Happy spring, weed world!

What's blooming this week?

The Broccoli Report 
Monday, March 22, 2021
Time to read: 5 minutes, 17 seconds. 1057 words.

Good morning, 

It’s spring! La primavera! Le printemps! Bom! Весна! 春! Thank all the weed gods, we made it. Here’s to the one time of year everyone has red eyes. 

Broccoli Issue 11 has bloomed and is on its way to mailboxes all over the world. Inside, photographer Paula Codoñer spins flowers into alternate realities, Zoe Sigman breaks down tolerance breaks, and Lio Min nature-trips with anime. Plus: Plant trading in Tunisia, postcards from Italy, two perspectives on barriers to accessing medical cannabis, a wander through Agnes Pelton’s desert mindscape, original weedy fairy tales from the enchanted Broccoli forest, and much, much more.

Does your brand want to partner with Broccoli? We’re currently booking advertising and product placements for our summer and winter issues and across our digital realms, so get in touch via hi@broccolimag.com, and we’ll make some magic together.

Have you ever wondered what people with thousands of followers get paid when they promote a brand in their Instagram feed? For brands interested in exploring partnerships with creatives, influencers, and educators, Friday’s newsletter (for paid subscribers) is one you won’t want to miss. Four influencers in the space share the details on their rates, services, the emails they ignore, the emails they can’t say no to, and surprising factors brands should keep in mind when pitching partnerships to someone with clout.

One-Hitters: Cannabis News at a Glance

  • As a plant native to the Asian continent, cannabis reflects elements of Asian cultures. However, as cannabis becomes more entwined with Western wellness phenomena, brands are crossing the line between reverence for these cultures and appropriation. The national conversation centering the issue of anti-Asian racism in the wake of a horrendous act of violence is re-igniting discussions around this issue in meaningful ways. On Instagram, Danielle Leigh Brackett of Ashido addressed the problematic way she landed on the brand’s name, noting a lack of engagement with Asian communities and sharing the intersecting context of her experiences as a first-generation Black-Caribbean. I hope Ashido keeps their name and that this conversation continues. To me, this is what progress looks like—someone owning a mistake, being willing to listen and discuss the larger context, and making that lesson a part of their lives. For more thoughts on cultural appropriation in cannabis, I wrote this piece for Our Dream, discussing the trouble with brands like Tokyo Smoke helping themselves to Japanese aesthetics without taking any larger accountability to the Japanese cannabis community.

  • When Seth Rogen’s weed brand Houseplant launched a home goods line, the site crashed multiple times from insane levels of traffic. It’s no surprise that Rogen’s products would be a smash with weed lovers, but it amuses me to think that none of Rogen’s cinematic characters could afford Houseplant’s $220 aluminum lighter or even its $85 ceramic ashtray and flower vase combo. Regardless, everything sold out, and traffic remains so intense they had to engineer a sort of waiting room to even enter the general site. It’s like buying tickets to Coachella in 2013, but instead of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wu-Tang, people are waiting to get in line to buy Rogen-approved earthenware! I suppose this proves that cannabis figures (at least the chortling, affable male versions) can successfully straddle the realms of Pineapple Express-watching stoners and an IG generation willing to pay for high-design aesthetics. 

  • Vanity Fair partners with PAX Labs on a three-part mini docuseries titled, The Human Toll: How the War on Cannabis Targeted Black America. In Part 1, “The War on Race,” leaders from the Last Prisoner Project, Marijuana Policy Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, and Brookings Institution share the racist origin story of the war on drugs and explain how these dangerous policies, dating as far back as the early 1900s, shape our carceral system to this day. Longtime readers (and listeners) will recognize Natalie Papillon, founder of The Equity Org and extremely illuminating Broccoli Talk guest. The next two parts will air March 26th.

  • Related to the above: for further food for thought on the nuanced history and associations of the word “marijuana”, we recommend this episode of Tiara Darnell’s podcast, High, Good People.

  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumer Reports are urging Members of Congress to oppose H.R. 841—The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021. The bill seems to be a bit overzealous about getting a structured federal hemp program in place, raising concerns that passage of the bill would force FDA regulators to immediately legalize CBD in supplements and foods, even though the FDA is currently still evaluating the safety implications of most CBD products.

  • I wonder if Hermès’ new version of their signature travel bag—made out of lab-grown mushrooms processed to imitate leather—comes from the same mycelium used as in-box packaging for Hudson Hemp’s CBD line, Treaty. 

  • Drummond Munro, co-founder and chief brand officer of Superette, talks with Branding Mag about building a stigmatized business in a legal country, PR challenges, and balancing brand design, a unique experience, and involvement in social good. (You can listen to me get into even more detailed retail chats with Drum here.)

  • Ah, so that’s why my Tilray stocks bounced up last week. For real, though—according to Mennlay, this progress in Mexico’s lower courts is truly the furthest the cannabis legalization process has come thus far, and things continue to look promising.

  • This other Politico piece breaks down not if, but how cannabis will be legalized in the United States, according to the newly formed Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation. The disturbing—unfortunately predictable—assembly of members in this coalition? Tobacco giant Altria, beer behemoths Constellation Brands (Corona, Modelo), Molson Coors Beverage Company, two national convenience store associations, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, and private security company Brinks.

  • Tasmania announced significant changes to the state’s Controlled Access Scheme for medicinal cannabis, with GPs able to prescribe the medicine, subject to TGA approval, starting July 1, 2021, and other pharmacies permitted to dispense throughout the state.

  • Stoned Fox Boutique has launched! The creative agency and cannabis content hub now offers home goods and reading materials for cannabis-friendly living rooms, CBD and non-CBD skincare like this glimmering vegan body oil, and goodies from OHHO hemp flower joints to Rose LA’s rosin-infused Rose Hibiscus CBD Delights.

  • Vaccines may be rolling out, but the safest way to sesh is still virtually. Tickets are now available for Tokeativity’s April Social, a Flower-Power-themed soiree on the afternoon of April 10th, complete with speed networking with women in cannabis all over the world, guest speakers, and sesh rooms like “Black Women & Cannabis,” “Cannamoms,” “Hemp Talk,” “Movement,” and “Self Healing.” RSVP to learn more.

  • In Japan, the cherry blossom insignia on national rugby union team jerseys earned the team the nickname the "Brave Blossoms.” Nothing to do with weed—just a fun, spring-y fact. 

Wishing you a blossom-filled week,
Lauren Yoshiko