The WeedWeek California Pro newsletter
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September 8 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy fall and greetings from WeedWeek’s new HQ in Long Beach, California.
Let’s get to it:
- Exclusive: We tested top Calif. prerolls for potency inflation
Plus lots more.
I’ll be at the Benzinga conference in Chicago next week. Say hello.
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
A WeedWeek test of seven California preroll brands suggests potency inflation is close to ubiquitous in the product category.
- The seven brands we tested include some of the top selling brands in California: El Blunto (Albert Einstone’s), Field (Glass House), Jeeter (DreamFields), KingRoll (StateHouse), Lowell, Pacific Stone and Raw Garden.
Of the seven brands (and nine total products) included, all of them tested below the THC levels on their label. The implied potency inflation on various products ranged from 14% to more than 500%.
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UP TO SIX STATES COULD LEGALIZE IN NOVEMBER
The Hill looks at the six states that could legalize in November:
- South Dakota’s bill would legalize without creating a market. The idea is to avoid the lawsuits that killed the REC initiative the conservative state passed in 2020.
- Arkansas’ board of electors recently derailed a REC initiative, but activists are taking it to the state supreme court.
- Deep blue Maryland is voting on a REC constitutional amendment that would bypass Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is ambivalent on legalization.
- Missouri’s REC proposal, like Maryland’s, would expunge some past pot convictions. The Kansas City Star has more.
- MED state North Dakota is likely to vote on REC.
- Oklahoma’s Supreme Court could put off the REC vote.
- NORML’s Paul Armentano criticized Nebraska’s Supreme Court for killing a MED ballot initiative.
- Politico discusses why weed companies still can’t make money.
- E-cigarette brand JUUL was ordered to pay a nearly $500M fine to resolve an investigation into whether it marketed to youth. Some saw the smaller than expected fine as a good omen for the cannabiz.
- MJBiz looked at the rivalry between trade groups U.S. Cannabis Council and National Cannabis Industry Association.
- A poll found, for the first time, that more Americans smoke weed than cigarettes,
- Green Sentry CEO Brady Cobb discussed buying out MedMen in Florida.
- Abner Kurtin, CEO of MSO Ascend Wellness, was charged with battery in Miami.
The Deep Dive
- The U.S. SEC is suing Instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian’s Ignite International brand to compel compliance over a subpoena involving potential accounting fraud. The company says it’s also being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department. Read the complaint. (Legal research supported by Unicourt.)
- NFL great Jim McMahon discussed his brand.
State and local:
- The LA Times has a big story on the illegal market’s vast scope and related environmental and labor problems.
- Grown In checks out a grey-area pot mecca on the New York/Canadian border.
- I reported on armed officials conducting unannounced water inspections in Humboldt County.
- Oregon released proposed rules for its new psychedelics program.
- San Francisco decriminalized psychedelics.
Health and science:
- Among all types of agriculture, a study found wildfires are particularly detrimental for weed.
Fun and interesting:
- @_chaseh_ used AI to manifest Dark Brandon legalizing it.
- Low dose beverage Cann raised several million from adult beverage fund InvestBev.
- Uncle Arnie‘s parent Fly Beverage is expanding to Oregon.
- Cookies Miami had a big first week. It’s owned and operated by TRP.
Respect My Region
- Cookies is also opening a branch of its Lemonnade retailer in Denver.
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September 23 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Lots to cover so let’s get to it:
- SHO Products sues Puffco for patent infringement
- CEO Rogelio Choy departs Eaze
PLUS: So much more.
I’ll be at MJUnpacked in Vegas next week. Will you?
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SCOOP: SHO Products strikes back, sues Puffco for patent infringement
Eaze CEO Rogelio Choy departs
Another legislative win
Among the dozen or so weed bills recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D), AB 2210 has gotten relatively little attention. Sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Bay Area), it allows temporary dispensary licenses to operate on premises that also have an alcohol permit. (The cannabis permit must operate in a distinct area without alcohol allowed.) A smart source told me it will “open up 100s of venues to do cannabis retail,” and could be a game changer for improving access to licensed product.
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 just $1.
- The L.A. Times delves into the failures of Prop 64, California’s REC law.
- In our Industry Voices feature, Cannabis Distribution Association board member Lauren Fraser Coté argues California and New Jersey’s interstate commerce laws help shape federal legalization.
- To prepare for legalization, a German delegation visited California businesses.
- Consumption lounges are coming to Vegas.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
- AdWeek discusses The Parent Company‘s partnership with YouTube gaming star FaZe Rain.
- New Cannabis Ventures interviewed Brandon Johnson, CEO of TRP. The retailer is “brand agnostic” and runs shops for brands including Cookies and Dr. Greenthumb’s across numerous states.
- The Daily Beast dug into the nasty lawsuit at Instagram account The Blacklist, the “TMZ of weed.”
- A lawyer at Fisher Phillips discusses what California’s new employee protection law means for federal contractors.
- Lompoc (Santa Barbara Co.) city council voted against a moratorium on dispensaries.
- Stone Road has new THCA diamonds concentrates.
- Ricky Williams’ Highsman brand has arrived in Massachusetts, in partnership with MSO Tilt Holdings.
- Pistil Data, which provides data for brand sales teams, is now live in every legal state.
- Stiiizy is now doing delivery in SoCal.
- Viola Brands’ brand refresh emphasizes effects-based marketing.
- Brand accelerator Petalfast is expanding to Arizona in partnership with Consensus Holdings.
- There’s a cannabiz pool party October 1 in Valley Center (San Diego C0.).
- The documentary American Pot Story: Oaksterdam premiers tomorrow in Oakland.