Beyoncé enters the weed scene.

And we're a little mad about it.

The Broccoli Report 
Monday, August 23, 2021
Time to read: 7 minutes, 24 seconds. Contains 1482 words.

Good morning! 

Perhaps “mad” isn’t the right word, but Queen Bey—you are breaking my heart.

In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the icon mentioned CBD as a part of her self-care regimen, stating “I discovered CBD on my last tour, and I’ve experienced its benefits for soreness and inflammation. It helped with my restless nights and the agitation that comes from not being able to fall asleep.” She’s also gotten into honey as a wellness ingredient, and mentioned that she’s “building a hemp and a honey farm.” There is an implication that she makes some kind of CBD and/or honey infused bath soak, and an entrepreneurial tease that “there’s more to come soon!”

Look, I am a huge fan. Destiny’s Child songs are my go-to when I can’t get out of singing karaoke. I think “Me, Myself and I” was among the most underrated music videos of the mid-aughts. However, despite the innocent presentation as a cute hobby, the reality of Beyoncé’s entry into the CBD space means a huge chunk of market share being taken from other Black and brown-owned CBD businesses. I do not believe that she loves growing plants enough to grow hemp on her own, so I hope she at least partners with community members deserving of that enormously impactful partnership on that home grow of hers.  

I’m honestly also annoyed that Beyoncé couldn’t just say one thing about cannabis (as in, THC). Just say the word “cannabis” in general. She was so careful to only say CBD and hemp. As cannabis advocate Dasheeda Dawson pointed out on Instagram, “Imagine what it could’ve done for the industry if she’d just said ‘cannabis helped me while I was on tour.’” Celebrity optics wield the power to legitimize with one media moment—like the impact of B’s enormous light display of the word “feminist” at the 2014 VMAs. CBD doesn’t need any help being legitimized, and part of that is due to an emerging, problematic dichotomy of “real weed”=bad, CBD=good. I understand that, obviously, the Knowles-Carter household is cool with weed. That’s what makes it weird to me, though, and seems like it perpetuates stigmas that make cannabis socially acceptable in only certain contexts, for certain kinds of people. 

Ultimately, it’s also just… more CBD. Call me when the Savage X Fenty THC box filled with joints and smoke-inspired lingerie comes out.

What do you think? Comments are open to all this week.

I’ll be back this Friday with a newsletter for paid subscribers investigating the farthest reaches of experimental cannabis. Branding, packaging, product innovation, consumer engagement—we’re going to highlight the most forward-thinking movers and masterpieces expanding the possibilities of the industry. Don’t miss out. 👩🏻‍🚀


One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance

  • In other Knowles-Carter household news, The Parent Company (of which Jay-Z is “Chief Visionary Officer”) has hired former Clorox executive Troy Datcher as its new CEO, marking the long overdue establishment of the first Black CEO to lead a major public cannabis organization in the US. 

  • NORML releases updates on states with cannabis legislation on the table, or at least in the works. There are lots of signatures yet to be collected for most of these, but Missouri’s getting closer to adult use legalization, and Idaho activists are working hard on medical or at least “depenalization” of adult possession of up to 3 ounces on private property.

  • In a disturbing product review-turned-exposé on Refinery29, writer Molly Longman found that the COA of the Delta-8 gummy she’d consumed had been falsified. Upon reaching out to the lab regarding the results, they told her that “this vendor has taken an older report template of ours and modified [it] to add their information and pass it off as something tested by our lab.” The lab also said it was not the first time they’d seen this happen. In an Instagram post regarding this article, Solonge Burnett of Humble Bloom said she’s never tried Delta-8 for these reasons. “Won’t allow D8 products at our events yet either. Why? We care about you. 💜” Here is our dispatch on Delta-8 if you need a refresher on the dangerously unregulated cannabinoid. 

  • Remember what I said last week, about secondhand cannabis licenses going for $1–5 million in Illinois? According to the Arizona Daily Star, one of the state’s 26 coveted social equity retail licenses can bring in “anywhere between $10 million and $20 million for the holder on the open market.” Are license transfer regulations imminent? Should they be? This is only going to get messier. 

