Most of us want to know where our money's going before paying top-dollar for goods and services, but cannabis consumers aren't usually able to access that kind of info.
Historically, you talk to the dealer that's available, then buy whatever they have. Period.
Fortunately, that's changing. Companies like Flow Kana are emblematic of a shift in cannabis culture that's defying stoner stereotypes and empowering people to source their herb ethically. The San Francisco-based delivery startup - with its farm-to-table philosophy, sun-drenched profiles of independent famers, and product delivered in Pinterest-worthy mason jars - is giving consumers more say in how they participate in the cannabis industry.
For those accustomed to the gray market, there's a bit of cognitive dissonance when visiting the Flow Kana site. From the introductory tagline ("Experience the difference. Experience the best. Connoisseur cannabis straight from the farm to your home"), to the Leafly-style quiz tailoring the best strain for your preferred high, to product headings like "artisanal hash," the whole experience feels weirdly squeaky-clean, even good.
The way it should be, really, in light of the fact that legalization is sweeping the U.S. and possibly Canada, as well, depending on the outcome of the upcoming federal election that has the pro-legalization candidate currently leading in the polls.
Flow Kana isn't the only purveyor of fairly-traded cannabis. Potbox, also based out of the Bay Area, similarly endorses a farm-to-table approach to marijuana. Their best practices include official lab results outlining THC, CBD, and other chemical levels, information about where it was grown, its species, and genetics, so that you know exactly what's going into your body.
"Ethical cannabis is grown with the purest intention, with the well-being of the patient and the environment at heart," co-founder Evrett Kramer told BuzzFeed. "It's about carefully controlling all phases of the plant's life cycle and creating a sense of stewardship over the entire process.
"It's about respecting the rights and the livelihoods of the people who cultivate and harvest our cannabis. And it's about being 100 percent transparent in everything that we do so that our valued customers will never have to worry about where their medicine comes from, what it contains, how the plants were cared for, or how it gets from the field to their door each month."
When people can make an informed choice between a number of legit, vetted growers, the result will hopefully be both a better product and the decline of cartels that control the black market.
Added bonus? The death-knell for snarky think-pieces about how hipsters are a bunch of hypocrites for buying cannabis - which is something we can all feel good about.