Smoking weed has become increasingly mainstream. No longer is announcing your cannabis consumption a way to defy authority, but more so a way to simply normalize the plant as a form of medicine, leisure, and more. But as the industry takes off with increasingly less political scrutiny than eras before, it’s important for the consumer to be more judicious in which brands they support. Now is the time to be a snob about your weed.
Support small farms
Legalization in places like California wasn’t as obvious as you might think. For many small mom-and-pop farms, legalization represents a new era of industrialized weed. It’s an opportunity for big business to come into a legal market and dominate. Only large or well-funded businesses might be able to afford the attorneys’ fees and other expenses necessary to get a proper license from the state and local jurisdiction. However, events like the Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market, for instance, or the Mendocino Appellations Project, aim to support small-batch cannabis farms and let them shine for their quality and farmers’ values. Just as you might prefer to buy your producer or groceries locally or from a farmers market, the same values could be applied to weed.
Buy lab-tested, organic cannabis
One way to keep cultivators accountable is to only buy cannabis that’s been lab tested, to ensure it’s free of toxic pesticides. This applies not only to flower, but also to oils. In an investigation into cannabis oil, Steep Hill labs in Berkeley, California tested 44 products for 16 different pesticides and found that 41 of the products tested positive at high enough quantities that they’d be banned in certain jurisdictions. For the sake of your health, and for the sake of not polluting the environment with toxic chemicals, support farms and brands that use only organicides or other conscious methods to ward off pests and mold.
Know where your weed comes from
There’s somewhat of a market divide between indoor grown and outdoor grown cannabis (the latter of which also includes cannabis that was grown in a greenhouse). Indoor versus outdoor weed is a personal preference, but it’s important to also ensure that the cultivators abide by best practices. Whether that means they’re not destroying their natural environment, growing illegally in a warehouse, or mistreating their trimmers, do research on your favorite cannabis brands so you know you’re supporting a mindful company.
Remember that smoking weed is still a political statement
If you live in a state like California or Colorado, prohibition might seem like an antiquated thing of the past. Crossover into another state, however, like Texas or Louisiana, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a political time capsule. The fight to legalize weed is far from over. Every purchase you make is a political statement and shows your support for the kind of industry you want to see. Because cannabis is still such a new industry, there’s time still to solidify conscious values that differentiate it from other American industries that, for instance, hire mainly men, or disregard the environment. Cannabis is an opportunity for women and minorities to become more involved than they have been historically in other fields. So while your purchasing power speaks volumes, so too does your political support. Get involved with cannabis or drug policy organizations that are advocating for the kind of future you want to see — in your home state, and in prohibition states. Remember the fight is hardly over. Your purchasing power, and political power mean a lot when it comes to weed.