announced a deal last week to go public by merging with a blank-check firm that valued it at roughly $8 billion.) A new documentary, “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn,” tries to find lessons among the ups and downs. It streams on Hulu, starting tomorrow.

Jed Rothstein, the director, told DealBook that he believes what’s most compelling about WeWork isn’t what went wrong, but how it initially succeeded by turning strangers into a kind of tribe. “We still need that,” he said.

“The core idea of WeWork met a real need for community,” Mr. Rothstein said. “The voids people were trying to fill have only become more real.” After a year of social distancing, he likes the notion of curated communal spaces, which is what WeWork offered. Talking to early WeWorkers who bought the vision and later felt betrayed, he was surprised to find how much the company gave its devotees, notably a feeling that they were part of something bigger. That is worth acknowledging in a world where people will increasingly work remotely and for many different companies in their careers, Mr. Rothstein said.

WeWork’s co-founders, Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, both had communal childhood experiences. Mr. Rothstein said he thought they sincerely wanted to replicate the good in group life and inspired people who hadn’t seen that before. But Mr. Neumann also focused on what he didn’t like — sharing equally — and emphasized an “eat what you kill” mentality. Ultimately, his hunger turned the community dream into a nightmare for many.

  • After the director talked to people who followed the initial vision, his perspective changed. “People in the film experienced real growth and fulfillment mixed with their anger,” he said. “I realized the story is much more nuanced.”

Deals

  • The media conglomerate Endeavor filed to go public for a second time, while raising $1.8 billion to buy full control of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It also added Elon Musk to its board. (WSJ, CNBC)

  • Vice Media is reportedly in talks to go public by merging with a SPAC. And the S.E.C. issued two notices for companies looking to go public via SPAC. (The Information, S.E.C.)

  • Junior bankers aren’t the only ones feeling burned out. Young lawyers are, too. (Business Insider)

Politics and policy

  • New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana. (NYT)

  • Efforts by aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to hide New York State’s Covid-19 death toll coincided with his efforts to win a multimillion-dollar book deal. (NYT)

  • An accidental disclosure by the I.R.S. revealed a $1 billion tax dispute with Bristol Myers Squibb. (NYT)

Tech

Best of the rest

  • The ad agency Deutsch is doubling referral bonuses for Black job candidates. (Insider)

  • Amazon wants its employees mostly back in its offices, while the Carlyle Group and IBM favor hybrid working models. (Insider, Bloomberg)

  • Paul Simon is the latest musician to sell his entire back catalog: Sony Music Publishing will buy the collection, including classics like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” for an undisclosed amount. (NYT)

Feeling burned-out? As more workers consider a return to the office, our colleague Sarah Lyall is writing about late-pandemic anxiety and exhaustion. Tell her about how you’re coping.

April Fools’ Day quiz answer: B. If you were fooled by Volkswagen’s prank, you’re in good company. Volkswagen reportedly told journalists that a draft of the announcement was not a stunt. It later called the stunt just “a bit of fun.”

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The Week in Business: A Big Win for Marijuana

Good morning and happy Passover. Here’s what you need to know in business and tech news for the week ahead. — Charlotte Cowles

Credit…Giacomo Bagnara

A giant container ship that ran aground and blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt has created an international boat traffic jam. More than 100 vessels carrying oil and goods destined for ports around the world are now stuck midroute, adding more stress to supply chains already overburdened by the pandemic. Workers digging the stuck ship out of the sludge warned that it may not be movable until next week. The canal provides the most direct shipping passage between Europe and Asia; without it, ships have to circumnavigate Africa, adding significant time, costs and danger to their voyage.

