Since 2014, Kingpen has been addressing a global counterfeit issue, impacting the entire legal cannabis industry, to protect our customers from bad actors and the dangers associated with using inauthentic products. Due to a high number of overseas manufacturers who replicated our cartridge, it became increasingly easy for illicit websites and dealers to buy cartridges that appeared to be from the official Kingpen brand. These products lacked the type of quality we pride ourselves on and could potentially be toxic or harmful. For these reasons, we have gone to great lengths to prosecute anyone involved in counterfeiting Kingpen products and in addition launched the Kingpen Counterfeit Prevention Program in October 2019 with our new packaging, cartridges, and counterfeit label technology.
One of the larger areas of concern is the sheer amount of fake Kingpen websites that try to imitate the brand for their scams. These websites use real Kingpen product descriptions, old photos, old packaging, and some even have their own “How to Spot A Fake Kingpen” page that uses real language from a late 2019 Kingpen press release that explains our counterfeit program. For this reason we felt it was imperative to create a “How To Spot Fake Kingpen Websites” post.
Indicators for Black Market Websites
Purchasing Cannabis Straight From The Brand
- Licensed cannabis manufacturers cannot sell directly to a customer, and must sell only to licensed dispensaries. Though some brands’ websites have plug-ins now that allow you to place orders with dispensaries or delivery, it is plainly stated and visible on those services that the cannabis is being purchased from a different source.
- Some legitimate services include: iheartjane, Weedmaps, Dutchie, and A Proper High.
- Still federally illegal, cannabis cannot be sent legally through any mail system public or private. Dispensaries selling legal product cannot ship that product through a mail system, even if it’s within state lines. If a website offers to ship you your goods, that’s a good indicator it’s a counterfeit product.
You’re purchasing from out of state, or out of the country.
- This one goes with the above, but if you’re purchasing cannabis from a company that isn’t active in your state, or purchasing from a state that isn’t legal, this is a huge indicator that what you will be receiving is not real.
- A company licensed in its state will not risk losing its license by sending product through the mail system, whether to a legal state or not. If a website isn’t flagging your location in a non-recreational state, or a state the brand isn’t active in, that website is most likely not owned by the brand.
- If you’re purchasing from out of the country, no U.S state is licensed for exports at this time.
“Discreet” in their Mission statement, “About” page, or product pages.
- As stated above, shipping cannabis is illegal. The reason that these websites offer “discreet” shipping in smell-proof packaging is they cannot send product legally and must take measures to hide the sight, smell, or feel of the product. Look for words like “discreet” being used around these websites for another good indicator something fishy is going on.
Paying $200-$300 at a time.
- This might be a confusing one, because if you’re used to purchasing from the traditional market back in the day you might’ve been spending big bucks at a time for your product. This is usually indicative of a scam online, however, as they’re most likely not planning on sending you any product and want the most money out of you the first time.
Only alternative Payment Forms like Venmo or Cash App
- This is a frequent indicator of a scam site, as it is difficult to impossible to trace payments made through these apps if the user does not want it to be so.
We hope these indicators are helpful to those in our community. We commit ourselves to a zero-tolerance policy on illicit counterfeits, and to the safety and wellbeing of our customers.
To learn more about our anti-counterfeit technology, please check out the videos on our FAQs page.