April 22 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy Friday all,
Hope you get some time to relax after the 4/20 rush and the next big thing. In today’s newsletter:
- Equity group sues Chicago “cartel”
And lots more. Enjoy,
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
SCOOP: Eaze hit by data breach
A data breach compromised the personal information of present and former employees at delivery app Eaze. The leak represents the latest challenge for the company as it adjusts to the merger with Colorado-based retailer Green Dragon.
“Identifying myself to the IRS via video selfies …”
Herbl or Nabis: Which one’s for you?
There are more than 1,000 active distributor licenses in California, but for ambitious brands two companies are bound to come up in every conversation: Herbl and Nabis. Both companies handle substantially more than 10% of California’s legal market, but they have significantly different…
A handful of powerful companies control the Illinois cannabiz, according to lawsuit filed by group called True Social Equity in Cannabis.
The suit alleges tech player Akerna and MSOs Green Thumb Industries, Verano Holdings and Surterra ” have monopolized the Illinois-branded marijuana market, from cultivation to manufacturing to retail dispensaries.”
- It alleges the companies control prices with a pound going for $4,000 in Illinois as compared to $300 in California.
- See the lawsuit here.
- The lawsuit says Akerna is controlled by the Pritzker family — J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic governor of Illinois — Surterra by the Wrigley family and GTI . GTI CEO Ben Kovler’s is heir to the Jim Beam fortune.
- It claims the defendants violate anti-trust laws since “all exchange information and work to support the interests of the “Chicago Cartel” in order to extract monopolist prices from consumers.”
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to block the defendants from practicing in Illinois.
- The defendants didn’t immediately return Bloomberg‘s requests for comment.
- Grown In has more.
- FiveThirtyEight asked why GOP lawmakers largely still largely oppose legalization.
- Industry leaders are tired of Congress doing nothing.
- REIT Innovative Industrial Properties said a short-seller’s report “contains numerous false and misleading statements.”
- MSO Curaleaf released a social equity report.
- Cartoonist Brian Brown broke news that the lawsuit against Curaleaf for tip stealing is going national.The company didn’t respond to request for comment.
- This 4/20 was the biggest sales day ever, according to Akerna.
- MSO Red, White and Bloom exited Illinois and laid off employees.
Green Market Report
- Amazon, which supports legalization, says a successful effort to unionize its workers in New York is tainted because organizers gave away weed.
- Marijuana Moment compiled a list of mainstream brand 4/20 promotions. I remember when there weren’t nearly so many.
- Burgeoning weed mogul Mike Tyson punched a man on a plane as it boarded at SFO. The man was reportedly badgering Tyson who was en route from the Hippie Hill celebration to the Benzinga conference in Miami.
- Will Yakowicz and I compiled Forbes’ list of 42.0 industry power players.
- Wholesale marketplace LeafLink released its data flash for April.
States & cities:
- REC sales began in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy said he was open to a bill that would ban cannabis use for off-duty cops.
- A Missouri REC ballot initiative is racing to collect signatures before the May 8 deadline.
- Florida agriculture commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried is suing the feds to lift the ban on gun rights for MED patients.
- Las Vegas is still working on consumption lounge rules.
- Oklahoma’s supreme court ruled two REC ballot initiatives can advance.
Health and science:
- A study found legalization is linked to significant reductions in prescription drug use.
Justice and Community:
- Edwin Rubis, a non-violent cannabis offender serving a 40-year sentence shared his thoughts on 4/20.
Beard Bros. Pharms
- Alan Brochstein who runs business site New Cannabis Ventures suffered a severe accident while bike riding. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Fun and interesting:
- Cannatech player Treez raised $51M, valued at $260M.
- Fintech shops Bespoke Financial and payQwick launched a partnership to provide operators with a suite of financial services.
- MSO AWH completed a roll-up of a Pennsylvania grow and six shops.
- REIT AFC Gamma Commits $82.5M for Bloom Medicinals’ expansion.
- MSO Trulieve and brand Khalifa Kush expanded their partnership to Arizona.
- Canadian accessories distru Humble + Fume launched in California.
- In Colorado, Native Roots, Wana Brands, Terrapin Care Station, Marijuana Industry Group and kindColorado teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to support traffic safety.
Co-hosts and co-founders of Blunt Brunch events, Parisa Rad, welcomed 250 women to their April 6 event at the Godfrey Hotel in Chicago. Rad, a.k.a. “da marijuana momma,” is president of Fourtwenty Collections. Adelia Carrillo is the co-founder and CMO of EventHi.
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