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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August 19 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
You might want to sit down before reading today’s newsletter. I review Can Legal Weed Win, the new book by UC Davis economists Robin Goldstein and Daniel Sumner.
Economics is called the dismal science, and the book doesn’t disappoint on that score:
- Can legal weed win?, the WeedWeek review
Cheer up, it’s Friday,
Send tips, press releases, concerns, feedback and criticism to firstname.lastname@example.org
Two economists' dismal view of legalization
Since we’re talking interstate trade…
In a Maine lawsuit, a federal appeals court found 2-1 that cannabis markets are legal enough to be governed by the Constitution’s commerce clause. The case struck down a Maine law which allowed only Mainers to sell MED. While this isn’t close to a green light for interstate trade, it’s a nod in that general direction. A new paper by several academics and at least one journalist offers recommendations for how interstate trade can support a fair and competitive industry.
- Gov. Newsom seems to be wavering on a bill to allow safe consumption sites.
- Legislators gutted a proposal to legalize psychedelics.
- The end of provisional licensing likely indicates fewer new licenses will be issued in California.
- Weedmaps is laying off about 10% of its 600-person team, Business Insider learned.
- Stock analyst Aaron Edelheit is bullish on Glass House.
- In a post, MediaJel‘s Guillermo Bravo boasts that the marketing tech firm outperformed Weedmaps for a client.
- Leading California edibles company Kiva has problems with New York’s proposed rules.
NY Cannabis Insider
- Stundenglass is suing several SoCal vape shops for selling knockoffs.
- After suing and reaching a settlement, MSO Ascend Wellness Holdings terminated its deal to buy MedMen‘s New York license. MedMen CEO Ed Record said the company is considering all options.
Seeking Alpha, MJBiz
- The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that an injured worker fired for testing positive does not have a viable wrongful termination claim. The employee was a tables games dealer who was tested after he slipped and fell in the employee break room. He wasn’t using at work.
- Santa Barbara Co. supes have approved 166 acres of cultivation in Carpinteria and are currently considering projects for 40 more acres.
- A state appellate court declined to give the city of Chula Vista (San Diego Co.) a new hearing after ruling that it unfairly rejected a dispensary’s application.
Voice of San Diego
- Humboldt Co. supes made changes to equity rules ahead of dispersing grants.
- In November San Diego County will vote on a tax measure designed to open up the county’s industry and support social equity businesses.
San Diego Union-Tribune
- Pasadena’s first pot shop apparently closed.
- Hermosa Beach approved deliveries from businesses outside the city limits.
California City News
- Monterrey County DA said Paul King, a former CEO of several businesses, would have to pay $2.4M for growing without a license. King has been in trouble before, was fined
KION, The Real Deal
- An Oakland church that gives cannabis and psychedelics as communion sued over a police raid.
- Clark County (Las Vegas) regulators continue to weigh the rules for consumption lounges.
Fun and interesting:
- Humboldt Seed Company is seeking to register many strains under Colombia’s licensing regime.
- Coastal opened a shop in Concord, its twelfth.
Cannabis Business Times
- The Parent Company reported another grim quarter.
- Non-infused, streetwear-themed dessert company Cookie Plug, (“Fat stacks baked fresh daily”) which is not connected to streetwear-adjacent cannabis company Cookies, announced a franchise opportunity.
- Unrivaled Brands appointed Sabas Carrillo interim CEO. No word in the press release on what happened to Tiffany Davis who became CEO in May. Here’s the corporate update they issued earlier this month.