Getting stoned used to entail a whole grubby process of haggling and sneaking around. It still does in some places, but the weed legalization movement is spreading across America at a clip. Brett Yader, co-founder of Flights, a company specializing in prepackaged, single-serve hits of marijuana, says that the movement around legalization makes now the perfect time to jettison old stereotypes and the old methods of consumption that birthed them. For future stoners, Yader tells Inverse, getting weed will be the least interesting part of getting stoned and getting stoned won’t be interesting at all. It will just be nice.
“We’re talking about people who are on the go, people who are more sophisticated than yesterday’s stoner,” Yader says.
With his partner Geoff Perryn, Yader designed their ReadyPacks — handy little packets of pre-ground, top-shelf cannabis not unlike Starbucks’ Via Instant sachets or Keurig K cups — with them in mind. To convince hesitant new users to partake, Yader explains, buying weed will need to feel as convenient, reliable, and stigma-free as picking up a bottle of wine. He intends to do away with the seedy Zip-Lock bags and nug-filled plastic bubbles for good.
Their focus on commodifying weed underlies the major difference in the way users see the drug in the pre- and post-legalization era: Weed is no longer an illegal indulgence but a product. That mindset, Yader hopes, is what’s going to drive the dissolution of traditional stoner culture and replace it with something closer to — but hopefully less obnoxious than — foodyism. “That’s not going to go away for ten years, across the entire country,” he says ruefully, admitting that his method reeks of compromise: The standardized packaging he’s pushing, in addition to being better for consumers, is incredibly discreet.
Until the time that prepackaged weed becomes the norm, he’s hoping his product will make it easier to bring weed places where it used to be snubbed. He recounts his own experience nervously handing over a pack of Flights to a security guard at a Phish concert, who shrugged and handed them back to him. “It was my first time handing them to a guy in uniform,” he says, chalking up the guard’s nonchalance and his own relief to the understated packaging of his product.
“There’s that moment on Thanksgiving, when you go out to the garage, and you pretend to go find a football, and you hand your uncle a little nug,” Yader says. “In that moment, the fear of the smell, the fear of someone finding it is kind of awash on both people. And that’s a construct of our unfortunate prohibition of cannabis. But you hand the pack to your uncle and now you’ve solved many, many problems. No one can see it, no one can smell it.”
Still, if all goes according to Yader’s plan, discretion will become obsolete. As buying weed becomes as normal as buying a pack of gum, yesterday’s stoner will be replaced with, well, pretty much everyone. The future he imagines is a hazy one — in a good way.
“If you’re 18 years old, and you’re trying pot for the first time, you won’t have to worry about having to get it from a dealer, about knowing where it was grown, about how potent, powerful-smelling or fresh it is,” Yader says. “You will never experience that. And as time goes on, that will become normal.”