It’s about time we raise a big question that’s been surrounding our industry for the last few years. What do we call the plant that we’re providing to our community?
While you may not be a cannabis connoisseur, or even a daily user, there’s a good chance you’ve heard more names for this plant than any other on the planet! Weed, marijuana, dope and Mary Jane are all common references to this medicinal plant, but what are you really supposed to call it?
For centuries, people have been using the cannabis plant to heal their minds and bodies through ceremonious and spiritual rituals, but it was only until the early 1930’s that in America, people began to look at the plant as a dangerous drug. In what some call an act of propaganda, Americans began to refer to the plant as ‘marihuana’, which is the Mexican Spanish word for cannabis. By using its name in a foreign language, leaders at the time helped deter popular culture from the drug, sparking fear instead of interest in the plant’s healing qualities.
As the cannabis plant became more widely known as a dangerous drug, many new names and references began to pop up as it became a black market commodity. Among them, you’d probably hear the term ‘pot’ and ‘weed’ being used most commonly.
At the turn of legalization in 2016, cannabis collectives and cannabis dispensaries began to appear across the state of California, and so too began a shift in public opinion. Cannabis was no longer an illicit drug that could be found only through a ‘weed dealer’ and their burner phone. People could go to a store and purchase cannabis legally (with cash only) and be completely free to consume in their homes without fear of arrest or fines.
With this legitimization and new legal status, we strongly believe that what we call the plant must encompass that legitimacy. If we were to continue calling a dispensary a “weed shop” or “marijuana shop”, we’re still in the same mindset as when the plant was illegal. In order for our society to move forward as a whole, we must use the proper name of the plant.
The scientific name for the plant is Cannabis, which is a genus of flowering plants in the family of Cannabaceae. We strongly encourage you to start using this name for the plant with friends and family, as it will help educate our community and the purpose cannabis serves.