Americans love weed

Plus, HOPE Act introduced in the Senate, Florida on the ropes, and more

Good morning.

We’re almost at the finish line of this long 4/20 week. We hope you all enjoy the festivities tomorrow, as we certainly will. 

We’ll have some wrap-up for you all next week — and reach out to us if you or your company have any interesting sales or trend data to share. We’re always on the lookout.

Let’s get it. 

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

Today’s newsletter is 1,510 words, or about a 9 minute read. 

💡What’s the big deal?

25% of Americans consumer cannabis on at least a weekly basis

Driving the news: As more US states legalize cannabis and stigma around use declines, we’re getting a much clearer picture of how many Americans consume cannabis, along with how and why they use it.

Twenty-five percent of Americans use cannabis on at least a weekly basis, according to a new Harris Poll

And about 15% use cannabis at least once a day — meaning 40% of Americans are regular cannabis consumers. Let that sink in.

That’s despite the federal government still classifying cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, though, with any luck, reform may be coming soon. 

What else the poll found: 

  • Twenty-seven percent of Americans live in a state with legal cannabis. 

  • Sixty-four percent of Americans say cannabis no longer carries the stigma it used to have, and 59% say they’re surprised the federal government hasn’t legalized it yet. 

  • Around 70% say cannabis will be as popular as alcohol, and will only get more popular. 

  • Fifty-six percent say cannabis will be good for the American economy, and 64% say 2024 will be a good year for the cannabis industry. 

For businesses and cannabis brands, there are useful results as well:

  • Seventy-seven percent say they prefer to consume in the evening, between 6pm and 9pm.

  • Smoking is by far the preferred consumption method.

  • And 64% of regular consumers say they use it for the calming effects, while 53% specifically cite anxiety relief. 

Why it matters: Politicians, including President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and other top-ranking Democrats, are attuned to how popular cannabis reform is and are actively campaigning on it

When nearly 60% of the country says they’re surprised the federal government hasn’t legalized it yet, it means change is coming — though, that’s always easier said than done as all you smart Cultivated readers know.

It’s also worth noting that these results are much more accurate than the polls of ten or fifteen years ago, when survey respondents were much less likely to admit to use over fears of criminalization.

It’s crucial policymakers have quality, reliable data to ensure they’re making good decisions, and so experts can measure changes in consumption patterns over time and tweak regulations accordingly. 


Senator Jacky Rosen introduced HOPE Act in the Senate

What happened: Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat, introduced the Harnessing Opportunity by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act in the Senate on Thursday.

The bill would create a federal grant program to help expunge cannabis-related convictions in states where it’s legal.

Last year, Reps. Dave Joyce, a Republican, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat, introduced a version of the HOPE Act in the House

The bill never made it to a floor vote, though supportive lawmakers have long hoped (!) to attach it to other cannabis reform bills, like the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, which would let cannabis companies access the banking system like any other industry. 

What they’re saying: “While cannabis has been regulated in our state since 2017, many Nevadans are still dealing with the effects of past low-level marijuana offenses. Having a record for something that is now legal in our state threatens Nevadans’ ability to get a job, apply for housing, and contribute to our state’s economy,” Rosen said

And: “As we continue to find a path forward on SAFER Banking Act and cannabis reform — I'm committed to including the HOPE Act to ensure expungement of records is part of the package,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said on X. “We must ensure those who were most harmed by the War on Drugs don’t get shut out of the growing industry.”

Why it matters: As we’ve reported, lawmakers are hoping to get the HOPE Act and SAFER Banking Act bundled together and passed as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spending reauthorization bill. 

The political calculus is this: The industry — as well as the powerful American Bankers Association, a banking lobby group — want the SAFER Act passed. Many grassroots cannabis and social justice advocates aren’t supportive of banking legislation moving ahead of broader reform, though they are supportive of expungements that the HOPE Act would provide.

