The green rush has begun in the golden state of California. Cannabis has been legal for recreational use for about a month now, and if you haven't already flown your way to the west coast to get blown, or you're a native who's been living under a sober rock -- we're here to bring you 5 things to expect when you pop into your first legal pot shop!
1. Anyone over 21 can buy it
That's right, you can finally fly over from your prohibitionist state and get a sample of the West Coast's top shelf. You don't need to see a doctor and complain about back pain anymore, you just show your ID and pay - just like cigarettes or liquor.
2. The Lines Are Longer
Now that any adult can just walk into a dispensary like a candy store, you'll find that most recreational shops are plagued with long lines. Just like your favorite restaurant on a weekend, your local pot shop will get swamped reguarly now.
You'll also have to wait behind medical patients who have priority over recreational consumers. It's common to have someone walk in after you, show their medical card, and get in almost instantly while you're stuck waiting another 10-20 mins. But since getting a medical card is as easy as paying $40 over an app, you've got no excuse if your anxiety is making life unbearable 😉
3. The Weed Is More Expensive (It Pays To Be Medical)
Recreational cannabis is taxed at an extra 30% rate. Medical marijuana patients don't have to pay this extra tax. So an eighth that would cost you $35 as a medical patient might cost you $50 or more as recreational.
And most dispensaries haven't updated their online or shop menus. They show medical prices (30% less - aka before rec prices), so you'll have to do the mental math to ensure you don't suffer sticker shock at the register.
4. There Are Shortages
Because of the boom of recent legalization, shops are swamped with newbies looking to stock up on the good green. I've been watching people come into dispensaries and buy $300-500 worth of products at one time, most of the time reaching the one ounce cap of legal purchasing power.
The weed isn't sold out, but you'll definitely have less of a selection than usual. It's going to look like the grocery store during a natural disaster, with that leftover hash in a can that nobody wants to smoke. But stores are restocking constantly, so make sure to call ahead of time to ensure they've got the dank you need.
5. There's No Place to Smoke it
You can buy weed legally from rec shops, but you still can't legally smoke at the dispensary -- or even in public. And most hotels are non-smoking, and definitely non-cannabis. So smoking legally becomes a challenge.
Luckily police are lenient, depending on the neighborhood, so you can toke outside without too much worry. Just don't smoke and drive, they're strict on that.
There are also cannabis clubs you can get membership for like the Hitman Coffeeshop, and there's cannabis events going on every other day here where you can spark up with friends.
Gotta love legal weed
It's been awesome to watch every kind of person walk into dispensaries now. From moms and dads to grandpas to curious college kids, all kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork to see what this weed stuff is all about now that there's no stigma. For the healthy individuals who didn't want to do a song and dance to get a medical card, it's a game changer.
Hope that helps!
Stay regular super stoners,