Last fall, the Obama Administration made history when it announced that it would not file lawsuits against Washington State and Colorado to prevent them from allowing the legal sale of recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1, 2014. But in making that announcement, the U.S. Justice Department listed several areas that it would continue to monitor in those states that allow the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. Among them: harshly prosecuting anyone who allows pot to end up in the hands of minors.
With that in mind, a Santa Ana company called Kush Bottles, Inc. is marketing its product–baby-safe marijuana containers–as a way for dispensaries to ensure that we don't see an epidemic of high toddlers now that the war on weed seems to be reaching a somewhat fuzzy end.
According to a press release issued by Kush Bottles, which calls its product “The Official Bottle of the Marijuana Industry,” the company is the largest distributor of child-resistant pot packaging in the country. The release cites a recent Denver Post headline that seems to suggest there's a need for baby-proof bottles in Colorado: “Pot Shops Struggle to Find Child Resistant Bags.”
“There is simply no excuse for dispensary operators to use non-compliant or inferior packaging, especially when CPSC-tested containers utilizing FDA-approved materials are readily available,” Nicholas Kovacevich, the chief operating officer of Kush Bottles says in the release. “We have invested a great deal of time and money in packaging design, testing and approvals, to be able to provide the public and Colorado dispensary operators with a range of products that meet or exceed all requirements for child safe packaging,” he added.
The feds have already raided dispensaries in Colorado that appeared to have ties to Colombian drug traffickers–working with organized crime is another Bozo No-No the Justice Dept. mentioned as an enforcement priority. So dispensaries know they're being watched closely and given that the least they could do is put their weed in baby-proof bottles, Kovacevich could be on to something.
“The marijuana industry is now in the spotlight as never before,” he says, “and it is imperative that dispensary operators and ancillary businesses conduct themselves in a fully compliant and ethical manner, and not seek shortcuts at this critical time when the eyes of the world are upon our every step.”
Someday, growers of California's biggest cash crop may be free to pursue free markets by exporting marijuana to other states. Until then, there's Kush Bottles.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).