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How to Buy Cannabis in a Recreational State

Following the steady pace of legalizing medical marijuana, the second decade of the 21st century has paved the path towards a never-seen-before page in the history of cannabis in the USA – a total of 10 states have already legalized weed for recreational purposes, too.

Even though the future of cannabis legalization in America is still an ongoing process with yet-to-be-established best practices, many marijuana connoisseurs are already looking forward to learning how to buy cannabis in a recreational state.

Like every new beginning, shopping recreational stores for the first time might feel confusing – you might be thinking what to start with, what to expect or how to act – and that’s totally fine.

But with a handful of friendly guidelines we’ve compiled for you below, you can get ready to fill your bags with delicious, exciting cannabis products. Hooray!

Whether you are lucky to be a resident of the recreational state or simply a visitor eager or curious to enjoy the herb, there are also certain do’s and don’ts you want to get familiar with – so that you can get the best experience ever.

1. First Time Visiting a Recreational Cannabis Shop

For a start, it’s a good idea that you have the right mindset when visiting a recreational cannabis shop for the first time.

Above all, there is nothing to be worried about! The friendly staff is there to help you out – and no, nobody is going to judge you for your cannabis appetite, passion, and curiosity.

But you might be surprised that buying cannabis in a recreational state will send you straight into a space that is well-lit, and well-arranged – things that have nothing to do with the underground-style cannabis purchasing practices.

So treat your recreational store visit as you would treat visiting any other exciting store – for there is no place (and no reason) to hide, run away, or avoid anything in there, bud buddies.

Also, you must not feel obliged to purchase anything at all if the dispensary staff or atmosphere do not make you feel at ease or if you simply don’t feel 100% satisfied by the diversity of products available.

Nevertheless, anyone is free to enter and roam a dispensary and yet not purchase a single thing without any particular reason – so enjoy the ride and leave your worries behind – you’re not visiting a dentist but simply a shop.

Video by Financial Post – Which cannabis products will be legal on day one

2. Don’t Forget to Bring a Valid ID when Purchasing Recreational Cannabis

In Canada, each province and municipality has the right to set its own, additional regulations when it comes to purchasing recreational weed. For instance, according to the Canadian Cannabis Act, adults must be at least 18 years old to buy cannabis from a recreational shop.

However, in Ontario, the age frame is set slightly higher, and adults must be at least 19 years old in order to be able to legitimately purchase pot for recreational purposes.

In the US, the set of rules that regulate consumers’ legitimacy for purchasing recreational cannabis is, fortunately, much more straightforward than Canada’s – you must be at least 21 years old to purchase cannabis in a recreational state.

With this in mind, before you happily enter any recreational cannabis dispensary, you must make sure to bring a valid photo ID card.

It doesn’t matter in which state your ID is issued – as long as it has not expired and you haven’t left it back home, you simply need to show it to the dispensary staff and proceed with your purchase.

In many cases, the dispensary staff might ask for your ID document before you are able to enter the dispensary (meaning, at the very entrance) – so keep your ID at a convenient, easy-to-reach spot to avoid the fuss.

3. Do your Research VS Trust the Budtender

If you’re an experienced cannabis aficionado, then you most probably know the cannabis basics by heart. Terms like Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains are familiar to you.

Also, you know exactly what kinds of strains you are looking for (and/or which types of new strains you would be willing to try out).

Nevertheless, you most probably have your very own, well-established favorite methods of marijuana consumption.

In such cases, you can skip the research. If you have any questions, budtenders will be there to help you out.

Anyway, budtenders are there to help every single cannabis enthusiast – from complete beginners to the more experienced ones – so there is no reason to shy off from asking about anything that comes to your mind!

However, for those who are still making their way into the whimsical world of cannabis consumption, it can be a wonderful idea to do some research in advance. This way, you will feel much better prepared on what to look for.

Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always choose to enter a recreational cannabis store even if this is your very first face-to-face meeting with marijuana products. But doing so is highly likely to result in either feeling overwhelmed or not succeeding in purchasing the most suitable cannabis products that will best suit your taste and preferences.

You can picture it much like entering a library without knowing what book you are looking for – sure, you can end up holding a beautiful masterpiece but you might just as well fail to find the exact thing you needed.

Here’s a short list of awesome tips about cannabis basics that you might want to research if you are still a beginner.

#1 – Indica VS Sativa VS Hybrid Strains – What effects to expect

#2 – Which strains are considered suitable strains for beginners

#3 – Are you looking forward to consuming dry marijuana flowers or you’d like to experiment with fancy, new cannabis derivatives

#4 – How different methods of cannabis consumption affect your mind and body (consider how long the effects last depending on the consumption method; consider the healthiness/unhealthiness of the different methods of consumption)

If you’re looking forward to trying out edibles, mind that the related effects are much more different than traditional respiratory methods of cannabis consumption.

Because with edibles, the active cannabinoids do not stimulate receptors in your brain but get metabolized by the liver instead – leading to a possibly overwhelming, uncontrollable, and lasting sense of high.

However, selecting edibles that feature only mild doses of THC present can help you enjoy an out-of-this-world yet mellow experience – just ask the budtender for recommendations on that matter.

#5 – Should you opt for cannabis products with a higher THC content or a higher CBD content

Even though recreational cannabis users may or may not be intrigued about the medical benefits of THC vs. CBD, it’s always a great idea to consider how these active compounds might help you when it comes to improving and affecting your overall well-being. Like, come on, let’s erase that nasty image of potheads being negligent potheads 24/7, duh.

