Frequently Asked Questions (to a Culture Writer)


This isn’t what I intended to write this week, but big pieces take time, and deadlines don’t wait, so in an effort to provide as much value to as many of you as possible, I’ve decided to spin up a list of the most frequently asked questions I receive, and their answers from my perspective. This one kind of runs the gamut of trending weed culture right now, but is by no means an exhaustive list of the important matters at hand, just the collection that I – your friendly neighborhood stoner – get pretty much every time I go to a sesh.

Now to be clear, these are just my opinions. As educated as they may be, you may not feel the same way about any, or all, of these topics. That’s ok, as there’s no one right answer for most of this stuff; a lot are a matter of perspective. However, talking about them, and attacking what some consider problems from different angles is how we solve these complex issues. I’m hoping by laying my thoughts out here they not only inform those without my understanding, but also attract those with other perspectives, or potential solutions, to share them as well. 

Also, I’m not a cultivator, so sorry in advance to any of you who were looking for grow answers, because you won’t find them here. If this goes well maybe we’ll do another round of these in the future, and maybe we’ll even get some other perspectives in the mix. If you’d like your question to be considered, feel free to email me with the subject line ‘FAQ ?s’ and I’ll save them for the next iteration. 

Anyway, without further adieu, here are my most frequently asked questions:

WHY IS WEED SO EXPENSIVE / CHEAP?!

This was one of the first topics we really covered when we started WEIRDOS. First Dante Jordan asked you to stop complaining about the price, and then I reverse-engineered how an eighth gets to $60 – though that was focused on the legal side. What we didn’t specifically cover in those pieces were the basic laws of supply and demand, and while this may be a little basic for many of you, I think we should start here: the price of a product is directly correlated to the metrics of supply and consumer demand of that product. 

An easy way to explain this is: if there’s a limited number of something but a very large demand, the price will increase. This works inversely, too. As supply of a certain product increases, demand typically decreases, and with that, so does the price. The sneaker aftermarket is a great way to visualize this: tons of people want Travis Scott Jordan’s, but they only make so many. Because of this, people will pay insane prices to acquire them on the aftermarket. Nike knows they shouldn’t make enough of those to satisfy everyone so that there is a loud visible demand, and a cool factor for those who scored. It also keeps their prices healthy for the brand, even if they’re not eating all the aftermarket gains. These calculations (although often frustrating consumers) have kept Nike’s foot on our necks for generations.

Now, back to weed. We are currently experiencing the largest glut of cannabis the world has ever seen. More regions are growing than ever, and in bigger facilities than ever before. That means weed will naturally be available for cheaper than ever, especially in these oversaturated markets. There are also more people competing for that market share than ever, and increased competition makes everyone’s margins slimmer because there are more opponents they have to figure out a way to provide greater value than. This will be experienced the worst in major rec markets, but the trickle down can be felt everywhere – even those hard to reach super locked-down markets like Japan are seeing increased supply because SO much is being grown across the globe. The difficulty to obtain the substance will still keep the prices minorly inflated in those areas until the market opens up though.

But it’s important to recognize that this was ALWAYS going to happen. Legalization, and the increased access it brings, was always going to cause downward pressure on the price of goods because it would make them available everywhere – not just in alleys and peoples living rooms. Our OG’s all said this would happen, and the culling was easily predicted if you were paying attention. 

That said, every market has a high end, and we’re simultaneously seeing the highest per ounce prices ever on that side of the market – simply because there’s so much trash that people will pay a premium to tune out the noise. 

So not that this is a super clear answer, but: there’s both great and bad cheap AND expensive weed everywhere now, sometimes it just requires some effort to find.

WHY DO KIDS LIKE SPRAY PACKS?

I mean, honestly if you didn’t have to smoke them I have seen some very appealing spray packs. Sometimes they smell so good I would legit try the terp juice itself for flavor if it was made available to me, but I’m old and know how weed is supposed to smoke. Sourwavez did a piece for us awhile back about his experience smoking one, and my experience was very similar. It crackled. That’s not what weed is supposed to do. But….