  • It was all over the headlines when Amazon announced it would no longer test for cannabis for certain positions, but it might be even bigger news that a Las Vegas police officer just won a lawsuit reversing his termination following a positive drug test. Though this doesn’t mean all law enforcement can smoke at home at ease. Nevada is special: a statute passed in 2020 specifically prohibits discrimination against employees who act in compliance with state law, as in consuming in a legal manner while off the clock. So although employers are legally entitled to maintain their own workplace policies, the judge in this case ruled in favor of that statute, granting the officer back pay, compensation for legal fees and reinstatement on the force.

  • Cannabis branding agency Green Street announces a massive space on South Hill Street in LA which will feature a retail shop, art gallery, brand showrooms, a buyers lounge, executive coworking suites, and a penthouse event space. “9 floors, 67,000 square feet, 100% dedicated to the cannabis community.” Brands interested in learning more are invited to email the team directly at rama@greenstreetagency.com.

  • Very into WeedWeek newsletter’s new High Society section, where they feature a snapshot from a recent event selected from reader submissions. Last week showed a festive moment captured during a White Rabbit High Tea event in Venice, CA.

  • Potli drops Uncle Chen's Jasmine Green Tea, hand-rolled jasmine green pearls from founder Felicity Chen’s father’s hometown in Fuzhou, China. The packaging—each packet of pearls and the outer box—riffs on the look of imported medical teas lining the shelves of Asian food stores in a wonderfully nostalgic way. Interestingly, these are not infused in any way. The tea is positioned to be enjoyed with Potli CBD honey added in.

  • New virtual smoke sesh and workshop series Women, Writing, Weed & Wine makes space for women to write, read, discuss, and imbibe together. Attendees aren’t actually required to identify as women, womxn or femme—the event’s host, writer Hannah Eko, merely “likes alliteration a lot.” Each workshop is dedicated to a particular theme and step in the writing process, with September 4th’s session dedicated to “Desire”, and October 3rd’s centered around “Dialogue.” Tickets are $100 each, learn more here.

  • Last week, cannabis lifestyle brand Happy Munky collaborated with NYC’s Immersive Van Gogh exhibition on a weed-friendly after hours event. For $125–$200 a ticket, attendees could consume infused treats and smoke in designated areas while enjoying the 500,000+ cubic feet of projections depicting the artist’s work. Am I the only one still reeling at how quickly public consumption is being normalized in New York? I can’t also be the only one wondering why this isn’t adequate evidence for every institution everywhere that nothing bad happens when you let responsible adults enjoy weed responsibly. This was at a museum! That’s major, and it ought to open up the possibility for others to do the same in other states that have legalized cannabis use.

  • Cannabis Insider Live announces a virtual conference for New England-based cannabis businesses on November 10th, and the second annual Black CannaConference & Expo—a B2B conference for Black professionals in cannabis—is scheduled for November 18-20th in New Orleans.

  • More minor cannabinoids making major appearances: Kin Slips launches Clear Day. a THCA and CBD Sublingual Strip, describing the effects associated with this non-intoxicating precursor to THC Proper as “a sense of peacefulness; mind and body relaxation; and a reduction in stress and anxiety, all while remaining clear-headed.” Personally, I’ve smoked a CBN and CBG dominant hemp joint and really enjoyed the highs, but I’m not so familiar with THCA-dominant effects. The logical choice for our next deep dive into minor cannabinoids is clear. 

  • Educational platform and psychedelic lifestyle brand YAWN drops SHROOM SAFARI, a collection of mushroom-adorned apparel and a Mush-Stash—a waterproof, vegan leather zippered stash bag designed to minimize risk of moisture damage or spoiling shrooms. It made me realize that although we’ve innovated smell proof accessories and utilitarian stash bags with thoughtful holders for all the little things, there are many more needs that accessories can fulfill. More than just holding our stuff, what about a fanny with a flameproof portable ashtray pocket? A carbon filtered panel that can work as a decent handheld filter in a pinch? So much opportunity for multitasking inventions; so many glorious chances for similarly great, punny names.

Back into the weeds,
Lauren Yoshiko