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Buying Cannabis from a Dispensary vs. Growing Your Own Marijuana

As a marijuana enthusiast, whether you enjoy recreational or medical cannabis, you may consider whether you should buy cannabis at a dispensary or grow your own marijuana. There are benefits and limitations to both options. Before you decide which way you will obtain your marijuana, see the pros and cons of each. 

Cannabis Dispensaries

When purchasing cannabis from a local dispensary, consider all the pros and cons to see if it’s the best option for you. 

Pros: Obtaining Cannabis from Dispensaries

  • Receive a high-quality cannabis product - A dispensary is obligated to make you fully aware of what is in the marijuana strain that you are purchasing. The cannabis products are labeled with the amounts of THC and CBD and the specific terpenes. Marijuana products have been tested for pesticides and chemicals. 
  • Variety of marijuana products - Dispensaries have an abundance of cannabis products that marijuana consumers can purchase. You’ll find marijuana edibles, concentrates, cannabis flowers, topicals, vapes, pre-rolls, and tinctures for sale at your local dispensary. If you are a medical card holder, with qualifying medical conditions, you’ll have a wide selection of cannabis products available to help treat your condition.  
  • Availability - When you shop at a cannabis dispensary, you are able to buy marijuana when you’d like to consume it. On the other hand, when you grow your own cannabis, you have to wait a lengthy time for the marijuana seeds to produce a yield. 
  • Reliable - Marijuana dispensaries usually have the cannabis products you want in stock. You can even check online to see your local dispensary’s marijuana inventory before you purchase with cash in-person. 
  • Legal - Possessing marijuana is legal in an increasing number of states. If you go to an operating dispensary, you can be sure that they are following guidelines and laws as they want to stay open and not get fined. See all the states that have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use
  • Get your cannabis questions answered - Budtenders employed at dispensaries are full of cannabis knowledge. You can ask any marijuana related questions for recreational or medical use, and they will be able to help you. 

Cons: Obtaining Cannabis from Dispensaries 

  • More expensive option - Overall, the convenience of having budtenders and cannabis cultivators grow the marijuana for you, adds to the cost of the marijuana products that you will find at a dispensary. Cannabis dispensaries are also heavily taxed so consumers see those taxes included in the price tag. If you are a regular cannabis consumer, you might find that purchasing marijuana from dispensaries is more costly as opposed to growing your own cannabis. 
  • Marijuana laws and cannabis possession limits - There are cannabis possession limits that vary for every legalized marijuana state. Dispensaries have to be aware of how much they sell to marijuana users, and provide top of the line cannabis products to consumers, or they may lose their license and receive fines. See Illinois recreational marijuana laws from Leafly which states that recreational marijuana users over the age of 21, can possess 30 grams of marijuana or less, a total of 5 grams of concentrate, and the limit for cannabis edibles is 500 milligrams. Medical card holders are able to possess 2.5 ounces or less of medical cannabis every two weeks. 
  • May have to travel a distance to find a cannabis dispensary - If you live in a legal marijuana state, some counties still don’t have dispensaries. This means you will have to be willing to travel a bit to get your marijuana. 

Cannabis Cultivation: Growing Marijuana Yourself  

Of course, you may realize that you’d like to consider growing your own marijuana. There are pros and cons to this method as well. 

Pros: Growing Your Own Marijuana

  • Save money buying marijuana - In the long run, you will most likely end up saving more money on obtaining marijuana by cultivating cannabis yourself. Of course, you have to expect upfront costs of purchasing all of the necessary growing equipment, but after you breakeven, you will end up seeing a difference in cost of growing cannabis and buying marijuana from a dispensary. 
  • You can select which cannabis strains you’ll produce - From the start of the growing process, you will be able to select and purchase the cannabis seeds to plant. The more care and attention the plants receive the better quality marijuana product you will end up being able to smoke or consume. 
  • You are in control of your marijuana garden - As you plant your marijuana garden, you will choose if you’d like to use pesticides, fertilizers, or grow organically. You can experiment with the growing process and see what works best for you and produces a quality product. 
  • More resources available to marijuana cultivators - There is more information regarding growing your own cannabis to marijuana users who have always wanted to give it a shot but never knew how to begin. There are online sites, forums, videos, blogs, and even podcasts that have become popular as more and more cannabis users consider growing their own marijuana. 
  • You always have a stash of marijuana available - Once you have the process of growing cannabis down, you will have your own cannabis inventory. This means you won’t have to drive to a dispensary and wait in long lines. 
  • Gain overall appreciation and knowledge of the cannabis plant - As you grow marijuana, you will learn more about the cannabis plant. 
  • Legal to grow your own cannabis in most states - In Illinois, it is only legal for medical marijuana users to grow their own cannabis. Leafly states the Illinois marijuana growing laws which say that medical patients who have medical marijuana cards, can grow up to 5 cannabis plants if they follow all of the legal guidelines. 
  • You can use all parts of marijuana plant - When you go to a dispensary, you don’t always get every part of the marijuana plant including the stems, leaves, and seeds. 

Cons: Growing Your Own Marijuana 

  • Limited strains produced - When you grow your own cannabis, you don’t have the wide assortment of marijuana products that cannabis dispensaries offer. You are usually able to grow only one type of strain. 
  • Takes a lot of resources to grow cannabis - Time, money, upfront investment, and space either indoors or outdoors. Length of process varies depending on environmental factors. You also have to budget for expensive growing equipment, including lights, soil, grow tents, marijuana seeds, and water. 
  • Legally grown - Follow regulations including keeping out of reach of children by locking the room or area where cannabis is being cultivated. You also have to make sure the marijuana garden is not public, so you should grow cannabis in tents. 
  • Cannabis possession limits - Each states’ marijuana possession limits still apply to cannabis cultivators. You have to be careful how much of a yield your cannabis crop will produce as you can be fined for how much marijuana you grow. Remember that possession amounts vary from state to state. Keep in mind, if you are a medical patient, you can usually possess higher amounts. It pays to know the law in your state.
  • Lack of cannabis knowledge - If you try to start growing marijuana without doing proper research, you will risk ruining your harvest, and losing your investment. 
  • Requires constant care - You will have to spend time each day monitoring your marijuana garden or indoor grow room. If you neglect your marijuana plants, you risk them being ruined by pests, disease, and mold growth which leaves you with worthless cannabis plants, and you will have to start all over. 

There are pros and cons for each of these methods of possessing marijuana. You have to see which option, either buying cannabis from a dispensary or growing marijuana yourself is best for you by weighing the pros and cons. We may be biased, but we think dispensaries offer a great deal of variety and quality marijuana products. Choose an EarthMed dispensary for your cannabis purchases.

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