Blunts and Spliffs

Will retail stores provide these common smoking forms to consumers?

One of the oldest and most popular ways to smoke cannabis is to combine it with tobacco. Mixing the two plants into a single cigarette is commonly known as a “spliff.” Filling a cigar wrap or hollowed-out cigarillo with cannabis makes a “blunt.”

Given the popularity of Blunts and spliffs, one might expect they would be available in cannabis retail stores across the nation. But they’re not. State laws prohibit tobacco products from being sold in any Washington, Oregon, Colorado or Alaska cannabis retail shops.

Under Washington law, cannabis retailers may not add any substance to smokable cannabis that would change its smell, nor can they combine it with any other “foreign matter” that would be considered an adulteration during quality assurance testing.

Photo by Topher i, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Also in Washington, only retailers licensed by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board can sell cannabis or tobacco products. But licensed cannabis retailers are only allowed to sell cannabis products and paraphernalia, making any tobacco product — even if it’s combined with cannabis — off limits.

Oregon law is more straight-forward. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission considers tobacco to be a “poisonous and deleterious” adulterant that is “injurious to health” and therefore prohibited from being combined with cannabis. Additionally, an OLCC-licensed cannabis producer may not add any substance to a cannabis product that would “increase potency, toxicity or addictive potential,” specifically including both nicotine and caffeine.

Other states that are currently in the process of drafting and implementing cannabis laws will have to decide whether allowing blunts, spliffs and other cross-buzzing products is an acceptable public health risk.

The good news for those who enjoy mixing their vices is that there is no prohibition in any state for consumers to combine them. Blunt wraps, loose-leaf tobacco and rolling papers are widely available in almost every city and there are plenty of how-to videos to teach consumers to roll their own.

Ammon Ford is law clerk at Gleam Law. He is finishing up his joint JD and MBA degree at Seattle University’s School of Law and Albers School of Business and Economics. He founded the Cannabis Law Society (CLAW), the first cannabis-centered law student association in the country. After graduation, he will focus on entrepreneurial marijuana business law and take the Washington state bar examination in July 2017. He can be reached at Ammon@GleamLaw.com.

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