As marijuana legalization drives down the price of pot, cannabis companies are increasingly marketing premium products with the same kinds of language used by Whole Foods or winemakers, invoking sunny fields of plants tended by smiling famers.
But eager retailers are running into an unexpected obstacle: Americans who are still shocked that they can legally buy cannabis — any cannabis — aren’t yet willing to pay extra for higher quality, in many cases because they don’t realize there’s a difference.
“When we all grew up it was all Wonderbread and cheap eggs. I never asked if something was grass-fed and cage free,” said Maka Kalai, a Colorado marijuana dispensary worker. “There’s still people out there who think weed is weed.”
Step inside a legal dispensary, however, and you’ll find a massive range of marijuana for sale. Different strains can have different tastes and effects, in the same way that wine and tequila both contain alcohol but can produce a very different kind of evening.
Cannabis legalization has helped jumpstart the availability of strains with names like Durban Poison, Blue Dream or Strawberry Cough, but it is state-run quality testing