Which US Cities Have the Most Cannabis Dispensaries? 

Weed stores are pretty much a normal thing in most of the United States at this point. With more than 75 percent of the country having legalized cannabis to some extent, it’s only natural that we’re beginning to see dispensaries popping up seemingly everywhere. As a matter of fact, a popular headline circulating a few years ago described how Colorado had more pot shops than Starbucks and McDonald’s stores: 491, 392, and 208, respectively.

It’s fun to think about, and it got me wondering what states and cities in the US have the most cannabis dispensaries overall. Let’s take a closer look at the stats.

Cannabis legalization in the states

Although the use and possession of cannabis is still federally prohibited, and cannabis remains a schedule 1 narcotic on the DEA’s list of controlled substances, legal weed at the state level has been around for almost three decades now. As of September 2023, thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical cannabis, while 23 states, including D.C., have legalized recreational use.  

California broke barriers becoming the first state to legalize medical cannabis back in 1996. Lesser known, is that Arizona also passed a medical cannabis ballot measure that same year, but it was rendered ineffective on a technicality that wasn’t fixed until 2010. By the year 2000, seven more states passed medical cannabis measures: Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, Washington, Maine, and Hawaii. From then on, it spread like wildfire and now, 76% of the US offers medical cannabis to their residents.  

In 2012, Oregon and Colorado legalized recreational cannabis for adults over the age of 21, another first for the United States. They are now the first states to make major strides in psychedelic drug reform as well. Again, numerous states began to follow suit with weed legalization. Minnesota is the most recent state to go green, with a bill signed into law on May 30 of this year, going into effect on August 1st.  

Most dispensaries per capita  

So, since most of the US is “legal”, what are the nation’s most saturated markets? It’s hard to say, as different sources provide slightly different figures on where to find the most dispensaries. But it seems the few states that consistently come up in the top five are Oregon, Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, and Alaska. A report published in 2020 claims that Oregon has about 16.5 dispensaries per 100,000 residents, followed by Oklahoma at 15.6, and Montana at 15.1.  

Oregon has always been weed-friendly

Per the report, Colorado (14.1), Alaska (12.7), Washington (6.2), New Mexico (5.2), Nevada (2.4), Michigan (1.7) and California (1.6) round out the top 10. When it comes to cities with the most dispensaries, we have Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the top spot with 48.7 dispensaries per 100,000 residents. Then Missoula, Montana (36.2), Medford, Oregon (34), Pueblo, Colorado (33.2), Eugene, Oregon (32.2) and Denver, Colorado (29.8). 

A recent article I found says that Oklahoma has moved to the top spot, surpassing Oregon, but I couldn’t find any numbers or data to support this claim. Another article I read says that “Among states with legalized medical cannabis, Oklahoma had the largest number of dispensary licenses as of summer of 2021,” which makes more sense when comparing it only to states with medical, as opposed to lumping it in with adult-use states.  

One thing that none of these stats takes into account are illegal states that sell “alternative” cannabinoid flowers. While these products are marketed as hemp, and the stores are presented as smoke shops, head shops, and apothecaries, we know that it is often just regular pot being sold in what feels like a dispensary, thanks to the THCA loophole. It’s impossible to say how many of these stores exist.

“Dispensary deserts” 

At glance, it seems like there are a decent number of dispensaries in the US… and there are. Once more, I found it difficult to find specifics, but the most recent data from 2020 states that there are 7,490 dispensaries total, and it’s safe to estimate that number is substantially higher now that quite a few more states have legalized.  

So, we have a decent number of pot shops and delivery services, but the problem is that most of them are concentrated in just a few select areas. This can be due to several different factors including local zoning regulations, city or county tax rates, conservative pushback in some areas, and the list goes on.

For example, you would think a state like California is just littered with dispensaries, but that’s not really the case. The golden state only has about 1,400 dispensaries for their almost 40 million residents. That only works out to 36.7 dispensaries per million people. And they’re not as accessible as one would think. When I lived in the high desert, there was not a single dispensary out there. I had to drive at least 1 hour away to the Coachella Valley, a region that has a pretty high density of pot shops for how small it is – a total of 76 dispensaries for their total population of about 370,000, in an area that spans only 45 miles.

Coachella Valley, California

It’s comparable to food deserts in a sense, which are defined as “areas that have limited access to affordable and nutritious food,” – be that grocery stores, farmers markets, and so on. Although food is arguably more important than pot, some people do need cannabis to maintain a reasonable and functional quality of life, and having no options to buy it legally does nothing but bolster illicit markets.

Final thoughts

It’s wonderful that we live in a time when we can walk into a store and buy some pot, or have it delivered straight to our homes. Although numbers are all over the place, it does give us a better idea for what cities and states are the most weed-friendly. Regardless, one key takeaway here is that despite how many dispensaries we do have, there are quite a few steps to take in order to make cannabis more accessible for everyone who needs it.

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Senior Citizens Lead the Charge in Cannabis Consumption

Summary: Senior citizens have emerged as the fastest-growing demographic of cannabis users, reflecting a broader societal acceptance of marijuana and the aging of the baby boomer generation.

Cannabis: Not Just for the Young, Seniors Citizens Join the Trend

Seniors are rapidly becoming the leading demographic in cannabis consumption. From 2009 to 2019, the percentage of Americans over 65 who have used marijuana almost tripled, rising from 11% to 32%. In 2019, over half of those aged 60-64 reported using cannabis, marking a significant increase. By 2021, cannabis consumption among older adults reached 35%, although the pandemic might have influenced these figures.

