enterprise software company Cultivera released a report on the Washington state market in Q4.
- Cultivation consultant Ryan Douglas argues headstrong growers won’t help your business.
Cannabis Business Executive
- Data firm BDSA will share six predictions for the industry in a January 31 webinar. (In MJBrandInsights, BDSA also highlighted five parent companies to watch in 2022.)
- Beyoncé-approved CBD brand The Gift announced it has secured MSO Curaleaf as its first retail partner. Its products will be available a Curaleaf’s four Maryland dispensaries.
- New York accessories brand Sackville & Co. has partnered with Santa Cruz, Calif. -based Goldenseed on two new pre-rolls.
- In Michigan, High Life Farms released a new line of “Popcorn Small Buds” with a carnival motif.
- Intimacy brand High on Love is selling infused dark chocolate body paint.
- Session Goods released a new bong-cleaning fluid.
- Cynical stoner Kristen Yoder wants to make gratitude easier.
- @namelessgenetics_ asks which strain should go extinct.
- Comedian Rachel Wolfson has a business idea.
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