Our dreams have come true in California, it’s 2018 and weed is now legal. Is it really a dream, or just a facade that gets the state and government more involved? Either way, there are still rules and regulations to this fun, and for those who are new to the game, here are some tips on how to keep yourself educated on cannabis.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Help us help you! Being vague about what you want makes it harder for budtenders to find something you’d like. Knowing the difference between cannabis types is essential for getting to know your desired effects. Don’t ever be afraid to ask the difference, that’s what dispensaries are there for, to educate and spread the best knowledge! Leafly explains it well:
Provides more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
Physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
Somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains.
Not only do they have different effects, but you can also identify the plants by the way they look.
Tall, narrow-leaf varieties of cannabis, thought to induce energizing effects.
Stout, broad-leaf plants, thought to deliver sedating effects. These broad-leaf drug (BLD) varieties are technically Cannabis indica ssp. afghanica.
What we call “hemp” refers to the industrial, non-intoxicating varieties harvested primarily for fiber, seeds, and CBD.
Not only can you refer to the different strains, but terpenes play an important roll as well. Did you ever wonder why weed has such an aroma or taste when you smoke it? Terpenes are aromatic oils that are secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, that give cannabis a variety of different flavors like citrus, berry, pine, and mint. They also help differentiate effects of various strains, including relaxation and stress relief, or the opposite effect like focus and sharpness. Terpenes were developed for adaptive purposes like repelling predators and luring pollinators. Factors that influence a plan’t development of terpenes includes, climate, weather, fertilizers, soil type, age and maturation, and even the time of day.
Terpenes are naturally found in plants and fruits and over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis alone! Leafly describes it as, “every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition. In other words, a strain like Cheese and its descendants will likely have a discernible cheese-like smell, and Blueberry offspring often inherit the smell of berries.”
Don’t forget your math! Know how much a gram, an eighth, a quarter weighs, and if you’re into concentrates, get more info on vape pens here!
This might be a lot of information to take in, but that’s what comes with getting to know your cannabis! Learn more about strains and cannabis on Leafly.com
2. Learn About CBD
In this day and age, media and television are catching onto the cannabis trend, giving more insight to those who might have not been exposed to it as much. We’ve seen new shows like Disjointed, movies like Gringo, and reality TV like Cooking on High on Netflix, it’s all around us. With legalization comes misinformation as well. CBD is the new word in everyones vocabulary, yet not everyone knows the exact definition which comes many assumptions. Yes, CBD can help with epilepsy and seizure disorders, pain and inflammation, PTSD and anxiety, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Opioid withdrawal, but it is not a cure all. It takes trial and error. Most folks come into a dispensary thinking they’ll buy CBD, not get high and get the results they need, but it’s not that easy. One key factor to help CBD is THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. Although one might not want to “get high,” a proportionate ratio of CBD to THC activates both cannabinoids to their best potential. The right trifecta of THC, CBD, and terpenes can help many symptoms.
3. Bring your ID
Think of a dispensary as a bar, you must be of age with a legal form of ID to enter. Whether you’re freshly 21, or 76 years-old, you are always required to show your ID. The law requires anyone who steps foot into a recreational dispensary to be the age of 21 or older with a valid government issued ID, including out of state IDs, or passports. If the shop is also medicinal you must present your doctor’s medical recommendation as well.
You cannot bring a picture of your ID or passport, or a photocopy. If your ID is expired, you must have the expired ID and the official document from the DMV.
Most dispensaries do not take a doctor’s recommendation from online, unless it is a PDF file that can be printed or forwarded in an email. It is always safe to have your recommendation on you at all times.
4. Cash Only
This is a tricky one. This does not apply to all dispensaries, but most. Cannabis is recreationally legal on a state level, not on a federal level, therefore, dispensaries cannot use federal banks. As to other dispensaries using debit and credit card systems, we can’t say much, but, think about how it will come up on your bank statement?
