Last Week in Weed
In this week’s Last Week in Weed, We’ll be looking at Weed Maps taking in-app payments on the Apple store, UK rapper caught importing cannabis, and finally, singer Beyonce launching her own CBD brand.
Weed Maps taking in-app payments on the Apple store.
First up this week, Weed Maps launches in-app payments for cannabis products in US states that have ‘legalised’ cannabis for adult consumption. The move comes after a decision by Apple to update its policy around the trade of controlled substances on the App store.
Apple’s previous policy banned all vaping and cannabis apps in November 2019 as they “encourage the consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol,” as well as those that facilitate the sale of “controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies), marijuana, or tobacco.”
A month after that announcement, on July 8th Eaze, a California cannabis delivery app with 2 million registered customers, became the first company to gain approval from the tax-dodging mobile manufacturer. Several other apps have since found a home on the app store including Beta, Caliva, and Pineapple Express.
“It’s hard to overstate how important this is to our company and the industry,” “It’s deeply gratifying to launch the Apple Store’s first fully-functional cannabis delivery app” –Rogelio Choy, CEO, Eaze
Last week, however, saw the arrival of one of the biggest players on to the App store. Weed Maps was originally founded in 2008 as an online place “where medical marijuana patients can connect with other patients in their area, to freely discuss and review local cannabis co-operatives and dispensaries”
The company has since grown to be one of the main providers of dispensary information such as location and up-to-date menus and reviews. They are also quickly becoming one of the biggest names in cannabis delivery in the United States.
Weed Maps have been rather smart here. They do not facilitate the delivery of cannabis to the consumer, instead, they use their app to showcase the goods and services of licensed dispensaries. This helps the company avoid a whole host of issues and limitations caused by varying states regulations.
“Our ability to enable ordering functionality through our mobile iOS app is a game-changer that will improve accessibility for both our customers and business partners alike. We commend companies like Apple that work with industry leaders to find solutions that drive innovation in our space. It’s encouraging to see policies and attitudes toward cannabis shift in a way that promises remarkable growth, and we look forward to introducing an even simpler way to order cannabis from retailers through our platform” – Justin Dean, CTO, WM Technology Inc
The Californian cannabis tech company recently went public through a massive $1.5 billion SPAC deal with Silver Spike Acquisition corps. This most recent move will no doubt be putting some rather large smiles on the faces of its investors and backers.
UK Rapper arrested for importing 28kg of cannabis
Courtney Freckleton aka ‘Nines’ has been charged as part of a conspiracy to import 28kg of cannabis into the UK from Spain and Poland. The British hip hop rapper and Mobo award winner was arrested back in June after coordinated police raids in London, Borehamwood, and Hertfordshire.
The raids resulted from the infiltration of the now hacked encrypted messenger app Encrochat by UK police. The encrypted app has been used by various policing authorities around the world to target organised crime following the successful hacking of the app during a French investigation in 2020.
Nines and a co-conspirator had allegedly completed one successful importation of cannabis and had attempted to make another before being caught up in the operation. Appearing in court last week The Warner Bros and XL Recordings signed artist pled guilty to conspiracy to import ‘the Class B drug’ into the UK and conspiracy to transfer criminal cash between March and July 2020.
The singer who topped the UK album chart in 2020 with ‘Crabs in a bucket’ denied two further charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis and the CPS have stated that they do not intend to seek a trial on those charges. Sentencing was since been adjourned and the pair were remanded into custody.
The police operation that took over EncroChat was sophisticated and sly. They quietly observed and targeted its high-level dealer users and began dozens of operations in Norway, UK, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Since December 2020 there have been over 1,000 arrests connected to the breaking of EncroChat.
I cannot help but feel that if Nines were an American rapper, he would be signing brand deals and establishing legal companies to sell cannabis, not facing prison time. Until the fascistic, classist, and draconian war on drugs is over, stay safe out their folks.
Remember that no digital conversation is ever truly encrypted, Authorities can now get fingerprints from your product shots that you post on socials, and do not ever use your voice or any other identifiable part of yourself while recording in grow rooms or promotional videos for products.
US singer Beyonce to launch CBD brand
In 2019, Maxim announced that ‘CBD is officially more popular than Beyonce.’ Well, it looks like the multi-award winner is set to get her own back on the cannabinoid, as the former Destiny’s Child singer has announced that she is launching her own CBD brand. Speaking to US magazine Harper’s Bazaar, the singer said that she first tried CBD on her last tour to help with anxiety and insomnia.
“I discovered CBD on my last tour, and I’ve experienced its benefits for soreness and inflammation. It helped with my restless nights and the agitation that comes from not being able to fall asleep. I am now building a hemp and honey farm – I even have beehives on my roof! I’m so happy that my daughters receive examples of those rituals from me” –Beyonce Knowles-Carter
This is the first venture into the world of ‘legal’ commercial corporate cannabis for Beyonce, However, on the other hand, her long-time partner and husband Shawn Carter AKA ‘Jay-Z’ is quickly becoming one of the US industry’s biggest players. We covered the launch of Jay-Z’s Monogram brand and the monumental SPAC deal back in issue 2 of Last Week In Weed.
The dirt off your shoulders singer’s fortune recently surpassed $1billion and Beyoncé’s was estimated at $420million. This new venture and the likely inclusion of Mrs. Knowles-Carter’s new company into ‘the parent company’s portfolio will make them both a lot of money.
Beyonce is just the latest in an increasingly long line of celebrities queuing up to cash in on the so-called ‘green rush’. Every time a celebrity creates a cannabis brand or company it potentially locks out dozens of individuals from the legacy market and further leads to the installation of a two-tier industry and the creation of prohibition 2.0.
Written by Simpa for TheSimpaLife.com