Although recreational cannabis consumption in California was legalized in January 2018, the illegal market has continued to persist. Purchasing cannabis from an unlicensed source may seem like a case of “no harm no foul,” but the harm may be something foul in your weed.
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), which regulates the distribution and sale of cannabis in California, recently announced the launch of a statewide public information program, “Get #weedwise”, encouraging consumers to only purchase cannabis from licensed businesses and warning unlicensed businesses to become licensed.
The multilingual, multimedia campaign includes extensive outreach educating consumers about the risks associated with cannabis purchased from unlicensed businesses. Dangerous foreign material can be found in illegal, untested cannabis, including mold, toxic chemicals, and fecal matter.
As part of the campaign, BCC has launched a website, www.CApotcheck.com, where consumers can verify the legal status of a cannabis business.
The campaign also educates unlicensed businesses about the need to be licensed and the consequences of continuing to operate without a license. Commercial cannabis businesses that are not licensed by the state could face confiscation of cash or cannabis by engaging in unlicensed activity.
“We believe that this campaign will directly impact consumer safety by clarifying that only cannabis purchased from licensed retailers has met the state’s safety standards, while sending a clear message to unlicensed businesses that they need to get licensed or shut down,” said Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, via news release.
Cannabis industry associations and organizations with an interest in explaining the Get #weedwise campaign to their membership are encouraged to download an informational PowerPoint presentation on the campaign here: https://dca.app.box.com/v/BCC-Campaign-PPT.
Associations wishing to join the Get #weedwise coalition are encouraged to contact BCC Assistant Chief of Communications Alex Traverso at firstname.lastname@example.org.