Lawmakers grilled the leaders of Facebook, Google and Twitter for five hours on Thursday about the connection between misinformation spread on their platforms and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. When asked directly, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, admitted publicly for the first time that his product had played a role in the uprising. (More characteristically, both Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google dodged the question.) The executives were also asked about how their companies enable racism and helped to spread falsehoods around Covid-19 vaccines. The hearing concluded with more calls to regulate the tech industry, but it remains to be seen what Congress will actually do.

feeling the chill of Chinese wallets snapping shut. The Chinese government is pushing consumers to boycott those companies after they pledged to stop using cotton produced in the region of Xinjiang, where the Chinese authorities are imprisoning ethnic minorities in detention camps. (The United States and several of its allies also imposed a new round of sanctions on Chinese officials earlier this month, citing human rights abuses that the Chinese government has continued to deny.) It’s unclear whether Beijing’s calls for a boycott will make a serious dent. Previous state-sponsored campaigns against brands like Apple and Starbucks haven’t had much success in deterring Chinese consumers from buying what they want.

Credit…Giacomo Bagnara

New York lawmakers reached a deal to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, opening the state to a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country. The law may be approved as soon as this week, although the first legal sales are probably more than a year away. Once up and running, marijuana commerce is expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the strapped state. Lawmakers have promised to reinvest a major chunk of that money in minority communities that have been disproportionately punished by drug policing in the past.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., will conclude a weekslong vote on Monday on whether to form a union. Notorious for its union-busting tactics (some of which are under legal scrutiny), Amazon has encouraged its workers to vote “no.” It also denied claims of harsh working conditions and lack of coronavirus safety protocols, and pointed out that its starting wage of $15 an hour is significantly higher than what workers could find elsewhere. If the union is approved, it would be a first for Amazon workers in the United States and could embolden labor movements across the country.

President Biden has outlined his next big plan for boosting the economy: a giant infrastructure package. The details are still in flux as administration officials shop around the proposal to members of Congress and industry leaders. But the broad strokes remain consistent with Mr. Biden’s campaign promises to make the economy more equitable, address climate change and bolster America’s manufacturing and technology industries in an escalating competition with China. Who will pay for the plan’s estimated $3 trillion costs? The administration has suggested that it may be financed in part through tax increases on corporations and the rich.

introducing Zoom-free Fridays. Meanwhile, many businesses are offering free or discounted products — including doughnuts, yogurt and beer — to people who can demonstrate that they’ve gotten Covid vaccines. And Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, is in trouble with the National Labor Relations Board, which upheld a ruling that he broke the law by firing a worker involved in union organizing and threatening others if they followed suit.

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Free With Your Covid Shot: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

The benefits of getting vaccinated against Covid-19 — namely, protection against a dangerous virus — should be obvious by this stage in the pandemic.

If that isn’t sufficient motivation, consider the swag.

Businesses across the United States and beyond are offering free merchandise and other stuff to people who receive Covid shots. The perks include free rides, doughnuts, money, arcade tokens and even marijuana.

Experts in behavioral motivation say that offering incentives is not necessarily the most effective or cost-efficient way to increase vaccine uptake. But that hasn’t stopped the freebies from piling up.

In Cleveland, the Market Garden Brewery is offering 10-cent beers to the first 2021 people who show a Covid-19 vaccine certificate. “Yes, you read that right,” the brewery says on its website. “Ten Cents.”

prerolled joint until the end of the month.

Chobani provides free yogurt at some vaccination sites. And Krispy Kreme said on Monday that for the rest of the year, it would give one glazed doughnut per day to anyone who provides proof of a Covid-19 vaccination.

As vaccinations accelerated across the United States, “We made the decision that said, ‘Hey, we can support the next act of joy,’ which is, if you come by, show us a vaccine card, get a doughnut any time, any day, every day if you choose to,” the company’s chief executive, Michael Tattersfield, told Fox News.

The Krispy Kreme initiative is no relation to the “vaccinated doughnuts” that were sold last month by a bakery in Germany, garnished with plastic syringes that dispense a sweet, lemony-ginger amuse-bouche. It also does not entitle vaccinated Americans to endless doughnuts, as Mr. Tattersfield seemed to imply in his Fox News interview — just one per day, as the company notes on its website.

In a promotion it is calling “Tokens for Poke’ns,” Up-Down, a chain of bars featuring vintage arcade games, is offering $5 in free tokens to guests who present a completed vaccination card. Up-Down, which has six locations in five Midwestern states, is extending the offer to guests who visit within three weeks of their final dose.

