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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.

Can you purchase cannabis seeds

It is legal for adults 21 years of age and older to purchase, possess and consume cannabis in the state of Colorado.

How much cannabis can you purchase/possess?

Adults 21 years of age and older in the State of Colorado can possess up to two ounces (56 grams) of cannabis flower. Adults 21 years of age and older may purchase up to one ounce of cannabis and are also able to possess up to 6 cannabis plants – 3 flowering and 3 non-flowering in an enclosed, locked space.

How can you legally buy cannabis?

Adults 21 years of age and older with a valid photo ID can legally obtain cannabis from a Licensed Retail Colorado Dispensary.

Adults 21 years of age and older can give up to one ounce of cannabis to another adult 21 years of age and older as long as it does not require any form of compensation.

Where can you consume cannabis?

It is legal for adults to consume cannabis privately, out of view of the general public. It is illegal to consume cannabis in public places, as well as federal land. Violating public use laws can result in fines and other legal penalties.

Can you purchase cannabis seeds and grow your own cannabis?

In Colorado medical cannabis patients and all adults 21 years of age and older may purchase cannabis seeds and clones and cultivate limited amounts of cannabis for medical or personal use. All cannabis cultivated by non-medical patients must be grown in an enclosed and locked space not visible to neighbors or the public. If you are cultivating cannabis at your residence and a person under the age of 21 lives in the home, the cultivation area itself must be enclosed and locked. If no person under the age of 21 lives at the residence the external locks of your home may be sufficient, but if a person under 21 years of age enters the home you must ensure that access to the cultivation site is restricted. Before growing marijuana at your private residence make sure to check that your local government has not imposed additional requirements on personal cultivation, including prohibitions on growing outside, limits on plant count or size per property, permitting requirements, etc.

Buying marijuana in Montana? Here’s what you need to know.

On Jan. 1, 2022, adult-use recreational marijuana will become available for purchase in Montana. The launch of the new market raises a wide range of questions, from how much marijuana an individual can possess, to whether they can consume it in a national park, to the types of products that will be available for purchase.

Read on for answers to those questions, and many more, in this MTFP guide to the state’s post-prohibition marijuana marketplace.

WHO CAN BUY MARIJUANA IN MONTANA?

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, any adult age 21or older can purchase marijuana and marijuana products. That includes Montana residents, residents of other American states and territories, and international travelers with valid identification.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME TO A DISPENSARY?

Bring identification proving that you are 21 years of age.

Virtually all marijuana transactions are in cash due to ongoing federal restrictions on banking services for the industry. Bring your own to avoid paying ATM fees at the shop.

Shops are required to put your purchases in a plastic, child-proof “exit bag.” On subsequent trips, bring that reusable exit bag with you to limit waste and avoid paying for a new one.

Especially during the opening weeks of the recreational program, bring a good dose of patience. Budtenders will be answering lots of questions from novice consumers, and lines may be long.

WILL THE STATE TRACK MY PURCHASES OR PUT ME ON A LIST OF MARIJUANA CONSUMERS?

No. While a business can make a scan of your identification “to determine the consumer’s age,” per House Bill 701, the state’s legalization framework bill, it can only keep those records for 180 days. Furthermore, dispensaries are not permitted to share that information with the state, nor can they transfer or sell it to a third party.

WHAT KINDS OF MARIJUANA PRODUCTS CAN I PURCHASE AT A MONTANA DISPENSARY?

Customers will be able to purchase a wide array of products including marijuana flower (the smokable green buds), edibles, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates and topicals. These products must be produced within the state of Montana.

Marijuana flower cannot contain more than 35% THC, the most common psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant (this applies exclusively to recreational sales, not medical sales). Flower typically contains between 15% and 25% THC, and is available in various strains with obscure and vivid names, from Apple Fritter to Peanut Butter Lady and Missoula Kush Cake.

Edibles are available in many forms, including chocolates, gummies, infused olive oils and more. A package of recreational market edibles cannot contain more than 100mg of THC (again, this does not apply to medical patients).

“Concentrates” are extracted cannabis oils, which tend to be extremely potent and are not recommended for novice consumers.

Customers will additionally be able to purchase smoking accessories such as bongs, pipes and dab rigs — a specific type of glass pipe used to consume concentrates — from pot shops. Those products can be manufactured in-state or imported from elsewhere.

Businesses will also be able to sell CBD products. CBD (technically known as cannabidiol) is typically derived from federally legal hemp, and is sold in edible, tincture, topical and other forms. Those products can be manufactured within Montana or imported from other states.

Pot shops cannot sell hemp plant material.

IS MARIJUANA TESTED IN MONTANA?

