[Editor’s Note: Weed that’s been tested is so much more preferred than possibly inhaling or ingesting random toxins. Say yes, to putting illegal dealers out of existence.]
A Las Vegas dispensary aims to convince pot lovers to keep it legal with its new BMK weed.
One rationale for legalizing marijuana is that the move will put criminals out of business. After all, if you can walk into a nice, comfortable dispensary with good air conditioning and government-sanctioned weed on display — where you know exactly what you are getting and what the potency of the pot will be — why would you still buy from the sketchy dude who bikes to your house, carries a backpack full of contraband bud and presses you to hear his band’s latest jam?
Maybe the customers are already high or in the mood to gamble with their mellow, but many potheads would rather give their money to an illicit dealer than to a licensed operator. A study done in California shows that 18 percent of people surveyed bought black-market marijuana even though they could have bought it legally at a dispensary.
Last year, Fox 5 in Las Vegas (where marijuana was legalized in July 2017) reported that a combination of lower costs and deceptiveness keep the rogue dealers in business. “There are taxes and overhead [at dispensaries],” Eric Calhoun, a lieutenant with Las Vegas’ narcotics unit told Fox 5. Plus, he added, “[Illegal sellers] make it look like they’re [legit] businesses but they’re not.”
Now Sin City dispensary Acres Cannabis is taking action, trying to convince pot lovers to keep it on the up-and-up and providing the product that might make it happen. A billboard near the Vegas Strip, put up by Acres, promotes its weed brand called BMK. The initials stand for Black Market Killer (which comes in 10 different strains that produce varying effects) and the sign admonishes cannabis aficionados to, “Ditch your dealer, stop into a dispensary.”
But how do you convince somebody to get rid of the friendly neighborhood pot-pusher who charges less money than the dispensary and has established a long-standing personal relationship? You compete where it really matters. “With BMK, we lowered the price point to effectively kill the black market,” John Mueller, CEO of Acres Cannabis told The Post. “It’s sun-grown rather than grown in a 10,000-square-foot indoor facility. That helps us cut the cost to $25 per one-eighth of an ounce.”
Epicurean weed — usually with higher amounts of THC and a more manicured appearance — often goes for twice that price.
Acres is distributing its box-wine equivalent, packaged in generic-looking containers, to other dispensaries in Nevada and hoping to establish it as the everyday smoke of choice. “Our bud tenders tell us that they bring BMK to parties, and keep the fancier cannabis at home for themselves; just like you put your fine bottle of Cabernet on a top shelf and save it for a special occasion,” Mueller said. “After taxes, BMK might be slightly higher than the black market stuff. But our cannabis is government approved and stringently tested for purity. It won’t contain e-coli or salmonella like the black market pot sometimes does. The idea is to put out a product that eliminates poop-weed, as we call it.”
And perhaps, so that nobody forgets that the world of cannabis dealing has roots in a rough and tumble world, Mueller’s Cannabis Acres colleague, Kevin Forde, told News3LV that he intends “no disrespect to the hustle” while he describes the billboard as a “community friendly reminder; sort of a brick-through-the-window approach.”
Image Courtesy Acres Cannabis/BMK