Addressing the elephant in the room

With pot or cannabis now being legal in 30 states pot is now big business. According to AP the distributors and promoters of the pot industry want to dispel the stoners image. No “dazed and confused’” , “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” or Cheech and Chong posters or billboards to promote pot.

In 2014 a Colorado company was the first to create a pot vending machine called Zazz it debuted in Avon Colorado. .

At the time stoners fantasized about the day they would get to buy pot from the machines. “They’re calling it the future of marijuana in Colorado,” Denver’s KDVR muses. “No long lines and no sales person needed.” The Zazz machine looks much like your run-of-the-mill snack machine, except it’s slightly more hi-tech—and doesn’t sell Doritos (although perhaps it should).

MedMen, a flashy, upscale chain of dispensaries that brands itself as the Apple store of pot shops, recently rolled out a $2 million ad campaign that, for lack of a better description, might be called the “anti-stoner offensive.”

Photos of 17 people — including a white-haired grandmother, a schoolteacher, a business executive, a former pro football player and a nurse — are being splashed across billboards, buses and the web by the company that has dispensaries in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Each photo has the word “stoner” crossed out and in its place a description of their job.

People can find their biographies on the website www.forgetstoner.com, where they can also learn why they use weed. Reasons range from treatment of medical conditions like migraines and anxiety to simply enjoying the high.

stoners

“What we’re saying is the very definition of a stereotype is defining a person by one bad mention,” says Daniel Yi, MedMen’s senior vice president of communications and a former Los Angeles Times reporter. “They’re also a grandmother. They’re also a father, a son, a brother.”

Judd Weiss, CEO and founder of cannabis company Lit.Club, believes the industry needs to do still more. He suggests marketing products in a way that makes them look more than just respectable, but as the herbal equivalent of a fine bourbon or scotch.

stoners

No more Cheech and Chong

Thus, he says, Lit.Club’s vape pens are packaged in a way “that won’t embarrass you at the opera.” They look sleek and stylish, with inspirational phrases like “Light A Path” printed on each one. He compares the aroma and flavor of his company’s pre-rolled joints to something similar to a fine brandy.

According to WebMd pot can have psychoactive or mind-altering effects on you. So it gets rid of the headache because you forgot you had one. THC goes from your lungs to your blood stream to your brain and releases dopamine, which causes the high. Then stoners feel more relaxed, have heightened senses, can become anxious or hallucinate. They can repackage pot however they want but it is still a drug and it’s users will still be stoners.

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