This trend not only indicates a wider societal acceptance of marijuana, with 23 states now allowing its recreational use, but also highlights the generational shift with the aging baby boomers. For many older Americans, cannabis is less about recreation and more about therapeutic benefits such as sleep, pain relief, and relaxation. Daniel Uthe, a 61-year-old Wisconsin farmer, emphasized the importance of cannabis in managing pain, noting that without it, many activities would be too painful to undertake.

For sleep, relaxation and calming down

Despite the growing numbers, senior citizens still lag behind younger demographics in regular cannabis use. Only 5% of those over 65 and 10% of the 60-64 age group reported using marijuana in the past month in 2021, compared to 24% of adults aged 25 and under. However, the actual numbers might be higher, as some older users might be hesitant to admit their consumption in surveys.

The increasing acceptance of cannabis among senior citizens aligns them with the national trend. Recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that half or more adults in every age group have tried marijuana at least once. The Gallup poll also found that for the first time, half of Americans have tried marijuana.

Young adults, having grown up in a more cannabis-friendly environment, are at the forefront of this trend. Meanwhile, older generations, especially the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945), have been more resistant to cannabis, having grown up before its widespread recreational use.

Even one month is enough…

The senior citizens generation, however, has a different perspective. Many of them were young adults in the 1970s, a period marked by high marijuana use. With the advent of recreational dispensaries offering a more mainstream and accessible way to purchase cannabis, many baby boomers have returned to or started using cannabis. Dispensaries now cater to this older demographic, offering products that are more aligned with their needs, such as edibles, tinctures, and salves.

The cannabis industry has noticed that older users have distinct preferences. They tend to opt for set doses, prefer lower doses, and prioritize safety and potency. Despite economic challenges, seniors have remained consistent cannabis consumers, with their spending on cannabis products only dipping slightly compared to younger users.

Source: 420 Intel

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Should you avoid taking these pain killers?

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Cannabis Retailer Fire & Flower Files for Bankruptcy Protection 

Another big-name cannabis company is towing the line of financial failure, and it should come as no surprise that they’re a corporate retailer from Canada. The company in question this time, is Fire & Flower, and like many others in the industry, they’re looking to restructure their business and find a way to pay back creditors before it’s too late.

About Fire & Flower  

Fire & Flower is one of Canada’s largest retailers, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Edmonton, with over 100 corporate-owned stores in Canada and the United States. They also operate under three different subsidiary brand names: Friendly Stranger, Hotbox, and Happy Dayz.  

In 2019, convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. bought 9.9 per cent of Fire & Flower for approximately $26 million, with an option to take over majority control for $380 million. It’s unknown whether Couche-Tard ever exercised its right to buy more shares, but we do know that they offered the company “debtor in possession” financing of up to $9.8 million so they can continue operations while CCAA proceedings are ongoing. 

But all these efforts seem almost futile as the company is simply losing popularity among consumers. “I never really liked the Fire & Flower format. … It was very much a big-box store look, and cannabis has really gone to a ‘smaller is better’ kind of format. It just doesn’t have the revenues and profits to support a big, standalone building,” said cannabis industry analyst Chris Damas. 

Damas is not alone in his thinking. While I’m not too personally familiar with most of the Canadian cannabis companies, for the obvious reason that I live in the US, I do happen to have some experience with the Fire & Flower brand. A few years ago, they bought and ruined a dispensary that I used to frequent in Palm Springs. I knew the owner at the time, when it was called 420 Oasis, and it was one of the few woman-owned dispensaries in the area. It was also one of the most popular, they always had a lot of different products in stock for great prices, and they were the only dispensary that delivered to me in the high desert, since Joshua Tree was a bit far from Palm Springs. Always accommodating.

Fire & Flower bought 420 Oasis in February 2021 for an undisclosed amount. Overall, the public reception was poor. Reasons noted include exaggerated prices, higher tax rates, less product variety, and lower quality flower. Yelp reviews include comments like “Once, when it was 420 Oasis it was amazing. Great service, great concept, awesome products, fair prices. However now that it’s Fire & Flower it is the worst dispensary in town”, and “I’m so disappointed with the changes that have come along with the name change from 420 Oasis to Fire and Flower. Having been a VERY regular customer I can no longer be a part of this dispensary.” 

What’s the story? 

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. recently filed for bankruptcy protection as they’re drowning in an ocean of debt. According to court filings, the company had only $8.1 million in cash at the end of the first quarter, against a debt of $50.8 million. They are looking to sell their remaining assets in a last-ditch attempt to stay afloat. 

“The applicants are unable or are expected to soon become unable to meet their obligations generally as they become due,” the company said in Ontario Superior Court filings, before being granted protection under the Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act (CCAA). The CCAA offers legal protection to companies who owe $5 million or more, and allows them to continue operating while they restructure and try to get back in the black.  

Fire & Flower plans to reduce salaries, lay off an undisclosed number of employees, and close an undermined number of stores throughout the US and Canada, including stores that operate under one of their three subsidiary brands.  

“Increased competition and operating costs, margin pressure and regulatory restrictions suffered by the companies and the cannabis industry generally have collectively contributed to significantly lower revenues and higher costs than what the applicants expected their cannabis retail stores would face,” said the company in a recent statement.  

Bankruptcy vs bankruptcy protection 

Although they seem similar, and both are options offered to businesses that find themselves struggling financially. Bankruptcy is the end of line of a business. It means they hit a wall of debt, they can no longer cover operating costs, and they can’t pay back their investors and creditors. Once a business files for bankruptcy, the business is closed, all assets are liquidated, and the proceeds from the sold assets are paid out to creditors and investors.  

