January 20 2022,

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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,

Alex  

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TODAY in WeedWeek Live:

Jackie Bryant talks to Jesus Burrola, CEO of outdoor grower Posibl

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MEDMEN FOUNDER SPEAKS HIS PIECE

medmen

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.

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. 

Read the whole Business Insider interview with Bierman.

SNAPCHAT CRACKS DOWN ON DRUG RELATED CONTENT

Snapchat parent company Snap said it would step up its fight against drug related content.
AdWeek

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. 
TechCrunch

  • 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: alex@weedweek.com

QUICK HITS

Politics:

  • A year after President Biden took office, his promises with regard to cannabis remain largely unfulfilled.
    Marijuana Moment
  • 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.
    CNN
  • Longtime industry and legalization advocate Morgan Fox has joined NORML as national political director. 

Business:

States:

Health and science:

International:

Fun & Interesting:

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