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Cannabis 101

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Buy in Cannabis Dispensaries

Daniel King

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Cannabis Dispensaries

The legalization of medical marijuana in various U.S. states has launched a multi-billion dollar industry. With many patients wanting to experience the host of benefits of cannabis to their health and wellness, the market has grown exponentially. Even in the nations capital, people are able to easily find weed in DC. Among those who benefit from the birth and growth of this new market are dispensaries that sell marijuana and other related products like pure CBD oil.

This article will serve as a guide and a walk-through when you visit a dispensary near your area.

What is a Cannabis Dispensary?

The medical cannabis dispensaries act as retail shops where you can purchase cannabis and cannabis-related products. There are laws governing the dispensaries. As such, most of these dispensaries can be found where medical and recreational marijuana are legal. Unlike in the Netherlands, where the concept of dispensaries comes from, consuming the plant either by smoking or vaping on the site is not allowed.

A dispensary manager runs a typical store. He or she oversees the site’s day-to-day operations. It is also staffed by budtenders, who acts as a pharmacist, store attendant, and cannabis consultant in the store. Just like any retail outlet, it has cashiers, delivery crew, and other personnel.

Dispensaries are different from head shops, which strictly sells paraphernalia such as sell hashish pipes, rolling papers, and vaporizers for consuming marijuana products. Operating head shops is authorized by some states, especially where recreational marijuana is legal.

Buying from dispensaries can give you an edge over buying them online. Aside from having a chance to check the quality of your purchases, you can also seek help from budtenders or other people specializing in this plant.

Medical vs. Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensaries

Dispensaries fall under two categories: medical and adult-use (recreational). Medical cannabis stores only offer cannabis strains and products to patients who have permission or recommendation by doctors and other qualified health professionals. Meanwhile, adult-use cannabis dispensaries sell the products from the plant for relaxation and recreational activities.  Customers in both store types are required by law to submit requirements when purchasing.

Medical Dispensaries

Here are some documents requested by most medical cannabis shops:

  • Doctor’s recommendation and prescription, medical cannabis ID and certification, and other documents required by your state.
  • You must 18 years old and above to qualify for medical authorization. But you can apply for exceptions in some instances, especially if the minor has particularly debilitating conditions.

In most states, medical dispensaries require you to register and submit copies of your medical marijuana documents to keep them on file. They will keep this record for whatever legal and regulatory purposes imposed within the state.

The atmosphere of a medical dispensary typically resembles a clinic or other healthcare facility. After registering and presenting your documents to an attendant, you will be asked to proceed to a waiting room before a budtender will call you for a one-on-one consultation. The budtender will candidly discuss your medical issues and provide recommendations for your health condition based on your doctor’s findings.

In most cases, medical dispensaries track the products you’ve purchased. This procedure can help budtenders and patients monitor the potency of the medicine. The dispensary will also use the results as a live record of producers and their products for future reference.

In some states, medical dispensaries allow you to examine the quality of buds and other products before purchasing.

Adult-Use Dispensaries

Adult-use stores can only sell recreational cannabis to people aged 21 years old and above. You need to prove your age by showing a valid and unexpired state ID. You can use eligible and unexpired passport as an identig

Many outlets have menus and product lists that you can check while you stand in line. Their menus are organized in various ways, such as by product type such as flower, edible, concentrate, topical, and many others. Many also specify the THC content of the products, to give you an idea on the level of intoxication you can experience when consuming the product.

Unlike in medical stores, budtenders in the adult-use dispensaries usually don’t give you a full 20 minutes of their time in giving you advice. Adult-use dispensaries are often designed as a regular store where you can purchase marijuana products with more accessibility and convenience. They only need to check whether you are qualified to buy based on your age.

But this doesn’t mean you can no longer consult with budtenders. These professionals can still educate you or give you honest recommendations on which strain or product to use based on your needs.

Tips for Buying in Dispensaries

Visiting a cannabis dispensary should be an enjoyable and educational experience. These are some things to do when you visit in one of these specialized stores.

  • Do your research

Some websites such as Leafly has a list of dispensaries where you can buy marijuana products (whether medical or recreational) and CBD oil near you. You can check the type (medical or adult-use), address, and the menu of the stores. You can also contact the dispensary on the phone, via email or your social media account to double-check the availability of any product and for consultation.

