The Runtz brand has soared in popularity over the last year, and with their vibrant colors, quickly become a staple of California. Users often seek them out all around the country. Unfortunately, the demand for this cannabis company has criminals buying counterfeit Runtz carts packaging from China and selling these fakes.
Whenever something has this much hype around it, there’s bound to be knock-offs. Name brands are powerful, and weed is one of the easiest products to counterfeit for users who don’t know their mids from their Magmas.
These deceptive products can come in the form of fake bags, faulty cartridges, or fake promotional bags. No matter the form, these counterfeit products have one goal: coast off the good name of a brand to upcharge on an inferior product. But first, some brief history.
Runtz started in California by taking Indica dominant strain “Zkittlez” and the fruity-smelling hybrid strain “Gelato” and crossing them. The result was a unique fruity tasting and almost neon-colored strain that took the state by storm. The strain was started by rapper Young LB, one of the original members of the Cookies brand. In 2020 the strain won Leafly’s “Strain of the Year” and the strain was subsequently absorbed into the Cookies brand.
Runtz is popular because it’s a remarkable strand that’s incomparable in taste and smell to almost any other. However, a lot of the notoriety around Runtz comes from a non-traditional grassroots marketing campaign that Lil B Da D and other “Cookie Boyz” have cultivated through merchandise and rap songs to immortalize Runtz and let their strains spread word of mouth.
Around 2019, when the word of Runtz starting spreading outside of Calirfonia, demand flew through the roof. Runtz was hard to get your hands on so other companies started buying Runtz bags and filling them with weed that either closely resembled Runtz or just threw in whatever weed they had. This was easy to do, as these bags could be bought in bulk online at $.20 per bag. Reddit threads starting popping up reporting on a fake White Runtz Disposable Pen that was making the rounds even though Runtz didn’t sell cartridges at that time.
Soon enough, every fake Instagram account, cart store, and second-hand online headshop was slapping the Runtz name onto every product they could to cash in on the 2019 hype train. These knock-offs often were inferior in quality and some cartridges even came with health problems – this was part of the controversy about fake cartridges putting kids in the hospital that spread in the news cycle during late 2019.
Before 2020, Runtz didn’t have an official distributor, so it was hard for people to parse out what was legitimate and what was fake. Eventually, in 2020, Cookies claimed Runtz as an official distributor, but that, of course, hasn’t stopped other sketchy companies from falsely passing off their cartridges under the Runtz name. The only legitimate Runtz products are on the Cookies website.