Even in states like California, many weed lovers are sticking to their dealers. Here’s why.
(Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)
We’ve come a long way since street weed. Growing up, you had to go to a dealer to get your bud and be happy with what he or she gave you. You didn’t know what you were smoking, but weed was weed and that was good enough. Now that weed is legal in 30 US states, not to mention all across Canada, weed shopping is like shopping for groceries, except much more fun, obvs.
Weed smokers living in prohibition states don’t know that life, though, as they are still stuck buying herb the good old-fashioned way. For now, dispensary weed is just a dream that many are wishing would come true. At the same time, plenty of people remain skeptical about legal weed. The thought of dispensary bud paints a pretty picture, but there’s just one question: is it actually better than the local hookup?
Dispensary weed has its pros for sure. You get to go to an actual store, which can be as low-key as a neighborhood coffee shop or as high-end as the Apple store—and you get to pick out exactly what you want. Every dispensary has a menu that lists all the strains they have available, as well as other products like wax, edibles, etc. Having a selection is a huge win not only because you can always try new things, but also because you know what you’re consuming and how much. That’s especially helpful for medicinal consumers who want to find the right strain to relieve them from their ailment and for the high-chasing crowd who is after the bud with the highest potency.
Dispensary weed is a sweet luxury to have, but that doesn’t always mean it’s better than street weed. If you find the right dealer and you’re loyal, they’ll usually hook you up with extra green. Moreover, some dealers will front you weed, meaning they’ll let you get your bud right then and there and pay them back later. That’s a blessing when you’re broke but need to smoke.
Buying bud from a dealer is also familiar and comfortable for many. You get to know them over time, and they become much more of a best friend than a bud man. And if they like you, they’ll even smoke you up on occasion.
Of course, the free smoke sessions and sweet hookups don’t come without risks. Street bud is illegal to buy, sell, and smoke. If you’re caught, then the best case scenario is that you pay a fine. But the more you distribute and possess, the worst it gets, and you could face mandatory jail time, drug tests, rehab, and more as a consequence.
Let’s not forget about the hoops you have to jump through to get street bud. For one, you have to be able to get in touch for your dealer, which can be easier said than done. You are always on their time. Not to mention, it’s easier for them to rip you off, unless you’re the type to whip out the scale on somebody.
Dispensary bud sounds like the perfect alternative to street bud, but even it has its downs, one of them being the price. Dispensary weed is more often than not more expensive than street weed not only because it’s higher quality (depending on who you ask) but also because it’s taxed. Besides that, it’s regulated, and there are rules as to how much you can buy, possess, etc., which vary state to state.
In California, for example, you used to be able to get ounces for as little as $200. Dispensaries on the grey market would sell flower in these huge canisters and you could just tell them how much you wanted. But now, with California’s new recreational market, bud has to be packaged in a very particular kind of way. That means, for the most part, you’re looking at buying each eighth individually and they often are in the $60 range.
The thing about street bud is that it’s always going to be around, regardless of how many states embrace legal marijuana. Until the end of time, there will be people who have a special place in their heart for the local weed dealer and will never turn to anywhere else for their supply. After all, it’s that guy or gal that’s been serving them for years, not the dispensary that just popped up down the road.
Dispensary weed is legal, but legal doesn’t always mean better. What it all boils down to is the cannabis consumer, their preferences, and their lifestyle. Not everyone needs a crazy selection of weed products. All they want is what they know and love. Then again, a lack of choices has more limits than benefits for certain users. With street weed, it’s nearly impossible to monitor your dose, which is everything when you’re sensitive to high doses of THC.
The dispensary vs street weed debate is far from over. If we’re honest, it will probably never end. For now, it’s hard to say which is the better bud as many of us have yet to get our hands on a legal nug. The good news is that legal or not; there’s weed for everybody, so be thankful for your dealer, and your budtender, too.