June 23 2022,

THE BIG IDEA

Hi all,

Lots of fascinating stuff in today’s newsletter, let’s get to it:

  • Puffco patent suit heats up dab wars
  • Regulators respond to Cookies/Batman partnership

Enjoy,

Alex

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REGULATORS RESPOND TO COOKIES/BATMAN PARTNERSHIP

Last week I spoke to several lawyers about the partnership between the Cookies’ and DC Comics’ Batman properties. Several states prohibit cannabis marketing to kids, and while the lawyers agreed the deal carried some risk for the Cookies cannabis brand, they had varying opinions about how far out on a limb the company had put itself. (Cookies said that the cannabis company had nothing to do with the apparel company’s deal.) 

As a practical matter, decisions about these gray areas like these fall to state regulators. And in general, cases like these haven’t been a priority for regulators. Aside from Cookies, not many companies have pressed their luck. WeedWeek reached out to regulators in the dozen or so states where Cookies dispensaries operate, and while none commented specifically on the Cookies case, their responses help shed some light. Here are a few excerpts:

California:

  • The Department of Cannabis Control has not penalized anyone for marketing to kids. However, it has authority to cite an unlicensed person for violations of state cannabis law, including marketing to kids.

Colorado:

  • “Online merchandise without a clear nexus to Colorado licensees may be beyond Marijuana Enforcement Division jurisdiction. However, this would be evaluated.”
  • State law prohibits licensees from enlisting anyone to do anything it can’t.
  • The state has investigated at least one company for marketing to kids.

Montana:

  • “The Department of Revenue has no enforcement authority over apparel or other non-marijuana merchandise.”

Oklahoma:

  • Licensees can’t “engage in, circulate, or otherwise cause dissemination of advertising” that violates state law or Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority rules, including anything that depicts a cartoon or cartoon character or is designed to be especially appealing to children.” The agency has investigative authority.

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DOGWALKERS

Sac Bee publishes video of fatal shooting

The Sacramento Bee published exclusive footage of the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Soobleej Kaub Hawj during the evacuation of a June 2021 wildfire in far northern Siskiyou County. Hawj was apparently armed and the district attorney recently determined that the four officers who fired will not face criminal charges. Hawj was a member of the Hmong community whose illegal grows have been a source of contention. Members of the Hmong community say the opposition to their grows has largely been fueled by racism.

Retailers shift from state to local access

Non-profit newsroom Cal Matters looks at retailer Catalyst Cannabispush to open the first pot shops in tony SoCal beach towns like Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and El Segundo, each of which will have vote on welcoming dispensaries in November or March. Catalyst CEO and self-described “motherfucking hustler” Elliot Lewis is known for his video rants on social media.

QUICK HITS

Legislation:

Business:

Local:

Fun and interesting:

CHART OF THE WEEK

For the new and fascinating chart of the week, we’ll turn again to data put together by patent analytics company Dolcera, and published exclusively here (as far as I’m aware). As companies rush to stake their claims to cannabis IP, here are the corporate owners of the most U.S. patent filings. 

Leading the pack is Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which acquired GW Pharmaceuticals, the developer of Epidiolex, the FDA-approved CBD-pharmaceutical for severe pediatric epilepsy disorders. 

Next there’s Xyleco, a Massachusetts company turning biomass into useful products for “housing, clothing, food, medicine, energy” and other necessities. As far as I can tell, Canada’s Canopy Growth is the only company representing REC. Also on the list: Tobacco giant Altria, which has a stake in Canadian firm Cronos Group.

Courtesy: Dolcera (Dolcera.com)

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NOTABLES

Company milestones:

Job moves:

  • MWG Holdings, parent of retailer Perfect Union, named Tom Snyder CEO replacing Danyelle Bruno who took the job in November.

Upcoming:

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