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Hegemonic Cannabis "Common Sense": The Exploitative rhetoric in Retail Cannabis Stores

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Cannabis common-sense comes from a stockpile of poor sources. As cannabis markets proliferate the country and cannabis media publications emerge, no one is willing to tell the truth. Bits of misinformation from the past bump up against the pretty packaging and deceitful rhetoric of Big Cannabis, all forming the current notion of a pervasive & hegemonic cannabis common-sense.

common sense cartoon
Example of a prevaling "common sense" in America.

In Capitalism & Consequences: Manufacturing Discontent & Resistance Noam Chomsky looks at the major media and what's missing. We can learn a lot more about the intent of the media publications, by asking what are we missing? What are they not saying... or in the words of George Orwell, what would it simply "not do to say?" I can think of a plethora of topics (most of what I've written on), as cannabis consciousness remains stuck at least a decade or so in the past. Here's one direct example proving ulterior motives, rather than informed consent.


When over ten thousand people read my article on 710 Labs gummies in one day, bringing very meaningful and proven criticism (journalism) to the market, major media declined to publish the piece. The exact words went something like this: "We have enough positive things to look at in cannabis and we avoid being critical of anyone," to which I responded: "And that's why no one reads your magazine anymore". This was an eye-opening event, similar to when I was asked how to smoke hash by a well-known judge the night before Emerald Cup judging... who now holds an event... (industry is truly a hilarious farce).

misinformed cannabis consumers
Meaningless terminology from the "yes-men" in dispensary stores.

"The control of the press by “wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics,” reinforced by the “general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact,” keeps the hegemonic common-sense in line with Multi-State-Operators and corporate cannabis brands".

Cannabis Common-Sense

Ignoring the falsities of labeling products sativa/indica, celebrity hype brands and strains, and seeking the highest THC percentages, all adding up to the market's common sense, let's just start at the top: Solvent Versus Solventless. I wrote the first of many articles that claimed the top Google search results, proving the need for consumer information. The main topic, the revolutionary theory and method now common to black markets, has barely been noticed by the mainstream cannabis press. These articles that explain solvent versus solventless and how and why the products differ, were written back in 2019-2020. It has taken over four years of fairly common availability and usage (along with over 100 articles here) before picking up on these revolutionary methods. And while they have finally shown a small light on the extract space, they fail to make the piece relevant or applicable to buyers. The reason being is what I've said again and again:

“You cannot grasp or understand the revolutionary Nature of solventless hash, without a direct comparison to the products and methods available and/or previously in use.”

Without this comparison (or admission), solventless methods fall flat on consumers. "So, you make your hash with ice, water, and pressure? Cool, but what does that mean?" I think you know by now what that means, but just in case you're a newer reader it means that whole cannabis flowers are used. Normal, right? Well it's more about what solventless isn't. It isn't bulk biomass of mixed cultivar trim and trash, (often contaminated) using harsh chemical solvents, which make a usable product of the lowest quality. The automatic ease of hydrocarbon extraction and further distillation enables large companies to ensure maximized profits, while chemical solvents are also used for contaminated cannabis remediation, thanks to those corporate friendly regulations in California (see regulatory capture).

comic of misinformed consumer thinking they have this understood.
Prevailing "common sense" is common, but doesn't make sense...

What It "Wouldn't Do to Say"

Consumers cannot imagine the depths this industry sinks to to make a profit through misinformed consumers and harsh chemical solvents. It's truly disgusting, beyond even my worst assumptions. However, this just wouldn't do to say. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England,” Orwell wrote, “is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without any need for any official ban" (try a shadow-ban or better yet, an algorithm). The control of the press (& social media) by “wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics,” reinforced by the “general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact,” keeps the hegemonic common-sense in line with corporate cannabis brands, while failing to shine the light on smaller producers who made the industry possible.

As a result, “Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.” In Chomsky words: "Relegated to the category of wild men in the wings, if noticed at all." Thankfully we have been noticed, but the material needs to reach many, many more. Unfortunately, the "hive-mind" aspect of social media continues to propagate the prevailing line of cannabis common-sense.

"If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion" (public opinion of paid advertisers). "In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves'' or warrants (Orwell). While buddying up to legislators who promise reform for the last decade, others such as myself, sat in prison on drug charges. Time's up. The gigs up.

Creating the Market Environment

With new markets popping up daily, the rampant greed outweighs understanding, creating the perfect market environment to maximize profits. For a plant so feared, you’d think proper education would be important, but that's just not lucrative. Considering "capital, when uninhibited by constraints against mobility, goes around the globe looking for the conditions that will maximize surplus value and profit. Historically, these have often included cheaper labor or resources, and/or more lucrative markets" (Chomsky). What could be more lucrative than capitalizing on corrections as well as brand new market space filled with misinformed consumers?

Without Federal legalization or declassification there can be no FDA approvals, in an attempt to prevent competition with big pharma. State legalization with half-ass markets to passify the duality in state and federal law.

Follow The Leader

And the great folly, of receiving your information from those who sell to you, is now accepted as "common sense". This despite the fact that many of today's brand owners often have no understanding of the products they produce. Looking to maximize profits, the facts and aspects of production detract from the quality of the product, but that wouldn't do to say. Corporations have already stolen cannabis and the industry from those who fought for it. People like myself remain cannabis felons, making employment difficult, but prevailing lines of ignorant cannabis common sense are deeply rooted, and now several years later, continues to prevail.

This hegemonic common sense is also used to discipline, instilling self-disciplined principles that change how we live and behave, but I’ll save that for my Foucault article coming next…


What You Can Do to Help

Please, send a copy of "The Hashish Manifesto" to all of your cannabis using friends. It's the message that will liberate consumers, answering all of the top questions while steering people away from the rumors, half-truths, and misinformation that comes standard in current hegemonic cannabis common-sense. Empower your people, while supporting and our continued work on the blog with every purchase.


Chomsky, Noam; Waterstone, Marv. Consequences of Capitalism (p. 40). Haymarket Books. Kindle Edition.

Orwell, George; Unpublished Preface to Animal Farm.


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