Now that selling cannabis is a professional industry and mostly legal, some dispensaries and even states are considering changing the names of some of the plant’s more controversial names. Green Crack, Alaskan Thunder Fuck, and Alien Asshat are a few of the strains that aren’t exactly professional, while Girl Scout Cookies, Charlotte’s Web, and Cinderella’s Dream have names that could appeal to children, causing family-oriented consumers and potential customers to steer clear of the plant completely or choose to support its ban/restricted laws against it.
In September of 2016, Oregon passed a temporary law banning strains that sound as if they could be marketed to kids and teens. Their law stated:
“(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.”
Would this be a problem for dispensaries or cultivators? Does a strain name define the strain? What’s certain is that marketing could potentially fail if a cannabusiness doesn’t consider the community they’re selling in. Convincing voters to agree that cannabis is a safe alternative is one aspect of eliminating prohibition. However, badly named strains could decrease the herb’s acceptance.
*Read our article Marijuana Strain Names to learn why cannabis names are essential to both their popularity and success in sales.
While something like Matanuska Thunder Fuck might not appear in many dispensaries, those that wish to sell a strain with a taboo name may want to consider renaming it to not only increase sales, but avoid enforcing negative stigmas against the plant. (Though I’ve considered controversial names might actually increase sales regarding those that don’t mind & buy cannabis regardless - it still can deter communities.)
How can we decide what a strain should be renamed? That’s going to be a battle fought by the cultivators. But will changing a name change its “identity”? If communities choose to ban names such as Scooby Snacks or Girl Scout Cookies, both being well-known across the nation, it will be a sad day for the responsible consumers that enjoy these strains. However, the safety of children should be our first concern. Some would argue they never allow their kids to see their paraphernalia or bud, but there are others out there that raise their children around the herb.
Should controversial strain names be renamed? How should they earn their new name?