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Challenging news for a marquee cannabis brand

Stiizy target of LA Times' story

Good morning. 

As we round down 2023 and look ahead to 2024, we are thankful that you’re among our first subscribers to Cultivated Daily. Collectively, you’ve given us great feedback about what we’re doing well, and what we can improve on. We appreciate your support.

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So hold tight. 

A 5-minute read from JB and JR

💡What’s the big deal?

Challenging news for a marquee brand

Driving the news: Stiizy is one of the premier brand names in North American cannabis, but a recent story in the LA Times brings up some challenging news about Tony Huang, Stiizy’s co-founder. 

What happened: A 2019 investigation in Compton uncovered an illicit dispensary, Fly High 20 Collective, operating under the guise of Jerry’s Liquor. That’s not so unusual.

But what was unusual was that the property was owned by Tony Huang. The Times revealed nine other properties tied to illicit activities through Huang’s real estate and shared connections.

Why It matters: This story challenges the integrity of the legal cannabis industry, as well as one of its most recognizable brands - at the exact time when major, large states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida are grappling with their own regulatory framework.

A very green November in Maryland

What’s happening: Maryland's adult-use market continues to flourish, with November sales reaching nearly $56 million, marking yet another record month since legalization in July 2023.

What it means: Despite a slight drop in total legal sales to about $89.7 million in November, the adult-use sector shows remarkable growth. The breakdown reveals flower leading sales, followed by concentrates, edibles, and other categories. 

Additionally, the state is expanding access through new dispensary, cultivation, and processing licenses, prioritizing social equity businesses.

Why it matters: States that have a strong base of medical cannabis patients and operators serving those patients – like Michigan, Missouri, and Maryland – have a much easier time hitting the ground running than those that do not. 

Let Maryland’s year-one of adult-use sales be a lucrative lesson for Pennsylvania and Florida. The next big states to consider legalization. 

Trial in 2 Dutch towns

Driving the news: The European path to legal, adult-use cannabis is taking a small step forward in the Netherlands. Two towns, Breda and Tilburg, are about to transition from tolerating to fully legalizing cannabis. 

Why it’s happening: While personal use was tolerated — think Amsterdam’s not-quite-legal cafes — production and supply remained illegal, which isn’t a great way for regulators to keep track. The trial involves regulated production and ensuring product quality and safety. 

Why it matters: Success could lead to more steps toward decriminalization and legalization. But, political factors like the Party for Freedom's opposition could impact the trial's future direction, and what happens next. In other words, Amsterdam might finally go legit.

🥊 Quick hits

📰 What we’re reading