CA anti-illegal marijuana campaign drives buyers toward licensed firms only

Aiming to slow illicit cannabis sales that are undercutting the nation’s largest licensed market, California is kicking off a public information campaign – Get #weedwise – that encourages consumers to verify their purchases are tested and legal.

Advertisements will be hitting social media sites and billboards promoting a state website, CApotcheck.com, where shoppers can quickly check if a shop is licensed.

The advertising campaign makes a simple argument: You don’t know what you’re getting if you buy illegal products.

One ad warns, “What’s in your weed shouldn’t be a mystery. Shop licensed cannabis retailers only.”

The campaign “will directly impact consumer safety by clarifying that only cannabis purchased from licensed retailers has met the state’s safety standards,” Bureau of Cannabis Control chief Lori Ajax said in a statement.

The ads also are intended to telegraph a warning to illicit shops and underground growers: Get licensed to operate in the legal market or shut down.

Illegal products have not met strict state testing standards and could be tainted by mold, pesticides, heavy metals – even human waste.

Agency spokesman Alex Traverso said the ads are part of a three-pronged campaign to eventually corral illegal sales.

The others are enforcement, including shutting down illegal shops and farms, and quickly licensing businesses that want to enter the legal economy.

The state is spending an initial $1.7 million on the campaign and hopes to “get in front of as many eyeballs as possible,” Traverso said.

– Associated Press

7 comments on “CA anti-illegal marijuana campaign drives buyers toward licensed firms only
  1. Kenny on

    Had some friends visit SoCal recently. They bought some legal weed and said it sucked. Can’t steer customers to that. It has to be as good as black market weed or the illegal market won’t go away. Then comes price. Cali should lower the taxes so it’s affordable for customers and growers. Colorado made a blueprint. Follow it!

    Reply
    • Pat on

      Kenny, ca. won’t do it Colo. way. Why? The original cartels ( nationwide ) were all over it. The cartel ( Female villain “ScreenSlaver” Incredible’s II ) placed the goggles on the state rule makers. The legislators had the option of removing those goggles; but the vast majority chose to keep them on. When it comes to the opportunity of more people having access to markets that are potentially lucrative; a lot of govts. have a knack of “taking it away” from the common man. As those govts. let themselves get corrupted by special interests; at the expense of the rest.

      Reply
  2. Mike Johnson on

    $1.7 million dollars for this? To tell people that maybe their untested weed has contaminants and so they should go pay double the price at a “good player” dispensary. This is what California does best. First they set fees and taxes and encourage multiple layers of taxes so that the product doubles in price. Then they take large amounts of those fees and pay their friends in advertising to put up ads saying the obvious. “Look at me. I’m helping!” No, Lori Ajax no you are not. People will continue to but from the Original Market because it is a network of friendships that they trust AND it is much, much less expensive.

    Reply
  3. Pat on

    RESPONDING IN ITALICS TO EACH OF THE ARTICLE’S PARAGRAPH’S:

    Prgphs 1&2:

    THIS CAMPAIGN WILL DO NOTHING TO SLOW/STOP THE “ILLICIT” CANNABIS SALES. WHY? TOO MUCH MONEY TO BE MADE BY THE “ILLICIT’S.” TOO MUCH WEED CULTURAL MOMENTUM. IF THE STATE CANNOT PROVIDE REASONABLE EVIDENCE THAT PURCHASING FROM THE UNREGULATED MARKET IS SO MUCH MORE RISKY THAN PAYING THROUGH THE NOSE FOR “LICENSED” PRODUCT…THE STATE WON’T EVEN SEE A BLIP OF A CHANGE. AND, THAT WILL CERTAINLY PISS OFF THE UNWITTING LICENSEE’S THAT WENT FOR IT. SO, THE STATE IS JUST TRYING TO TEMPORARILY PLACATE THIS GROUP ( AGAIN ) WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS NEW POLICY. THE STATE HAS NO PROBLEM BURNING TAX PAYER DOLLARS, SO LONG AS THE ELITES IN STATE GOV. AND THEIR OLIGARCH FRIENDS KEEP ROLLING IN THE DOUGH FOR THEMSELVES…. IT’S ALL GOOD. THOSE LICENSEE’S THAT AREN’T IN THE VERY, VERY TOP GROUPING WILL NOT GET THE RELIEF THAT THEY ARE SEEKING.

