Are you deciding to start using cannabis? Good for you. But before you move further, let me ask you something. What do you know about cannabis besides the fact that getting a medical marijuana recommendation is important? Maybe you do know how to roll a joint or how to make a cannabis-infused brownie but these are not the facts that will help you make your first cannabis purchase. When you enter a legal dispensary, you’ll be overwhelmed with the variety. Who knew some green buds can have a dozen different types right? And did you know that you can only drive with a limited amount of cannabis? A little over and you can get arrested.
Don’t worry if all this sounds Greek to you. I have a step by step guide of the most basic information that will help you make your first cannabis purchase without any trouble. So here we go!
Step 1: Learn About The Rules Of Your State
Before anything else, you must learn about the marijuana rules that are followed in your state. The medical marijuana program in every state is different. This is why it is important that you are not misinformed about any law. For starters, find out if your state is one of the 33 states that have legalized medical cannabis or not. If yes, then you must be aware of the limitations that your state’s medical marijuana program puts on buying, using and growing medical cannabis.
In the state of California, you can legally possess 8 ounces of cannabis and 2000 mg of THC per packet. Also, the legal age for using medical marijuana reduces to 18 years from 21 years. In addition to the rules of your state, it is very important to be acquainted with the relationship of cannabis with federal law. While several state governments have decriminalized medical and even recreational cannabis, the federal government still categorizes it as illegal. So if you are in and around an area that falls within the federal jurisdiction (state borders and air space), you may end up with a legal penalty.
Step 2: Do Basic Research Before Making A Purchase
After having acquainted yourself with the legalities of your state, it’s time to do a little more research on cannabis so that you have some idea about what you are looking for. So carry your magnifying glass and look for the following points.
Find Your Strain
Sour Diesel, Northern Lights, Durban Poison and AK-47. These are four of the hundred cannabis strains that exist today. You’ll find these many varieties in online and offline stores too. And don’t think that you can pick any and it won’t make a difference. Strains vary in chemical compositions. And these different chemicals are what cause different effects on your body. To choose a strain that’ll suit you, make a list of the effects that you want to experience. Then find the chemical composition and ratios that’ll deliver those effects and find the strain that is the closest to it.
Find Your Delivery Method
Cannabis not only varies in strains but it also varies in the types of products. So you will find green dried buds, a number of edibles, tincture bottles, shampoos, cannabis wax and the list goes on and on. Your choice will depend on the delivery method (way of consumption) you choose. For instance, dried buds are meant for joints and vapes whereas tinctures are meant for sublingual consumption.
Your choice of delivery method will also depend on the effects you wish to experience and your personal preference or convenience. Like do you want to be discreet or do you want your effects to be quicker (smoking) or stronger (edibles)? Take time to find these answers.
Learn How To Use Cannabis Safely
If you do not be careful with your dose, you can overdose on cannabis and have a miserable experience instead of having a euphoric high. But accidents happen. So what do you do? Learn how to get sober from intolerable cannabis high.
The high passes with time. All you can do until that happens is take steps to make the time a little tolerable.
Step 3: Find A Legit Source
You can either visit the first cannabis dispensary you come across or take your time to find the one that will suit the best to your preferences. Here’s how you find a legit source for your first cannabis purchase.
- Make a list of dispensaries that are nearest to your location or online stores that deliver at your location.
- The store should be registered with the government.
- Go through their catalog online and see if they have the type that you require.
- Compare the prices with other sources.
- Try to find out about the quality of their products.
- Learn about the growing conditions of their cannabis.
- Go through the reviews to find more about their products, quality and staff behavior.
Step 4: Always Carry Your ID Card Or Medical Card
Before you make your way to a cannabis dispensary, always remember to carry your medical cannabis recommendation or ID card if you haven’t applied for a medical card yet.
A lot of dispensaries will not let you make a purchase if you don’t have either of the official documents. Also, it is only with an MMJ card that you will be able to take advantage of certain exclusive privileges. For example, exemption of sales and use tax and higher possession limit compared to when buying cannabis without a medical card.
Step 5: Learn How To Differentiate Between High and Poor Quality Cannabis
If you’ve taken the time to choose a licensed store, it is very unlikely that you will have poor quality cannabis products. But nonetheless, it’s always best to double-check. So learn about some important points that’ll help you differentiate between good and bad cannabis. And you don’t need any special instruments to find the difference. Just make use of your senses.
First, look at the color. Good quality cannabis will be a shade of green with hues of colors according to the strain. Brown or yellowish shades are a sign of poor quality. Also, if you find any fuzzy or white powdery substance, it’s either moldy or contaminated with talcum powder or chalk. Second, smell it. If it smells skunky, herby, piney or like the terpene it contains, it’s good. Grassy or odor like smell points at bad cannabis. Third, feel it. Good cannabis should neither be too wet or too try, just perfectly sticky. And lastly, taste it. Any chemical flavor indicates that cannabis is contaminated or of poor quality.
Step 6: Opt For Deliveries For Future Purchases
Once you have a better idea about the strain, product and source that perfectly suits you, consider opting for deliveries if it’s an option. It is more convenient and saves a lot of time that’s usually wasted from standing in queues or waiting. Also, considering the present situation of COVID-19, deliveries are the best way of restocking while maintaining minimal contact.
Even after a step by step walk through the main points, you may feel overwhelmed but you can always ask for the professionals at a dispensary to guide you. But buying cannabis isn’t as daunting as it sounds once you have the basic knowledge. As long as you remember this guide, you’ll be able to have a smooth experience. So remember these steps and nail your first purchase.