It all rolls into one. 

Since launching more than four years ago, the Grown In newsletter exists to provide high-quality news, information and insights to cannabis industry professionals, as well as canna-curious individuals tracking the steadily normalizing sector.

To that end, we are pleased to announce a strategic partnership with our friends at Cultivated Media. Launched last fall by longtime industry insider Jay Rosenthal and journalist Jeremy Berke, Cultivated Daily is a must-read email newsletter that chronicles everything you need to know about the deals, regulatory changes and personalities driving the cannabis industry each and every day.

It is also a very fun read! 

Yours truly will continue to contribute to this joint-venture with Cultivated Media through regular reporting and commentary, as well as the weekly United States of Cannabis 2024 podcast with Rosenthal, where we will focus on the intersection of politics and pot throughout what looks to be a transformative year in our industry.

Beginning next week, Grown In subscribers will begin receiving preview editions of Cultivated Daily and are encouraged and invited to continue to access our collective coverage.

In the meantime, here is a recent Cannabis Innovation Lab panel conversation with Rosenthal, John Pletz from Crain’s Chicago Business and Katie Neer from the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association that I moderated where we focus on the impact of the 2024 elections on cannabis policy.  

Here are some highlights:

Grown In: Is cannabis still a left vs. right issue? 

Rosenthal: It’s not necessarily a left / right issue as voters think about the issue itself. It’s not the top of mind when they are picking a candidate. But candidates and elected officials do think it’s a political issue. Some politicians vote for it not because they love it, but because they are being dragged to do something for SAFE or SAFER Banking.  

Neer: The broad issue of cannabis is becoming a much more bipartisan issue, and this is driven because of this is a states issue. Close to 65 percent of the nation lives in a state that has some version of legalization. There are 24 states on the books, and you need 10 more to force congress to do a Constitutional Convention if you will.  

Pletz: It’s like the old Michael Jordan saying about shoes. Republicans buy weed too. Politicians understand that with 70 percent approval for recreational weed, so you see them campaigning less openly against it (unless you’re in Indiana.). The real question for me is whether republicans try to seize on the issue or not. 

Grown In: Where do we find elected champions for this issue?

Rosenthal: We are looking at one issue, and they are looking at thousands. We need to know that this is not the top priority for anybody in congress. We are all weed people and we care about this issue a lot. We care about it and follow it a lot more closely than most members of congress.  

Grown In: Under what conditions would president Biden be more forceful on the issue?

Pletz: He has this love / hate relationship with cannabis, and this is unthinkable for somebody who was in congress 30 years ago that you’d even touch this issue. He did support rescheduling, and that is how far I think he will be able to go in terms of we are supporting the right decisions. He will also point strongly to his record on criminal justice reform. I can’t imagine him going the next step and saying now let’s go for full on legalization. 

Neer: On a micro level, you can almost see strategists in the rooms right now running these numbers, looking at the map of the Electoral College, trying to figure out where the battle grounds are and hot budget issues. Where is abortion on the line, where is immigration a hot button issue and where is weed looked at within the context of these swing issues. 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.