  • Find out your specific goals for buying marijuana products

The first thing budtenders will do is to ask your reason for purchasing marijuana. Some of the questions they may throw to you revolves around:

  • The way you would like to consume your cannabis
  • Whether you will use marijuana as medicine
  • The level of psychoactive experience you want to experience
  • For how long you will experience the effects
  • How discreet you want your cannabis consumption to be

And you can’t blame budtenders for doing so. Cannabis come in a wide variety of strains (more than 100) with different effects in your body. You can also buy a host of cannabis-related products like CBD oil, THC oil, terpenes, and other substances. They need to know your definite intent for using marijuana to give you the best recommendation for your unique needs.

While visiting the website, you can also check what kind of IDs and other documents you need to show to the dispensary.

  • Prepare to ask the budtender

To be sure that you are buying only the best strain and product, you need to inquire budtenders many questions. Despite its popularity in popular culture, Americans, in general, are still newbies in terms of marijuana use.  Many will consume the plant for the first time. If you’re one of them, you need to check which one suits best for you. As mentioned above, marijuana comes in many variations, with each has a distinct flavor and effect on your body. You can even request the budtender to smell, feel, and taste the flowers and determine the quality of the plant first-hand.

But don’t expect to get authoritative answers from budtenders. The federal government has yet to issue license showing the expertise of these professionals in giving expert advice on the plant. What’s more, there are only a few educational institutions that offer courses about marijuana. So while you can seek their opinion based on their experience, you still need to consult cannabis doctors and other experts in the plant for guidance.

  • Be aware of any health issues that could surface while taking cannabis.

Marijuana consumption can lead to different consequences. Some people are prone to side effects that can impact their health in the long term. A few of the effects only take place after the continuous consumption of marijuana products. Because of this fact, you need to coordinate with the dispensary to help you track the changes in your body while you’re taking marijuana.

Remember, this plant can affect different people in different ways. What can be a medicine to one person can be a cause of mental disease or other health issues to another. It’s better to keep in touch with the store where you purchased the product to make the necessary steps when a health problem arises.

  • Find out what payment modes your chosen dispensary take

Up to this date, the marijuana has not been legalized up to the federal level. Hence, finding a dispensary that accepts credit or debit card can be challenging for you. Many banks or digital payment providers avoid recognizing transactions that involve cannabis or even CBD-infused products. Some people even use cryptocurrencies like Potcoin as their mode of payment for marijuana products. While this currency type is not yet commonly used, you may need to bring cash to secure your purchase.

  • Only buy what you suits you the best or what you feel comfortable with

Virtually all dispensaries impose no return and refund policy in their merchandise. So, make sure you only bring home what feels right for you. It is then important to double-check whether the item you are buying suits you the best to avoid wasting your money. Take your time to research online and ask doctors, budtenders, and other experts on which strain or product to choose.

Buying marijuana products for first-timers can be tricky. While purchasing products online is more convenient, you may need to ensure that you only buy items that will benefit your health. When visiting a dispensary near you, you can seek help from people with experience and expertise in cannabis.

Cannabis 101

A Quick and Simple Way to Clean your Glass Bong

Jordan Webber

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If you’ve ever taken a toke from your glass bong and thought to yourself, “hmmm, maybe the glass should be a little clearer…” then there is a good possibility that it’s time to give your piece and good ole’ fashioned deep cleaning! After all, many good glass bongs are a decent financial investment, so you’ll want to preserve the look and function for as long as possible. Not only is an overused bong not great to look at, but it can also be less than healthy to use if it’s super dirty. 

Let’s now discuss when you know your bong needs cleaning.

When is it Time to Clean your Glass Bong?

One of the most convenient features of a glass bong is that it is pretty easy to visually see when it is due for a cleaning. A dirty bong can have a foul smell tarnishing your CBD/hemp flower or cannabis flower’s flavor. Check for a ring of “gunk” near where the waterline is, and if that build-up is significant, it’s time to clean your bong. Mold and bacteria can mix with remnants of weed or resin and create a pretty nasty looking and tasting bong. Many budtenders and glass bong enthusiasts say that a good rule of thumb on when to clean your bong is at least once a week. This obviously depends on how frequently you use your bong. If you can clean your glass bong after every 4-5 uses, this is another solid rule of thumb to follow. Keep your bong and your lungs in pristine condition by keeping them free and clear of any excess build-up.