Bankruptcy protection, which is also known as “insolvency protection”, is basically the step before bankruptcy. In a bankruptcy protection case, it’s still believed that the company can reach some sort of middle ground with their creditors, and they’re allowed to continue operating while they restructure and try to gain back some capital.  

While sometimes these compromises end in the company getting back on its feet and eventually becoming profitable again, but that’s not always so. Either way, it usually ends up offering a better return to creditors and investors than bankruptcy.  

Canada’s faltering cannabis industry  

If you follow cannabis news (and if you’re here, we assume you do), then you’ve probably seen many stories about Canada’s failing market. From mass layoffs, to store closers, salary cuts, major restructuring plans, tax woes, and even companies closing down entirely – the one constant is that most companies, both large and small, are in hot water.  

Canopy Growth, for example, one of the biggest pot retailers in the country, recently announced a string layoffs and store closures, and just last week, The S&P Dow Jones reported that it had updated its S&P/TSX listing, and that Canopy Growth was booted off because their total market capitalization was simply too low.  

Similarly, Aurora Cannabis announced that they received a notice from Nasdaq in March, stating that their share price dropped below $1 over the one-month period from February 8th to March 8th. While they’re not out of the market just yet, they have only 180 days from the time of the notice (cutoff date of September 20th) to get their stock prices back up to the “minimum bid price requirement”.  

Other well-known giants of the cannabis industry include Canopy Growth, Aurora, Tilray (which is actually a US company, but they have a huge branch in Canada and merged with Canadian company Aphria back in 2020), and Cresco Labs – all of which are struggling. Nearly every company on the companies market cap list, including these, has been on a downward trajectory for the last few years.  

And to top it all off, Canada announced last month that they will begin collecting unpaid excise taxes from legal producers – a move that makes you wonder if they’re trying to collect all the money they can before further industry collapse. 

Final thoughts  

At this point, the world is looking at Canada as an example of what not to do when regulating an adult-use cannabis market. It’s almost as if no company from there is safe from economic troubles, whether they’re operating within Canada, in the US, or globally. Fire & Flower is just one more big name that’s not living up to anyone’s expectations, including their own.  

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Ohio Looks To Double Number of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

A top medical cannabis official in Ohio said last week that the state would like to significantly increase the number of available dispensary licenses in a move to address widening demand. 

Cleveland.com reports that Justin Sheridan, the director of medical marijuana operations at the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, said Thursday that “regulators want to double the number of dispensary licenses in the state to satisfy patient demand, which has been much higher than anticipated since the program became operational.”

Ohio has 58 medical cannabis dispensaries at the moment, according to the website. Speaking at Ohio State University last week, Sheridan said that the board is currently “working on adding 73 new dispensary licenses,” Cleveland.com reported.

According to the website, Sheridan said that the state Board of Pharmacy “received 1,400 applications for new dispensaries” in November, and that the “Ohio Lottery conducted a drawing to determine which companies would receive provisional dispensary licenses.”

The move to expand the number of dispensaries is a testament to the success of Ohio’s medical cannabis program, which launched sales in 2019, three years after lawmakers there passed a measure legalizing the treatment. 

When the first medical cannabis dispensaries opened in Ohio, “regulators projected 12,000 to 24,000 patients in the first two years,” according to Cleveland.com.

But instead, by February of last year, “there were 136,507 registered patients,” the website said, and today “there are 252,139.”

“In addition to more patients, some areas of the state have no dispensaries, including several rural areas in Northwestern and Western Ohio. In addition, some areas in southeastern Ohio only have one dispensary across several counties,” the website said, detailing the problem facing patients in the state.

Last month, the state’s Department of Commerce Medical Marijuana Control Program reported that the medical cannabis program had generated roughly $725 million in revenue

Under the state’s medical cannabis law, the treatment is available to patients with a host of qualifying conditions, including: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, Spasticity, spinal cord disease or injury, terminal illness, Tourette syndrome, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis.

In recent years, lawmakers have grappled with whether or not to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions, as 17 other states have done. 

Two years ago, the state’s Medical Board rejected a bid to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions after hearing testimony from proponents and opponents. A group of children’s hospitals in the state were among the latter group.

“The inclusion of autism and anxiety as conditions has the potential to negatively impact the health and well being of thousands of children in Ohio,” Sarah Kincaid of the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association told regulators on the board at the time. “There is little rigorous evidence that marijuana or its derivatives is of benefit for patients with autism and anxiety, but there is a substantial association between cannabis use and the onset or worsening of several psychiatric conditions.”

Last month, lawmakers in the Ohio House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow patients with autism to receive medical cannabis.

“This bill is a direct result of the needs and wants of the people of Ohio who are on the autism spectrum,” said one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Democratic state House Representative Juanita Brent. “It will help ensure legal access to a plant-based solution free from costly prescription medications or other outdated and sometimes harmful treatments.”

The post Ohio Looks To Double Number of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries appeared first on High Times.

The Wonder of Wonderbrett

Los Angeles is a place where, if one applies their trade with equal parts passion and skill, they can make a name for themselves as the best at what they do. Kobe. Clayton. Dre. Snoop. And when it comes to cannabis—Wonderbrett.

One of the industry’s most sought-after cannabis producers, a man more humbly known as Brett Feldman, earned his acclaim providing choice batches of the West Coast favorite OG Kush to supreme clientele such as Eminem and Cypress Hill’s B-Real, all while California was just beginning to allow medical use. 

“Even since the early 2000s, I was always hoping and dreaming that cannabis would become legal and we would be able to make a very prestigious brand one day,’’ Feldman says. “It was always in the back of my mind. I would think, ‘I can’t wait for this to be legal so we can grow, put it out there, and share good cannabis with other people around the world.’”

