People are getting in their cars or boarding planes and enjoying travel this year. According to the U.S. Travel Association, traveling is up 4% over 2019. Airports were a bit wild on Memorial Day weekend as people want to go and do. But intermingled with new experience people like also find comfort in things they know like Starbucks Coffee, Cracker Barrel breakfast, tried and true fast foods, and favorite edibles.
When you travel, you might find the same edible by the same brand, but is it exactly the same? After all, a Hershey bar in Texas is the same as in Toronto, Honolulu and New York City. It is a complicated answered mired in a slow moving Congress.
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Adult-use marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and interstate commerce between the states regulating the industry is not allowed. Rumors on Capitol Hill say once SAFE Banking passes, interstate commerce will be next. Even if just for connected states like California/Oregon/Washington or New York/New Jersey.
This is a bigger challenge than it seems since federal regulations dictate that legal, regulated cannabis products can only be sold within the same state where they are manufactured, from the seed to grow to the facility where the gummy is produced, packaged and distributed, to the dispensary where you buy the product. Product companies cannot make their products from one hometown facility and then ship the finished product around the world.
This was a tricky situation but early leaders like Dixie Elixers (then known as Dixie Brands) took a page from McDonalds and Burger King and begin finding licensees to make exactly the same product in other states. Sort of a franchise model with tight control over quality.
Now this is tougher than it sounds. Some companies do it very well, think McDonalds. Other companies, like Dairy Queen are a bit more loosey goose.
Colorado based Wana Brands, which prides itself on quality control and has products in 15 states and Canada is more like McDonalds. Wana was sold to Canopy Grow, which has the alcohol giant Constellation Brands behind them. Their CEO, Nancy Whiteman, has the knowledge, runway and strength to ensure quality products from all their production products.
Not every company can do this and it makes it even harder for small startups to succeed. Think building a solid product and having trouble moving it out of your midsized state.
Another issue is fake products. Green Market Report did an article from industry sources. They share despite the continued prohibition of interstate commerce for cannabis, legally produced and packaged marijuana products from California are increasingly making their way to hundreds of smoke shops and bodegas in New York City. When questioned about where he’d obtained the goods, a proprietor said it from what’s known as a “burner distro” in California. In layman’s terms, he got it from a licensed California distribution company that willingly broke state law by shipping legal cannabis out of state.
It is also rumored some of the “verified California products” sold in NYC are knocks offs. Not unlike the Channel and Guccci bags on Canal Street.
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So if you are traveling this summer you have a couple of options. One, try something new or, if you have to have a favorite, go online and see where they sell their product around the US and Canada.