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Berlin Public Transit Debuts Hemp-Infused Tickets

Berlin Public Transit Debuts Hemp-Infused Tickets

To alleviate the stress of holiday travel, Berlin’s public transit authority is offering passengers a special promotion: hemp-infused tickets.

The holidays are a time which finds many of us taking to the roads and skies to visit loved ones. It can be exhausting, certainly, and when one adds an ongoing pandemic into the equation, the prospect can start to feel downright foreboding. Whenever possible, using public transit remains a great way to buy yourself a breather while doing the planet a favor at the same time.

Such is the pitch being made by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin’s public transit authority, which is offering its customers a welcome dose of chill in the form of a promotion featuring hemp-infused tickets. The tagline? “The ticket which not only brings you home, but maybe also brings you down a bit.”

In a video advertising the campaign, featured scenes include a bus driver strolling through a hemp field and shots of a bus full of harvested hemp which has been hung to dry. Somewhat surprisingly, BVG’s video also includes footage of several riders literally nibbling on their tickets, which a transit official later confirmed was as far as anyone should go on that front.

“Of course, this is all to be taken with a twinkle in your eye,” BVG spokesman Jannes Schwentu told Reuters. “We do make very clear that anyone who wants to use the ticket as an actual ticket, please only nibble on it or eat it after your journey as if it has a bite out of it, it is no longer valid.”

Costing €8.80 a pop, each hemp-infused ticket is good for 24 hours of use, but beyond ensuring your ticket remains bite-free for the duration of your journey, there is one other caveat of note.

Despite imagery in the ad depicting transit goers literally levitating in a meditative state of bliss while in the middle of a subway car, the oil being used to coat these tickets is derived solely from the seeds of the cannabis plant. As a result, those tempted to take a chomp should be aware that their ticket to ride will include no traces of terpenes or cannabinoids like THC or CBD.

Title: Berlin Public Transit Debuts Hemp-Infused Tickets (PSA Screenshot)

The stunt is also not the first outside-of-the-box idea from the marketing team at BVG.

Previously, in 2018, the transit authority collaborated with shoemaker Adidas to release 500 pairs of limited-edition sneakers that doubled as a train pass good for a year’s worth of rides. Costing €180, the price reflected a massive discount when compared with BVG’s cheapest annual train pass (€728).

The design of the sneakers was similarly kept on brand, with The Verge noting the EQT Support 93/Berlin shoes featured “accents with the same vivid camouflage-type print seen on Berlin’s tram seats.” In pivoting from sneakers to hemp, BVG has once more proven that it definitely has a finger on the cultural pulse.

Making the timing of their latest campaign all the more notable is the fact that Germany’s newly sworn-in coalition government just committed to legalizing cannabis across the country in an announcement made in November.

At the moment, personal possession of cannabis in Germany is decriminalized but not yet fully legal. The country does support a medical marijuana program, though conversations among Germany’s ruling parties surrounding outright recreational legalization have been ongoing since at least 2017.

BVG, meanwhile, made it clear that they don’t view their promotion as an endorsement for drugs.

“We are against any kind of drug use—whether illegal or legal,” said the company in a statement. “We are for a more open approach to completely harmless substances. Hemp oil is in principle just as harmless as sunflower, pumpkin seed or olive oil.”

Though the two situations may have nothing to do with one another officially, even casual observers of the global cannabis industry can sense that something promising is growing in Germany — and beyond.

Indeed, there are pro-cannabis movements gaining momentum across Eastern Europe, as Marijuana Moment detailed:

“In neighboring Luxembourg, the ministers of justice and homeland security unveiled a legalization proposal in October. It will still require a vote in the Parliament, but it’s expected to pass. Meanwhile, Malta’s Parliament voted this week to legalize marijuana, setting up the country as the first in Europe to enact the reform. The president is expected to sign the legislation within days.”

These efforts are joined by other international progress on the pot reform front.

As Bloom & Oil recently reported, Mexico and Panama are also in the midst of legalization efforts. Additionally, there is also reason for optimism when it comes a more weed-friendly future for the European nations of Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland, according to a new report from Forbes.

In the interim, BVG’s hemp-infused ticket gamble certainly stands as a most unusual new addition to the ever-widening world of cannabis-related edibles.

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