Come Jan. 1, flavored tobacco products — including blunt wraps — will be banned in the state of California. San Francisco issued a similar ban in 2017, and flavored tobacco has not been legally available for purchase in the city since July 27, 2018. Whether such bans are justified is fiercely debated, with advocates pointing to research that suggests bans curb youth smoking rates and the opposition claiming such bans are excessive or infringe on their personal autonomy. What is less understood, however, is what this ban will mean for blunt smoking culture.
In California, blunt culture has taken on a unique tenor. NorCal cannabis consumers have a long-held reputation of being “purists,” choosing products that get them as close to the plant as possible, without any bells and whistles, like flavor add-ins or brand-name packaging. NorCal natives that partook long before legalization — and especially those who discovered cannabis in the free-loving ’70s — tend to be distinctly aware of this reputation, if not proud of it. So when Gavin Newsom signed a bill to ban flavored tobacco throughout the state at the end of August, sources who spoke with SF Evergreen didn’t think it would be particularly disruptive to Bay Area cannabis culture. To those longtime stoners, especially, blunts are merely a fad for the kiddos.