That time has come, as Wonderbrett recently launched its first retail shop in LA’s Fairfax District. Visitors can take in a double feature at Quentin Tarantino’s movie theater, shop for high-end sneakers at Undefeated and now purchase high-quality retail cannabis—all within a few miles.

“We’re LA guys,” Feldman says. “Our whole base of followers has been built in LA. We built our reputation in the music and entertainment community here. To have a store on La Brea Avenue in this location is paramount for our brand.”

With his flagship store now firmly tucked into a coveted Los Angeles retail district, Feldman looks back on the days when this legitimate business was once considered criminal more than two decades ago. 

“I just start thinking about the time I got extorted or the time I got robbed,” Feldman says. “All of these horrible things that you were victim to in that part of the business, whereas now the business is so different. It’s a grown-up, sophisticated business world. The stuff I went through then seems so irrelevant now.”

Wonderbrett’s understated and earthy interior design makes for an appealing, if stark, contrast from the colorful packaging and branding lining the store shelves.

Wonderbrett is divided into sections, with the flower wall facing the concentrates wall, and smalls, edibles and pre-rolls encased in the center.

“With the natural woods, hand-pounded pendant fixtures and the irregular wood on the floor, it’s not perfect—purposefully,” says Wonderbrett co-founder David Judaken.

“That adds to the comfort and vibe and energy of the space. When that’s in conflict with some of the branding, I think it sets each off and makes them better and more important because they’re juxtaposed to one another.”

As the retail shop passes its three-month anniversary, the founders say to expect more surprises.

“Wonderbrett is all about the drop,” Judaken says.

The company’s brick-and-mortar HQ may not even be the biggest news: For Wonderbrett, it’s all about the strains. The company’s strains have been available in a few dispensaries in small quantities, but the new location guarantees that customers can get their hands on some of the finest boutique genetics in the current market. Strains such as Pink Picasso and Orange Banana burst with flavor from each toke, while indicas such as OZ Kush and Black Orchid carry tinges of pine and gas.

Wonderbrett Grow Facility
One of 36 grow rooms at Wonderbrett’s Long Beach facility.

And, on this particular December 2021 weekend, the Wonderbrett Los Angeles location premiered the release of Feldman’s latest genetic achievement, Blueberry Purp.

“It’s got a blueberry flavor, also a sweet grape aspect and a savory cookie type flavor too. It’s been a long breeding process to create this strain. The OZK Cookies and Cream, Beyond Blueberry into Grand Daddy Purp. It’s a legendary strain. It’s one of those strains where people miss it so much and wish it would come back. But you need to polish it up and that’s what we did.”

But even before he takes time to enjoy his labor’s fruits, Feldman is already plotting his next genetic marvel.

“In my mind, I want to cross [Blueberry Purp] into the Pink Picasso and make a Blue Picasso. My gut instinct tells me that those two terpene profiles are going to make something very special. I’m really hoping for a blueberry champagne flavor.”

Feldman continues this theme.

“Now that I’m talking about it, I need to go home and roll up a joint that’s half Pink Picasso and half Blueberry Purp, and give myself a sneak peak,” he says. “Sometimes that inspires breeding as well.”

A genetic résumé as impressive as Wonderbrett may seem to be full of secrets, but for Feldman, crossing strains is just as easy as blending flowers together and lighting up.

And what would the THC percentage of a Blue Picasso be? According to Feldman, that’s not the right question to ask. 

“There are too many misnomers out there right now with people trying to seek out strains that are 30 percent THC or higher,” he says. “Those tend to be not the better of the strains if you were to do a blind taste test. You’re going to tend to like strains with higher terpene profiles, not just THC.”

Wonderbrett’s elevated menu may prove to be a bit overwhelming, so Feldman himself decided to offer some of his own personal picks.

Orange Sunset

“New customer, never smoked, I’m going to say Orange Sunset because the flavor is so undeniable that even somebody who doesn’t have a developed cannabis palette will immediately have a great experience,” Feldman says. “For someone’s first time trying cannabis it should taste like something they can relate it to. Most people have had orange juice or candy. It’s undeniably orange. It’d be really hard for someone to have a bad experience with that flower as a first-time smoker.”

For the experienced enthusiasts, Feldman turns it up a notch or three.

“For the elevated connoisseur who’s looking for the most unique, special terpene profile, I’d go with Pink Picasso,” he says. “It’s one of those strains where I should probably have that in my Instagram bio, you know, ‘creator of Pink Picasso’.”

As far as his all-time favorite strain, Feldman is quick on the draw: Cherry Trop.

“I’ve been smoking Cherry Trop every day,” he says. “It’s one of the most beautiful strains I’ve had the pleasure of growing. In the last two weeks of growing, it turns so purple and red. It doesn’t even look like a bag of weed; it almost looks like a cartoon. The terpene profile is delicious, too. It’s derived from Trop Cookies and Cherry Cookies, so it’s savory and has hints of Tangie, and it’s very potent.”

Exclusive strains are far from the only reason why enthusiasts should visit the new shop. The remarkable selection of flowers lining the west wall, the pre-rolls and edibles found in the middle displays showcase a blend of the industry’s top brands in addition to in-house product. 

“We like to bring in brands that we’d actually smoke,” Feldman says. “I want people to come in and not be overwhelmed. I want them to be able to have a selection that they can actually digest when they walk through here.”

Brett Feldman at Black Start Studios in Studio City, where the cultivator also spends time recording music.

But don’t rely on your new favorite flavor being available at Wonderbrett for too long. 

“You have to have things come and go. We’re constantly breeding and creating new strains and pheno-hunting,” Feldman says. “Our goal is to put out at least one new strain every three months, and if we can do more than that, we will.”