Cleveland Cinemas, a movie-theater chain in Ohio, is offering a free 44-ounce popcorn at two of its locations to anyone who presents a vaccination card through April 30.

The Times of Israel reported.

Presenting cards for so many promotions might cause some wear and tear. To protect the cards from damage, Staples is offering to laminate them at no charge after customers have received their final dose. The promotion runs through May 1.

Some vaccine perks flow from corporations to their employees. Tyson Foods, Trader Joe’s and others pay for the time it takes them to get vaccinated, while Kroger pays them a $100 bonus.

study, Ms. Dai and her colleagues found that text messages could boost uptake of influenza vaccinations. The most effective texts were framed as reminders to get shots that were already reserved for the patient. They also resembled the kind of communication that patients expect to receive from health care providers.

Jon Bogard, a graduate student at U.C.L.A. who contributed to the study, said that policymakers should proceed with caution on incentives because they can sometimes backfire. One problem is that the campaigns are expensive, he said. Another is that people receiving shots could see a large incentive as a sign that “vaccines are riskier than they in fact are.”

A better alternative, Mr. Bogard said, could be handing out “low-personal-value, high-social-value” objects — like stickers and badges — that tap into a larger sense of “social motivation and accountability.”

There appears to be no shortage of such swag swirling around the world’s hospitals and vaccination clinics.

Hartford, Conn., people receiving shots can pick up an “I got my Covid-19 vaccination” sticker bearing the home team’s mascot, a goat.

If you aren’t satisfied with the vaccine-related style accouterment at your local clinic, there are plenty of options available for purchase online.

One badge — “I got my Fauci ouchi” — pays homage to America’s best-known doctor, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

“Thanks, science,” says another.

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A Green Wave? Mexico’s Marijuana Market May Be Middling

MEXICO CITY — Mexico, a country carved up by cartels for decades, is poised to take a major step in drug policy. This week, the lower house of Congress approved a landmark bill to legalize recreational marijuana, which would make it the world’s largest legal market for the drug.

With legalization considered all but certain to win Senate and presidential approval, many in the business world are predicting a Mexican green boom: a newly legal industry providing tens of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in profit for savvy entrepreneurs and welcome tax revenue for the government.

But many business analysts and economists are wary, and caution that the cannabis industry here is more likely to be a green blip than a boom. Opening a licit market would matter more legally and symbolically than economically, they argue, citing relatively low domestic demand and little chance of exporting the product, as well as seemingly restrictive regulatory measures.

“It’s hard to see any obvious broad effects” on the Mexican economy, said Jeffrey Miron, an economist at Harvard University. “You will see a little bit of a bump in measured G.D.P.,” he added, but “people claiming that it will be a big boost to the economy through legalization, I don’t think that makes sense at all.”

Erick Ponce, a Mexican entrepreneur and president of the Cannabis Industry Promotion Group, a local research and advocacy group.

“We definitely see it as an important economic boost for the country especially in the middle of a pandemic,” Mr. Ponce added.

According to a January report from a cannabis data analysis company, New Frontier Data, the Mexican marijuana industry could be worth as much as $3.2 billion dollars annually, and major cannabis companies like Canada’s Canopy Growth are already eyeing the market.

its own legalization in 2018, investors and analysts predicted a surge in cannabis cash, but the business has not been a rousing success.

national statistics agency estimated that consumers spent $918 million Canadian dollars (about $736 million U.S. dollars) on legal weed products, considerably less than was predicted before legalization. Earnings have been sluggish and most producers are still reporting losses worth millions. In December, Canopy Growth announced it was closing five facilities and laying off more than 200 employees in a bid to speed up profitability.

“The green rush part hasn’t materialized,” said Michael Armstrong, an associate professor at the Goodman School of Business at Ontario’s Brock University. “It’s been a positive boost for Canada, but not a dramatic one by any means.”

Official figures indicate that Canada, with a much smaller population, has many more regular users than Mexico: Prior to legalization, around 15 percent of Canadians said they had smoked marijuana in the past three months, according to the national statistics agency, a consumer base of more than 5 million potential users.

By contrast, a 2016 Mexican government study found that only about 1.2 percent of the population aged 12 to 65 said they had smoked pot in the previous month, and 2.1 percent, about 1.8 million, in the previous year.

