For a proper column, I have to complain about something, and there’s not much to be mad about when you spend a great deal of time grubbing edibles.
“Chris, it’s that time of year again when you’re supposed to write about weed.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. “I write about weed all the time.”
“No doubt about it,” my Dig teammates reminded me. “But this is the issue where you pull out all of the stops. Think lots of green from front to back, and your column’s like a gateway drug.”
“Oh, of course,” I said. But then I thought about it …
Do I really still have stuff to whine about regarding cannabis? Less than 10 years ago, I used to basically be limited to whatever strain or two my neighborhood dealer had. Now there is a smorgasbord near every highway off-ramp.
Furthermore, we already make it a point to cover social equity and independent businesses extensively, week after week, and we do all sorts of product reviews too.
I snapped back to and returned the conversation, “The problem is that you want me to write a column. For a proper column, I have to complain about something, and there’s not much to be mad about when you spend a great deal of time grubbing edibles.”
“We’re sure that you will find something to throw a rock at,” my colleagues assured. “Now go get stoned and then come back with an idea.”
And so I did. But instead of simply getting high, I drove around to some dispensaries in Greater Boston over the next couple of days, picking up items to sample. I met some helpful budtenders along the way, still I kept running into a hurdle that I’ve mentioned in this space before. Specifically, I really can’t believe that pot shops don’t have product shots of the items we’re purchasing; instead, we’re still getting generic pics of buds and concentrates, not to mention frequently inaccurate descriptions. Consumers are basically buying on the strength of packaging and branding, and that’s unfortunate.
“Tough shit,” some might argue. “How is a liquor store any different? Do you know what the craft beers you’re buying look like inside of the can?”
Which is a decent point, even though most craft breweries, unlike the majority of cannabis product manufacturers, post pictures of their products on their own sites and social media pages. At the same time, beer, wine, and liquor stores can offer samples, something you won’t see next weekend (March 18 to 20) at NECANN Boston due to silly prohibitionist restrictions in commonwealth cannabis law.
So until a budtender in Mass can pass me a one-hitter loaded with their newest strain or keep a candy dish out on the counter with five-milligram freebies, the least that they can do is provide an actual photo of the pricey drugs we’re buying.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.