Feldman continues to support the hip-hop community that once helped launch his own career. One of his favorite brands to promote is Coffee and Kush, created by Los Angeles rapper Problem.

“I’m really proud of Problem,” Feldman says. “He’s doing it right, doing it himself. He found good growers to work with. It’s a good example of how a celebrity should approach this space versus just trying to get a royalty by giving their name out. I really applaud him—he’s an LA legend doing it right in this space.”

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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First Visit to a Cannabis Dispensary? A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Recreational cannabis is legal in 18 states and medical is legal in 39 states, and we can expect those numbers to grow to 50 and 50 within the next couple of years most likely. Every time a new legal market opens up, hundreds of thousands of people gain access to cannabis for the first time. They’re exposed to a whole new world of flower shopping which includes new storefronts, innovative technology, delivery options, different products they’ve never heard of, and so on. It’s a completely different ball game and, as expected, people new to the industry might have some questions.

As someone lucky enough to have grown up in California, the world’s largest cannabis market, I’ve had the opportunity to shop at many different dispensaries and stores over the last decade. In taking numerous friends and out-of-state relatives weed shopping for their first time, I have noticed a few things that are important to keep in mind if you want to make that first visit to a pot dispensary as smooth as possible.

Weed is the best; and what’s particularly fun about today’s industry is the sheer variety of products you can find online or in most dispensaries. In-fact many of the top cannabis dispensary products could be found online, if you know where to look for them. If you would like to learn more about how to find them online, or try out different products make sure to Subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter to learn more and for exclusive deals on Delta 8Delta 10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC.

Familiarize yourself with the local market

First things first, get to know the legal cannabis market in your area. What you can buy, how you can buy it, and how much of it you can buy, largely depends on where you live. For example, I’m from a small community in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. Although cannabis is completely legal in the state of California, walk-in/storefront dispensaries were NOT permitted in my area. As a matter of fact, numerous CA cities have moratoriums prohibiting cannabis dispensaries from operating within their limits.

All this to say, If I wanted to buy weed, whether it was THC (marijuana) or CBD (hemp) dominant, I would have needed to order it online to be delivered to my home or I could have driven down to Coachella Valley to buy some, as that area is one of the most lenient area in the entire state when it comes to cannabis cultivation and retail (and this is what I usually opted for). Then we take a look at other states – some only have medical cannabis, other states prohibit certain products (concentrates for example), and the different caveats go on and on. You don’t have to go far much in-depth, but a minimal level of research will certainly be to your advantage.

Also keep in mind that CBD Flowers/Hemp Flowers infused with other cannabinoids like delta 8 THC are technically, federally legal, so you can order those online no matter where you live. If you need help finding a reputable online retailer, subscribe to our newsletter above or below for helpful tips, deals, reviews, and relevant news articles.

2. Prepare to be amazed

If you’re like me and love weed, that first time stepping into a legal cannabis store really is one of those kid-in-a-candy-store moments. For me, it was on my 18th birthday – back when the selection was scarce and the storefronts were shady, but it was still amazing no less. The freedom of being able to legally buy whatever product I wanted was, and still is, a great feeling (one that I realize I took for granted, now that I live in Indiana, one of the strictest prohibition states in the nation). Trust me, you will be wowed at the sheer number of options and the quality of the products – everything from the product itself, to the hardware you consume it with, to the packing it comes in. Stepping into a truly high-end dispensary for the first time will probably blow your mind.

Take one of current favorite shop for instance, Fire & Flower in Palm Springs. As far as building design and decor goes, they’re no frills, but inside you will find hundreds of products to choose from including top-shelf flower, edibles, vapes, concentrates, and topics; technologically adept shop with interactive digital SKUs on each product so customers can learn (in detail) about what they’re buying, online ordering options, and every other retail convenience you can imagine. For anyone that remembers cannabis prohibition or is still going through it now in certain regions, the legal pot shopping experience of today will truly blow your mind. Some of these shops will have you thinking you’re in an Apple store for weed, it’s game changing when you’ve never seen a place like this.

3. Go in with an open mind, and wallet

Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to know what you want before you get there. A lot of people are completely unfamiliar with anything having to do with cannabis or CBD flowers, and that’s totally fine. After all, it is a big part of the budtender’s job to educate customers and help them choose products. Of course, the process is quicker and easier if you do go in with an idea of what you’re looking for, but don’t feel bad if you’re a novice user, we all start our cannabis-learning experience somewhere!

Not to mention, going from black-market shopping to a legal recreational market is an exciting transition. You go from buying whatever your dealer has on hand, to a myriad of product options. Someone who has been strictly buying flower on the street might be unfamiliar with real edibles or legal and safely made concentrates, so these customers will likely be seeking guidance when shopping for these products

All that said, high-quality legal products that have been lab-tested for safety and transparency, can sometimes fetch a higher price tag than what many people anticipate (there is often an expectation that these products will be cheaper because they’re legal, but that’s not always the case). Plus, when you’re bombarded with so many new and interesting things to choose from, it can be easy to spend a bit more than you originally planned.

4. Be prepared

Cannabis is a controlled substance, and as such, certain documentation is required when purchasing weed products. Most dispensaries require a current form of identification, nothing too personal, and you will often need to fill out a short form with some additional info upon arrival. Some places are only open to locals, so you will need a state-issued ID. If you’re shopping at a medical dispensary, you will also need a doctor’s recommendation.

