September 16 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Great to see so many of you at the Benzinga Conference in Chicago.
ALSO, last week’s exclusive where we tested seven top California preroll brands for potency inflation is now in front of the paywall. Share it with your people.
In the newsletter:
- Why Wana Brands left California
- SCOOP: Stiiizy CEO Jon Avidor departs
- Pregnant MED users face imprisonment in two states
WeedWeek regularly links to paywalled content
WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
Wana Brands CEO Nancy Whiteman knows the state markets as well as anyone in weed. She has grown the company to 15 markets including Canada since launching 12 years ago in Colorado. The company is profitable in every one she said.
Last year Wana landed a $300M payment from Canada’s Canopy Growth to be acquired once it’s federally permissible. But not even Wana, best known for its gummies, could make it work in California. The company recently said it was leaving the state after not turning a profit.
- Two more bullish views of California
- SCOOP: Shryne CEO Jon Avidor departs
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In the news
PREGNANT CANNABIS USERS FACE IMPRISONMENT IN ALABAMA, OKLAHOMA
Following the end of Roe vs. Wade, pregnant cannabis users face imprisonment in at least two legal MED states.
In Alabama, 23-year old Ashley Brooks spent three months in jail awaiting trial after acknowledging to police that she had smoked the day she learned she was six weeks pregnant.
- “Pregnant women who are arrested for drug offenses [in Alabama] are not allowed to post bail and go free…They have to stay in state custody: either in jail, or in a residential drug rehab program. The logic is that the women are a danger to their fetuses”
In Oklahoma, at least 26 women have been charged with felony child neglect since 2019 for using MED while pregnant, according to an investigation by The Frontier.
- It can carry a penalty of life in prison though previous defendants have pleaded guilty and received probation.
- The number of newborns who test positive has jumped 160% since legalization in 2018.
- Congressman Jared Huffman (D – Emerald Triangle) introduced a bill to allow small growers and manufacturers to sell weed by mail nationwide with federal legalization.
- Cookies’ new California distributor Humble & Fume took a $6M investment from Canada’s Green Acre Capital. The deal was funded by an option agreement with Johnson Brothers, a major U.S. liquor distributor.
- Consultancy Kearney says cannabiz winter is coming.
State and local:
- The L.A.Times looks at the local corruption associated with legal weed and the scourge of unlicensed dispensaries.
- A Nevada judge ruled the state’s classification of cannabis as a schedule I (banned) drug is unconstitutional.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Missouri’s Supreme Court rejected an effort to remove a REC initiative from the ballot.
- Years after legalizing REC, Vermont issued its first retail license.
Fun and interesting:
- Mint Cannabis is opening Arizona’s first 24-hour pot shop in the Phoenix area. (California shops must close at 10 p.m.)
- Cookies partnered with Akanda to bring high-THC strains to Europe in coming years.
- Lender FundCanna is now financial platform PayQwick‘s preferred lending partner.
- New York law firm Feuerstein Kulick expanded to Oakland and is bringing on all four lawyers at Ringgenberg Law.
- John Kagia, long of New Frontier Data, is joining the New York State Office of Cannabis Management as director of policy.
- New Frontier Data named longtime entrepreneur and activist Amanda Reiman Chief Knowledge Officer.
- Greg Gaspar joined Shango as sales director.
- Beleaguered Unrivaled Brands named Patty Chan interim CFO.
- Gretchen Gailey joined PR agency Grasslands.