A Look At Cannabis Pop-Ups In Big Cities- Even Where Cannabis Is Illegal


     There's no feeling quite like being in an illegal state and being at an open-air cannabis market. You feel equal parts paranoid, an...

    There's no feeling quite like being in an illegal state and being at an open-air cannabis market. You feel equal parts paranoid, and at ease; scared, but safe. After all, you're surrounded by people selling, nobody cares about the guy just buying. Right? Besides, it'd just be a simple possession charge...

These are some of the things that race through your mind.

Cannabis pop-ups. They've become a controversial issue in states and cities where the drug is still illegal. These pop-ups, which are essentially underground markets for cannabis, have been on the rise in recent years as more and more states and cities legalize the drug for medical or recreational use. While some see these pop-ups as a way to access cannabis in areas where it is not yet legal, others view them as illegal and harmful to both individuals and society.

One of the main arguments for the proliferation of cannabis pop-ups is that they provide access to a substance that has been shown to have numerous medical benefits. Many people who use cannabis for medical purposes are unable to obtain it legally, either because it is not yet available in their state or because they cannot afford the cost of obtaining a prescription. Pop-ups allow these individuals to access cannabis at a lower cost, often through the black market.

I just had a chat with my pal, M, the other day- she's a pop-up operator out here in Houston and has been at this for years. She let me ask a few questions to get a day-in-the-life shot of what she does and why she does it.

Me: Can you tell me a little bit about what you do? I know I see you all the time but lay it on me from your perspective.

M: Sure! I work here in Houston where weed's not legal, but it is "decriminalized" in that they mostly leave us the fuck alone. Nobody is arresting anybody for smoking weed here in Houston. I sell a bunch of different cannabis products, including flower, edibles, concentrates, and anything with THC really. My main method of sale is at events, usually two-three times a week.

Interviewer: Is this your full-time job?

M: Yes it is. This is how I support myself.

Interviewer: How do you source your products?

M: I work with a network of suppliers who produce and distribute only high-end pot. I'm selective about the products I sell. If you sell junk people remember and don't come back. I also go out of my way to properly label and packaged everything so nobody is caught surprised.

Interviewer: What do you do to make sure you don't end up on the wrong side of the police?

M: We take a number of steps to ensure the safety of our operation. First and foremost, we only sell to adults who are over the age of 21, they worried about kids, not adults. We also don't save messages, don't carry more than what's ordered, and try everything to minimize trouble. We just want to sell some weed and go home.

Interviewer: Totally. Do you think pop-ups are essential in states where the drug is still illegal or just a nice bonus?

M: It's essential not just for the customers but for us. We make our living this way, and anyone out here is putting their safety on the line. It's life for us.

Not only is M super conscious about the safety and happiness of her people, but she's also worried about the overall image they receive as well.

There are also valid concerns about the safety and legality of these pop-ups, which concern customers and operators alike. Because they operate outside the legal system, they are not subject to the same regulations and oversight as licensed dispensaries. This means that the quality and safety of the cannabis being sold at these pop-ups is uncertain, and there is a risk of it being contaminated or otherwise unsafe. In addition, the sale and possession of cannabis is still illegal in many states, meaning that individuals who participate in these pop-ups are breaking the law. One of the challenges with these markets is that they operate in a legal gray area. While some states have begun to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use, others have not yet followed suit. This means that individuals who participate in these pop-ups may not be breaking state laws, but they could still be violating federal laws. This can create confusion and uncertainty for both consumers and law enforcement, as it is unclear what is and is not legal.

Another issue with cannabis pop-ups is that they can be difficult to regulate and control. Because they operate outside the legal system, it can be challenging for authorities to monitor the quality and safety of the cannabis being sold at these pop-ups. This can lead to issues such as contaminated products or products that do not meet safety standards, which can be harmful to consumers. It can also make it difficult for authorities to track and enforce laws against illegal cannabis sales, as these pop-ups are often operating in secret.

Despite these challenges, cannabis pop-ups continue to thrive in many states and cities where the drug is still illegal. This is often due to a lack of legal alternatives for those who want to access cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. In many cases, these individuals have few options other than to turn to the black market to obtain the drug, which can be risky and potentially harmful. One potential approach to addressing the challenges of pop-ups is through the development of alternative models for the distribution and sale of cannabis. For example, some states have implemented a system of "cannabis clubs," which allow individuals to grow and distribute cannabis within a closed network of members. While these clubs may not be able to offer the same range of products and services as licensed dispensaries, they can provide a way for people to access cannabis in a more controlled and regulated environment.

Regardless of the approach taken, it is clear that addressing the challenges of cannabis pop-ups will require a nuanced and thoughtful approach that takes into account the complex and often conflicting interests of different stakeholders. This will likely involve a combination of legal reform, regulatory oversight, and innovative alternatives that seek to balance the needs of consumers, the industry, and the broader community. By finding a way to navigate these challenges, it may be possible to create a more sustainable and equitable system for the distribution and use of cannabis.

The best people to include in those conversations? Those already doing the work.

As a pop-up vendor myself, I can tell you that the small business owners working with cannabis at these events have the passion and drive to inherit the industry sort of speak here in Texas when things become legal. I myself just sell glass (insert shameless ineedapipe.com plug here), but I feel blessed to even get to work around these anti-prohibitionist entrepreneurs. They deserve it.



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stuckingfoners: A Look At Cannabis Pop-Ups In Big Cities- Even Where Cannabis Is Illegal
A Look At Cannabis Pop-Ups In Big Cities- Even Where Cannabis Is Illegal
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