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September 18 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
Thanks to all of you who made it to our first virtual event last week (details below.) It went very well and I’m excited to get started on the next one. Got any ideas on topics and people to include?
Will you be at Benzinga in Chicago next week? Let me know if you’d like to meet.
Send tips, press releases, concerns, feedback and criticism to firstname.lastname@example.org
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
Hirsh Jain on California’s retail geography
Those of you who follow California know one of the most frustrating things about the state market is the imbalance between where people live and where they can buy licensed weed. A handful of cities are oversaturated with pot shops, while much of the population lives in cannabis deserts served by the illegal market.
But very few of us know the geography as well as Hirsh Jain of Ananda Strategy. Last week, for WeedWeek’s first virtual event, Hirsh gave a terrific presentation on California’s retail geography. Beyond an overview of where stores are and where they’re coming, he discussed how smart retailers have leveraged the map to their advantage
It’s an absolute must see for retailers, their partners and just about everyone else looking to better understand the world’s largest market.
Thanks again to Evoke Law for making the event possible.
- NBC News reports SAFE Banking is “likely” to pass the Senate.
- Fourteen GOP lawmakers called on the DEA to reject the Department of Health and Human Services’ Schedule III recommendation.
- MSO Trulieve filed a racketeering suit alleging former Arizona employees received kickbacks from brands in exchange for shelf space at Trulieve shops. Green Market Report
- MJBiz interviewed Tim Conder, the new CEO of MSO Tilt Holdings, about his plans for the company.
- MSO Cresco Labs dropped its first Spotify ad campaign in Illinois.
- “Bad faith actors” in China are going after U.S. cannabis trademarks, Canna Law Blog says.
- Cartoonist Brian “Box” Brown asks whether Metrc’s track and trace system is “security theater.”
- CelebStoner digs into the sordid past of new High Times owner Richard Nanula.
- SoCal Recruiting firm FlowerHire put out a management and executive level compensation guide for the industry.
State and local:
- New York is throwing open the door to MSOs as some smaller businesses protest. The Office of Cannabis Management also announced the departure of chief of staff Axel Bernabe, who helped develop the equity push that’s now in question.
The City, NY Cannabis Insider, Gothamist
- The feds say former GOP Speaker of the Michigan House Rick Johnson received bribes of thousands of dollars of commercial sex in exchange for votes when he chaired a now defunct state licensing panel. He has pleaded guilty to bribery and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Detroit Free Press
- Lezli Engelking, of standards organization FOCUS, posted on how the Missouri recall mess highlights the difference between compliance and safety.
- Alaska’s industry wants tax relief.
- A Colorado farm is inviting people to pick their own hemp.
- Neighbors of a Washington D.C. nightlife corridor are trying to limit cannabis and alcohol licenses.
- Shannon O’Brien, the chair of Massachusetts’ regulatory commission, was suspended with pay for reasons that are not clear.
- In August, New Mexico saw record monthly sales of $48.2M.
- New York City paid $75,000 to a woman after the city took away her newborn son on account of her cannabis use.
New York Times
- Hemp shop Charlotte’s Web replaced CEO Jacques Tortoroli with tobacco exec Bill Morachnick.
- As Brazil debates decriminalization, trade show Expo Cannabis landed in Sao Paulo.
- Origins Council, which represents mostly small farmers, wants your support urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill that would ban depictions of people, fruits and vegetables on weed packaging.
- AG Rob Bonta sued nine companies for illegal sale of inhalable hemp products.
- Statewide, pot taxes were up in Q2, but well below previous years.
North Bay Business Journal
- Consumption lounges may soon be able to sell fresh food. Gov. Newsom may also sign bills banning cannabis use asks of job applicants and eliminating the requirement to track plants with single use plastic tags.
LAist, Bloomberg Law, Marijuana Moment
- The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) warned licensed labs that it is seeking to crack down on potency inflation.
- Harris Bricken Attorney Griffen Thorne argues the state’s new program to support local enforcement against unlicensed shops won’t work.
- The Sac Bee has a refresher on where you can and can’t light up.
- I missed this last week, but MJBiz reported at least 10 “fake unions” have been identified in California.
- Entertainment and media industry newsletter ZogBlog profiles Berner’s growth strategy: “Berner just signed a deal with Snoop Dogg’s food company to create Cookies By Cookies, which will be carried in Walmart and elsewhere starting this spring.” Also, Berner’s @berner415 Instagram account, which has about 2M followers, appears to be down.
- Viola Brands CEO Al Harrington editorialized on the lack of Black-owned businesses in the cannabiz.
- The U.S. SEC charged LA-entertainment company Impact Theory for an unregistered offering of NFTs designed to raise money for adult cartoon show Stoner Cats. The company dissents.
- The LA Times profiled “Gen-Z weed whisperer” Maha Haq who founded UCLA’s CannaClub.
- Natalynne Delapp of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance editorialized against a Measure A, a March ballot initiative the industry fears would wipe it out.
- Despite resistance, the farms are winning in Santa Barbara County, SF Gate reports.
- Porterville (Tulare Co.) needs advice from the state on whether a card room can be located in the same building as a dispensary. They’d be separate businesses.
- ReeForm, a social equity brand developed with Glass House, and Oaksterdam University announced a plan to provide Oaksterdam scholarships to people impacted by the war on drugs.
- Distro Nabis announced a partnership with Eaze where it will served as a streamlined distribution channel for the delivery app. Nabis also became distributor for brand Variety Drugs.
- Asset lite brand Old Pal landed in New York.
- Retailer Planet 13 is redomiciling to Nevada. It also inked a Nevada-focused partnership with topical brand Ovation.
- ERP platform Distru announced a partnership with Pistil Data.
- Culture Cannabis Club opened a new store in Canyon Lake (Riverside Co.).
- Vape maker Grenco Science announced a partnership with the Grateful Dead.
- Rapper Xzibit is launching a podcast called Lasagna Ganja, with influencer The Cannabis Cutie.