Berlin mass transit lures riders with edible hemp tickets

Berlin mass transit lures riders with edible hemp tickets


Berlin's mass transit company, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe or BVG, is only half kidding when it says it’s found a way to help passengers relax during another season of pandemic holiday shopping: transit passes laced with hemp oil.


“Looking for a parking space in Mitte, traffic jams on the Kudamm, construction site on the Ring, parcel delivery trucks in the one-way street,” the BVG wrote on its site, “Christmas time in Berlin means one thing above all else: stress. Stress that you can avoid in a relaxed manner - with us, the BVG.”


“Christmas time in Berlin means one thing above all else: stress. … Sometimes only a bag helps.”

— Berlin mass transit company BVG, in a playful ad campaign for the “Hemp Ticket”

“Sometimes only a bag helps,” the company continues. "The only difference is that our ‘bag’ does not contain any banned substances, but a completely edible BVG ticket drizzled with hemp oil. So you can get through Berlin relaxed the whole day and afterwards you can simply swallow your Christmas stress and ticket.”


The catch? The oil is derived from hemp seeds, and contains no CBD or THC. Although hemp seed oil is nutrient rich, with fatty acids and beneficial bioactive compounds, the idea that the hemp is relaxing passengers is mostly a joke, according to the international news outlet Reuters.


The catch? The oil is derived from hemp seeds, and contains no CBD or THC.

Instead, the company hopes taking public transit will relieve people’s stress.


“Of course this is all to be taken with a twinkle in your eye,” BVG spokesman Jannes Schwentu told Reuters. He add that the underlying message with the ticket was “during the stressful Christmas period take the bus or the underground.”


According to Reuters, “The transport company has developed a reputation for cheeky promotional campaigns, and this one taps into news coming from the new German coalition that Germany could become the first European country to legalize cannabis and authorize its sale for recreational purposes.”


“The transport company has developed a reputation for cheeky promotional campaigns,and this one taps into news coming from the new German coalition that Germany could become the first European country to legalize cannabis and authorize its sale for recreational purposes.”

— Reuters

The tickets are made of an edible paper with a few drops of hemp seed oil At € 8.80 ($ 9.95) each. The special tickets only come with the day pass option, but do not cost more than a regular day pass.


The tickets are valid and shouldn’t be eaten until the person using it has finished traveling for the day.

"We do make very clear that anyone who wants to use the ticket as an actual ticket, please only nibble on it or eat it after your journey as if it has a bite out of it, it is no longer valid," Schwentu told Reuters.


The playful campaign comes on the heels of record-setting Covid infections for Germany in November, according to the German news outlet Deutsche Welle. Case numbers are now falling, but still relatively high for the country.


So aside from whatever relief passengers get from avoiding traffic or the struggle to find nonexistent parking spaces amid the rush of holiday shopping, the transit company may be giving people something they need this year more than ever: a laugh.