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Evolution of Buying Marijuana: Can You Buy Weed Online?

Thanks to the onset of COVID-19, we’ve seen a significant uptick in consumer demand from online retailers of all industries. The cannabis industry is no exception, although buying weed online comes with several caveats.

One of those caveats is that marijuana is still technically federally illegal. That means you’re limited to what you can get online and where you can get it online. Of course, that doesn’t stop the ever-growing consumer demand for getting some of the highest-quality cannabis available from all over the world.

As this demand grows, we can expect to see online cannabis retail in full swing. For now, let’s talk about how we got here and the best way to legally buy weed online.

A Brief History of the Marijuana Industry

Marijuana has been criminalized since the 1930s, however, it wasn’t until 1970 that it was deemed a schedule I controlled substance (drug) under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Essentially, it was believed to have a high potential for abuse (no pun intended) and therefore had no ‘accepted’ medical use. It especially wasn’t acceptable to use recreationally.

During this time, marijuana was also illegal under the laws of every state. Nearly two decades later — and also nearly two decades ago — the state of marijuana laws has undergone a very real transformation. Starting with California being the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996, other states including Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado quickly followed suit.

By 2014, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was passed and signed into law, prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering with medical marijuana laws at the state level. More amendments and memorandums have been established since, including the 2018 Farm Bill which decriminalized hemp cannabis on the federal level.

Fast forward to 2022, now medical marijuana is legal in 39 states, recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states (plus Guam) and hemp cannabis is legal everywhere — within reason. (it must contain less than 0.3% THC, give or take). Of course, the lines of legality become a bit blurry as different states have different rules for what they allow. What’s more, certain states don’t legally allow cannabis dispensaries to operate yet allow the possession of cannabis.

For example, Washington D.C. allows for the possession of all cannabis as well as its cultivation for adults up to a certain extent. However, sales within the District of Columbia are prohibited. So you can purchase it there, smoke it there and grow it there — you just can’t buy it in a store there.

How to Legally Purchase Marijuana Today

Legally purchasing marijuana today is almost the same as grabbing a six-pack from the liquor store. All you have to do is go to your local dispensary and choose the type of cannabis you want. You can even talk to the dispensary’s budtenders about your options. From there, you hand over your ID to verify your age, pay the budtender and walk out the door with your newly purchased.

Of course, it’s not always that simple. In states where only medical marijuana is permitted, you’ll need an MMJ card and a qualifying disease or disorder to go with it.

Can You Buy Weed Online?

The short answer here is yes, you can buy weed online. There is a countless number of online dispensaries to choose from, and people tend to like them better because they’re much less intimidating than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

It’s also nice because you can peruse the various brands in your pajamas and read up on them in your own time — while also researching multiple dispensaries simultaneously. This allows you to see what’s out there and what fits into your budget without having to answer a million questions in person. Although, speaking with a budtender in person about your options shouldn’t be overlooked.

Lastly, buying weed online helps to streamline the purchasing process and entire experience as you can opt for home delivery, curbside pick-up, or even curbside pickup where available.

How to Legally Buy Weed Online

So, when it comes to buying weed online, how can you do it legally? The answer to this question is much less complicated than the laws surrounding cannabis itself. The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that you’ll need to find a dispensary that can legally sell to your area.

Therefore, if you live in a state where marijuana is still illegal, don’t expect to be able to order any from an online dispensary in California. Other than that, the requirements are essentially the same for buying weed online as they are for buying it in person.

For starters, you must be of legal age and have the proper identification to prove it, which means uploading your photo ID for verification. (If you’re picking up in-store or curbside, you’ll likely be asked to show your ID again).

Depending on the dispensary, you may or may not be able to use your debit or credit card. This is because there are still unfortunately a lot of banking restrictions on cannabis businesses. In some instances, you’ll be able to prepay with a credit or debit card when you place your order, but it’s a good idea to have cash on hand.

As for medical marijuana purchases, you’ll only need to present your MMJ card if you’re shipping at a medical-only dispensary and purchasing medical-only cannabis products. If you’re in doubt, you can contact the dispensary beforehand with any questions regarding medical-only products and how to order them.

Marijuana has certainly come a long way from being criminalized and coined the devil’s lettuce to being able to purchase quality buds online. Now, buying weed online is as quick and easy as tying your shoes. Where it’s legal anyway. Don’t forget, marijuana isn’t the only thing you can buy online. Check out our smoke-eliminating products that allow you to safely get rid of cannabis odors without harming yourself or the environment.

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