November 13 2022,

THE BIG IDEA

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I’m excited to see many of you in Vegas this week. (Send invites to alex@weedweek.com)

In the newsletter:

  • EXCLUSIVE: Who owns Advanced Nutrients?

Plus lots more,

Alex

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WW EXCLUSIVE: WHO OWNS ADVANCED NUTRIENTS

(Alex Halperin)

In November 2013, Michael “BigMike” Straumietis, co-founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients fertilizer, put out a press release. It said he had bought out his two co-founders to become the company’s sole owner. The takeover “will allow BigMike to finally bring his dreams to reality,” it reads.

Over 15 years, Advanced Nutrients had grown from its humble origins as a British Columbia (B.C.) hydroponics shop into one of the biggest aboveground cannabis companies. Even on the west coast, legalization was years off, but AN produced an ancillary product that could be sold anywhere.

The “Nutes” brand connected with growers and became a cultural signifier. Colorful product names like Big Bud, Voodoo Juice and Rhino Skin helped it build an international following.

Today, 10 years after his  press release, BigMike says AN had reached more than $100M in annual sales in 107 countries. He calls it “the most profitable cannabis company in the world.

This allows BigMike, who is 6’7’’, to live “one hell of an awesome life.” In 2015, The Daily Mail dubbed him “king of Instagram” for his posts of private jets, sports cars and young, attractive women, their cleavage bursting with weed. Last fall, he hosted BigMike’s HalloWeed Bazaar, one of his “marijuana mansion” parties, at a 10-acre Beverly Hills estate. “Pillars bursting into flames and fire performers greeted guests, while sword swallowers, water dragons, and contortionists delivered 360 degrees of show stopping spectacles,” BigMike described it in a blog post. 

The “freakishly alive” carnival atmosphere featured palm and tarot card readers, and a Ferris wheel. The “indulgent fare” — BigMike is known to furnish epic raw bars — accompanied drinks, a dab bar, a candy room and “endless platters of AAA bud.” A-list DJ A-Trak presided.

In the 10 years since the press release, BigMike had evidently come some way to bringing his dreams to reality. However, the announcement was incorrect in one key detail. While Big Mike would apparently take control of Advanced Nutrients, at the time of the announcement he hadn’t bought out his two co-founders. This is stated in subsequent court filings from both of BigMike’s two co-founders, as well as this one from Advanced Nutrients, where BigMike remains CEO.

So who owns Advanced Nutrients? The litigation is well into its second decade.

Read the WeedWeek exclusive…

DOGWALKER

Public health group scores Calif. markets for youth protections

Getting it Right from the Start, the public health group which sponsored this year’s unsuccessful, industry-opposed labeling bill, scored California markets which allow retail sales for blocking youth access and supporting social equity.

  • City of San Luis Obispo rated highest among localities with storefronts and San Benito County was tops among jurisdictions that allow only delivery.
  • Counties which allow storefronts and scored below 25 (out of 100) included San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Calaveras and Inyo. 

 

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