Let’s start here: First remember that many of the ‘young adults’ of today grew up smoking usb sticks that tasted like cotton candy. Many didn’t smoke cigarettes, and many’s first experience with weed was also a vape – not a joint or a bowl like most of us old heads. Now, vapes use a lot of these same flavors, so if that’s their introduction to cannabis to begin with, why would they expect (or WANT) something different when they eventually graduate to flower? 

Next, and I think the most common misconception I hear is people assuming all these spray packs are trashy mids that couldn’t sell on their own WITHOUT the terp infusion. I’m sorry to tell you, you’d be wrong on that. While yes for the most part MOST of the market is more middy than it is high end, shouts to Ted’s Mylar reel the other day, there are indeed great packs getting sprayed too. Spray packs are getting a premium in major cities right now, which means that spraying just about ANY work will make it more valuable. This likely won’t last forever, but you can’t blame the sellers for playing the market – I just hope the kids learn their lesson quickly, and that everyone’s infusing with safe-for-combustion consumption materials.

WHY ARE THERE NO GOOD LOUNGES?

Yet, at least in America.*

In my opinion this is because pretty much every lounge thus far has really been two competing business models rolled into one, fighting itself to survive. That is to say restaurant + lounges. You see, restaurants need to churn tables in order to make money, whereas lounges should be better at monetizing your presence the longer you hang out there – think small snacks, drinks, and rentals. Restaurants have much slimmer margins and need to get a certain number of people through their door a day in order to turn a profit. Because you have these two models which are clearly at odds, most lounges I’ve experienced domestically kind of feel like hanging out at a place that really wants you to leave. They’re not intending that feeling, of course, they just typically have two waitresses (one for food, one for weed), trying to make some money (and also tips) while you just want to be stoned. It always feels hectic. 

That’s not to say that there aren’t *nice* lounges here. For example, places like the Woods or PleasureMed in Los Angeles are some of the most gorgeous venues I’ve been in – so we’re getting there. Abroad, lounges have had a longer history to work out the kinks of their business models, and while Amsterdam has been the leader in ‘coffee shops’ across the globe, what’s going on in Barcelona has really raised the bar for the whole industry. I have faith that with time we’ll start to see lessons from those shops applied over here.

I’m actually very surprised however that we haven’t seen weed theaters yet, the format seems perfect for a lounge. There is already a process for keeping the crowd moving – they finish their movie, they leave. I know AMC and the other cinemas are struggling, so why not try adding some ashtrays? They’ve already got the 21+ theaters so they can serve alcohol, why not try a few of them out as smoking spots instead? I would say we should see weed venues too, but venues make the majority of their money off alcohol and I’m pretty sure all of the states have blocks between alcohol and cannabis operating together – for example, in New York the clean air act says there is no *smoking* allowed in venues, not specifically cigarette smoking, so we’re fucked for now, but that will change with time.

But if anyone knows any execs at AMC tell them they can have this idea free just make it a reality for us!

WHY AM I SHADOWBANNED / DO MY POSTS KEEP GETTING DELETED?

First and foremost, I need everyone to realize that no matter your interpretation of their Terms of Service, every social media platform is a business and protecting that business is of the utmost importance to them. That business primarily monetizes through advertising. While yes, we are a burgeoning semi-legal industry, to them we are still just a federally controlled substance, and risking the health of their platform for the sake of the small potatoes we offer collectively in advertising revenue just doesn’t make sense yet. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself – the long and short of this is we’re essentially trying to sell weed at someone’s house party, and then are being surprised when the owner is kicking us out of his living room. The house party is the platform. Since it doesn’t belong to us, what we do there is at the behest of the owner. The thing that we forget is that Meta will down throttle ALL businesses if it thinks you’re making money on their platform without cutting them in – aka advertising. I have watched this happen in several other industries, it’s not unique to us.

However, what is semi-unique to us, is that we’re what’s considered dangerous content on the platform. I know that sounds harsh, but most illegal and age-gated things are. You don’t see a ton of tobacco ads, do ya? (That’s also a more complicated issue I’ll address in the future but…) You know why you only see a few liquor ones? Bc they’re age-gated. There are rules for advertising, but more important than that, the platform is most concerned with protecting its users that have the longest possible lifecycle on the platform – in other words, the kids there. Anything that risks children on the platform, or makes their parents want to ban them from visiting, is incredibly risky to Meta, or any social platform. They’re trying to protect their kids more than they’re trying to ban us, but the result is often the same.