    Prgph. #3:

    RIGHT. AND ONE DIDN’T KNOW THAT WHEN BOTH 215 AND 420 WERE IN EFFECT ( TWELVE YEARS PRIOR TO THIS LATEST ITERATION OF CA. STATE “LAW”. ) DID THE STATE EXPRESS ANY CONCERNS FOR THE CITIZEN’S PUBLIC HEALTH/PUBLIC SAFETY DURING THAT 12 YEAR PERIOD? THERE WAS PLENTY OF TIME FOR THE STATE TO CONDUCT STUDIES WITH REGARD TO THE RISK THAT USERS OF LAB TESTED VS NON-LAB TESTED PRODUCT FARED AS IT RELATES SIGNIFICANT HARM ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE USER. TWELVE YEARS! NOW, ALL OF THE SUDDEN, THE STATE “CARES” ABOUT WHAT KIND OF UNTOWARD SUBSTANCES MIGHT BE LURKING IN YOUR WEED? I DON’T THINK SO. WHAT’S THE CDPH HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL THIS? THEY ARE PART OF THE “TEAM” RIGHT?!?

    Prgph. #4:

    DOES THE CONSUMER REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS STATEMENT REALLY MEANS? ISN’T THERE STILL A LOT OF SIGNIFICANT MYSTERY BEHIND WHAT’S IN LAB TESTED WEED? YES THERE IS. BUT, THE STATE ISN’T TALKING. THEY DON’T WANT TO KILL THE CASH COW FOR THEMSELVES. BUT, THEY WANT TO FOR EVERYONE ELSE THAT ARE SELLING IT THAT DON’T HAVE THE MEANS TO GET LICENSED, OR JUST AREN’T SQUARE W/WHAT THEY BELIEVE TO BE A CORRUPT STATE PGM.

    Pgrph: #5:

    BUT, HAS THIS CANNABIS FROM LICENSED ORGANIZATION’S MET REASONABLE SOCIETAL STANDARDS? WHAT WOULD THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AND THE AVERAGE CITIZEN WOULD DEEM REASONABLE? MEANING, ARE SOME OF THESE STANDARDS SO ABSURD, THAT IN COMPARISON TO SMOKING UNREGULATED WEED THAT THE PUBLIC IS ENGENDERING THAT MUCH MORE OF A SIGNIFICANT RISK OF AN UNTOWARD OUTCOME; ALL THINGS CONSIDERED? PROBABLY NOT. NOT BY A LONG SHOT.

    Pgrph.#6:

    IT SEEMS AS IF THE STATE IS DOUBLING DOWN, AGAIN, WITH ITS IMPOSITION OF RIDICULOUS TACTICS TO TRY TO “SCARE” A GROUP THAT DOESN’T SCARE EASILY. AND THIS WAS BEFORE ALL OF THIS REGULATORY STUFF CAME ON THE SCENE. NOW THAT IT’S LEGAL, THE STATE THINKS THAT THIS MOVE IS GOING TO MOTIVATE/INTIMIDATE ENOUGH OF THEM TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR IN LARGE ENOUGH NUMBERS JUST TO PLACATE THE VAST MAJORITY OF LICENSEE’S. WELL, THE BAD NEWS IS: IT’S NOT GOING TO. AS SGT. HARTMAN SAID TO PVT. JOKER: “YOU DON’T SCARE ME!! WORK ON IT!.”

