Stop Buying from Your Dealer! Support Legal and Local | Interview with Evan Adcock, CEO of Verda Innovations
With consumers still on the fence about where to source their cannabis from, we turn to the true reasons why cannabis is being legalized, the very real risks that come from unregulated goods, and how we can show our support for legalization in our very own communities.
With few advocates nation-wide chiming in on why supporting legal cannabis retailers is so important in this day and age, Evan Adcock, CEO and Co-founder of Verda Innovations brings to light why consumers, who are still purchasing cannabis from illegal distributors, need to be aware of other factors that come into play before sending the next text to their dealers.
Before Canada took the leap toward federal legalization, understanding how you got your hands on cannabis through the illicit market was an interesting concept. You’d meet up with a stranger that maybe you’ve never met before, exchange money for marijuana, and then cut ties afterward. It was the reality back then, however, times are changing. With cannabis legalized at the federal level in Canada, citizens can now talk and use cannabis freely nation-wide. The main idea behind legalization was to eradicate the illicit market by taking profits out of the hands of criminals and putting those profits back into the local economy.
One year after-the-fact and we haven’t seen much change in how people source their cannabis. In fact, more than 70% of cannabis sales are still sourced from the illicit market; everyone has a local source and with the higher price point, legal cannabis hasn’t piqued the interest of the already frequent cannabis users that not only purchase at a lower cost but can also request on-demand home delivery. It’s because of this that the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) lost money in their first year of operation. Charging a premium and offering mail-order cannabis with a 3–5 day delivery window just wasn’t enticing enough for consumers.
Understanding the caliber that accessibility and convenience offer and how this model prospers in the illicit market, governments are actively negotiating regulations to allow for the legal market to operate just the same. Converting the average cannabis user to source their cannabis through a legal outlet versus their long-time dealer will need to be a stride toward a modern retail approach.
As illicit market cannabis products spike health concerns and press debuts throughout 2019, the biggest takeaway toward buying legal-grade cannabis is the attention to safety and quality assurance. With seed-to-sale tracking backing legal cannabis, the details pertaining to your purchase are shown with complete transparency. The customer has access to information such as the type of strain, terpenes, cannabinoids content, and an environment that provides a safe and educational customer experience.
We recognize that, yes, most of the time your weed isn’t laced with something like fentanyl, but we know people who have gotten tainted products before and were either rushed to the hospital or the experience was so terrible that they now have heightened anxiety and aren’t open to trying cannabis again.
In our eyes, and for the sake of the cannabis industry, it’s definitely a call-to-action that you need to know where your cannabis came from to know that it’s truly safe to consume so these kinds of incidents won’t happen to you.
Supporting your local cannabis retail shops is integral
By continuing to buy from ‘your guy’ means that you’re funding an unknown entity. Who knows who the money actually goes to, and who’s running the whole operation. The illicit market owns a good portion of cannabis sales worldwide, and they live and breathe by capitalizing on cutting corners with cannabis, and because there haven’t been other ways to obtain it, they’ve earned billions of dollars — all dollars that our community will never see again.
Even though the cost is a bit higher, you can be at ease knowing that the money is going back into local operations. For instance, in Colorado, the extra amount that you pay funds educational programs and police initiatives, both aimed at making cannabis a safer topic in communities. Plus, as more people come around to buying legally, other governments will follow suit.
Logistically it’s tough to get a retail license to sell cannabis. We know that some governments operate with a lottery-based system, making it a huge win to obtain a license and open-shop, and some are based on specific programs like social equity to get a license — every region is different. The important thing is going to be supporting these retailers who have earned a license — these are the people who care about and are invested in the well-being of the community and its future.
People across North America have said ‘legalize it’ for years, and now that it’s really gaining traction in the world, and federal legalization in the U.S. is underway, more people need to start supporting the transition. By investing in legal cannabis from these retailers who’ve won licenses, we’re showing them that we support them for taking the leap toward making cannabis safer and more accessible for everyone.
Measures are Being Taken to Ensure Safe Legal Delivery
If a person you barely know comes knocking on your door, do you feel safe? There are many unknowns that come into play — You don’t know what the driver’s background is, whether they’re the right person to come to your door, or where the products came from. Illicit operations run a huge risk to yourself and your loved ones by opening your door to these unknowns.
In the legal scope, governments are aiming to make this part of the process as safe as possible. For instance, in Massachusetts, regulations are going as far as to require body cameras for delivery people as well as surveillance to be situated in their vehicles to watch the products onboard while they make the delivery.
You want to be sure that you’re not handing out your personal information, like your ID, phone number, or address to a strange person you’ve never met before that is coming to your front door. It’s these details that may seem small but truly matter when it comes to your safety and they’re often overlooked or taken for granted when it comes to the illicit market.
It’s these reasons why buying legal cannabis from local dispensaries is going to be more crucial than ever, especially as governments stride toward federal legalization.
We believe that you should be able to relax and enjoy cannabis without worrying about the safety and quality of your products or the process that you go through to get them. And that’s why you’re not just buying legal pot, but really you’re investing in your community, in the hard work put in by recreational license holders, investing in safety, quality, and the peace of mind knowing that you can enjoy consuming cannabis without risking your health or the safety of your friends and loved ones.
We encourage everyone to support local dispensaries and to buy legal cannabis, and one day, cannabis will not only be safe to consume, but it will be something just as common as having a beer at the end of your day. Cannabis shouldn’t be feared but enjoyed.
Verda Innovations, coined as the first company in Canada to develop a legal cannabis delivery app is a cannatech startup from Waterloo, Ontario. All three founders are young entrepreneurs and share a passion to eliminate illicit cannabis and end underage use through technology. Built compliant with governments across Canada and the U.S., and with safety and convenience at the forefront of the user experience, Verda combines the security and regulations of the legal market as well as the accessibility and convenience of the illicit market.