There is no shortage of dumb ideas when it comes to the cannabis industry.
Does the world need a brand of cannabis endorsed by the heavy metal band Slipknot? Possibly not. Are we perhaps getting a tad overzealous with new and better vaporizer units seemingly being released on a daily schedule? You could make that argument. Sometimes, however, an idea so preposterously idiotic emerges as to wipe all potential competition off the table.
Earlier this month, such an unfortunate unicorn arrived in the form of Canna Bumps.
Packaged as a vial of white, THC-infused powder, it’s clear from the limited marketing shared by outraged social media users that the gist here is to give cannabis a cocaine makeover.
With 600mg of THC stuffed into every package, the legality of Canna Bumps as a California cannabis product also quickly came into question. That’s because edibles can only contain up to 100mg of THC per package by law, meaning Canna Bumps by default was legally considering itself as a concentrate. Though concentrates are indeed allowed to have up to 1,000mg of THC per package, the problem is that Canna Bumps is intended to be ingested, either via the nose or sprinkled onto food, which means they are edibles and thus totally illegal.
Putting aside that not insignificant aspect, the “poor taste” factor was another cause for concern.
In a post to Twitter decrying the concept, prominent cannabis publicist Alice Moon pointed out that Canna Bumps “even comes with a mini spoon for easy snorting and a card to break it up.”
“This is gross and not what I want to see in the cannabis industry!” Moon added.
In short order, Moon’s feelings were shared by many across Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Within a few days, Leafly’s Bruce Barcott would publish his own scathing rebuke of Canna Bumps as well.
Barcott’s argument against the product includes a salient concern about how easily products like Canna Bumps can be weaponized by those in favor of prohibition as evidence of the industry’s supposedly evil intentions.
“Products like Canna Bumps don’t merely offend the good taste of consumers and colleagues in the cannabis industry,” he writes. “They do real harm. They help keep cannabis illegal for hundreds of millions of Americans, thereby propping up the prison state, aiding in the arrest of 450,000 Americans every year, and ruining the lives and lifelong prospect of untold numbers of adults. They hurt medical marijuana patients and cannabis consumers across the nation.”
The crux of the issue, according to Barcott, is that items like Canna Bumps are quickly seized upon as fodder for “fear-mongering groups” like Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and Mel and Betty Sembler’s Drug Free America Foundation, which both regularly give anti-cannabis presentations at law enforcement functions and similar events.
“At some point,” he explains, “the speaker invariably flashes [to] slides of products like Canna Bumps or ‘Stoney Patch Kids’ to illustrate what legal cannabis stores are selling. It’s their money shot. In that moment, you can all but hear votes throughout the room flipping against legalization.”
And it doesn’t even matter that many times, such products are often illegal.
In the case of Canna Bumps, Barcott was able to get a statement from THC Living – the licensed California edibles manufacturer affiliated with the concept – which pegged the idea to a third-party while also confirming development of the product was now fully terminated.
That’s a welcome relief to those of us familiar with the wide array of high-quality cannabis products already available. Unfortunately, to Barcott’s point, despite the limited existence of Canna Bumps, screenshots of the product now exist, which inevitably means they will soon serve as slides meant to scare local lawmakers and law enforcement away from legalization.
That’s a pity, and a fully preventable one at that, given the solutions to ensure a viable legal market (which, in turn, would snuff out the traditional market once and for all) already exist.
Simply lower tax rates, reduce the barrier to entry, and stop tying interested parties up in years of impossible loans and complex licensing processes. A combination of those factors would all but guarantee that only legally-sound bad ideas are allowed to enter California’s cannabis marketplace.
But what about the stuff that manages to qualify as legal but still reeks of extremely poor taste?
In those cases, we do what we’d do in any other market: shame and, if necessary, boycott the company responsible. With Canna Bumps, it wasn’t even necessary to reach phase two as a tidal wave of digital shame proved sufficient to drown all hopes THC Living may have had of being the company that made doing choppers of cannabis ala “Scarface” the new norm.