Canada’s Tokyo Smoke Acquires Seattle Cannabis Lifestyle Brand Van der Pop

CANADA: Tokyo Smoke, a leading Canadian cannabis-oriented lifestyle brand, has acquired Van der Pop, a like-minded cannabis product and experience brand based in Seattle, WA. Run by acclaimed designer and serial entrepreneur of consumer lifestyle brands April Pride, Van der Pop was created in response to a lack of sophisticated product for female marijuana connoisseurs. Women represent a rapidly growing segment of the cannabis market, underserved in cannabis despite being responsible for 85 per cent of overall consumer spending. Van der Pop has focused on creating a unique product line with a design aesthetic targeted directly to women, complemented by a carefully constructed shopping experience.

The full line of Van der Pop products will be sold at all Tokyo Smoke retail locations, and the brands will also collaborate on a limited line of new products. The teams from each enterprise will support one another with creative and marketing projects; April Pride assumes the role of Chief Creative Officer for both companies.

The acquisition combines one of the leading and highest visibility female-focused cannabis brands with Tokyo Smoke’s expertise in retail, international partnerships, and the curation of leading cannabis experiences. The combined companies will focus on providing a better, more thoughtful cannabis experience to an even broader community and will offer a myriad of new opportunities for consumers to approach cannabis.

“Van der Pop is an incredibly important and rare contribution to the consumer landscape, a brand that is, at its core, authentic and truly speaks to people,” says Alan Gertner (co-founder and CEO, Tokyo Smoke). “April and I share the same values when it comes to the normalization of cannabis and the appetite for design driven thinking within the industry. Together, we are natural partners to offer the best experiences to the burgeoning marketplace.”

Pride created Van der Pop in the spirit of Mies van der Rohe‘s design adage of “less is more,” combined with the ‘joie de vivre’ sound of corks popping. Van der Pop’s thoughtful product line places equal importance on form and function, and strives to infuse each item with a fun first, fashion forward focus. Best-selling items include stash jarslockable stash bagsgrinder cards and rolling papers.

“I feel empowered to help shape the messaging around responsible cannabis use,” says Pride. “Brands like Van der Pop and Tokyo Smoke are more than lifestyle purveyors, we want to help the global community engage with cannabis for the best possible results. This partnership combines our knowledge of the industry and presents customers with the most considered products and experiences. All while emphasizing design and creativity. That is the point.”

Van der Pop’s unique shopping experience targets the desire to discreetly enjoy cannabis while making informed purchasing decisions in consultation with like-minded friends and experts. Community members can become hosts for Van der Pop’s private shopping concept SESSION, or join scheduled parties where guests are educated about products in a social setting. SESSION has been hailed by Vice and reflects modern cannabis culture and offers discretion, education and style. Van der Pop products have been highlighted by Forbes and are now available at Tokyo Smoke retail locations and online at www.tokyosmoke.com.

Washington Medical Marijuana Clinics Spooked Over New Reporting Requirement

WASHINGTON: Washington state regulators are tightening their grip on medical marijuana this week by targeting dubious patient authorizations. But some clinics say the changes, which begin Friday, will put them out of business.

The new Cannabis Patient Protection Act requires any health care provider who authorizes more than 30 medical cannabis patients in a month to report to the Department of Health.

Amber Berman-Ortiz, co-owner of the Verde Medical Clinic in Seattle’s U-district, says authorizers don’t know what exactly the state plans to do with that information. She says her staff is spooked.

Washington State Says Legal Marijuana Proves To Be A Success

WASHINGTON: In the year since Washington state launched its legal marijuana market, tax revenues have soared past expectations with state and local governments bringing in some $70 million.

There are now about 160 shops selling pot in Washington, with sales topping $1.4 million per day.

Washington pot farmers, processors and retailers have struggled to turn a profit, complaining that state and federal tax burdens are too heavy and competition from an unregulated medical marijuana market make it difficult to do business.

But this month they are getting some relief with two new laws taking effect. One regulates and taxes medical marijuana. The other cuts Washington’s three-level excise tax on pot to a single, 37-percent tax.

 

City Attorney Holmes To Seek Dismissal Of All Pot-Use Tickets

WASHINGTON: Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, reacting to one police officer’s personal campaign to write citations for public marijuana use, will announce Monday that he will seek dismissal of more than 85 tickets issued during the first seven months of the year, according to two City Hall sources.

Holmes, who is set to discuss the decision at a briefing of the City Council on Monday morning, will go beyond Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole’s request to dismiss tickets written by bicycle Officer Randy Jokela and include all infractions, out of fairness to everyone who was cited, according to the sources and briefing materials provided to The Seattle Times.

Jokela, who issued about 80 percent of the $27 tickets for public pot use during the first half of the year, wrote on many of them “*Attn: Petey Holmes*.”

 

Medical Marijuana Folks ‘Justifiably Scared’ By WA State Rules, Fed Threat

WASHINGTON: The federal government has said it won’t challenge Washington and Colorado’s legal pot markets and Washington has just released its latest versions of the rules that will govern that market here. Both of those facts has medical marijuana advocates running for cover. [Read more…]