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how to buy weed

Clerks will give you the product in sealed, carefully marked containers. Think of the contents like booze: You’re not allowed to have an open container in the car with you. Keep everything wrapped until you are able to use it in a private place. That should be the easiest part: You might feel like you need a special doctorate degree to open the child-proof packaging that California requires on cannabis products.

No driving under the influence, either. That means you shouldn’t partake of the dispensaries’ infused candies and brownies (otherwise known as edibles, which generally require a few hours to take effect and have longer-lasting results for some people) unless you have no intention of going anywhere for a day.

Know the difference between THC and CBD.

THC is the compound that makes you high, and it’s what the government is most interested in controlling. CBD, another chemical found in cannabis products, does not provide a high so it’s often considered harmless. This article will help you navigate the differences.

How much can I buy?

Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t a winery—you cannot sample the goods.

Some California dispensaries only serve medical clients with local addresses, but retail dispensaries are open to the public. Use PotGuide or Weedmaps to locate a facility and call ahead or check the website of the business to verify that it is open to public sales.

The other part of the preparations is your mindset. You don’t need to educate yourself in cannabis science in order to shop for weed, but coming in with a clear idea or ideas of what you’re looking for will make a huge difference. Check in with yourself and how you’d like to feel. Do you want to feel happy? Do you want clear-headed focus? Relief for a specific symptom? Something to accompany a particular activity? These kinds of parameters will help you and your budtender navigate the shelves successfully.

After all, you’re not just picking out a couple t-shirts at H&M—you’re legally buying something that is federally illegal. Be prepared to wait a few minutes as budtenders input information into unintuitive software required by state law and print compliant receipts. Your friendly patience may just result in an extra discount as checkout or a heavier weight on your flower. You never know.

So why do these unspoken codes of conduct matter to you? Because the more fluent you are in the language of dispensaries and the budtenders that run them, the more likely you are to get great service and walk out of there with something that delivers the effects you seek. Here is the ultimate guide to shopping at a dispensary.

Checking In

Time to bust out that ID. And you have to do that every single time, even regulars. It’s good to keep in mind that state regulations like this one give a clunky flow to every process.

Updated on 4/6/2021 at 5:22 PM

Every day for the past six years, hundreds of people walk into a legal cannabis dispensary for the first time. Maybe one opens up down the block, or you drive across town, even over to a neighboring state to see it for yourself. It’s one of the few places you can go right now, since they’ve been deemed essential businesses. Dispensaries have adapted to the COVID-19 retail era with increased delivery services, curbside pick-up, and limits on capacity to maintain safe distances, with many stores are doing more business than usual as people stock up to stay home. The one thing that all first-time customers have in common, regardless of the extent one has enjoyed cannabis prior to this moment, is a shared sense of unfamiliarity. This isn’t like walking into a liquor store at 21, but it also won’t be anything like exchanging $20 for a ziplock on your former dealer’s couch. It’s a completely new kind of experience, and despite how recent its debut, one that has already developed its own standard customs and etiquette.

If you happen to be someone seeking strong effects, don’t get distracted by THC percentages. Without proper storage, 30% THC flower harvested over six months ago will be a weaker smoke than freshly cured and properly maintained flower that happened to test at 18%. The reality is that a single plant contains buds with varying amounts of THC across each branch, and only a handful of random buds determine test results for a whole batch of product. Current testing can somewhat ensure safe product, but it does not accurately assess potency. It’s more effective to ask budtenders about the cultivators behind each strain, and if you can smell before you buy, a rich, complex fragrance is a fundamental indicator of good weed. If you still just want the strongest products on the menu… Just ask the budtenders what they’ve been smoking over the past month.