Vacationers looking to get high, even where cannabis is legal, should expect buying marijuana to be a bit more involved than a curbside transaction outside some tourist trap.
For the past several years, curiously decorated trucks, vans, and RVs, adorned with marijuana leaves and red-eyed cartoon characters have been popping up in touristy areas of big cities, such as NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. These trucks sell baked goods, leading buyers to assume they contain THC, or sometimes CBD. In nearly all cases, neither compound is prevalent. These trucks operate in a nexus of indifference, free speech, and naive out-of-towners.
Many of these vehicles belong to World Weed Candies, a company started in New York City in 1999, and whose aim, according to their website, is marijuana and hemp legalization advocacy. Officially, the company says that their confections and baked goods do not contain THC and complies with all laws. Nowhere on the website does it say their products contain CBD, although customers have reported being told otherwise, and in at least one instance, a spokesperson for the company said their products contain CBD.
Under most circumstances, selling fake drugs is also a crime, but policing tourist areas means looking out for a multitude of crimes, and stopping a van from selling bunk edibles to gullible tourists is likely far down the list of offenses given priority.
How is the fake edible business lucrative enough to endure 20 years? Likely for the same reasons all hustles aimed at tourists still thrive: Many travelers are looking for new experiences and are more likely to take chances. The fake edibles are priced from $5 to $20, a paltry sum compared to what many tourists spend a day on some vacations. Alcohol might also play a factor, giving tipsy tourists enough nerve to buy a pot brownie should the opportunity present itself.
Vacationers looking to get high, even where cannabis is legal, should expect buying marijuana to be a bit more involved than a curbside transaction outside some tourist trap. Tokers on a trip should at a minimum do some research on how to purchase legal weed at their destination, or enlist friendly locals. Finally, if something sounds too good to be true, like being able to buy magic brownies out of a van, then it probably is.