Oregon Bans Marijuana Strain Names that Appeal to Children

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, who oversees the marijuana program in Oregon has banned marijuana strains that have names that may appeal to children. Some of the strains in question were names like “Girl Scout Cookies” and “Death Star.” The Commission’s argument was that 20 of the strains need to be renamed because the names were already used in science fiction and/or toy manufacturers. Outrage amongst the cannabis community ensued after the notice with claims that the industry is being singled out, as a method of control.

There is no such regulation to alcohol where the marketing restrictions are stopping a brand from using a name, other than intellectual property laws. The aim of this legislation is to ensure that the children of the world are not more attracted to marijuana, based on the name. In any new industry, regulators have to ensure they enact rules to help control the growth and help shape the landscape, especially in an adult use product. What do you think?

A week ago, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) passed a temporary rule that forbids the use of certain cannabis strain names in the marketing and packaging of cannabis products for sale. Included in the ban are such popular strains as “Girl Scout Cookies” and “Charlotte’s Web”.

(OLCC) The Commission’s current rules allow it to regulate marijuana strain names attractive to minors but not those marketed by minors such as “girl scout cookies”. The action directs staff at OLCC to fairly implement criteria to restrict a narrow set of strain names that refer to cartoon characters, or are names associated with toys and games marketed to or by children. The Commissioners and OLCC staff have reviewed a listing of about 500 marijuana strain names and believes the rule would apply to less than 20 strains.

Because the Girl Scouts sell boxes of cookies that children might like, a childproof package of herb sold in an adults-only store where IDs are checked cannot say “Girl Scout Cookies”, “Platinum Girl Scout Cookies”, or “Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies”.

Because kids are fans of a popular science-fiction movie franchise set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the adults who are the only ones allowed in a pot shop set 1,000 feet away from schools can no longer choose “Death Star”, “Skywalker OG”, or “Jedi Kush” from the menu of cannabis buds being offered for sale.

Because the little ones played a silly, simple board game, Oregon pot shops can no longer distribute a flower called “Candyland” to the drinking-age Oregonians who were carded for their adult purchase.

OLCC also banned strain names that reference illegal drugs, like “Blow”, “LSD”, and “Green Crack”. Because somebody who happens upon a container of herb with those labels on it will be likely to think the state has legalized cocaine and acid and is now infusing cannabis with them.

Now don’t you worry. This need to protect children from pot sellers who aren’t allowed to advertise in mediums where children make up a significant percentage of the audience only applies to the cannabis products that are sold in opaque buildings in opaque containers to adults who’ve had their identification checked. It does not apply to other products that are harmful to children and marketed in a way that’s appealing to them.

Your favorite adult alcohol products will still be allowed to advertise on the Super Bowl, because kids hate superstar athletes and the games they play. Fast food companies will still offer special packages of salt, fat, sugar, and a kid’s toy, marketed with images from popular super hero movie franchises, because children pay no attention to the latest Marvel or DC characters until they’re used to sell weed. The supermarket cereal aisle will still get to use cartoons to peddle the boxes of sugar and carbs they call breakfast, because youngsters instinctively prefer oatmeal for a healthy breakfast.


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Brian Wroblewski

Brian Wroblewski has a passion for writing, travel, food and family. Since working in and around the cannabis industry since 2008, Brian brings a unique perspective to the cannabis journalism space. With a focus on emerging brands, moving the cannabis industry forward and an undeniable passion for truth in business and journalism, find some of Brian's posts across the web on digital marketing, cannabis and a variety of different topics.

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