Why companies have 1B grams of surplus weed

Plus, $5.8B in student loans forgiven and “old money” is trending

Aug 27, 2021 | Current events | Business
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Too much weed, eh?

In 2018, Canada became the first large industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis. The “green frontier” hype and promise of a fast profit had retail and institutional investors throwing cash behind cannabis companies. Fast forward to the present day: 1.1 billion grams of cannabis are sitting in warehouses, costing companies a whole lot of money. So, what went wrong? When cannabis was legalized, investors could only judge a company based on how much cannabis it could produce. Investors and companies took an “if you grow it, they will come” approach, focusing on large-scale production, meaning new facilities and more square footage, to outproduce competitors. But they didn’t know exactly what consumers wanted or how much they’d be willing to pay (resulting in the current surplus). Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York unveiled a bill last month to decriminalize cannabis in the US. While federal legalization stateside is still hotly debated, the American market can learn a lot from Canada’s cannabis missteps. Specifically, there’s no such thing as a sure thing in investing, and even when it comes to cannabis, a company’s underlying fundamentals matter.

Bye, bye, bye student loans

It ain't no lie — the US Department of Education is wiping out more than $5.8 billion worth of federal student loans through the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program. Starting as early as September, the new regulation will hit the delete button on 323,000 Americans' student debt. Under the current rules, borrowers are required to submit disability documentation and undergo a three-year monitoring period to prove they qualify for loan forgiveness. However, many have had their loans reinstated or have been dropped from the program because of its overly burdensome requirements. Under the new action, the income monitoring period will be eliminated. And for those identified as permanently disabled in Social Security records, their student debt will be canceled. This move is part of a broader plan to provide relief for struggling borrowers.

Old money is new again

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Blair Waldorf, country clubs — these make up the latest inspo for the “old money aesthetic” taking over TikTok. The hilariously on-the-nose moniker has arrived to counter Gen Z’s loud, adorkable fashion and the Kardashians’ brand-laden “California rich” look. Also known as “dark academia” (or “light,” depending on the setting), the preppy fashion trend seems to be another nod to the 2000s, in addition to the Y2K bubblegum “trashion” of the moment. While you’ll see tennis skirts, khakis, and tweed blazers all over Pinterest, social media also offers more historical context for the concept of prep, namely critiques around its roots in racism and classism, as “old money” takes off.

Check in’s at 4… or 2 if you have $20

The fourth-largest hotel owner in the US is experimenting with à la carte pricing. Everything you used to get for free will now cost extra (think: $20 early check-in and $25 pool passes). In return, MCR Hotels says it will lower room prices to save guests money on amenities they don’t use. But it’s unclear who will actually benefit. The model takes a page from the airline industry, which raked in $109.5 billion in 2019 by charging more for add-ons like extra legroom and priority boarding (nearly doubling upcharge revenue from just four years earlier).



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