The WeedWeek California Pro newsletter

Every Thursday morning the newsletter delivers exclusive reporting and analysis about what’s happening in the California market and why it matters for your business.
(See an example here.)

March 30 2022,

TOGETHER WITH

Promotion from MATTIO Communications

We are excited to introduce MATTIO+FIORE Media, a best-in-class 360° full-service agency specializing in cannabis companies.

To learn more, click here!

SOMETHING NEW...

THE BIG IDEA

Hi all,

We’re excited to introduce the first issue of WeedWeek California Pro, the only publication for people who make money in the world’s largest cannabis market. 

In this new newsletter, I’ll deliver exclusive reporting and analysis every week. Subscribers will also have access to our new, interactive tax and licensing maps, powerful tools to help you better understand the Golden State’s $5B+ cannabiz. 

Check it all out with a two-week trial for just $1

And don’t worry, we’ll still publish the free WeedWeek newsletter on Fridays.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find it valuable.

Alex

*

Our advertising policy.

Send tips, press releases, concerns, feedback and criticism to hello@weedweek.com

SHAKE UPS

LA SET TO OVERHAUL LICENSE PROCESS

LA’s Department of Cannabis Regulation held a webinar yesterday on forthcoming changes to the city’s cannabis ordinance.

Built on top of entrenched grey and illegal markets, the city known as the world’s largest market has struggled with a host of challenges since the California REC market opened in 2018.

  • Cat Packer, the department’s first executive director stepped down in early March. Her former deputy Michelle Garakian has the reins on an interim basis.

Largely in response to frustrated applicants, the city began an ordinance review process in September. Among other goals, the new draft ordinance aims to clarify and accelerate licensing, with an emphasis on ensuring a smoother process for social equity applicants.

Among its proposals:

  • A lottery, probably next year, would determine winners of the “phase 3, round 2” process for social equity applicants seeking retail licenses.
  • They no longer have to be holding the property to apply for a license, but the definition of who qualifies as a social equity applicant is narrower.
  • City cultivation licenses would be reserved for social equity applicants through January 1, 2025.
  • Emily Hackman, a license specialist with law firm Vicente Sederberg, said one big takeaway is DCR would have to meet codified deadlines for responding to applicants 

The new ordinance could be approved by city council as soon as April, but they will also have opportunities to modify and delay it. 

See the city’s presentation here.

BILL PROPOSES BIG YELLOW WARNING LABELS

State Sen. Dr. Richard Pan (D – Sac.) is holding a virtual press conference today to support SB 1097, the Cannabis Right to Know Act. It would require cannabis products to carry big yellow warning labels.

If the bill passes:

  • One-third of packages would have to be covered with warnings about DUI, use during pregnancy and cannabis’ potential to contribute to mental health problems, especially when THC is consumed frequently or in high doses. 
  • One of the messages would say: “WARNING: Buy Legal! Illegally sold cannabis is more likely to contain unsafe additives or harmful contaminants such as mold or pesticides.”

The California Cannabis Industry Association opposes the bill.

In a March 25 letter to Sen. Richard Roth, (D-Inland Empire), chair of the Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, CCIA executive director Lindsay Robinson argued the bill would:

  • Create additional regulatory burdens for an industry that has its share
  • Be redundant since products already have “significant and effective warning labels”
  • Lead to increased landfill waste and carbon emissions
  • Do nothing to reduce demand for illegal product

The bill’s supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

  • California ER visits with cannabis as the primary cause have increased from 9,793 in 2016 to 14,999 in 2019.

Dr. Lynn Silver, a pediatrician and senior advisor to with Getting It Right From the Start, a program by of the non-profit Public Health Institute, which promotes public health and equity on cannabis policy called the labels a “very low cost intervention.” 

  • “I think it’s in the interests of the cannabis industry for consumers to have safer positive experiences and to avoid adverse experiences,” Silver said. 
  • She expressed optimism that the bill would pass. “We hope to have the support of the cannabis industry as well.”

EQUITY

SAN DIEGO CO. BEGINS LISTENING TOUR

San Diego County, the second most populous in the state, also has one of the lowest concentrations of dispensaries (See chart below). Now it’s seeking to develop an equity program and crack down on the illegal market. 

This week a company contracted by the county, Womxn’s Work Consulting kicked off a listening tour to discuss what equity could look like.

  • Aside from familiar equity issues, participants made intriguing, but unlikely suggestions like community cannabis gardens, farmers markets and government purchase quotas.  
  • Womxn’s Work is also conducting a community survey on what equity should look like and who should benefit. The responses will inform how the county shapes the program.
  • The listening tour continues Saturday at 10 a.m. You can tune in on Zoom

QUICK HITS

Politics:

Regulation:

Business:

Fun and interesting:

WEED DESERTS HO!

CHART OF THE WEEK

Our first chart of the week digs into WeedWeek‘s maps and state data to find the California counties with the fewest retail licenses per person, (storefront and non-storefront).

The graph takes us from Los Angeles County, where 328 active licenses amounts to just one per 30,000-ish people to Placer County which has one active license for its population of just over 400,000 people. It’s Golden State Patient Care, in Colfax, in case you’re hard up. 

  • To be included, a county had to have at least 1 pot shop and 100,000 people.

