February 25 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
So much stuff in today’s newsletter, let’s just get to it:
- MSOs opposed Illinois equity bill
- MedMen retracts political influence allegation
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MedMen retracts political influence allegation in Ascend suit
The AP reported MSO MedMen would withdraw its allegation, filed in court, that MSO Ascend used political pressure on N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) so regulators would sign off on Ascend’s announced purchase of most of MedMen’s New York business.
- A MedMen attorney said “very specific allegations that are the subject of the very carefully worded and very limited denials by Ascend and the governor’s office.”
- Ascend produced evidence that its executives were out of town during two alleged meetings.
- “What’s particularly outrageous about this is they are basically making up a story because they have seller’s remorse,” an attorney representing Denerstein said.
- The stakes are one of the 10 MED licenses in New York.
In other New York news, Gov. Hochul signed a law that will allow hemp farmers to grow REC ahead of the state market’s official open.
Across the river:
- The New York Times looked at the equity situation in New Jersey.
- And a New Jersey regulator warned rushing the REC market would hurt small businesses.
- The U.S. Supreme Court asked the solicitor general, the top lawyer at the Justice Department, to weigh in on a case involving who pays for the MED when workers get injured on the job.
- Minority Cannabis Business Association executive director Amber Littlejohn testified before Congress that equity businesses need federal relief.
- Peter Caldini, CEO of MSO Acreage, discussed the company’s turnaround process over the last 18 months.
New Cannabis Ventures
- A Spotlight PA investigation found potcos make unsubstantiated claims about MED, especially with regards to quitting opioids.
- A new report from Leafly found the cannabiz now supports 428,059 American jobs.
- Rolling Stone goes long on California’s industry crisis.
- Ganjapreneur published a framework for assessing anti-cannabis bias in the media. While the mainstream media can imply cannabis use is unattractive or stupid, I’ll add that there are approximately **zero** working journalists who oppose legalization.
- A hemp industry group released a statement against the marketing of intoxicating products as “hemp.”
- MGRetailer discusses the future of trade shows and trade show strategies.
- Clark County (Las Vegas), Nev. announced a new equity training program.
- The New Mexico Supreme Court determined MED should be exempt from a state sales tax.
NM Political Report
- Canna Law Blog discusses California’s long awaited new tax legislation.
- Oklahoma police raided 12 MED locations, part of an ongoing investigation into licensed businesses selling into the illegal market.
Public Radio Tulsa
- The South Dakota Senate narrowly approved a REC bill that now heads to the state house. It follows the state supreme court’s overturning a REC ballot initiative which voters passed. It precedes another REC ballot push which would likely be more liberal than the Senate bill.
- Texas gubernatorial candidates shared their views on legalization.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- The Washington Post looked at equity in Virginia.
- The Denver Post meets the “mushroom rabbi.”
- A study in Nature suggested mescaline could mitigate cocaine abuse.
Fun and interesting:
- The new book, “The Joy of Cannabis: 75 Ways to Amplify Your Life Through the Science and Magic of Cannabis,” by Melanie Abrams and Larry Smith goes on sale next month.
- The Independent looks at how CBD spa treatments “took the world by storm.”
- Looking for an attention grabbing promotion? AdWeek found a good one at wine company Archer Roose. Also in AdWeek, the release of Hard Mountain Dew further blurs the line between soda and booze.
- Mary Carreon finds the “most dubious and out-of-touch cannabis vanity projects from famous people,” i.e. lame celebrity brands.
- Trulieve completed the acquisition of a 64,000 square foot cultivation facility near Phoenix for $13.75M. The MSO also announced an exclusive partnership to produce, process and retail Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush brand in Florida and several northeast markets. Khalifa discussed the deal with Lindsey Bartlett in Forbes.
- Agricor, Botanacor and SC Laboratories are combining to form what they say is the largest cannabis and hemp testing platform in North America.
- Willow Industries, a cannabis decontamination company, raised $2M.
- Canadian retailer Superette acquired Cannoe for undisclosed terms, doubling its footprint to 12 retail stores.
- Multinational operator Clever Leaves announced its first shipment of CBD from Colombia to Germany and expanded its partnership with German company Cansativa.
- High Times opened its seventh California pot shop. It’s in San Bernardino.
- California distributor Nabis is expanding to New York.
- Kaya hired High Times editor in chief Jamie Solis as editor of culture site High There.
IN THE WEEDS
- Headset data found Bostonians stuffed their stashes before a big snow storm in January.
- Pharmacist Codi Peterson discusses how MED might help people quit cigarettes.
- Attorney Belle Borovik discusses “cannabis branding at the edge of the metaverse.”
- BDSA has a list of five brands to watch in 2022.
- The Canna Tech Group has a cool infographic on the cannatech sector.
- Hidden Jewel’s Tea is holding an event March 19 in LA.
- Edibles brand Hervé has launched a Delta-8 version of its hard candy dispenser, Le Mirage, with MoonWlkr.
- California mouth spray brand Click is partnering with Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 on a product called Toad’s Breath.
- RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Shea Couleé has teamed up with Green Monké on a new soda brand.
- Cannigma CEO Elana Goldberg has some questions about CBD make up.