Another thing you’ll want to have with you is cash. Several locations these days let you pay with a card and most shops will have an ATM on site for an alternative option, but there is a possibility that you will end up in a store that only accepts cash and has no way for you to get it. So, if this is your first visit to a particular dispensary, remember that cash is king

As far as hemp and CBD products go, companies generally won’t sell to anyone under 18 years old. It’s federally legal, but there are still some rules as far as who can sell what. In California, dispensaries that are licensed to sell THC products cannot sell hemp. Not sure why that is, but it’s something to prepare for when organizing your shopping trip.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not a complete run-down of how your initial visit to a dispensary might go (because, let’s face it, everyone’s experience will be different – even shopping at the same store sometimes), there are a few some basic things to remember that will help you get the best out of your first adventure into a legal cannabis store. But the most important thing to keep in mind, is that you’re a stoner among stoners, so have fun and enjoy the incredible world of legal weed.

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Canada’s Top Five Cannabis Shops To Check Out In 2022

Canada has been opening some seriously cool cannabis stores around the country in the last few years. Some are making a name for themselves, and here are Canada’s top five cannabis shops to check out in 2022: Canna Cabana  In 2009, Canna Cabana was a bong shop in Calgary with big dreams of being more. […]

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What Are The Most Popular Cannabis Dispensary Products?

I don’t know about you, but me personally, I feel like every time I set foot into a cannabis dispensary (whether it’s a new one or one that I frequent regularly), I’m pleasantly surprised by a wide array of new and innovative products. Me being a stoner, I’m tempted to try them all, but I also don’t want to waste money on a passing fad that won’t produce the desired effects. From traditional flower to unique edibles, and even topicals, capsules, and THC-inhalers… Whar are the top cannabis dispensary products today?

Weed is the best; and what’s particularly fun about today’s industry is the sheer variety of products you can find online or in most dispensaries. In-fact many of the top cannabis dispensary products could be found online, if you know where to look for them. If you would like to learn more about how to find them online, or try out different products make sure to Subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter to learn more and for exclusive deals on Delta 8Delta 10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC.

A Quick Overview of What’s Popular

Point blank, flower remains king when it comes to the most popular cannabis products, included in nearly half of all dispensary transactions. Next in line are edibles (including beverages) and pre-rolled joints, raking in 17% and 11.5% of total sales, respectively. Also popular are concentrates and vape pens.

Additionally, a survey conducted by Headset, a well-known cannabis industry data and market intelligence company, broke it down even further to see what type of flower is most popular. According to their numbers, hybrid flower is the best seller at over 25% of total flower transactions, followed by indica at 11% and sativa flower at 10%. This might come as a surprise to many people considering how heavily most budtenders push the indica strains.

When it came other products, gummies and high-quality chocolates, carbonated beverages, live resin, and various vaping items are seeing a sharp spike in popularity. Of the above listed products, live resin has the highest growth rate, averaging about 29% higher sales every month.

Keeping it Old School with Flower

According to the budtenders I’ve spoken to, they estimate that traditional flower accounts for roughly half of all dispensary sales. And statistically, that number is not far off. Data provided by Headset, indicated that 49% of all dispensary transactions are for the purchase of flower.

That being said, “traditional” flower is not quite so traditional anymore, with quality and overall potency on the constant uprise. Even on the lower end, today’s strains average 16-18 percent THC, but for top-shelf buds that number can soar to over 30 percent. Compare that to an average of 10 percent with high quality flower clocking in about 20 percent just a decade ago, and you can see that despite peoples’ inclination to chose flower, there is a growing demand for higher THC products.

Even when people use other products, like concentrates and edibles, they often buy some flower as well. Additionally, flower products are often the first choice for novice users and good flower deals are proven to help attract new customers to a business.

Eat or Drink Your Cannabis

When looking at both THC-infused food products AND beverages, this sector makes up just under 17% of the overall market. Food product transactions stand at 13.1% and beverage sales account for about 3.7% – totaling 16.8% of a standard dispensary’s sales.

Although dosing isn’t particularly accurate with edible products, they offer many other benefits including discretion and potency. Not to mention the sheer variety of products you can find these days. Sweets like gummies, cakes, cookies, brownies, and chocolates dominate the market, but some stores sell savory treats like chips and popcorn as well.  

Cannabis-infused beverages are also an up-and-coming trend, with many people preferring them over other options because they are easy to consume and often have less sugar and dietary fat than most of the readily available dispensary edibles.

One of the primary reasons that edible products are so popular is because they offer more intense, and longer-lasting effects than smoking or vaping flower. When THC is processed via the digestive system, the body breaks it down and metabolizes it in the liver, producing the cannabinoid metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH), which is regarded as being much more potent than regular delta 9 THC. It takes longer for 11-OH to reach the brain, but once it does, the high will be much more intense and can last for a few hours, whereas smoking hits almost immediately but the effects fade after about 1 hour at the most.

Concentrates or “Dab” – Wax, Shatter, Live Resin, and More

Cannabis concentrates, or “dabs” are extracts that contain high levels of certain cannabinoids, typically THC. Popular concentrates include wax, shatter, crumble, sugar, sauce, badder, live resin, and many others. They typically average 70-80% THC content, but some will boast close to 100% purity. Most concentrates are extracted using butane, CO2, hydrocarbons, alcohol, heat, propane, and/or water.

Due to their strength, and the fact that you may need specific, often more complicated devices to consume them, concentrates can be intimidating to some users – especially older or inexperienced users. By late last year, concentrate sales reached $94.8 million and account for just under 30 percent of total dispensary revenue; and that number is on the rise.

Nick Tennant, founder and chief technology officer of Precision Extraction Solutions, a hemp- and marijuana-extraction company based in Detroit, says that concentrates are often a small part of new markets, but they tend grow in popularity over time.

