Ask a Stoner: Why Do Weed Products Vary So Wildly State to State?

Dear Stoner: I’ve had the same Cookies strains in four states, and they’re all extremely different. How can that be?

Dear Donahey: Dispensaries carry many of the same strains and brands from state to state, but similarities often end at the strain name or product label for a couple of reasons: Strains vary exponentially depending on the cultivator and growing environment, and securing the same plant genetics from California to New Jersey is still a crime, thanks to federal prohibition. Cannabis businesses have to jump through hoops in order to appear in new states, and often must grow or manufacture products in each state in order to maintain primary control.
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Jacqueline Collins
There are occasional brands, like 710 Labs, that only expand after they secure their own production setups, but that doesn’t enable growth at the speed most capitalists would like to see. To step around interstate trafficking laws, cannabis companies usually agree to licensing deals with other growers, extractors or edible makers in new states or countries as legalization spreads, with branding and product information provided in exchange for a fee or sales percentage. This strategy leads to flower, hash and vape products that are similar but rarely identical to those of the mothership. Edibles, which are less dependent on plant genetics, are the only dispensary product of note coming close to universal standards across the country.

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