What is the Best Way to Clean your Glass Bong?

Many experts stick with the most logical and straightforward way to clean a bong; rubbing alcohol and salt. Since most homes worldwide have these two items, it’s also one of the most convenient ways. Glass bong experts from Australia have even mentioned that they use these common ingredients to clean their pieces. You can also use specific solutions made by pipe cleaning companies, but many do contain harsh chemicals that can damage your glass bong and not the best for the environment.

Start by taking out any removable parts such as the mouthpiece and pipe and then pour the alcohol into the bong and add some coarse salt (2-3 tablespoons should be plenty) such as rock salt or kosher salt. The salt acts as an abrasive scrubbing agent for when you shake your glass bong. Do this for 3-5 minutes, and then pour out the liquid. You may want to add more salt at the midway point as much of the course salt could be dissolved within a minute or two.

In conclusion, we recommend taking a simple and environmentally friendly approach to cleaning your glass bong. There are many ways to go about cleaning your bong, but why not keep it simple and use common ingredients from around your home to do the trick. The method above is simple and easy yet very effective for keeping that glass bong looking and functioning just how it did the first time you used it.

Happy spring cleaning!

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Cannabis 101

Are CBD Franchises the Next Big Thing?

Learn why business operators are turning to a franchise model to bring CBD across the U.S. as it gains momentum and credibility in the plant-based wellness space.

Stacey Wellington

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We live in a world that’s quickly accepting the idea of the hemp plant as homeopathic medicine. As such, we’re seeing an influx of people turning to CBD as a way to combat anxiety, depression, minor pain, sleep disorders, and many others. With so many people realizing a need for CBD and wanting to purchase it, there may be a place for your entrepreneurial spirit in the form of opening a CBD franchise. 

But before those dollar signs spring into your eyes and you start spending imaginary profits, let’s take a look at why a CBD franchise may be right for you, as well as the legality of opening one and other factors. 

CBD Franchise Landscape

If you’ve ever wanted to own a business but you’re not quite sure where to start, perhaps it’s time you considered owning a CBD franchise. This option is relatively inexpensive to start up, comes with an integrated support system, and features products that increase in popularity every day. It’s also a chance to share your vast knowledge of CBD with those who need it the most. Several brands are now advocating the idea of CBD franchises, most notably Elevated Wellness. 

Elevated Wellness offers a step-by-step guide on how to start a franchise and provides a specialized team to help determine if you’re the right person for the job. Other sites that offer franchise options are Your CBD Store, CBD Authority, and CBD American Shaman. All of these CBD franchisors are located throughout the country, allowing you to join a network of qualified individuals to help set you up for success. 

Legalities Behind a CBD Franchise

There is much misinformation on what CBD is and how it is derived from the cannabis plant. The 2018 Farm Bill helped classify products that contain less than 0.3% THC as legal for sale, but there are still other laws that vary with each state (i.e., some states dictate that CBD gummies must be shaped in squares to distinguish from other candy-type gummies). There are other laws that you may not even be aware of, causing you to break a law you don’t even know exists. Being a part of CBD franchise can help avoid that by offering guidance and legal advice and offering some form of liability protection. Some franchises help franchisees operate online sites and require a percentage of each product sold as payment. 

Even though CBD is legal on a federal level, you will still need to confirm that CBD is legal for resale in your state (i.e., Nebraska and Idaho only allow 0% THC CBD to be sold). You must also confirm the type of CBD that is allowed to be sold. More specifically, if any CBD is sourced from marijuana, you must ensure that your state allows the sale of such products. Your CBD franchisor will be able to help you understand if your state permits the sale and distribution of such products. 

Other CBD Franchise Considerations

We mentioned some of the reasons to open a CBD franchise in the opening paragraph. One of the biggest reasons to open a CBD franchise is the low start-up costs. Elevated Wellness offers a step-by-step guide into starting your own franchise, as well as initial pricing: the initial franchise fee is $25,000, and the minimum estimated cost is around $79,000 (which includes the franchise fee). 