“We tend to see an 80%-20% in favor of flower in early markets,” he said. “As consumers become more seasoned, you see that trend shift. The shift can go all the way to 65% flower versus 35% concentrates as the market evolves.”

Healthier Consumption with Vape Pens

Between vaping and smoking, vaping is without a doubt the healthiest option out of the two. The reason is because you can regulate your device to heat up to whatever the optimal temperature is for the particular product you’re consuming. Regardless of how many benefits there are to using cannabis, inhaling burnt plant matter comes with some risk of side effects, albeit less than cigarette smoke.

And when you consider that today, you can vape concentrate, oil, AND raw flower, it’s no surprise that vape pens are one of the most popular dispensary products on the market, accounting for about 8.2% of all industry transactions. You can get a very basic vape pen for standard carts for under $20 at most dispensaries or headshops, but some of the more specialized, brand-nape options can run up to well over $150.

Pre-Rolled Joints for Convenience           

Although this is technically a flower product, pre-rolls deserve their own category because of how much growth this particular item is experiencing. A lot of people, even many of my own friends, prefer pre-rolled joints because they’re discreet, convenient, disposable, and moderately inexpensive. For example, my local dispensaries sell packs of 14 prerolls, each one weighing 1 gram, for $50-55, which is roughly the same price as a quarter of raw flower but with much less work if you’re a regular joint smoker.

Despite popular belief that dispensaries use their low-quality shake in the pre-rolled joints, that’s actually not true. Prerolls are usually made with the same cannabis that they sell in flower form. The product that I referenced above, comes from the Pacific Stone brand, who also sells a variety of flower strains.

In total, the sale of pre-rolled joints in general grew 59% last year, from $704 million in 2019 to $1.12 billion in 2020. The sale of multipack prerolls grew by 69.4 percent while single joints only saw an 18.1% boost. By comparison, the entire cannabis market which has seen substantial growth, has only increased by 54.2% during the same time period.

Let’s Take a Look at Profit Margins

All these products are experiencing significant growth, but when it comes to actual profitability, some products have much higher margins than others. What’s interesting is that profit margins don’t always correlate with product popularity. They are simply a measure of how much net profit a product brings in after expenses.

Flower, which is the most popular product in all dispensaries, has the lowest profit margin at 53.5%. Shake and trim also has low margins. The least popular product in the industry, capsules, have the highest profit margin of 58.0%. When it comes to finding that perfect middle ground, vape pens are both popular and carry high profit margins. Edibles and prerolls also have relatively high margins. You can see there is a trend with convenience products, and these tend to have high margins and sell quickly.

According to Priconomics Data Studio, flower products are less profitable from the retailers’ perspective. “That’s why they are probably glad, if not encouraging, the rising popularity of alternatives. People are increasingly likely to leave a dispensary with baked goods, candies, gum, and vapor pens. This may hint at a shift in marijuana habits. Or these alternative products may just be the dispensary equivalent of impulse buys at the cash register.”

Cannabis Dispensary Products – Final Thoughts

Most of the available data examines the cannabis industry as a whole, but it’s important to look at the sales statistics and profitability of individual products – one, because it gives a good idea where the consumer side of the industry is headed (hint, convenience products are on the rise), and two, because it offers some sort of guidance for new dispensary owners.

What are your favorite dispensary products? I’m personally a fan of raw flower and concentrates, but I love a nice, infused preroll occasionally as well. Let us know your go-to items in the comment section below. And thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles and other products.

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Cannabis Dispensaries Deemed “Essential” – Allowed To Stay Open While Other Businesses Are Forced To Close

As coronavirus sweeps across the nation and state after state is implementing mandatory “lockdown” and “stay-at-home” orders, many feared they wouldn’t be able to get cannabis anymore in the coming days.

Luckily, nearly every state with a medical or recreational cannabis program has deemed these businesses to be “essential”, among services such as pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores, and select city and government services. As long as they observe proper social-distancing guidelines and do not include more than 10 people in one place, cannabis dispensaries can continue to operate while companies from other industries are forced to close their doors.

For example, in a press release from
the City of Los Angeles, “cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or
ancillary healthcare services” are listed as essential healthcare services. As Dr.
Peter Grinspoon, a Harvard Medical School instructor, said in an interview with
the Boston Globe, “we need to think very carefully about the fact that tens of
thousands of people in (the state) truly depend on cannabis as a medicine.”
Cutting them off would mark “a disaster,” he said.

Even shutting down recreational sales could be extremely disruptive for the industry considering many people in legal states just skip the medical license altogether and use cannabis from recreational dispensaries to “self-medicate” and treat their ailments.

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An Essential Service

Rather than closing the doors to cannabis
dispensaries in the numerous states that have medical or recreational programs,
health officials have categorized these businesses as essential – alongside grocery
stores, pharmacies, and banks. That means their services are needed and
expected to continue throughout the duration of the lockdown. NORML executive
director Eric Altieri commended the actions of these state and local
governments for designating cannabis facilities as “essential” for public

“There are several million
state-licensed medical cannabis patients in America,” he mentioned. Since many
of these patients are among the most-vulnerable populations, it is essential
threat they maintain un-interrupted, regulated access to lab-tested products
during this time.” Additionally, the long-term position at NORML has been
the need for state laws to recognize and permit patients to engage in personal
cultivation…. consistent known supply of their medicine, and that their
access remains affordable.”

Storefronts will be taking extra
precautions to keep customers safe and healthy such as limiting the number of
people in the lobby and back rooms, cleaning the displays, doors, and counters
after every interaction, and taking in-bound forehead temperature readings. NORML
said it will “strongly encourage dispensaries to be mindful of their
patients’ needs and income limitations and, whenever possible, to price their
products accordingly so patients and the elderly can continue to engage in
social distancing.” 

