Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years, but there’s hope for diplomacy

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Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years, but there’s hope for diplomacy

WNBA star Brittney Griner, 31, was convicted and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony for possession and smuggling of less than one gram of cannabis oil in a Russian Court yesterday, per the Athletic

While the guilty verdict wasn’t surprising—97% of trials result in one—the long sentence is likely connected to increasing tensions between the US and Russia as attacks on Ukraine continue unabated. But now that Griner has been found guilty, there’s hope that diplomatic talks between US and Russian authorities about a potential prisoner swap could be fruitful. 

Cannabis advocates in the US were quick to point out that reform is still needed at home, too. “Griner’s case is also a wakeup call for Americans,” said Steven Hawkins, CEO of US Cannabis Council and the former executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Her trial and sentence in Russia may seem like an outlier at a time of sweeping acceptance and legalization, but it isn’t. Cannabis remains illegal and possession is harshly punished around the world. The US is no exception.

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Why educating budtenders and consumers beyond THC potency is key

THC potency has become the most important metric consumers look for when shopping for products in the legal era, but retailers could do a better job of educating both budtenders and consumers on other factors, reports MJBizDaily

But budtenders are more likely to ask consumers if they prefer indica, sativa or hybrid products rather than delving into more sophisticated variables like terpenes. 

“The consumer isn’t educated on any of this,” said Kim Stuck, founder of cannabis consultancy Allay Consulting. “Even if they are, they walk into dispensaries and get these budtenders that don’t know what they’re doing. That’s an issue.”


Canadian retailers battle to win on price with discounts, loyalty programs

Cannabis store operators across Canada are racing to the bottom when it comes to price, offering deep discounts and loyalty programs to try to win consumers, reports CTV.

With tough marketing restrictions and, in some provinces like Ontario, little product differentiation from store to store, price is one of the major ways retailers can stand out. 

Plus, there’s tough competition in provinces where private retailers have been allowed to open. “There’s a lot of independent retailers who have mortgaged their house, they put all their savings into their store, and it’s such an oversaturated competitive market,” said Lisa Campbell, CEO of Mercari Agency. “Price is the key to success in these areas, and we’re seeing quite a few stores close as a result of lowering margins for the retailers.”


Love Hemp revenue drops by 16%

CBD retailer Love Hemp published its first financial results since being dropped from the Aquis Stock Exchange more than two months ago, reports BusinessCann

The details

  • For the year to June 30, Love Hemp’s total revenues will be approximately £3.6 million—a 16% decrease from the previous year
  • The company attributed the decline to Covid-19 challenges, price increases due to the war in Ukraine, and the slow-moving UK Novel Foods process
  • Love has added 34 CBD products to the list
  • The news wasn’t all bad: sales in mainstream retail stores increased by 19%, from £1.78 million to £2.15 million this year

The company also didn’t share an update on when it may re-list its stock or up-list it to the London Stock Exchange.

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