October 28 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
It’s been a busy few days at WeedWeek. The Jeeter lawsuit based on my reporting got picked up by the L.A.Times, CNBC, Stephen Colbert and elsewhere. I’ll return to that story next week.
In the newsletter:
- The Juul-ization of weed
- SCOOP: Trulieve faces union compaint in Arizona
- Lots more
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
Juul Labs, the signature brand of the last decade’s e-cigarette craze, had had a tough fall.
Last month, it agreed to pay nearly $440M to dozens of states for marketing to teenagers. It awaits an FDA decision on whether it can continue selling its products and has reportedly called on two investors in a bid to stave off bankruptcy. Starting next week it faces a class action trial against school districts nationwide.
What got Juul in this much trouble, of course, was selling mango and crème brulee flavored nicotine juice pods. But despite Juul’s struggles, some high profile California brands are selling vapes that edge closer to the third rail for any adult product: appealing to kids.
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SCOOP: TRULIEVE FACES UNION COMPLAINT IN ARIZONA
An Arizona union filed a complaint this month alleging MSO Trulieve has interfered with workers’ right to organize at a Phoenix-area dispensary.
The complaint, alleges that for six months the company has “interfered with, coerced and restrained employees in the exercise of their section 7 rights by among other things terminating [name] because of his union and protected activities; by denying employees a pay increase; by telling employees that they will not get additional employee discounts because of their union activity.”
- Trulieve also faces emboldened unions in Massachusetts following the news of a factory workers’ death there.
“The allegations are false,” Steve Vancore, a spokesman for Trulieve said. “Worse than that, the union is seeking to protect an employee we let go due to his abusive behavior in which he sent a derogatory text to a co-worker.”
Vancore said the union was not aware of text’s contents and declined to provide it. Attempts to reach the worker were not successful.
Martin Hernandez, organizing director of UFCW99 in Phoenix denied that Wade was fired for an abusive text. “Workers deserve due process and this employee was denied any process other than termination,” he said.
“[This] defense of abusive behavior toward another employee, which [the worker] has not denied, is inexcusable,” Vancore responded.
- Banking reform is still on the table for Congress’s lame duck session after the election.
- Steve DeAngelo organized a protest outside the White House to protest Biden’s “self-serving” and “disgusting” pardon order.
- Supporters of Britney Griner planned a smoke out outside the Russian Embassy.
- The NASDAQ objects to Canadian player Canopy Growth‘s plan to enter the U.S. market through a holding company. The beleaguered giant has spent big to pre-acquire high profile brands Jetty Extracts and Wana Brands once it’s legally possible.
- Seed to sale tracking company Metrc released a sustainable plant-tagging solution.
- Diversified ancillary company Greenlane Holdings, which acquired KushCo last year, is fighting for survival.
Green Market Report
- Earnings season is coming.
New Cannabis Ventures
State and local:
- Michigan’s new regular has put bad actors on watch.
Cannabis Business Times
- The Boston Business Journal says a Massachusetts state regulator hasn’t been forthcoming about her ties to a farm.
- A coalition of conservatives and progressives has come together to fight Arkansas’ REC ballot initiative.
- It’s been a light “croptober” harvest in the Emerald Triangle due to industry struggles.
North Bay Business Journal
Health and science:
- Gonzo journalist Michelle Lhooq investigates how genetic modification could customize weed.
- Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, announced plans to legalze REC.
Fun and interesting:
- A company called Smokenol has patented a technology that claims to bring a smoking high to edibles.
- Bhang named Sara Lee Irwin and Paul Pellegrini to its board.
- Headset exec Jocelyn Sheltraw said she’s leaving the company for a new project to grow the next generation of cannabis influencers.
- Law firm Dentons’ Oakland office welcomed back Kelly Fair, as a partner after she served as Canopy Growth’s first U.S. general counsel.
- Arizona vape company ExStax has developed stackable vape cartridges. (Pictured.) They allow users to puff a “stack” of vapes as high (as it were) as their battery can handle. This High Times article suggests that they may be stackable with nicotine cartridges as well, but I don’t see the company promoting that.