Common Uses for Medical Cannabis

Although the idea of medical cannabis in western medicine is a relatively new and progressive concept, personal use dates back thousands of years. Although it went though a long period of stigma and prohibition, today, in the United States and many other countries, cannabis products have become relatively mainstream and dispensaries can be found all over the country.

As of July 2019, there are an estimated 3,099,934 state-legal medical cannabis patients in the U.S. alone, and millions more across the globe. Because cannabinoids interact with various specific receptors throughout our bodies, cannabis and hemp can treat a very diverse range of conditions including pain, insomnia, appetite, depression, epilepsy, anxiety, cancer, glaucoma, and so much more.

As far as recreational cannabis goes,
it’s the most commonly used “illicit” drug in the world. In the United States, there are roughly 55 million cannabis
users. The most common way to consume cannabis is to smoke it, but products have
come a long way and these days you can find everything from food, to drinks, to
topicals and beyond, all infused with cannabinoids.

Business is Booming

As state and local officials have been
urging Americans to stay home, the weekend of March 14th and 15th
saw cannabis dispensary traffic as high as during 4/20 week, with numerous
dispensaries reporting up to 4 times as many sales as normal.

At first, everyone descended upon the
storefronts. At Herbarium in Los Angeles, patrons were offered convenient pick
up options, free delivery, and every order came with a stylish black facemask, to
help increase awareness of the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Breanna Lucier, a spokeswoman
for the dispensary, “There are two reasons for all the customers you see in
here right now. One is that people are stocking up on all the things they
consider essential after being advised to stay indoors. The other reason —
people don’t want to care about coronavirus or watch upsetting news about it on
television,” she said. “Instead, they just want to chill out with Netflix and
some weed.”

Recent date from Headset shows that during
that same weekend, sales in Washington were up 23% to 35%, despite the state being
the epicenter for U.S. coronavirus cases. Additionally, the average amount
spent per transaction rose as well, to $33.70, plus tax.

Michigan dispensary owners echoed the
same sentiment, and many have written to Governor Gretchen Witmer to request
that she immediately expand consumer access to cannabis services including more
delivery options, relaxed criteria for medical cardholder renewals as well as
new patient approvals.

Gearing Up for Home Deliveries

While it’s great news that we’ll be able to continue buying cannabis, it does pose one obvious dilemma. Just like the insane crowds at grocery stores and markets, having a higher than average number of people inside the confined space of a dispensary doesn’t do much to stop the spread of infectious, airborne diseases.

said, delivery and pick up dispensaries are now seeing influx of sales. According
to sales associates as Mile High Supply in Temecula, CA, people have been ordering
in droves, stocking up for a possibly extending stay in their homes. They’re getting
as much as 30-40% more orders.

When shopping on weedmaps earlier this week (which, by the way, you can now make complete orders through the app and just sit back and wait for your delivery), a pop-up warned that “retailers are experiencing higher than average call volume and ETAs.” So, hopefully everyone will remain patient with their favorite cannabis dispensaries during these different times.

administration has already allowed “curb-service” delivery to
Michigan customers who use online ordering systems. The state will also begin
allowing medical cannabis recommendations to be handled via “tele-medicine”,
like it has already been done in other states like California for years. Sites
like nuggmd and prestodoctor will likely see an uptick in scheduling.

Final Thoughts

So, I guess after all this time, we can feel validated. For many people cannabis isn’t just a want, it’s a need – as much so as any other medication, supplement, or vitamin that people use to maintain their health and quality of life.

For more stories like this one, and to stay updated on all things cannabis related, be sure to subscribe to the CBD Flowers Business Newsletter.  

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Automated Budtenders Coming to a Dispensary Near You

Welcome to the future, where getting your cannabis is as simple as pushing a few buttons on a state-of-the-art vending machine.

Enter Greenbox Robotics, a company built around the idea of bringing technology and automation to the consumer cannabis industry. Greenbox is basically the next-generation arcade claw, with a touch-screen, user friendly interface that allows customers to browse through the dispensary’s inventory while a robotic arm literally does all their shopping for them.

It’s been referred to as an Automated Budtender, and it could revolutionize the dispensary experience. Research, development and production took over 1 year to complete and the Greenbox is 100% USA-made, down to the smallest screw.  

According to CEO Zack Johnson, “The biggest obstacle was establishing the communication between two vastly different technologies. We had to create a hack between the fully integrated touch screen and the robotic arm to properly deliver the products that customers added to cart.”


He added, “We also had to challenge traditional vending machines by incorporating an ‘add to cart’ functionality, which enables our customers to purchase as many items as they want in one single transaction reflective of an online shopping cart.”

It made its debut at Erba Collective dispensary in Los Angeles, California, at the beginning of this year. During the first month of use, Greenbox generated around $20,000 in revenue for the collective where it’s referred to as “Erba Express Checkout, Powered by Greenbox Robotics.”

The machine is extremely popular among shoppers, who can quickly get in, get their product, and get out and on with their days. The thought came to Johnsons mind while waiting in a long line to check out at Erba one day. 

“With greenbox, we are empowering dispensaries to automate the purchase flow and create a fast and private customer experience. By harnessing the power of today’s technology, greenbox users have the power at their fingertips to choose their own experience and dispensary owners can better allocate funds as well as manage their operation,” continued Johnson in his interview with Cannabis Magazine. 

He claims to already have orders coming in from Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Nevada. So, keep your eyes peeled for the Greenbox, likely coming soon to a dispensary near you.

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