Medical cannabis and recreational use among adults has been legal in a few states for several years. As an avid consumer of cannabis it is nice to be able to relax and not worry about law enforcement. At least, as long as you are not acting like a fool. Having a nice selection at the shop makes us all feel like kids in a candy store. Even though it can be a bit overwhelming to have so much to choose from. One of my favorite movie lines from Grandma’s Boy – “I don’t care what it’s called. I just want a bag of pot” becomes more real at times. You do get used to it and find strains and deals that work for your budget. Everything is great until you get home and roll one up. Then you notice the back of the package with the harvest date. There is an issue with all the packaging and retail aspects of the legal cannabis industry.
Fresh Cannabis, Maybe
Paying a fair amount for the product you kind of expect something fresh. We do not buy rotten apples do we? So why is it that some places you go, a vast majority of their products are a year or more past the harvest date. But not all of them. Sometimes you find a brand or strain that is still fresh, only a few months old. I do not mind a well aged bud, but can we keep it from getting crispy and falling into dust. It is not the fault of the grower or the retail location. Not at all. There is a bigger issue at fault and it needs to be addressed.
An Obvious Problem
The issue for some states is that there were far more producers licensed that there were retail locations. This caused an overflow of product that could not be moved fast enough to keep the stock fresh. Growers and retail shops had to sit on product far longer than anyone would want to. By the time it hits the shelf and the customers hand, the bud has dried out severely in the plastic package or the glass jar with a cheap lid. A crispy nug is not fun to roll with. Since there are so many growers and companies packaging product there is a large selection. Some stuff on the shelf is fresh but it sells fast.
Environmental Impact Of Legal and Medical Cannabis
As much as I love having legal weed in my country, the way we are packaging 1g in a small ziplock pack has to stop. With all the people who smoke in the states that have legal adult use that is a ton of unnecessary garbage. For a “Green” industry the marketing and packages could be a bit more green. Most people would be willing to pay slightly more for a product in an eco friendly container. Or, why not bring your own glass jar? They weigh it and place your freshly filled jar into a paper bag for exiting the dispensary. If a customer can walk into a grocery and refill a growler with beer what is so different about filling a jar with fresh nugs? It is not perfect and may need to work, but it is a step in the right direction.
The Future Of Medical And Recreational Cannabis
We all know this is still a new industry and new laws. When prohibition of alcohol ended there was madness for a while. There will always be those among us who may take things a bit too far at times. It will pass. This industry is no different and there will be many kinks to work out and obstacles to avoid. Especially for those getting into the industry as a grower or a retailer. As a consumer, I think we are all happy to have legal cannabis be it for medical or recreational use. Be mindful of the products packaging as well as the harvest date and the date you are purchasing the product.
What To Expect
As Louisiana puts it’s medical cannabis program into effect what can we expect with the products? How will the state and producers handle the packaging and the time from growth to consumer? Although there will not be any smokable forms of cannabis our friends and family deserve fresh products. Who wants a stale brownie? I would hope the state has thought about this and has a plan to get fresh medicines to patients. We have yet to see what products will be available. But, that should change soon with doctors and dispensaries ready to serve patients around the state.