Colorado’s legal weed green rush has brought in millions of dollars to state coffers and created thousands of jobs in the three years since voters approved recreational adult use marijuana. With the local industry growing steadily, Colorado’s cannabis jobs aren’t just for budtenders or extraction technicians - legal weed has also created a boom for businesses making non-cannabis products that cater to the same billion dollar market. But while the state’s legal weed businesses worry about Jeff Sessions and a possible federal crackdown, one non-cannabis company has been almost entirely halted by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s interpretation of federal marijuana prohibition.
According to the Daily Camera, Boulder based Stashlogix, the maker of smell-proof containers made for cannabis, has had all of their product labeled “drug paraphernalia” and seized by the federal agency.
"I thought of all the things that do get through — vaporizers, bongs — we'd be one of the last to get flagged," Stashlogix founder Skip Stone said. "We're not sure if it's just bad luck or a sign of things to come."
Customs confiscated 1,000 stash boxes on their way into the U.S. and has instructed Stone that his products will no longer be able to enter the country. Under federal regulations, drug paraphernalia is considered “any equipment, product or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance."
And while the Stashlogix boxes might fall under the arch of “concealing,” the product has no cannabis-themed labeling or insignia. For Customs and Border Patrol, though, a number of reviews on popular marijuana websites was enough to consider the bag a drug-themed product worthy of confiscation.
"Standing alone, the Stashlogix storage case can be viewed as a multi-purpose storage case with no association with or to controlled substances.” Border patrol officials wrote in a letter describing the seizure. "Yet there is no evidence in the form of marketing or community usage that would dispel the finding that Stashlogix cases have a legitimate use other than to store, carry or conceal marijuana."
In addition to the 1,000 bags lost at the border, Stone says that the company also has $18,000 worth of raw materials stuck overseas with no way to get them into the U.S. As a result, Stashlogix has been forced to lay-off most of their employees while Stone looks for an American manufacturer.
"It's absurd, though, that packaging designed for adults to safely and responsibly store a product that is legal under state law — keeping it out of the hands of children — is being treated as drug paraphernalia."