I noticed another reader that goes by the name of “Stony” wrote to you with a similar topic of concern. I have been involved in the cannabis industry in Arizona for almost three years, and consider myself a proponent for cannabis legalization. However, one thing that always puzzles me is why everyone who is pro cannabis is not focused on removing the stigma around cannabis to assist us all in the fight for legalization.
One area of cannabis I find perplexing is edibles. If we are arguing that cannabis is good for the public’s health, should it really be consumed in a the form of a 6 inch x 6 inch brownie? Better yet, should the slogan, “ONE BIG BADASS BROWNIE,” be plastered across the top of the package. I feel like the label of this item takes away all legitimacy of cannabis and further makes it a ‘stoner joke’. Could you imagine if you went to pick up your oxycodone at the pharmacy and the pharmacist handed you a bottle of pills that said “ONE BIG BADASS BOTTLE OF OXY’S!” Or better yet, what if the pharmacist gave you a 6 inch x 6 inch Captain Crunch Bar infused with oxycodone for you to consume as your medication. Wouldn’t you find that strange, and question the legitimacy of this medication?
I love this topic so much! Personally, I’ve made it my mission to try to get the industry in general to be more inclusive of various age ranges and medicine needs. Most MMJ card holders aren’t young! I am personally a unicorn of the eating world, because of my rare disorder I do eat lots of sugar, doc ordered so don’t be jealous that I am prescribed sugar as my medicine. But most of the medicinal cannabis consumers are older and aren’t slightly interested in sugary treats. Not to mention, the cancer patients who have mostly eliminated sugar from their world.
Bottom line is that not everyone is on board with the medicinal nature and into a medicinal focus of this plant. There are still a lot of businesses in the cannabis world that are still “stoner” focused and its evident in their branding, marketing and products. Patients that I have counseled, usually older newbies, are turned off by these places and find somewhere else to go. But if they didn’t have a customer base they probably would be out of business. These places have their own edible line, so they develop, market and brand these products inline with their store. For them, I guess its working?
I like to vote with my dollars. I think the cannabis market is in such infancy that it is very malleable to customer input. The more they sell of a product, the more they’ll make that product. When I had an edible line, we got lots of input for healthier options. So we created them. I was guilty of making sweets early on too, but it was the investors who decided the products. Even as the creator of the products (who suffered from nausea and explained the last thing I wanted in an edible was a rich, sweet, giant edible) the guys with the money made the final calls on what we produced. Only when they heard from customers that they wanted healthier options were we tasked with developing them.
So I guess my answer is education! We have to teach cannabis customers to be vocal with what they want and what they prefer. Teach them about what is available in the healthier products and how wellness is impacted with choosing the best, cleanest, healthiest options. I am all about honoring our hippy heroes from the early days of fighting to end prohibition. I feel like there is this warm fuzzy memory that is related to the pot brownie that may never go away, however the cannabis industry is moving full force ahead with some brilliant options in the edible space, and I think the giant sugary treats will become a much smaller part of the edible space.
Keep the Faith My Friend!!! Mama
For more letters to Mama, click here.