Moving Beyond Medical - terminology and the retail path of cannabis

In 1996 California voters passed prop 215, the right to access medical marijuana.  Since then, many other states have adopted similar laws and/or moved beyond to full legalization and taxation. With prop 64 recently passed in California, and similar cannabis legalization efforts happening in Nevada and a flurry of other states, it begs the question of why we still speak in a terms that’s best suited for hospitals.  Why do we keep using medical terms when talking about cannabis?

Dispensary, recommendation, patients, clinic, etc. We’ve been living under the guise of semi-legality for over 20 years and with legalization of marijuana at hand, it’s time to shift that language from medicinal to retail.  Continuing to keep medical language hurts the possible brand connections that farmers/growers could create.  

When you walk into a CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid pharmacy and get a generic antibiotic, you know nothing about the manufacturer of that pill - only it’s effects and outcomes. Medical marijuana is currently the same. When purchasing a strain, you’re essentially buying a house brand without any insight into its growth conditions.  With a pill, not knowing is ok, generally all manufacturing conditions should be the same, however, with cannabis the growing process can differ significantly.  Indoor vs. outdoor grow, pesticides, soil conditions, water, and the like can all cause major differences in the same product. By continuing to buy/sell under the disguise of medication, we limit the knowledge of how our flower was grown and keep it ‘generic.’

While marijuana has a strong and significant medical application, we should start removing those terms for retail purposes well before the ability to sell legalling in this state. Being one of the first movers for medical cannabis, we should join alongside of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and the rest to usher in new terminology for the retail space.  Instead of dispensary or clinic how about pot shop, replace patients with customers, and let’s just all throw recommendations out the window. The future of cannabis advertising is in these terms. What other terms would you like to see replaced? Let us know!