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Where to Buy Weed: Marijuana Dispensary vs That Guy You Know

Posted by Canna Randa on May 07, 2021

Since more states have legalized marijuana use for medical and recreational users, many dispensaries are opening in each legal state. Illinois cannabis consumers can purchase their pot from recreational and medical dispensaries near them or the black market. What are the benefits of obtaining marijuana from a state dispensary or buying weed from a dealer on the black market? Before deciding where to buy weed, here are the pros and cons of each way to purchase cannabis. 

Marijuana Dispensaries

There are many pros and cons to consider when buying weed from a local dispensary, especially if you have a medical marijuana card, where available.

Pros: Purchasing Weed from Marijuana Dispensaries

  • Legal way to obtain cannabis - In certain states that have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use, the only way to legally buy weed is to purchase it from a registered marijuana dispensary. 
  • More marijuana products to choose from - Weed dispensaries have a wide assortment of products available to purchase, including cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, etc. Your regular dealer will typically not have access to the different types of goodies that a dispensary has.
  • Easy ordering - Weed consumers have the ability to order their cannabis products online and pick them up at the nearest marijuana dispensary. 
  • Quality cannabis product - When buying marijuana from a dispensary, you are aware of the quality of the weed that you are getting for your money and the THC and CBD percentages present in the pot. Dispensary weed also has information about which terpenes (aromatic oils found in the cannabis plant) are present in the product. Some people believe that the terpene profile matters as much as the type of strain it is. This information is only available through a dispensary as Bob on the corner will not know which types of terpenes his product contains.
  • Weed has been tested for chemicals and pesticides - Before marijuana is sold at a dispensary near you, the cannabis products go through extensive quality control to ensure that the products are high-quality and safe for marijuana consumption. This helps cannabis users feel confident in the products they are purchasing, whether for recreational or medical use. 
  • Tax revenue - The additional taxes incurred by the sale of cannabis products at a recreational or medical marijuana dispensary helps to boost each state’s economy where cannabis is legal. 
  • Marijuana dispensaries create job opportunities - Cannabis dispensaries are opening across legalized marijuana states, and with each new dispensary, jobs are created, helping to improve the economy. 
  • Medical marijuana is available for medical cardholders - Medical marijuana dispensaries have a wide variety of medical cannabis products for patients with qualifying medical conditions
  • Cannabis experts and marijuana enthusiasts are able to answer your questions - You can discuss medical marijuana options with the experts who work at your nearest marijuana dispensary. Commonly known as budtenders, these cannabis connoisseurs know the different types of cannabis products, their availability at the store, and can recommend options based on weed consumers’ wants and needs. 
  • Some cannabis dispensaries offer discounts and contribute to their local community, which is a plus if you like providing that kind of support.

Cons: Purchasing Weed from Marijuana Dispensaries

  • Higher costs of weed are associated with dispensaries - It’s more expensive to buy marijuana from a dispensary than from a weed dealer or seller in the black market. 
  • Cash only - Most cannabis dispensaries only accept cash for weed transactions. Make sure you have enough cash for both the marijuana products and taxes when you go to a dispensary. 
  • Heavily taxed cannabis products - In some legalized marijuana states, there are all types of taxes, including state tax, local taxes, consumption, and excise taxes at medical and recreational dispensaries when you purchase weed. 
  • Weed possession limits - Each state has specific marijuana possession limits, and you can only purchase so much from a dispensary within a certain period of time. If you possess more weed than the limit allowed in your legal marijuana state, you risk fines and jail time. 
  • More laws about marijuana use - As more marijuana dispensaries open and more states legalize cannabis, there will be new laws for the use of marijuana in each state.

Black Market, AKA Your Neighborhood Guy, or Friend of a Friend

Of course, whether you live in a state that has already legalized marijuana or a state that hasn’t, there are pros and cons to purchasing cannabis outside of the nearest marijuana dispensary as well. 

Pros: Purchasing Weed from a Dealer

  • A much cheaper option for buying weed - You can get a good deal when purchasing marijuana from a dealer on the black market. The more you buy, the cheaper you can get your bud. This option is typically not available at dispensaries in IL or any other state.
  • Dispensary prices have high taxes and can be beaten by weed dealers - Dealers don’t have to add all the taxes that are regulated by marijuana dispensaries to the weed products they are selling. 
  • There are a limited number of dispensaries per state - As of right now, dispensaries are limited across each state, with many states having no recreational marijuana dispensaries at all. Some states still haven’t legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use, so there is no competition with dispensaries for weed purchases. 
  • No taxes on marijuana - Weed dealers don’t tax their products, so they are comparably cheaper than dispensary marijuana prices, and therefore, dealer prices don’t have the same sticker shock. Without paying for all the extras that come with dispensary products, you can expect to save up to 50% purchasing bud on the street versus the nearest marijuana dispensary. 

Cons: Purchasing Weed from the Black Market

  • Illegal - Buying weed from dealers on the black market is still illegal, even in states that have legalized marijuana. This means that you can’t buy weed from friends or family either, not just your neighborhood pot dealer.
  • Possible fines or jail time if caught with illegal weed - If you get caught in possession of illegal marijuana or are selling weed illegally, you can get arrested, pay fines, and even do jail time. 
  • Marijuana quality is not always great - You have no way of knowing what kind of cannabis product you are getting for your money when purchasing weed from black market dealers. You don’t know how or where it was grown or if the grower used any dangerous chemicals. Knowing what chemicals were used when growing the bud you smoke is essential.
  • Dealers may raise marijuana prices - If weed dealers are trying to make up for the loss of profits with marijuana dispensaries as competition, they may increase the prices of their cannabis products. Street dealers also sometimes “tax” customers they don’t know well or don’t like dealing with.
  • More laws regarding marijuana are being enforced - As more states legalize marijuana and open recreational and medical dispensaries, new laws are created. These updates could mean more fines or penalties for illegally procured marijuana. 

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both ways of obtaining your Earth medicine. If you’re not sure where to buy weed, we think that purchasing your weed from a dispensary -- especially an EarthMed dispensary -- is the best way to go.

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