Now that the sale, possession, and use of recreational cannabis have been legal in California for a full year, what’s happening with weed branding? Well, cannabis ads are still outlawed on San Francisco’s Muni buses, streetcars, and cable cars. On the other hand, I’ve been noticing a lot of outdoor advertising in strategic locations around the Bay Area: big, bold billboards near freeway on-ramps and bridges. Some are for companies that were founded before full legalization took effect on January 1, 2018, like Eaze (a delivery service) and Weedmaps (“a community where businesses and consumers can search and discover cannabis products, become educated on all things cannabis, review cannabis businesses and connect with other like-minded users”).
But one new brand caught my attention when I saw it on a billboard on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge: Blunts+Moore. Merely descriptive was my first thought. After all, blunt has been a slang term for “marijuana cigarette” for at least 30 years; the Random House Dictionary of Historical Slang connects it to Phillies Blunt*, a trademark in use since 1958 for a brand of inexpensive cigars.
But wait: there’s more. And also Moore.