I think that the game would benefit from the branding of drugs. By branding I am referring to the real life analog of dealers putting their powder in distinct baggies and stamping their pills with recognizable symbols. (see images below)
Drug branding will contribute to the game in a number of ways.
1. In the current system, unless a character has specific skills, they have no idea about the potency of the drug that they are consuming. By branding drugs, chemists and dealers who are putting out good product can establish a following and create demand for their product. Conversely they can damage the competition who might not be producing the same quality product.
2. Branding drugs allows for the creation of 'turf' in the drug game. On one hand, people creating high quality product will naturally see the market shift in their direction. What about the people on the other end of that, who aren't willing or capable of creating a competing product? With branded drugs, they can target their rivals and take them out. "If you're selling anything other than Brand X drugs on Group A turf, you're going to have problems."
How do we make this happen in game? I know zero about creating drugs, so this is all conjecture. I think that there are two important factors to consider though. One, how to actually apply the brand to the drug. Two, how to protect the brand.
Applying the brand is simple enough. The current drug equipment can be modified to append the brand to the description of the drug that characters can then see when they 'look' at the drug. To use mRc as an example, the BRANDING is in caps.
A bubble pack of mRc capsules STAMPED WITH A YELLOW STAR. 1 small capsules of powder marked 'mRc' remain wrapped in clear bubbles of plastic.
To keep the branding from getting too out of control, there should be a limited number of branding options. I am thinking the six primary colors of the rainbow, and a half dozen or so icons (star, heart, crescent, happy face, katana, handgun, etc.)
The first time a chemist uses the lab, they will be given the option to select a BRAND. Once the brand is selected, it becomes locked into the lab. For each subsequent batch, they have the option to apply the brand, or leave it unbranded.
I don't know enough about drug creation to know if it makes sense to have one brand apply to every drug created by the lab, or if each drug could have its own brand. Also I don't know if it makes any sense to be able to apply a different brand for different grades of drug.
Once a brand is established, it needs to be protected.
I think it is extremely important that it be difficult to change the brand once it has been selected. It should require secure_tech or something similar, akin to cracking a vehicle security system with the risk of destroying the lab equipment if you screw up. We don't want to make it impossible to 'steal' someone else's brand, but it should be difficult to do.