Guide To Buying Cannabis
published on March 17, 2020
Why do we need a guide to buying something in 2020? Because this “something” is cannabis. It may seem that in the modern world, we are not supposed to face difficulties when trying to purchase weed, especially if we buy marijuana for medical purposes, but things do not work like that, at least at this stage of legalization.
Simply put, cannabis with a high level of THC (according to the law, the level of 0.31% is the high level – take this into account) is illegal at the federal level. A lot of states legalized medical cannabis, though. Some states legalized recreational cannabis, too. Most states decriminalized it. In some states, it is completely illegal despite the fact that CBD products are legal at the federal level. By the way, there are dispensaries and retail stores, and there is a big difference between them. Of course, this should be considered, too.
The situation seems complicated, right? Well, it is no rocket science, either. The thing you need to do is to read our guide to buying cannabis – we explain every significant aspect of purchasing cannabis products, step by step. So, if you want to buy some weed but do not know where to start, read the info below carefully and consider it when making your first purchase.
Step #1 – Read The State Laws
This is the first and most important thing you need to do. But before we move to the state laws, let us clarify the situation regarding the federal laws.
There are two common cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, affects human mood, mind, i.e., the brain) and cannabidiol (CBD, which does not affect the brain). According to federal law:
- Cannabis with a low level (less than 0.3%) of THC is legal
- Cannabis with high level (more than 0.3%) of THC is illegal
But what about state laws? The situation is different, and that is why it is so important to read the laws of your state. Everyone knows that in California, both medical and recreational cannabis is legal. Does it mean that people can ignore federal laws? Not exactly, In particular, most stores face a lot of problems with banks – most banks are not going to violate federal laws.
Moreover, in some states, cannabis, we mean literally any cannabis is illegal. This, in turn, means that despite the fact that CBD-product with low THC level is legal at the federal levels, if you buy a non-psychoactive product, for example, a cookie with CBD, you might get in trouble with the state law. Consider this before you even do anything somehow related to cannabis.
Step #2 – Consider The Difference Between Stores And Dispensaries
We bet you heard about dispensaries. But how are they different from stores? In short, they have different target audiences.
A dispensary is the place initially created for people who use medical cannabis. How do sellers know if I am buying it to treat something or just for fun? Of course, you need something that will prove that you really need marijuana to relieve pain, reduce inflammatory processes, etc. However, considering the fact that it is still illegal at the federal level, doctors cannot write a prescription – this would mean that they violate the law. However, they can write recommendations that are accepted (then copied and stored) in dispensaries.
So, if you need cannabis to treat something, just visit your doctor and get a recommendation. Please note that if even medical marijuana is illegal in your state, you cannot just go to any state and buy anything you want there. In some “legal” states, you need to provide an out-of-state hard to buy something in a dispensary, in some you will not get anything even if you have it. And again, as we have noted before, considering the state laws is the best thing you can do to do
Weed store is the place where people buy recreational marijuana. Of course, you can find such stores (official ones) only in states where recreational weed is legal. The selection of the products is much wider there, and the good news is that most of them have official websites. So, customers can just browse the site, find all the info, choose the products they need, etc.
So, the difference between these two types of stores seems obvious. However, this is not only about the target audience, but this is also about how they work with customers. That is why we recommend you consider a few nuances – knowledge is power just because sometimes it allows us to avoid disappointments and choose the best of the two options.
- The prices in stores are usually higher – you can choose between tons of goods, you get good service, but you need to consider that such businesses pay higher taxes, hire more people, spend more money on branding, etc. If you are going to use cannabis for medical purposes, do not want to spend too much on it, and if you don’t really care about the interior design and branding, dispensary might be a much better option for you.
- If the quality is super important for you, you can choose the top store that streamlines all the operations.
- If you value the atmosphere and want to enjoy a cup of cannabis coffee when buying weed, shores are definitely better.
Step #3 – Learn The Common Rules For Cannabis Buyers
Of course, knowing the state laws and understanding the difference between two types of stores is not enough to avoid mistakes. That is why we distinguished the top-5 common recommendations. These are the things all buyers need to know, so try to remember all of them.
- You need to be an adult to buy something in such stores. “Adult” (if you are buying it for medical purposes) is 18 y.o. and older. If you are buying it for recreational purposes, you must be 21 y.o. and older.
- You cannot come to a store and buy as much weed as you want – there are certain limits, and they vary depending on the state.
- Though the customer service is usually a bit better in stores, if you are looking for stronger cannabis products, you are likely to find them in a dispensary. This can be explained by the fact that they face fewer restrictions.
- There are no returns, so choose products as carefully as possible.
- Find the ATM and get some cash. You will hardly be able to use your bank card in such places. As we have already mentioned above, most banks do not work with such stores. Of course, things will change right after cannabis will be finally legalized, but now most dispensaries and shops work with cash only.
Step #4 – Choose The Best Option
The rest does not differ much from choosing the best niche store, actually. All you have to do is to compare the existing options and choose the best ones. Nevertheless, you do not have to spend time creating your own choose-the-best-dispensary strategy – feel free to use ours.
- The range of goods matters. Do you need THC- or CBD-dominant products? Do you need pills, vape oils, or maybe you prefer to smoke joints? Make sure that they have the goods you need.
- The quality of weed. We will be honest – it is pretty difficult to find out if the weed is high quality or not without trying it. Nevertheless, pay attention to the look and smell of the product and if the store shows how it grows, spend some time and read everything about growing/producing the products you are going to buy. Cannabis is not the cheapest thing in the world, so try to avoid mistakes.
- Does a budtender really help me? Ask as many questions as you want. How detailed the answers are? Did a budtender really help you or not? In fact, the qualification of staff can tell a lot about the store, especially when it comes to a consultant who is supposed to know everything about cannabis and more.
- Prices are supposed to be reasonable. Yes, weed can be pricey, but only if it is reasonable. That is why you should avoid impulse purchases – spend some time and compare the prices.
- Reputation matters. Customer reviews are not the only but yet important thing to consider when choosing the store. What do others say about this store/dispensary? Is weed strong enough? Does it taste good?
So yes, all beginners need to do their own small research and compare all the stores in the neighborhood. However, it is not as complicated as it may seem – you will gradually gain more and more knowledge about the stores and cannabis itself, try new things and choose your favorite products. This strategy is just a recommendation that can help you at the very beginning of your journey to the world of cannabis.
All the difficulties and challenges people usually face when buying cannabis are mostly related to the existing restrictions. In other words, it is not legal, and that is why you need to consider a lot of things and nuances. Still, as you can see, it is not super-complex. We insist that you must consider the laws in your state. The rest is less important, but it can help you to avoid mistakes. Just use the tips and info we provided to make the right choice at the first attempt.