Another reason to open a franchise is the integrated network of support. Instead of starting a business from scratch, you can build off an established customer base and reputable brand, with details on how to run your franchise the most effectively. You don’t have to figure out what brand your customers will want, and most importantly, you can offer your knowledge to help people understand what they really need. Your knowledge of CBD can encourage people to frequent your store and understand their health needs in a homeopathic way. No matter where you’re located, you have an opportunity to reach people with the healing power of CBD, and your location may be more easily accessible to those who travel further to get to a place that sells CBD. 

Lastly, CBD products continue to grow in popularity as more people discover their use in the mental health and wellness space. Those dealing with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, minor pain, and other health issues can find comfort and solace in their daily lives. Being part of a growing industry can offer security and entrepreneurship for those who want to make a difference and turn a profit. 

Final Thoughts

Opening a CBD franchise may open doors of opportunity you never thought possible. You have a chance to make a difference in the world and run your own business. The idea of opening and running a business is both exciting and daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone with a franchise. There are many ways to explore your entrepreneurial side; if you think owning a CBD franchise is for you, make sure to check out Elevated Wellness and their in-depth guidance on starting your own franchise today! 

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Cannabis 101

A List of the Best Hash-Making Books

Daniel King

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Books to read by the Fireplace

Making your own hash and cannabis extracts can be a rewarding hobby, and new ice-water-hash innovations by companies like PurePressure are making this hobby even more accessible for the regular canna-sseur. But where do you start if you’ve never transformed herb into hashish before? 

To help you get started with DIY hash, here’s a list of hash-making books with recipes you can try at home.

The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to Cultivation & Consumption of Medical Marijuana by Jorge Cervantes, 2015

This is the Bible of quality cannabis and one of the top hash-making books you’ll want to have. Written by one of the leading names in weed, The Cannabis Encyclopedia covers everything from selecting a variety and preparing your growing space to making medicinal extracts at home. 

In 596 captivating pages, you will find an abundance of high-quality photography and computer illustrations, easy-to-understand content, and a detailed index at the back of the book. 

While The Cannabis Encyclopedia covers myriad topics, it’s a great place to start if you’re just learning about things like dry sift vs. bubble hash, the role of kief in hash-making, and how to achieve 5- and 6-star full-melt hash without a lot of expensive equipment. 

The Cannabis Encyclopedia is available at Amazon, Bookshop.org, eBay, and Barnes & Noble.

Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hashmaking by Miller, Gold, & Smith, 1993

When you’re ready for a bit of fun, the revised version of the 1974 cult classic Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hashmaking provides an entertaining blast from the past. In 109 pages, the authors (all medical doctors) present detailed information about the chemistry of cannabis along with information for making the most potent extracts. 

This popular hash-making book features clear, easy-to-follow diagrams and explains methods that have largely been forgotten today — making it a true gem among hash-making books. The extraction methods explained in the book do require some specialized equipment but promise rewards for those prepared to have a go.

Cannabis Alchemy is available at Amazon and Scribd.com

Beyond Buds, Next Generation: Marijuana Concentrates and Cannabis Infusions by Ed Rosenthal, 2018

A much more recent publication, Beyond Buds offers a comprehensive overview of traditional and modern techniques — including hash-making, dabbing, resin extraction, CO2 extraction, and vaping. In 320 pages, Ed Rosenthal takes the reader through the latest cutting-edge techniques and recipes that you can use at home.

Beyond Buds isn’t a perfect guide. The book recommends some fairly expensive equipment and highlights several specific brands in promotional ways. However, if you’re new to hash-making or extracts in general, the book offers some excellent, practical tips laid out in an easy-to-read format. 

Beyond Buds is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and EdRosenthal.com

Other Recommended Books

These three hash-making books are the best of the best if you’re seeking a comprehensive overview of cannabis, cooking, and the preparation of potent concentrates like hash. However, if you’d like to expand your collection further, here are a few more titles to consider:

  • Beyond Cannabis Extracts: The Handbook to DIY Concentrates, Hash and Original Methods for Marijuana Extracts 1st Edition by Aaron Hammond, 2017,  Amazon
  • HASHISH! 2nd ed. By Robert Connell Clarke, 1998, Amazon
  • Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed [A Cookbook] by the editors of MUNCHIES, 2018, Amazon

With marijuana laws becoming more lenient, there has never been a better time to explore the wonders of hashish and cannabis concentrates. These books will get you off to a great start with making your own hashish at home and savoring the best of bud. Bon appétit!

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