I know it’s frustrating building and losing pages, or getting shadowbanned, but the best advice I can give you is that whatever you’re doing on the platforms is at best ‘rented audience’ anyway – until you have the direct contact info for your audience, they’re not really yours. All social should be a funnel back to your owned and operated properties – in other words, your house. The place where you control the rules. Once they’ve landed on your O&O, you can do anything you want with them…

WHY IS WEED STILL ILLEGAL?

While this is horrible, weed is still a very effective tool of oppression and many of the powers that be are very reluctant to give that up. Think about how easy something ‘smelling like weed’ has made police officers’ jobs, and how many people have been drafted into the for-profit prison industry on the backs of these laws. I’ll get into lobbying in a second, but people pay to keep these kind of things in place so that their businesses (like having people to make your license plates for like $0.03/hour) continue to flourish. 

We forget when we talk about cannabis prisoners that a LOT of people locked up right now without any cannabis charges on their books also arrived there because a search of their vehicle or home started with that smell. I am sorry to say that every police officer I have conversed with deeply about legalization has agreed on this point, even if they know in their heart it’s not right, even if they themselves have smoked before, it’s their canary in the coal mine.

But! But! If we actually see scheduling movement this year, it’s important to remember that even though it’s not everything we want, it IS a step in the right direction.

SO WHY SCHEDULE III?

Simply? Because we’re not paying enough of the right people. But frankly, expecting a full removal from the schedule was a pipe dream and anyone with any real intellect knows that – NOT because it should be scheduled at all, but because expecting a complete reversal from the government – that is, making them admit just how wrong they were about this plant in one fell swoop – especially when the current administration literally helped start the war on drugs – was just never going to happen. They couldn’t take that hit to their infrastructure. 

You see, you don’t have to look past that act making the whole scheduling system seem broken (which it is, but that’s another rant) to realize that a move like that would immediately make people say ‘oh so heroin might not be that bad either?’, and liquidate any faith remaining in the DEA. But the minutia gets way more American. That is to say: greedy. 

You all know what lobbying is, right? It’s how ‘interest groups’ (aka fat cats who aren’t looking to slim down) retain their vice grip on our ‘free’ society. The long and short of it is they *pay* (which doesn’t always mean directly handing money to) politicians to *care* about whatever cause it is that matters to them. You know why Benzos, which are highly addictive and have withdrawals that can kill you, are Schedule IV? Because the guys that make them have spent a LOT of money buying the interests of politicians. For decades.

You know who’s spending the most money advocating for the causes we care about right now? Multi State Operators. Not that I believe they’re ALL evil, but many of them WANT, and are PAYING FOR, states to lock up licenses and make the barriers to entry so high that you and I could never compete. They want to lock up homegrow so they can control the market. They don’t care about quality, they care about getting rich. Until the real heads start pooling some money together and ‘buying off’ some of these powerful people, it’s going to be a slow boat for us.

WILL THINGS GET BETTER SOON?

Probably not, but all things considered, they’re heading in the right direction, and they’re actually not as bad as most of our mopey asses make it out to seem. I get we’ve got colleagues going down left and right, and I feel for them all – in most industries the vast majority of businesses don’t make it, but our guys were largely shielded from that the past few decades because we had a crop that sold itself. Now that that crop is available everywhere, we’re moving into a different world. 

But just think, back in the 90’s we had friends dying from AIDS that the government ignored, and we legalized this plant in California to increase their quality of life. A decade or so later Sanjay introduced the world to Charlotte Figi, and the good word spread. Then Colorado legalized and made so much money in tax revenue they had to give money to schools, and fix roads. A few years later New York finally legalized, and now you can smoke weed in the city anywhere you can smoke a cigarette. As tough as things feel right now, we’re in the brightest days our plant has ever seen – we’ve just got to hold the line and before we know it we’ll find the future we’ve all been waiting for. Okay, maybe not before we know it, but eventually! We’ve already come so far…





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