NOTABLES

Company Milestones:

Job Moves:

Upcoming:

Send your milestones to hello@weedweek.com

VAPE IT UP EDITION

WEEDWEEK HIGH SOCIETY

Collin Palmer, head of formulations at PAX with Chris Sayegh “The Herbal Chef,” and PAX COO Steven Jung smile for the camera at a tasting event for PAX’s new Live Rosin with Natural Diamonds vape pods.  Sayegh hosted the event at Nostalgia Bar & Lounge, his restaurant in Santa Monica. 

Pax
Photo by Kaitlin Parry @shootpeople_ , Courtesy of PAX

*

Send High Society pics, company milestones, job moves, product news and upcoming events to hello@weedweek.com

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

View our privacy policy here.

July 21 2022,

TOGETHER WITH

Promotion from MATTIO Communications

We are excited to introduce MATTIO+FIORE Media, a best-in-class 360° full-service agency specializing in cannabis companies.

To learn more, click here!

THE BIG IDEA

Hi all,

Hope you’re staying cool. Lots of local news in today’s newsletter, and two stories about big companies:

  • Dutchie’s payments play isn’t a slam dunk
  • Curaleaf goes small

Enjoy,

Alex

*

Our advertising policy.

*

Send tips, press releases, concerns, feedback and criticism to hello@weedweek.com

*

Was this email forwarded to you? WeedWeek California Pro is the only publication for people who make money in the world’s largest cannabis market. Get a two-week trial subscription for $1!

CURALEAF GOES SMALL WITH FARMER'S SELECT

The Farmer’s Select (Courtesy of Curaleaf)

MSO Curaleaf, parent of brand Select, has launched a Farmer’s Select Program, a series of limited collaborations with legacy farmers and other unique California operators. (Disclosure: Curaleaf is a client of WeedWeek advertiser Mattio.)

CuraLeaf’s new CEO Matt Darin, and Josh Pritchard, founder and CEO of Delighted Farms, responded to emailed questions about their collaboration. Here are their responses, edited for length and content.

WeedWeek: How are these partnerships structured? 

Matt Darin: They typically begin with our team reaching out to and meeting with licensed legacy farmers. Once a relationship is formed, we purchase a sample from the farm for analysis by a certified third-party lab. Following approval of the sample, our team works with the farmers to harvest and flash-freeze the whole flower. It is then processed into live resin and formulated to match the terpene profile from cultivar to concentrate. 

WW: What does Curaleaf do for their partners?

MD: Our Farmer’s Select partners are provided with as much assistance as they need, whether that be on the cultivation and processing side or promotionally through marketing and PR. We understand that small farms have varying levels of marketing and sales teams, so we aim to bridge the gap by providing them with as much exposure and support as possible.

WW: How is the program going so far?

MD: Fantastically! The Farmer’s Select program shows what we can do when our industry values community and collaboration over competition. Select’s first collaboration with Sonoma Hills Farm sold out in under two weeks. 

How does Curaleaf envision expanding this program?

MD: Our long-term goal is to launch one Farmer’s Select collaboration per month. In fact, we encourage other farmers who are interested to reach out to our CA Ops team led by Jayne Fiscus!

Does Curaleaf ever see this program contributing meaningfully to the top line and how?

MD: Our primary focus with Farmer’s Select is to reaffirm our commitment to creating an equitable cannabis industry where everyone can participate. That said, we do see the program contributing to the top line as both Farmer’s Select collaborations have sold out much faster than anticipated.

Josh Pritchard:

WeedWeek: Who’s the leadership of your company and how many employees do you have?

  • Josh Pritchard, Founder/CEO. Started growing cannabis in 2008, also worked in tech, most recently running data analytics at Slack.
  • Kevin Crouch, Director of Cultivation, Biologist. Started growing cannabis in 2002, breeding and phenohunting since 2007.
  • Approximately 30 full time employees, including trimming staff.

Describe your business: what do you do aside from the partnership with Curaleaf/Select? How’s it going?

Josh Pritchard: We are a large indoor farm with a significant focus on developing new and unique flavors through constant R&D. We grow flower for our own brand (DELIGHTED) and also white label for other brands. The market has been tough overall, but our R&D is going very well and we’re looking forward to opening a new facility later this year, which will include a nursery.

Why did you choose to partner with Curaleaf/Select?

JP: Knowing the lab crew in Sacramento for years, we’ve been waiting for a chance to work together. After years of operating exclusively as a white label provider, we’ve just launched our flower brand, DELIGHTED, and were very excited to be given the chance to partner with Curaleaf and Select to highlight the new and unique flavors we’re bringing to market. 

What does success for this partnership look like?

JP: For us it’s all about getting more people to learn about and experience the new flavors from our flower menu: Napali Sunrise, Frozen Gushers, and Gas Pie. We have a lot more in the pipeline and look forward to working with Curaleaf and Select to bring in Live Resin carts as well.

DOGWALKER

Kings Garden default raises questions about IIP

Stock in San Diego-based REIT Innovative Industrial Properties, which hasn’t had a good year, fell again after it revealed key California tenant Kings Garden had defaulted on $2.2M in rent and insurance payments for July.

QUICK HITS

Sacramento:

Business:

Local:

Fun and interesting:

*

WeedWeek California Pro is the only publication for people who make money in the world’s largest cannabis market. Get a two-week trial subscription for $1!

*

Chart of the Week will return next week. Got some data we should consider? Send it to hello@weedweek.com

NOTABLE

Company Milestones:

Job Moves:

Events:

*

WeedWeek California Pro is the only publication for people who make money in the world’s largest cannabis market. Get a two-week trial subscription for $1!

View our privacy policy here.