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Four PM Weekend Reads
The green rush continues in Oklahoma, Dr. Bronner's increases their investment in legalizing cannabis and psychedelics, and the NBA will no longer test athletes for cannabis.
We always like to keep our finger on the pulse here at Four PM, and hate to be out of touch for too long. That’s why we’re blessing 🙏 your inbox with the very first edition of Four PM Weekend Reads!
Here are three of the latest in-depth 🌿 stories we’re keeping a close eye on—and think you should be, too.
👉 First up: Politico’s Paul Demko goes long on the green rush in . . . Oklahoma?! Demko does a great job of laying out the major benefits of free-market legalization alongside the unintended consequences and contradictions of regulation in this very, very red state.
Though Oklahoma has only given the green light to medical cannabis, nearly 10% of the population has a medical card. And the ease of getting one means that the distinction between the medical and recreational markets is looser and less defined.
The state is also known for its comparatively low barrier to entry: a business license application that would cost $100,000 in fees in a state like Arkansas, goes for a mere $2,500 in Oklahoma. While this has stifled the illegal market for cannabis and has allowed mom-and-pop operators to get in on the bloom boom, it has also led to a glut of products and producers, with many teetering on the edge.
Insiders “expect a major shakeout in the coming months,” writes Demko, “with many businesses failing or selling out to competitors.” The Cookies brand is only the latest to get in on the action, with a brand new dispensary location in Oklahoma City.
(📸 / Cookies)
Memorable quote: “Everyone and their dog has some kind of marijuana license.”
Four PM fact: Oklahoma ranks 2nd among states in the number of marijuana dispensaries per capita.
Company to watch: “In September, the OMMA awarded a contract to Metrc, which runs similar tracking programs in 14 other states and Washington, D.C., to implement the system. It’s expected to be up and running by early Spring of next year.”
Each day, we interview cannabis industry leaders from around the 🌎 and break down the most important news in the cannabis industry.
👉 Speaking of unintended consequences, our second pick takes a look at how the pandemic has boosted cannabis and 🍄 legalization ballot initiatives in Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C.
As Chris Roberts points out in The Daily Beast, all that handwashing has been good for soap brands like Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, swelling the war chest and allowing its chief executive—and grandson of the founder—David Bronner to invest twice the amount he would have invested this year: $6.685 million.
(📸 / Dr. Bronner)
Memorable quote: “But for now, this is where we are: Soros, Zuck, and the weirdo hippie soap-maker from San Diego. This is who’s paying to end the drug war. And it’s working.”
Four PM fact: In 2012, Bronner was arrested for protesting Barack Obama, locking himself in a cage with some illegal hemp plants in front of the White House.
Company to watch: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
👉 Lastly, top-tier athletes consuming cannabis is by no means a secret.
From cannabis brands like Gary Payton who was a nine-time NBA All-Star to entrepreneurs such as Al Harrington who is the CEO of one of the top cannabis companies in California - many athletes are actively involved in the industry.
(📸 / Gary Payton)
Unfortunately in spite of this widespread knowledge that athletes all around the world are commonly turning to cannabis for relief, many sport leagues are still preventing their players from consuming cannabis.
This week, however, the NBA confirmed that it will no longer be testing players for cannabis for the upcoming season of the league.
Memorable quote: “They don't want to take a lot of drugs that they could perfectly legally take from their trainers because they're aware much of that stuff is highly addictive."
Four PM fact: In a recent episode of the Alchemy podcast Al Harrington suggested that somewhere between 70-80% of NBA players consume cannabis.
Company to watch: Viola Brands.
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