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December 21 2021,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy holidays everyone,
At WeedWeek we’ve always believed the cannabis industry owes a debt to the Black and brown communities who bore and continue to endure the worst of the war on drugs. We’re also proud to be a 1% pledge partner of the Cannabis Impact Fund. Like other participating companies we’ve pledged 1% of our equity, shares or sales to the group, which distributes it to 5 national non-profits: The Bail Project, Black Futures Lab, Color for Change, Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) and The Hood Incubator.
Soon we’ll have a space for the other participating companies on the site. But for now, I’ll list them here. As your organization considers ESG initiatives, I hope you’ll give the Cannabis Impact Fund a look:
Cannabis Trainers, Irie Wedding & Events, WeedWeek, Changemaker Creative, Pen and Hemp, Clio Cannabis Awards, Dogwood Botanicals, BIPOCANN, AlphaRoot, National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)
I wish all of you a happy, healthy and restful holiday season and new year. Look out for a (hopefully brief) newsletter next Tuesday, December 28. We’ll be back to our regular schedule the first week of 2022.
Enjoy the newsletter,
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TEN BIGGEST STORIES OF 2021
No matter how much happens in canna-land it can seem like nothing ever changes. Federal illegality remains in place. Most businesses still lack access to the banking system.
Even so, the industry’s progress is unmistakable. This year saw a new set of states markets begin to flourish, as an even bigger cohort makes preparations to open in the northeast. It’s never clean or easy, but all the arrows still point in the same direction: eventual federal reform.
With that in mind, here are the 10 biggest stories of 2021, and the ones that will continue to matter next year.
SPOTLIGHT: DAMA FINANCIAL CEO ANH HATZOPOULOS
Cannabis is a high-risk banking sector, but it isn’t illegal to bank. That’s the message cannabis banking and compliance service suite Dama Financial is spreading. CEO Anh Hatzopoulos is joined by co-founders Dan Henry and George Gresham, all payment industry veterans, and their multi-city team, to support the rapidly evolving space.
- After failing to pass banking reform, the industry’s allies in Congress said they are adamant about finding a path forward.
- Glass House Brands acquired California edibles brand Plus Products for $25.6M. The popular brand had filed for creditor protection this year. Glass House CEO Kyle Kazan recently discussed his growth plans at the NCIA conference.
Green Market Report
- High inflation is the latest new threat to the cannabiz.
- Hillary Peckham, COO of New York licensee Etain, encouraged The Cut to imagine a cannabis culture that wasn’t just for bros.
- Analysts shared their five favorite pot stocks with Business Insider.
- The recent decision by a United Nations panel not to restrict kratom has spurred investor interest in the psychoactive plant native to southeast Asia.
- On top of everything else, the California industry is facing a labor shortage. (Amid growing discontent, a Change.org petition calls on the state to save its cannabis industry.)
- In upper Manhattan, street dealers are looking to go legal.
N.Y. Daily News
- There was another delay in the Illinois license “supercase.”
- Ohio activists turned in more than 200,000 signatures to get REC on the 2022 ballot.
Fun and interesting:
- Dutch lighting giant Signify agreed to buy Texas-based grow light maker Fluence for $272M.
- Restaurant delivery app Waitr said it planned to buy Retail Innovation Labs, the enterprise software platform that does business as Cova, for $90M.
Business Report (Louisiana)
- Retailer Planet 13 said it would acquire California producer Next Green Wave for C$91M.
- CBD brand Charlotte’s Web named board member and former Bacardi exec Jacques Tortoroli CEO replacing Deanie Elsner. It also appointed Wes Booysen CFO and COO and Jared Stanley Chief Cultivation and Innovation Officer.
- MSO Ascend Wellness Holdings named Laurie Blair SVP, marketing.
- Josh Karchmer joined High Season as marketing director.
- Marketer Angela Pih shared some insights from the NCIA conference.
- Cann co-founder Luke Anderson posted a Christmas video with Kate Hudson and Baron Davis, about cannabis and alcohol coexisting at the same party “or even the same drink.”
- @swamiselect thanked its partners @thecowboycup.
- Marc Eden is taking a poll about your favorite flavor of you know what.
NOT IDIOT PROOF EDITION
WEEDWEEK HIGH SOCIETY
Do your part to make High Society possible: Get vaccinated.
Each two ounce shot(z?) contains 100 mg of THC. This product — #onlythebrave — seems destined to get someone in trouble. Don’t let it be you.
To quote the web site:
For those who dare – the fearless few – they are rewarded with the feeling of being wrapped in Tough Mama’s hairy arms!
But, if you’re looking for someone to hold your hand, wipe your butt, and listen to you whine about your problems, you’ve come to the wrong mama.
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