By Greg James
Are we crazy to put a couple of good-looking business people with a red Ferrari on the front cover of a marijuana magazine? Maybe … if we buy into the traditional view that our audience should be — or is — made up of counterculture folks who decry yuppie toys and symbols of self-indulgent excess. On the other hand, maybe we at Marijuana Venture just think it’s time to go full-bore into accepting the simple fact that most people entering the legal, recreational marijuana business are really doing it because they want to make money, and don’t have a problem admitting it.
Sure, the Ferrari is probably a bit much, and we fully admit that it’s unlikely that many in the nascent pot industry are going to be able to afford one any time soon. However, the point we’re really trying to make is that the legal marijuana business is ready to look and act like it’s a real business with well-dressed, diverse business people who are ready to drive it beyond the often comical stereotypes that many Americans think of when they hear the word marijuana. Their attitude might be summed up as, “It’s legal, we’re here to make money, and you need to get used to that!”
Speaking of stereotypes and perception, I recently spent some time looking through the Leafly website. Call me what you will, but I’ll say this anyway: What are they thinking? Here’s a website, supposedly owned by a big investment company, that lists cannabis strains with names like Green Crack, Durban Poison, Brain Wreck, Death Star, LSD and Green Goblin (to name a few) as cures — or treatments — for certain medical conditions. I’m serious. Does Leafly really expect mainstream America to take medical marijuana seriously when it’s promoting “medicine” that goes by the name of Green Crack or Durban Poison?
And, as if that’s not bad enough, when you start to really look into what the strains do, you’ll find enough contradictory information to make you more confused than a homeless person on house arrest! For example, OG Kush is said to treat headaches, but then just below the ailments it treats, in the section that covers possible negative effects, it lists — you guessed it — headaches!
The other funny thing is how several hundred strains of marijuana, with several hundred often silly sounding names (Jack Kevorkian, Ray Charles, Charlie Sheen) can produce several hundred different types of high. I fully expect that I’ll get some negative feedback for saying this, but I just don’t buy that 400 strains of pot get you high 400 different ways any more than I’d believe that 400 different bottles of wine get you drunk 400 different ways. To me — and I’ll guess most people — you get drunk on booze, and stoned on pot, and that’s pretty much it. Creating nutty names that sound dangerous, and then trying to promote them as medicine makes little sense to me if the goal is to go mainstream and create acceptance in a country that’s already bombarded with commercials for anti-bacterial soap, and cold and flu remedies. We seem to be constantly subjected to fear-based messages that make us hyper-aware of all the dangers surrounding us. Having a medicine called Durban Poison or LSD doesn’t seem to me to be a step in the right direction.