420 New Things in Weed

It's the weediest week of the year.

The Broccoli Report 
Monday, April 19, 2021
Time to read: 6 minutes, 53 seconds. 1379 words.

Good morning! Or should I say, good 4/20 Eve to you!

I can’t help it—I love this strange holiday so much. Tomorrow is special because we cannabis-lovers willed it into existence. It wasn’t reinforced with Hallmark copy or special drops from brands like it is now. We all heard an anecdote about 4:20 p.m. and the date of April 20th early on in our smoking lives, and every April since, we celebrated it with our own traditions within our unique communities. We don’t even agree on how it originated, but we do agree that those details are beside the point. 4/20 is about taking a day to enjoy weed for weed’s sake—a day dedicated to the act of getting high, in celebration of cannabis, the people who enjoy it, and the connections this plant creates between them. A day to make time for real repose; for friends; for creativity; for generosity; for laughter; for whimsy and bare feet in grass; for house parties when everyone helps clean up, and hikes when everyone brings adequate water bottles. 💚 I hope you make time to celebrate. 

Tune in for a fresh Broccoli Talk episode tomorrow, too! I spoke with cannabis-science-writer-turned-carceral-data-researcher Zoe Sigman, who’s been digging into the inaccuracies of information in our current justice system and just how influential this problem has become. Our conversation touched on protest litigation, mental wellness practices in jails and prisons, the expungement fallacy, and a lot more.

This Friday, paid subscribers can look forward to a trend report on the latest in wearable weed. The line between wellness treatments and accessories was blurry long before people started sporting copper bracelets for arthritis, and with innovations in topicals and functional accessories, there are many new ways for consumers to wear their wellness practices on their sleeves. Subscribe for $8/month or $80/year, and never miss a Broccoli Report again. Plus, paid subscribers get access to our entire archive of dispatches. 

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One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance

  • My Portland-based 4/20 festivities will include a unique, COVID-safe dining pop-up at the Jupiter Hotel. Chef Liv Vasquez is serving up a multicourse, CBD-infused vegan dinner in hotel rooms outfitted as private dining rooms for two-to-four people. There are still a few spots left if you’re PDX-based! And guests can choose to book a room for the night—conveniently located blocks away from some great dispensaries. As smoking lounges remain far down the list of businesses to reopen as COVID restrictions ease, quietly cannabis-friendly hospitality is back in the running as a prime space for brands to access some cross-industry exposure.

  • New Mexico took the adult-use plunge! Possession and home cultivation of cannabis will be legal by the end of June 2021, and sales will begin next year. As you probably heard, Virginia moved up legalizing the possession of cannabis for adult use to July 1, 2021, marking the first adult-use legalization in the Southern states. However, in Virginia, the sale and business of legal weed aren’t scheduled to start until 2024—giving state regulators plenty of time to figure out how to allocate the 30% of cannabis sales tax revenue earmarked for initiatives in communities targeted by the war on drugs.

  • The Original Equity Group—an organization supporting equity program licensees, co-founded by Nina Parks of Supernova Women and Ramon Garcia—announced approved trademark registration for an “Equity” certification with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Given some troubling headlines (see: a team of owners where the one Black person named owns only 5% of the business, or this messy drama in LA involving bribes, a lawsuit, and a city council staff member taking advantage of the social equity license system), creating some sort of accountability system for brands making equity claims is a needed step. If you’re the real deal and want to prove it, you can apply here for certification.

  • Lake Superior State University announces a $1,200 annual scholarship for students pursuing a degree in cannabis chemistry. We love to see it! The funds are coming from local processor Steadfast Labs, whose staff has come in to conduct lectures on processing and cannabinoids to students. LSSU’s cannabis chemistry degree was the first U.S. degree program focusing on cannabis-related compounds; students can get either a bachelor's or an associate's degree in the field.

  • The Willamette Week highlights a potential doomsday scenario for licensed cannabis companies ahead: “By the end of the month, Congress could increase the federal corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%. And the Oregon Legislature could refer to voters a proposal to allow cities and counties to increase the local tax on cannabis products up from 3% to 10%, in addition to the state's 17% cannabis tax.” For the average dispensary in Oregon, that would increase its tax burden—its not-eligible-for-deductions tax burden—from 61% to 75%. 

  • Paris is investing in hemp—as in hempcrete, using this environmentally savvy building material to construct both trendy modern apartments and new public housing developments. 

  • Even more excited for the day travel bans lift so that we can visit the freshly renovated All Day Breakfast—Studio A-OK’s brick-and-mortar boutique in Vancouver, B.C.

  • Help make weed smarter! HiVi is about to launch the beta version of their Cannabis Concierge, a personalized recommendation service that guides users on their cannabis journey. Over the past year, the team has worked on developing a true science-backed approach to match users to their best picks amongst HiVi’s curation of preferred CBD and cannabis products. But to best inform correlations between effects and product formulations, they need data. You can help HiVi by contributing your cannabis experiences here.

  • California brand Miss Grass drops fresh, full flower by the bag. A half-ounce bag, no less. 

  • In-demand candle brand Boy Smells adds a new strain to their Kush collection: Italian Kush, with citrus, cypress, and patchouli notes, and “a heart of basil, oregano, and fresh cannabis.”

  • The streaming services aren’t skipping 4/20 this year. Discovery+ will drop a limited run Chopped spin-off called Chopped 420, hosted by comedian Ron Funches, but I’m more excited about Hulu’s SASQUATCH, a documentary produced by the team behind Wild, Wild Country. The three-parter aims to get to the truth of a local legend about three NorCal pot farmworkers savagely attacked by Bigfoot. Also hitting on-demand venues this week: The Marijuana Conspiracy, a historically based comedy telling the fascinating true story of a 1972 study on the effects of weed on women.

  • Houston tattooer Danny G releases High as a Kite, an art book of cannabis-related, traditional-style tattoo flash, paintings, illustrations, photography, and memorabilia. 

  • Sundae School celebrates the holiest of holidays with their own 420 Olympics. Categories include smoke rings, tricks, and speed joint-rolling; prizes include Mochi Gummies, $420 in store credit, official “Smoking Team” merch, and, of course, a championship medal.

  • In other competitive holiday festivities, Aster Farms is giving a half-ounce of Aster flower and three disposable cameras out to interested, selected Instagrammers to document their 4/20. Aster will develop the film, share the copies with the capturers, feature some on IG, and award $500 to the photographer behind their favorite set of photos.

  • Harmless Harvest, a health food brand known for its coconut water and dairy-free yogurt alternative, leans into the season with a creative take on packing a bowl for 420. Their limited edition 4.20 gift set includes truffle crumb cakes, a grinder to “crush your toppings,” matches to “melt your sauce,” hemp utensils, and Harmless Harvest coconut yogurt. I’m now hungry for an açaí sesh.

The happiest of holidays to you,
Lauren Yoshiko