4/20 goes mainstream

Plus, daily cannabis users spending habits, Carmelo’s new brand, and more

Good morning.

From wherever you are in the world, we hope you had an enjoyable 4/20 and got a few moments to indulge in your favorite products, or at least got a kick out of some of the funny ads and brand tie-ins. 

Remember, we’re talking about weed — this is supposed to be fun. Drop us a line and let us know how you spent the unofficial holiday. 

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

Today’s newsletter is 777 words, or about a 6 minute read. 

💡What’s the big deal?

Politicians, brands, restaurants want a piece of 4/20

Driving the news: 4/20 is no longer the redoubt of in-the-know stoners and cool kids. 

Major fast food brands are advertising everything from “pizza pre-rolls,” to deliciously dope dime bags. Movie theaters are doing 4/20 specials, showing stoner classics with menu tie-ins. Tens of thousands of people gathered to consume cannabis in New York’s Washington Square Park, Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square, DC’s RFK Park, and more prominent locations. 

President Biden, the Senate Majority Leader, and other top politicians including the Senate Finance Committee are using the unofficial cannabis-consuming holiday to push their reform agendas.

The bottom line: Readers, I hate to say it, but 4/20 has gone mainstream. 4/20 could, in a way, become the next Super Bowl for brands that want to go after cannabis consumers

So brands in any sort of cannabis-consuming adjacent industry, whether that’s fast food, meal delivery, concert venues, or even movie theaters are going to have to start planning.

What they’re saying: “But with restaurants across the country offering special meals this weekend inspired by cannabis culture generally and the number 420 specifically, April 20 is looking more and more like a national food holiday,” New York Times famed food critic Pete Wells writes

Why it matters: Just like the Super Bowl used to only be about a big football game decades ago, and has turned into an unofficial holiday the entire country (and advertising-industrial complex) celebrates, 4/20 could be on the same trajectory.


🗨️ Quote of the day

“Look, on decriminalization the president has been very, very clear he doesn’t believe that anyone should be in jail or be prosecuted just for using or possessing marijuana,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday. “He continues to say that. He believes that.”

She didn’t update reporters on whether there’s a timeline for a possible announcement rescheduling cannabis to the less restrictive Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, and reaffirmed the decision is in the Department of Justice’s hands.

Quick hits

Minnesota’s House approved a bill that would speed up the legal cannabis roll-out, MPR News reports

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams held a press conference touting cannabis-related aspects of the 2025 budget, specifically the power it gives to padlock stores selling illicit cannabis. 

Two cannabis industry trade groups in New York are sniping back-and-forth, over a letter the Cannabis Association of New York sent to the state’s cannabis regulators, urging against swiftly issuing several new retail licenses over fears that it would flood the market, Spectrum Local News reports. The Cannabis Farmer’s Alliance says, a group of cultivators, say that stance “inadvertently supports the proliferation of the illicit market.”

📊 Chart of the day

Daily cannabis users spend far more of their grocery dollars on snacks and beverages, according to a new report from Numerator, a market research firm. 

It’s yet another sign that snack makers should work to target daily cannabis consumers — it’s a massive market opportunity that’s only set to grow as more states legalize. 

😆 One fun thing

Former NBA star Carmelo Anthony announced the launch of his cannabis brand, StayMe7o, on 4/20. The brand will be available in Portland, and Anthony says Denver is next on the list, two cities he played for. Is New York next?

📗 What we’re reading

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