Purchasing cannabis off the black market can also lead to the indirect support of drug cartels. Though the purchase of black market cannabis in legal states has plummeted, cartels still produce cannabis to sell within illegal borders. The presence of cartel-moved cannabis increases crime rates, while legalized states have shown a near 40% drop in drug-related violent crimes in border towns. Worth the wait? We think so.
Write or call your state government officials, senators, and representatives about cannabis legalization. State your case and be vocal, be present, and be ready for a little pushback. Legalization is ramping up, but that doesn’t mean entire generations are going to completely abandon everything they were taught in the Reefer Madness and D.A.R.E eras at the drop of a hat.
Unfortunately, the short answer is that you shouldn’t. Though you know (and we know) that cannabis isn’t the evil substance pushed in the bygone D.A.R.E. era, obtaining it illegally has consequences you might not like—even if you don’t get caught. Below, find out why patience isn’t just a virtue, it will also benefit you and the cannabis movement in a variety of ways.
Leave the Black Market Behind
Obvious legality issues aside, buying cannabis from the black market does not ensure a clean and reliable product. Legal states have the luxury of testing everything from potency to pesticides to mold. Unfortunately, that’s not true for states where cannabis is outlawed, and if a consumer is immunocompromised in any way, a contaminated dime bag can create a litany of health problems or exacerbate an already growing health issue.
W ith legalization sweeping the nation and year-over-year ballot initiatives boosting the movement, people in illegal states are waiting for their chance at the next green rush. Change takes time, however, and impatient consumers in areas where cannabis remains illegal or highly restricted may be wondering, “How can I get my hands on a gram?” without having to wait for the legal green light.
We know it’s frustrating, but progress takes time. Full legalization across the nation could await us in the near future. Until then, check out your local laws regarding cannabis and ask questions—demand better from your local, state, and federal governments regarding legalization and the benefits of cannabis.
From my experience as a budtender, I found that price, THC percentage, and strain name are the most common reasons customers choose a product. Even though these criteria are helpful for narrowing down your options, none of them speak to the quality of a product.
Proper storage can delay this process, but nothing will completely stop it. So be sure to check the harvest date on your flower before purchase, as the chemical complexity is dependent upon it—you’re making sure the compounds responsible for the entourage effect are still there!
Quality isn’t just THC
You also want to make sure you check the health and ripeness of the trichomes. A perfect trichome will be milky white, and a plant with strong genetics will be blanketed by them. Clear trichomes are an indication that the plant was harvested before it reached maturity, and, if you see amber or brown trichomes, the plant was not harvested soon enough.
Being able to trust a grower also gives you confidence when trying a new strain. You can’t always know how a strain will affect you, but you can know if the strain was grown by someone who values quality. If you like a particular strain from a grower, try another one of their strains, you might like it.
At the end of the day, quality cannabis is produced by quality growers. Producing great cannabis is not magic—it is a skill that is developed over time through hard work. Good weed should be nothing short of amazing because the proper time was put into it. You will be able to see, taste, and smell the effort that goes into growing quality cannabis.
Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.
Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.
Which strain should I grow?
Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.
You can also do some research and find an online grow journal that details the whole growing process of a specific strain from a particular breeder. Through these, you’ll be able to look over another grower’s specific notes and see pictures of the final results.
Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.