#6–Which products will work best for you

It might be the case that you can benefit from more than one single type of cannabis products.

For instance, you can opt for dry flowers and further choose to smoke or vape these. If you aren’t very confident, or skillful, or simply don’t enjoy rolling dry marijuana flowers, you can go for pre-rolls.

You can also opt for concentrates that are loaded into discreet vape pens emitting no marijuana scent at all while featuring amazing potency.

If you want something that can last longer (weekend-approved-type-of-cannabis-experience), then you might also put some edibles on your list.

If your desire is to try out something new and trendy, then you can look around at the recreational cannabis shop’s assortment of cannabis products – from drinks, chewing gums, topical ointments and bath soak to lubes, you will be amazed at the diversity of options you have available!

4. Cash VS Debit/Credit Card Payments

Keeping in mind that legal recreational cannabis sales and policy still have a long way to go, remember that, as for now, cash is king. At the present moment, there is no payment provider offering services or support for dispensary-made transactions – so then again, paying in cash is the best way to avoid dealing with any possible issues.

Anyway, let’s not be too skeptical – issues related to dispensary-made transactions are highly unlikely to occur, and with a mind to cannabis enthusiasts who might prefer paying with a debit/credit card, ATMs are typically available.

Also, don’t worry about having to answer any weird questions from the bank regarding your transaction – most dispensary-based ATMs do obscure or omit the company’s details.

In any case, if you have any questions regarding transaction privacy, don’t be hesitant to ask before you complete your purchase.

Last but not least, it is best to find out whether the dispensary you are planning to visit when buying cannabis in a recreational state does or does not accept credit/debit card payments – for it’s always better to play safe than eventually wasting your time if the recreational store accepts only and solely cash.

5. Can Tourists from other Countries Buy Cannabis in a Recreational State

Just like American citizens from states where recreational marijuana is not legal can purchase cannabis in a recreational state (without transporting it outside the state, though), so can tourists from other countries also buy cannabis in recreational states (as long as the tourists are of legal age and bring a valid photo ID alongside).

Mind that a recreational cannabis dispensary in the US does not tolerate the smoking-inside practice of Netherlands-based coffeeshops. Smoking cannabis around and in dispensaries is (still) strictly prohibited.

Yep, it does sound a bit awkward that you can browse cannabis strains and products as much as you want yet you cannot “try these out” – but rules are rules, and we need to follow them, right

The dispensaries’ mission is to supply cannabis consumers in recreational states with the right products for their needs – but the exact way and spot where you choose to indulge in the products is a matter of personal choice and not a part of the dispensaries’ business.

6. Interesting Facts about Recreational Cannabis State-by-State

Fortunately, the number of recreational states in the USA is bound to rise (*keeping our fingers tightly crossed*).

In this section, we’ve compiled a list of crisp and relevant facts about recreational marijuana state-by-state based on the already existing list of recreational states up-to-date.

January 1, 2018, has been a remarkable date for recreational marijuana users in California – for it was then that the state finally issued a license that allows dispensaries to sell pot to all adults aged 21+.

However, the road towards legalizing the sales of recreational cannabis in California has been quite bumpy –cities like Fresno decided to ban the sale of recreational pot all along.

Video by Highsnobiety – How Weed Legalization in California is Changing Cannabis Culture

Ever since 2015, over 2 million people have visited Alaska – a cannabis-friendly state with an attitude. Anyone over 21+ can purchase and possess up to one ounce of weed – the same amount allowed for purchase and possession in Washington DC.

1 ounce of marijuana (or about 28 grams) is also the legal amount you can buy and hold in Nevada –the state where recreational stores ran completely out of weed within the first two weeks after legalization took place!

In Oregon, projected adult-use sales are expected to reach $848,000,000 in 2022, while in Colorado, where there is no limit on the number of dispensaries allowed, adult-use sales are expected to reach the mind-blowing $2,100,000,000 by 2022.
In Michigan, you are allowed to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis stored in residences (keeping in mind that 2.5 ounces and up must be stored in locked-up containers). By 2022, expected sales from adult-use cannabis are expected to reach $663,000,000.

In Maine, projected cannabis adult-use sales are estimated at $237,000,000, while Massachusetts sets the bar at (hold your breath now) – $1,100,000,000 from adult-use sales by 2022!

When it comes to projected sales from recreational cannabis in Vermont where you can possess up to 1 ounce of weed for recreational purposes, the numbers speak for themselves – $64,000,000 by 2022.

How to Buy Cannabis in a Recreational State: The Takeaway

As Dr. Sebastian Marincolo wisely points out, it is not marijuana legalization that should be considered a “dangerous experiment.” On the contrary, it is cannabis prohibition that is actually the dangerous experiment (although in disguise), for prohibition “has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world.

So, if you’re still wondering how to buy cannabis in a recreational state – grab your valid photo ID and go enjoy the fun, bud buddies, for there is nothing that should scare you off from reaping the benefits of the green medication. After all, both recreational and medical cannabis is biologically the same – or in other words, all cannabis is medicine – whether it is used for entertainment, as a preventative treatment or as an effective treatment for existing conditions.

Let’s help cannabis break the prison of common public misconceptions –just don’t miss out on subscribing to our newsletter to get premium access to all things cannabis-related delivered straight to your mailbox.