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This newsletter makes it a point to say it's never imbibed
Friday State Spotlight, Twitter
State Spotlight: Missouri
The “Show Me” state! I live in Brooklyn, in the great state of New York — the subject of last week’s spotlight. We’re a long way from home, Toto. Or, wait, no, that was Kansas. Sorry; it gets confusing.1
Missouri! It seems they love their weed almost as much as their barbecue. At least that’s according to the dispensaries across the state that sold $8.5 million in recreational weed over the first weekend of adult-use sales.2 The strong launch highlights the different approach Missouri took with their new market; instead of barring medical dispensaries (as is the case in New York for 3 years), Missouri allowed them all to flip the switch to adult-use sales day 1.
Now, there are tradeoffs to that approach. Remember, there are generally a handful of major corporations who control a majority of each market. Missouri is saying that these existing corporations can serve this new market pretty well — and they’re probably right. But it’s still a limited license market, which means the market is locked for new business. Here’s more from MJ Biz:
While the adult-use program could open with nearly 200 retailers, Missouri’s limited-license, vertically integrated market is practically set for the time being.
Amendment 3 didn’t significantly expand the total number of licenses, conditions that drew vocal opposition to the ballot measure from the likes of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and the Missouri NAACP.
The Missouri Democratic Party also refused to endorse Amendment 3 over concerns it “may negatively impact minorities, people of color, and low-income earning Missourians.”
The amendment does create a system to ultimately approve an additional 144 licenses for “microbusinesses.”
A third of these licenses must be issued via lottery by Oct. 3, 2024, but the final third can’t be issued until 548 days after regulators begin issuing the first ones.
That timetable would kick the completion of microbusiness licensure well into 2026.
Social equity was never going to be at the top of the agenda in any roll-out in Missouri — Republicans control both the legislature and the governorship. But there does seem to be one issue that both sides of the aisle can agree on — cash:
One Missouri congressman who appears fully in support of cannabis is Democratic Rep Emanuel Cleaver — though he made a point to say he has never imbibed.
“I agree with the majority of Missourians who believe Congress should take constructive steps to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and, at minimum, allow small businesses in the cannabis industry to safely access banking services,” said Cleaver, who represents Kansas City. “A continuation of the federal prohibition of cannabis will only stifle lawfully-operating small businesses and endanger workers who are forced to conduct business with cash, rather than through other legitimate and regulated financial services.”
Cannabis companies often take a lot of cash because they’re largely shut out of the financial system. This makes them a good target for criminals, which seems to be just about the only thing that can get a Republican lawmaker out of bed in the morning. We’ll talk more around here about financial services in cannabis (I was a fintech banker in a past life).
Also, can I just say that I love the word ‘imbibe.’ That’s a Friday word if I’ve ever heard one.
As much as it pains me to admit, I tried to give Elon Musk money yesterday. No, not for a Tesla.4 I attempted to run an ad for Money Puff on Twitter (@moneypuffnews, follow4follow ;)). Why, against my better judgment, did I put my credit card information into a site with dubious security credentials?
Because there was a lot of hullabaloo last week when Twitter seemingly announced that they would become the first major social media platform to allow cannabis companies to advertise their products. So, in the name of journalism, I decided to put the new policy to the test.
And I was promptly denied! A blazing red banner alert on my account reads that there’s been a ‘policy violation by one or more users.’ I’m just a simple newsletter proprietor! The result of the experiment certainly calls into question the validity of any meaningful change.
I also tried Reddit, where I thought the advertising approach would be a little more libertarian — no dice. Before you even suggest it, I avoid all platforms associated with the “metaverse” as a personal policy; I don’t think that android in charge is gonna let me smoke weed there.
Anyone else know where a stoner can promote his free, daily newsletter these days? Maybe I’ll just kindly ask you all to puff, puff, pass this along to at least one friend in your rotation. Have a nice weekend.
Low blow, but I’m a Giants fan.
For context, CT did $2 million in their first week; NJ did $2 million on the first day and $80 million in the first 10 weeks. I haven’t seen anything for New York, which makes me believe it wasn’t great.
Which is a bummer because I’m sure the stuff Funky Skunk sells is way better than whatever you can get at some sanitized corporate dispensary.
Turns out you don’t need an electric car when you live in a walkable city with ample public transportation.