Has The Federal Government Found New Ways To Target Canna-Companies: One Company’s Struggle To Stay Afloat After Customs’ Paraphernalia Claims

Imagine you gave up your 9-5 to follow a dream, a dream to start a business that is centered around helping families keep their children and pets safe and just as that business begins to take off it’s targeted, devastating the company. Unfortunately, Skip Stone doesn’t have to imagine because this is precisely what he is currently dealing with.

Skip Stone is a family man and founder of Stashlogix. Married with two kids, after close to 20 years as a civil engineer in sales he figured he had another 20 years left of a career and wanted to do something different. He wanted to make a difference and seen an opportunity as Colorado began legalizing cannabis. Stone acknowledged the growing acceptance of cannabis, and with that, the inevitable growth and appeal of edibles. Stone recognized that “there needed to be a better way to keep these things secure in the house and you don’t want your kids “greening out.” he explained. When cannabis infused treats like candy and cookies are aren’t safely stored they are an unfortunate temptation for little ones.

Stone also understood the dangers of other prescription medications and decided that there needed to be a better way to keep these things secure in every home. “I knew that there wasn’t anything available that was affordable and locking and there are a lot of uses for something like that.” Stone recalled and he was absolutely right. According to the CDC, prescription drug abuse is an epidemic. “Deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone—have more than quadrupled since 1999.” What’s even more disturbing is that seventy percent of people only 12 years old and up who report abusing prescription drugs were able to get them from friends or family. “The road to addiction starts right from home.” Stone elaborated, “People are dying.” Stone’s hopes were that with the proper storage or locking device this could potentially be curbed. The fact is, the “medicine cabinet” just won’t due any longer.

With high hopes and good intentions, November of 2015 Stashlogix was launched and was really well received. There are hundreds of reviews from people who have purchased Stashlogix boxes and love the product. “People love it. We did a survey not too long ago and 85% of the people who purchase our product use it every day. They really love it… They feel good about being responsible.” Stone proudly expressed. But the love for Stashlogix doesn’t stop there, the company partnered with programs like Prayers For Sophie and Cannakids, programs that help children who have seizures, autism and even cancer. “Parents across the country championed and purchased Stashlogix bags since the company was founded two years ago.” Stone continued, obviously a bit ruffled because this is where things take a turn.

August of last year a shipment of products was held up in customs, because they were evaluating whether the products were paraphernalia or not. This time they decided it wasn’t and shipped it. Wanting to make sure that this didn’t happen again and making sure to follow the correct protocols they submitted for what is called a “binding ruling.” In essence this ruling would keep Stashlogix products from being held up in customs in the future… if the ruling was in their favor.

Stone told us that customs explained it this way; “Your website doesn’t mention anything about cannabis, however we looked at the intended use and the community and it appears that people are saying that these are good to keep kids safe from cannabis.” Customs then quoted some people that did some product reviews and decided, “therefore you are paraphenalia.” Stone detailed, obviously still in disbelief, “They stole or “seized” a large shipment. We are repealing the seizure. Idk how far along the process is. We haven’t heard anything back from them.”

With the constant outcry from those in opposition to the legalization of cannabis, in large part due to the perceived danger to children, the assumption would be that products meant to keep children safe from cannabis (and other more deadly products) would be widely accepted. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. The binding ruling and seizure has Stone wondering if the stigma behind cannabis has left his company targeted, “For a company that is only a year and a half old it seems like we are being unfairly picked on.” The company is now in a place of financial instability, “We had to lay everybody off so it is just my partner and I doing this now and wearing many hats.”

 Stashlogix didn’t just create a product. Their company started dialogue about a very real issue that they hoped to help prevent. “If people aren’t aware and know how to keep things stored properly there are going to be more and more incidents. We created something to tackle that problem.” Stone explain but instead of being revered for their efforts their company may be on its last leg.

Stone encourages everyone who believes not only in the normalization and legalization of cannabis but in the mission of companies like Stashlogix, to make their voices heard. “They need to call their state representatives at the federal level and try and get laws that were made in the 60s updated. Keeping kids safe shouldn’t be a crime… keep putting pressure on their Congressmen to try and update regulations so that medical states aren’t subject to all of the federal regulations.” With renewed virility Stone asserted, “If the federal government goes after a company that literally revolves around protecting kids from cannabis, what does this mean for other products that are aimed more at consumption?”

Luna Reyna

Luna Reyna believes in the power of journalistic activism and social responsibility. As a writer with DOPE, she tackles many social justice topics that often do not receive the coverage they deserve within the cannabis industry, as well as issues of inclusivity regarding race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Luna is also the Managing Editor for BARE Magazine, a quarterly lifestyle magazine whose motto is, "culture without censorship." She is also the founder of RIZE Entertainment, an art, entertainment and culture company that focuses solely on artists who challenge injustice and champion equality through their art.

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