    Pgrph. #7:

    YES, UNREGULATED PRODUCTS COULD BE TAINTED WITH ALL THE ABOVE. BUT, HOW OFTEN DOES IT HAPPEN IN QUANTITIES AND NUMBERS THAT THE AFFECTED PUBLIC SHOULD BE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT? WHERE IT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO CAUSE THEM SIGNIFICANT HARM? WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE TO BACK THIS NOTION UP? THERE ISN’T ANY, BECAUSE THE STATE PROBABLY KNOWS THAT THE ANSWER WILL NOT SUPPORT THE NATURE OF THIS CAMPAIGN.

    Pgrph. #8:

    ALEX, THIS CAMPAIGN AS STATED, WILL NOT CORRAL ILLEGAL SALES. IT WILL COST THE STATE TOO MUCH MONEY TO MAKE THE GOALS OF THIS CAMPAIGN WORTHWHILE. DO YOU THINK THE STATE WILL DO THIS WITHOUT ANYONE CATCHING ON TO ITS FOLLY? THE STATE WILL LIKELY TRY. SO LONG AS THE UNWITTING CITIZENS ARE PAYING FOR IT, AND NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

    Pgrph. #9:

    GOT A QUESTION FOR YOU: HOW MANY BUSINESSES ARE TRYING TO ENTER THE “LEGAL” ECONOMY NOW VS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROGRAM? I’LL BET THE NUMBERS ARE A LOT LOWER. BECAUSE THOSE THAT EITHER DIDN’T GET LICENSED OR SAT ON THE SIDELINES TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO OTHER’S THAT DID; AREN’T AS MOTIVATED TO GET LICENSED. AND FOR VERY GOOD REASONS.

    Pgrph. #10:

    OH, IT WILL GET IN FRONT OF PEOPLE’S EYEBALLS ALL RIGHT. THE QUESTION REMAINS: HAS THE STATE PERFORMED A REASONABLE ANALYSIS ( UTILIZING THE MOST RELEVANT DISCIPLINE’S ) THAT WOULD JUSTIFY ITS EFFORTS TOWARD ITS STATED GOALS? BASED ON THE STATE’S PAST RECORD ON THIS TOPIC: THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING, NO. THE STATE WOULD DO A MUCH BETTER JOB SPENDING ALL THAT KIND OF MONEY GETTING RID OF ALL TOBACCO PRODUCTS AS A PRIORITY…. THAT’S IF THEY CARED SO MUCH AND PRIORITIZED THE CA. CITIZENRY’S PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY.

    YOU’RE ALL ( THE STATE OF CA. ) SO FULL OF IT; YOU MUST REQUIRE GUIDE DOGS JUST TO GET YOU TO THE PRIVY.

    Reply
  4. Old Timer on

    The traditional market in California has gotten stronger and will continue to grow.
    With the current state of “legalization”, why would anyone try and get licensed? It is necessary to spend exorbitant amounts just to apply for a license. Local municipalities have their fees, then you have to apply to and pay the State . There are no guarantees of acceptance and no refund if a license is not granted. You have to have your location first, paying for months or years before you can start business, if ever. What other business is subject to this level of regulation? Does the tomato farmer have to track his crop from seed to sale? Does the farmer need to have a distributor? Most farmers can put their crops on a truck and take it to market without more bureaucracy.
    In general and specifically for cannabis, California IS the worst state to do business.
    California legalization is a failure, especially in the southern part of the state. City and County of Los Angeles still hasn’t completely rolled out their licensing plan.
    Until the following issues are addressed, there is no reason to get licensed.
    High taxes
    High fees
    Onerous licensing procedure
    Corrupt and/or non participating municipalities with local control
    Burdensome operating requirements

    California is an embarrassment.

    Reply
  5. H. Crow on

    As a medical cannabis user from LA County in So. California for the past almost decade, I live with the ramifications of our new Recreational Laws. I pay a wee bit less than 35% more for my medicine now. That’s huge. And it means less medicine for patients like myself.
    And for our State’s government to spend $1.7 million to eventually corral illegal sales?? Ridiculous, wasteful and a really bad way to “get in front of our eyes.”
    My advice? #GrowYourOwn

    Reply

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