November 13 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
I’m excited to see many of you in Vegas this week. (Send invites to firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the newsletter:
- EXCLUSIVE: Who owns Advanced Nutrients?
Plus lots more,
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WW EXCLUSIVE: WHO OWNS ADVANCED NUTRIENTS
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.
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.
- The illegal market which strangled California is now coming for New York.
- North Bay Biz Journal reminds you to get ready for the new laws kicking in Jan.1.
- California voters banned flavored tobacco products.
- The DCC released new streamlined regulations.
- Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals stepped down amid mounting losses. Executive chairman and co-founder Doug Francis is stepping in on an interim basis. YTD the company has lost $21.8M this year. Last year it made $73.7M profit.
Green Market Report
- A new lawsuit alleges potency inflation of KingRoll prerolls, a brand owned by StateHouse Holdings, formerly Harborside. Like a previous lawsuit filed by the same firm against Jeeter, it cites WeedWeek reporting on potency inflation. Canna Law Blog says the Jeeter suit “heralds a potential new wave of litigation.”
- With crypto imploding, cannabis companies see an opportunity for investment.
- Juul Labs staved off bankruptcy with an infusion from early investors.
- Facing mounting financial issues, High Times is going vertical with the acquisition of Moxie‘s California production and manufacturing assets in an all stock deal.
Green Market Report
- High Times checked out LA’s “secret black market weed packaging mecca.”
- Glass House saw Q4 revenue increase 72% to $28.3M.
- “Light cannabis” brand Country thinks there’s a market for lower potency products.
- Silicon Valley is ditching booze, some for edibles.
- LA County voters welcomed shops to unincorporated areas.
Cannabis Business Times
- It looks like San Diego County’s initiative passed as well.
Times of San Diego
- After ballot measures it supported fell short in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Catalyst Cannabis announced plans for a new community center.
Easy Reader News
- The city of Sacramento is helping the industry deter smash and grab crime.
Fun and interesting:
- Brands Tyson 2.0 and Ric Flair Drip are now under the management of Carma Holdings, where the executive chair is Fyllo boss Chad Bronstein.
- StateHouse Holdings said it would carry sungrown brands Swami Select and Sonoma Hill Farm.
- MSO 4Front diversified its California brand portfolio.
- Urbn Leaf (StateHouse) celebrated opening the first dispensary on LA’s Sunset Strip.
- Cookies is partnering with Black-owned brand Gumbo.
- Stiiizy introduced a new CBN gummy.
- Las Vegas Weekly announced its first cannabis award winners.
- The state Department of Food and Agriculture is accepting grant applications for a growing sustainable cannabis pilot program.
Cannabis Business Times