Jorge Javier Romero Vadillo, a political scientist at Mexico’s Autonomous Metropolitan University. And “I don’t think this regulation process is going to substantially increase demand.”

The new law’s strict licensing requirements for cultivating, packaging and selling marijuana could keep small farmers and vendors out of the licit market, according to Mr. Romero.

“With the rules they want to apply, which are super restrictive, they’re going to open up a tiny market,” he said. “They’re rules that are so strict, with a barrier for entry that’s so high, that few are going to opt for entering the legal market.”

California, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, has had similar teething troubles: In the first year of legalization, legal vendors in the state sold $500 million dollars less worth of marijuana than in the year prior, when it was only permitted for medical use.

Strict regulation and high taxes kept the majority of California’s producers and vendors in the gray or black market, according to Daniel Sumner, director of the agricultural issues center at the University of California, Davis. In many communities, marijuana-related businesses faced fierce local opposition.

may be in medicinal cannabis, which has been legal in Mexico since 2017, as well as industrial hemp, which the new bill also regulates and could be used to produce everything from plastics to paper.

“The market for marijuana is a very small market,” said Guillermo Nieto, president of the National Association for the Cannabis Industry, a Mexico City-based trade group. “Agriculturally, it’s not going to help us like the legalization of industrial hemp.”

In the short-term, some businessmen say, Mexico’s biggest gains may be doing what Mexico already does best: manufacturing — in this case, potentially producing cannabis products like nutritional supplements and cosmetics.

Still, the greatest impact may be more symbolic than monetary: As the largest economy to legalize the drug to date, Mexico, with about 128 million people, could encourage other countries, including its northern neighbor, to follow suit.

“Sometimes it’s nerve-racking to be the first person to take a step into a pond that might be infested with sharks,” said Mr. Miron, the Harvard professor. “But if four or five other people have done it and it’s OK, then more people are going to give it a try.”

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Mexico Passes Bill to Legalize Cannabis

MEXICO CITY — Lawmakers in Mexico approved a bill Wednesday night to legalize recreational marijuana, a milestone for the country, which is in the throes of a drug war and could become the world’s largest cannabis market, leaving the United States between two pot-selling neighbors.

The 316-to-129 vote in Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medicinal cannabis.

The chamber approved the bill in general terms Wednesday evening before moving on to a lengthy discussion of possible revisions introduced by individual lawmakers. In its final form, though, the measure is widely expected to sail through the Senate before being sent to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has signaled support for legalization.

The measure, as of Wednesday night, would allow adults to smoke marijuana and, with a permit, grow a small number of cannabis plants at home. It would also grant licenses for producers — from small farmers to commercial growers — to cultivate and sell the crop.

promised to scrap federal prohibition of the drug this year.

For “Mexico, given its size and its worldwide reputation for being damaged by the drug war, to take this step is enormously significant,” said John Walsh, director of drug policy for the Washington Office on Latin America, a U.S. advocacy group. “North America is heading toward legalization.”

according to recent polling.

the Council on Foreign Relations.

Legalization “is an important step toward building peace in a country like ours, where for at least a decade or more, we’ve been immersed in an absurd war,” said Lucía Riojas Martínez, a Mexican congresswoman who made headlines in 2019 when she gave a rolled joint to the country’s interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, after delivering a speech in Congress.

“But this bill falls short of achieving that,” she added.

published rules in January covering the growing and research of medicinal cannabis.

Local advocates say the restrictions on possession will limit the bill’s impact, particularly for low-income consumers, who may fall prey to extortion from the police, a regular occurrence in Mexico.

“We live in a country where corruption and extortion is the norm,” said Zara Snapp, co-founder of the RIA Institute, a Mexico-city based drug policy research and advocacy group.

Still, for many proponents in Mexico, approving the bill is a notable step in the long journey toward full legalization.

“It’s like when you’re running a marathon and you haven’t started — running the first meter helps to start the discussion,” said Mr. Sánchez, the marijuana businessman. “It means firing the starting gun, even if we still have 42 kilometers left to go.”

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