As an avid cannabis consumer with strong opinions, today I’d like to talk about where I’d like the industry to go, what I want it to be. Reality will disappoint, of course, but it remains the Gentleman’s burden as a visionary, an imagineer, a…ah, a third thing, to point out what we can be doing better. And by we, I mean other people besides me. I’m already recycling my own urine, thank you, and it’s delightfully refreshing mixed with Tang. Just like the astronauts drink! Anyway, here’s five weed trends I’d like to see take root here in the District and across the nation in the near future.
This one is my pet peeve so I’m gonna go off right quick. STOP NAMING YOUR WEED AFTER CANDIES, SWEETS, AND CARTOONS MARKETED TO CHILDREN!!! Great Caesar’s Ghost, if we’re to dispel the juvenile image of our industry, it’s easy enough to start here. They don’t all need to be named after colors or foods, either. As an adult that’s into cool words ‘n stuff, I would frikkin love to walk into a dispensary and see weed named after great artists, scientists, and works of art as much as I love sharks with laser beams on their heads. DaVinci’s Brush. Escher’s Staircase. Newton’s Apple. Mozart’s Eighth. Stoker’s Fiend. Goldberg’s Trap. I can do this all day, baby! Inspire my ass, dammit, use your marketing to make me think I’m gonna accomplish some shit when I smoke your dope.Trends
Fuck, this seems like such a no-brainer to me. If I’ve got to run to the dispensary, there’s a good chance I’m down to grab a bite while I’m out running errands anyway. Or an ice cream. Mmm, Rocket Pops. And the dispensary will supply steady foot traffic for the truck. Not, like, downtown office DC foot traffic, but steady. And who doesn’t like to support small, local businesses? An I71 storefront could be a great place to park it during non-peak hours. Hand out coupons for each other, I dunno. Am I rambling? I just want a soft-serve swirl cone, man, c’mon already.
Clearly not a priority during the pandemic, but I saw how intense the desire for community was at the early I71 pop-ups in Washington DC. I know I’m not alone in wanting not to be alone. For too long, those that prefer bongs to beers have been relegated to shadowed alleys and private residences. We want to hang out and smoke together while we listen to local bands and comedians, play some board games, competitive Smash, some freakin’ trivia, c’mon. And I still want my ice cream, dammit! I don’t want it attached to dispensaries, necessarily, though shops like Barnaby Coast Dispensary in San Francisco have done a fantastic job. If it has, like, real hospitality staff and doesn’t feel like a patient waiting room or a neglected extension of retail, this camper’s happy. Ooh, and hot wings! With blackjack and hookers! In fact, forget the lounge!
While it may be small fries compared to the cannabis industry’s current energy usage, I’m shocked that we don’t have more recyclable/biodegradable packaging on the market. Paper-based packs of pre-rolls aren’t terribly uncommon. Glass jars are common and before the pandemic, several local brands instituted a return program for them, a laudable step in the right direction. Reducing consumption is also important! By and large, though, unrecyclable mylar is far too common and not every plastic is recyclable. Industrial marijuana must join the rest of the forward-thinking world and work to curb our waste. We are limited, of course, by regulations that change from state to state and are well-intended to keep minors out of daddy’s drug stash. What about hemp? I thought we could do anything with hemp. Oh, we’re using it all to fuel the insane demand of the CBD market? Oh, ok then.
Facts, there’s far too many bunk CBD products on the market. It drags down the entire industry to be so severely inundated with bad actors. The benefits this cannabinoid can offer are significant, but too many people that could be helped by these products walk away thinking CBD is the next snake oil cuz they bought something skeezy. Worse, people could potentially lose their clearances and careers if it turns out there’s higher THC content than stated on the label. And even worse than that? Who’s testing these products for potential contaminants? You can ask for a CoA (Certificate of Analysis), but that’s just a piece of paper that maybe, if you’re lucky, leads to an actual website. I can mock a website and CoA up for ya in sixty minutes or so if you want, I’m kinda slow.
There needs to be federal regulation and testing to restore consumer confidence in CBD. Same goes for other cannabinoids that are catching on- CBN, CBG, and Delta-8. We need to know that what’s inside the package is safe and the numbers on the label are accurate before we go offering it to grandma to help with the arthritis in her butt-whoopin’ hand. Love you, Nanny!