The result is a Wild West environment of marijuana entrepreneurs trying to stake claims and establish cross-state markets using a patchwork of state laws.
Consumers have no way of knowing that celebrity-branded pot is any different from what they could get in a plastic baggie from a corner drug dealer.“You can’t go into federal court to get federal benefits if you’re a drug dealer,” said Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor who tracks marijuana law.That doesn’t mean that the pot business isn’t trying.
“We’re in a new industry, where the benefits of federal protection aren’t open to us,” said John Lord, CEO of LivWell, a 10-store chain of Colorado marijuana shops that recently entered an agreement to sell Leafs By Snoop, the entertainer’s new line of marijuana.
LivWell grows the Snoop pot alongside many other strains but charges up to $175 more an ounce for the rapper’s brand, which is sold from behind a glittery in-store display.
“Brand differentiation is the normal progression of events,” said Lord, who wouldn’t share sales figures on the Snoop pot but says its performance has been “outstanding.”
“Consumers will see more and more of this in the future.”