Lawmakers hope they can bring both sides of the pro-cannabis reform aisle together to support the bundled legislation. 

Now, what does this all have to do with the FAA? Nothing. This is just how the sausage is made on Capitol Hill. It’s unlikely standalone cannabis legislation — even if it's supported by Wall Street — will get a vote in Speaker Mike Johnson’s Republican-controlled House. 

The FAA bill is just a possible vehicle to get this thing done. Pop your popcorn, because the FAA is coming under more intense scrutiny given Boeing’s well publicized 737 Max travails.

And more: The National Conference of State Legislatures, a group that represents state lawmakers across the US, called on Congress in an open letter to “quickly” attach SAFER Banking to the FAA bill. 


🥊 Quick hits

Bad news in Florida? A new poll from Mainstreet Research and Florida Atlantic University found that only 47% of voters are supportive of the measure to legalize cannabis in the state. Floridians will vote in November. 

Another point in the brewing hemp versus weed battle: Missouri’s attorney general is launching a consumer protection investigation into illicit vape and cannabis products, including Delta-8 THC, which his office says has been packaged into candies that are attractive to children. 

Medical cannabis licenses will be available in Kentucky by July 1 — up from the original date of January 1, 2025 — after Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 829 into law. Beshear made it clear he wanted to expedite the timeline. Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis program submitted new regulations on Thursday as well. 

Authorities in rural Maine seized 3,400 cannabis plants in an ongoing crackdown of illegal grows, many of which have been linked to China, in the state, reports News Center Maine.

New York’s 2025 budget repealed the industry’s hated potency tax, the Times-Union reports.

📈 Chart of the day

Fifty-seven percent of New York City residents say illicit weed shops are either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” issue in their community, according to a new Marist Poll. Gov. Kathy Hochul has added beefed-up enforcement to the state’s 2025 budget, but it seems that New Yorkers want the problem solved ASAP. 

Another interesting finding: Fifty-five percent of New Yorkers say legal cannabis hasn’t changed their quality of life — but 28% say it’s made it worse. 

🤝 Deals, launches, partnerships

Cannabis beverage company Cann, known for its flashy advertising with celebrities, is partnering with Barstool Sports. The company says Cann’s beverages, infused with THC, will be integrated with some of Barstool’s most popular podcasts and video series, including Fore Play and Spittin’ Chiclets. 

Cannabis payments network CanPay says it has facilitated more than $1 billion of legal cannabis transactions.

😮‍💨 4/20 round-up

Canndigenous, an indigenous-owned dispensary in Wisconsin, dropped a new line of THC/CBD gummies and seltzers for 4/20 called Uptempo/Downtempo, with proceeds benefitting the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association

New York City cannabis delivery service Doobie is launching a limited-edition ice cream flavor with Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream called Doobie Scoobie Snacks. It’s available from April 19 - 21 on Doordash. 

Cannabis brand Cookies, founded by rapper Berner, is launching a collaboration with the animated series “The Freak Brothers” for limited edition T-shirts and a 2.5 gram pre-rolled joint. 

New York City cannabis magazine/brand Gossamer is running a promotion on its site. Help our friend David continue to avoid the LinkedIn sales hooligans.

Calyxeum, a Black and woman-owned cannabis company, is set to open a new dispensary in Detroit on 4/20. 

Tilray’s Good Supply cannabis brand is rolling out an expanded line of Earth-friendly hemp-based packaging for its products. Earth Day is right after 4/20, on Monday, April 22.

😜 One fun thing

We brought you the best weed cities in the US, now here are the worst, according to Real Estate Witch and Leafly:

  1. Louisville, KY

  2. Dallas, TX

  3. Atlanta, GA

  4. Houston, TX

  5. Birmingham, AL

  6. Nashville, TN

  7. Charlotte, NC

  8. Milwaukee, WI

  9. Memphis, TN

  10. Indianapolis, IN

Not a ton of surprises there…

📰 What we’re reading

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