California’s state government has launched a new cannabis education program. The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC)’s “Get #weedwise” campaign is using digital advertising, social media, and old fashioned billboards to get the word out about the safe and unsafe uses of cannabis.

In particular, the program is focusing on the dangers of buying weed products from unlicensed vendors. Since legalizing cannabis last year, California has become one of the largest legal weed markets in the world, but there are still a lot of unlicensed vendors in it selling black market goods.

These black market sellers have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks after a rash of serious lung illnesses caused by using hash oil vape cartridges from unlicensed vendors.

Seven such users have been hospitalized for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in California since June. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention have identified 193 ARDS cases across 22 states, according to Rolling Stone.

The official BCC website says, “The ‘Get #weedwise’ campaign includes extensive outreach educating consumers about the risks associated with cannabis purchased from unlicensed businesses. The campaign also educates unlicensed businesses about the need to be licensed and the consequences of continuing to operate without a license.”

The BCC also recognizes that sometimes it can be a little hard to tell which cannabis shops are legal and which ones aren’t, which is why they’ve also provided the website www.CApotcheck.com, where you can check if your local spot is legit.

This mostly weed-positive education campaign is a stark contrast to the drug awareness campaigns of the past like D.A.R.E. It’s also probably very different from the marijuana education campaign which President Trump is apparently personally financing.

Photo via Flickr user Vaping360

Natalie