The legal marijuana industry in California has been grappling with a number of challenges, chief of which is how to stamp out the illicit operators in the state. On Friday, the state launched a public campaign aimed at educating the public about the dangers associated with cannabis from the black market.
The “Get #Weedwise” campaign is intended to encourage people to only buy marijuana from the regulated market. The campaign will also send out warnings to the illegal operators to either get licensed or close shop.
In a press release, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) chief, Lori Ajax, said that this campaign is the first of its kind and it will educate members of the public about the differences between the weed obtained from licensed operators and that from the illicit market.
For example, the BCC will tell people that marijuana from licensed sources has been tested to ascertain its potency, purity and safety. In this regard, one of the ads states that “What is in your weed shouldn’t be a mystery. Buy legal cannabis only.”
The multilingual messages used in this campaign will be disseminated using a variety of methods so that the information reaches “as many eyeballs as possible.”
Many of those messages will be beamed out on digital platforms telling consumers that the marijuana on the black market is potentially tainted with fecal matter, pesticides and mold.
Businesses will also be reached during this campaign. Messages will be sent out warning that cash and illegal goods will be seized if those unlicensed businesses continue operating. The campaign will also provide an expedited way for illicit businesses that wish to become legal to get licensed.
This public campaign is expected to cost at least $1.7 million. More money will be injected into the “Get #Weedwise” campaign as time goes by.
This public campaign comes at a time when there are ongoing battles between the state and local authorities which have not only banned the opening of cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions but are also trying to block the delivery of cannabis from areas where businesses exist.
The few local authorities which have allowed cannabis businesses to operate are choking under the weight of illegal operators. This is the very reason why licensed operators in Los Angeles have formed a coalition to put pressure on the state government to act more decisively against the black market operators.
The step taken by California is likely to be welcomed by all in the industry, including players like Hemptown USA and Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) since it will help to bring marijuana further into the mainstream.
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