5. NO PHONES!
6. The Difference Between Medicinal and Recreational
Since the legalization of cannabis in California, Prop 215 is still into effect… for now. You can choose to shop recreationally with a 21+ ID, or you can get a doctor’s medical recommendation. You can visit a doctor or talk to one on the phone at nuggmd.com or eaze.com. Tax for recreational customers in California is currently 34.5% and 29.5% for medicinal customers. California state excise tax is 15%, California sales tax is 9.5%, and the Los Angeles tax is 10% (varied on city or county.) Being a medicinal patient helps lower the taxes by 5% and some shops give medicinal patients first time discounts as well. Unless you get a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) from the count that first requires a doctor’s recommendation, you are exempt from all taxes except for the 15% excise tax.There is also a difference in quantity you are allowed to purchase. Recreationally you can only buy an ounce of flower a day and eight grams of concentrate. As a medicinal patient you can buy up to eight ounces of flower, and eight ounces of concentrate a day.
7. Expect Taxes
Listed above are the tax rates. This has definitely impacted the cannabis industry. Your favorite cartridges, edibles, and flower, is all going up in price. If you were ever a medicinal patient, we know you’re used to $30 eighths or less, but things are changing. Due to the legalities of the new industry, you won’t be seeing those low prices anymore, at least at legal shops. So remember, your budtenders don’t want to hear you complain about how you used to get a half ounce for $60 rather than what an eighth costs now.
After July 1st, all legal cannabis shops must be compliant and carry compliant products. What does compliant ensue? Companies with the according avenues must have distribution licenses, manufacturing licenses, retail licenses. All cannabis products, including CBD and flower, must be prepackaged, in child-proof containers, signifying it is a cannabis product with a government warning. Everything must be grown in California and tested by a state approved lab for pesticides, THC, CBD, and CBN levels. No more weighing out weed from big jars right in front of you.
As for edibles, say goodbye to your 1000mg Blackout bars and gummy bears! All edibles must be capped at 100mg, dosed at 10mg or less per package and cannot take the shape of candy due to children’s accidents. So, you’re looking at what used to be one small gummy that was 100mg, to 10 individual gummies, 10mg each. This allows everyone to dose correctly, because no one wants to have a scary edible high, we’ve all been there.
Most companies aren’t making edibles over 100mg because the recreational market is now bigger than the medicinal. Fear not medicinal patients! Companies are whoever producing tinctures, sprays, pills, and “tablets” that have over 100mg per package. These are not considered edibles.As these new regulations take their course, more and more companies are forced to jump on the bandwagon, backing up the smooth conveyor belt of legalization.
9. Do Not Touch The Weed
Would you like it if people were touching your grapes at the market before purchasing? It’s the same with weed. When showing a display, whatever you do, do NOT touch the weed! We all know that stickiness and density are a factor in our preferences, but you’re going to have to hold back. You’ll have to base your decision on smell and sight, which if you’re lucky, some dispensaries will have a magnifying glass.
10. Percentage Isn’t Everything
We know that high numbers equals high THC levels, but you shouldn’t always count on the percentage for good weed. We understand there’s a huge difference between a strain that is 8% and 21%, but the effect is what matters. You must take into account what kind of weed it is, sativa, indica, or hybrid, the smell, how many trichomes you can see, the color, and also consider the desired effect from research online. Ask your budtender what they know about the strain, what they’ve heard, or if they’ve smoked it, they should be honest.
If you haven’t heard of Weedmaps, you might be living under a rock. Weedmaps is an app where you can locate a dispensary near you, find products you’re looking for, and check menu items. Before shopping, it’s always a good idea to check Weedmaps for products, whether you’re looking for a specific item, a price range, or a location.
12. It is ILLEGAL to travel with WEED
No matter what you do, do not ask your budtender if you can travel or ship weed. Whether it’s an edible, a vape pen, or even MINTS, we as budtenders are legally not allowed to advise anything of the sort. Even if you’re flying from one legal state to another, even if someone is sick in another state, we cannot talk about it. That’s what Google is for right?
13. It’s Not a Museum
Don’t show up with your whole squad to the dispensary, especially if only one person is going to buy a joint. We know it’s a new experience and everyone wants to see what we have to offer, but when it comes down to it, business is business, and if you’re holding up the line by asking 100 questions, having no idea what you want, or just taking a look around, be courteous. People are patiently waiting to get high!
Bonus Tip: Try to be pleasant to your budtenders, they are only there to help you!