This email list has been a journey for me, and I’ve recently realized we’re just getting started. The last few weeks I’ve begun finally emailing you consistently but we’re taking a turn my friends, a hard left. The gang convinced me to do a cannabis newsletter and though I agreed, I wasn’t really sold until Drake’s “Free Smoke” started playing on my Spotify. It was in that moment I realized I’d call it Free Smoke, and write what I think about weed (instead of the lame shit I read in headlines). Let’s get into Free Smoke.
“I couldn’t get a bill paid, you couldn’t buy the real thing”– Drake, Free Smoke
The mids have arrived in New Jersey
Every wall that falls in cannabis is a win for the industry, but every restricted license market is an L for consumers. Last week in NJ 13 dispensary doors opened for business, all owned by GTI, Terrascend, Verano, Curaleaf, Acreage, Columbia Care, and Ascend. With documented concerns about supply chain and lines around the block at all the stores: MSO’s thrive and consumers suffer. The cash created by anti competitive markets in the short term will create long term handicaps for the businesses playing small ball in these markets. Without competition, the Jersey’s and Florida’s of the world will be hard pressed to influence the national market as their distillate edibles and mids get left in the dust. I’m excited for every new market that opens up, but markets like NJ won’t push the space forward.
Things That Matter
- In the month of March, Arizona collected more tax revenue from cannabis than from tobacco and alcohol combined.
- Doordash partnered with Cannabis dispensary operator Superette for a foray into mainstream cannabis delivery, but I don’t see it lasting long.
- Biden pardoned 3 people and plans to commute the sentences of 75 more nonviolent drug offenders. Great, but shouldn’t we be past these symbolic small wins by now? If you wanna help, donate to the Weldon Project.
- Hall of Flowers was this week in California. Cannabis in California is one of the few places in any industry where trade shows truly drive business. Brand sales happen at Hall of Flowers, I’d argue it’s one of the best trade events out.
- My friends at Glasshouse has closed their acquisition of PLUS gummies.
In The Streets
- Stiiizy opened their 21st retail store in CA, quietly becoming one of the biggest retail operators in the state while maintaining their product category dominance.
- Oregon brands continue to quietly crush nationally w/ WYLD’s sour gummy launch. With 7 states, they are one of the few brands that can say this.
- My brother Oren breaks down the California market entrants into Arizona [Link]
- Jeeter is taking CA by storm and is now live in AZ – idk why it’s gonna take 300 people though?
- 1 month in, 100mg edibles are taking Oregon by storm (Our Korova drop is sold out)
Buyer’s Corner w/ Oren
This week on Oren’s Buyers Corner, he gets into something from Arizona – 1906 plant-based medicine pills. Honestly, this is my jam, but I’m not sure how viable it is at this stage in the game. God speed.
Strain of the Week
- (Coming next week, accidentally smoked it all this wk)
The 1 of 899 Karl Lagerfeld E38 L7 sedan looking like vintage opulence.
This week on the Builders Build Podcast: How to Make Content
And more inbox heatrocks from the BB gang:
Thanks for reading Free Smoke, I’ll see you again next Friday. Tell a friend.
Photo by Ryan Shumway