Yes. All products must be tested for a wide range of bacteria, mold and heavy metals, as well as for potency and the various compounds they contain. The state is home to several testing labs; Fidelity Diagnostics and Stillwater Laboratories are the two largest facilities.

ARE SHOPS EXPECTED TO RUN OUT OF MARIJUANA QUICKLY?

Industry stakeholders and business owners are bracing for a large influx of new customers that may liquidate their inventory quickly.

“There may not be much product available after the first couple of days, for several weeks,” said Pepper Petersen, president of the industry association Montana Cannabis Guild. “Everyone’s been prepping to get ready for this, but national trends [in states that have previously legalized] indicate a level of demand three to five times larger than for medical marijuana.” There could be 200,000 new in-state customers, he added.

HOW MUCH MARIJUANA CAN I PURCHASE AT A TIME?

Customers will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana per transaction, or the THC equivalent in other forms: 800 milligrams of edibles or 8 grams of concentrate.

Customers are not limited to a single type of product, and can mix and match up to the limit between different forms.

WILL MY PURCHASE BE TAXED?

Yes. All recreational marijuana purchases will be subject to a flat 20% sales tax. As of this writing, Missoula, Park, Yellowstone and Dawson counties have enacted an additional local-option 3% tax.

HOW LATE CAN DISPENSARIES STAY OPEN?

Per House Bill 701, recreational and medical marijuana businesses cannot open before 9 a.m. or stay open past 8 p.m.

CAN ONE SHOP SELL ANOTHER BUSINESS’ MARIJUANA OR MARIJUANA PRODUCTS?

Yes. Although Montana’s medical marijuana industry was previously vertically integrated, meaning that any medical dispensary was required to grow its own cannabis plants and produce any other additional products themselves, that restriction has been removed from both the medical and recreational markets in the adult-use legalization bill. As a result, a shop can now purchase wholesale and sell another grower’s marijuana flower, gummies, vape cartridges and tinctures.

CAN I BUY MARIJUANA ANYWHERE IN MONTANA?

No. Per HB 701, only counties where a majority of residents voted in favor of cannabis legalization during the 2020 election have authorized recreational sales, and are referred to as “green counties.” Counties that did not vote in favor of legalization, however, have the right to take a re-vote on the question and switch from a “red county” to a “green county.”

Generally speaking, counties in western Montana have been more amenable to permitting marijuana sales.

You can find the full current list of “green” and “red” counties here.

(On Dec. 23, Dawson County residents voted to switch from a “red” county to a “green” county.)

HOW MUCH MARIJUANA CAN I LEGALLY POSSESS?

Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, or its THC equivalent in edibles, concentrates and other products, is legal in the state of Montana.

Possession of larger quantities of marijuana remains illegal in Montana. Possession of between one and two ounces is considered a civil infraction and subject to fines of up to $500. Possession of more than two ounces is considered a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $45,000.

CAN I DRIVE WITH MARIJUANA IN MY VEHICLE IN MONTANA?

Yes, but there’s a huge caveat: It must be in its unopened, original packaging and stored outside of the car’s “passenger area.” In other words, it’s required to be, per HB 701, either (a) in a locked glove compartment or storage compartment; (b) in a trunk, luggage compartment, truck bed or cargo compartment; (c) behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk; or (d) in a closed container in the area of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk and that is not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger.

The law notes that a person convicted of the offense of unlawful possession of a legally permitted quantity of marijuana in a motor vehicle “shall be fined an amount not to exceed $100.”

IS IT LEGAL TO DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA?

No. As the Montana Cannabis Guild’s Petersen explained, law enforcement officers have the jurisdiction to stop anyone driving erratically. If the officer has reason to believe the driver is under the influence of marijuana — i.e., if they can smell marijuana in the car, or the driver’s eyes are red — they can transport the driver to a hospital to administer a DUI test. Refusing a blood test can result in a temporary suspension of a driver’s license.

As the drug policy organization NORML points out, a first offense for drugged driving can result in imprisonment for between 24 hours and six months and fines between $300 and $1,000. Subsequent offenses carry more serious consequences.

CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS IN MONTANA?

This question is extremely complicated and contingent on how federal marijuana laws may be enforced in Indian Country, as well as how each tribe approaches the question of marijuana legalization. Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law, even though it is legal in the eyes of the state.

But, as state Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, explained, “tribes have limited criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.” Asked if tribal courts would prosecute marijuana possession or public consumption charges, he suggested “probably not,” but acknowledged that federal law enforcement remains “a wild card.”

Morigeau recommends playing it safe. “Be familiar with the landscape,” he said. “You’re not on state land, but in a different territory. Be mindful of that framework.”

CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA IN NATIONAL PARKS?

No. Since national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, are federal land, the federal prohibition of marijuana remains in effect there as well. Getting caught with marijuana in a national park can lead to a misdemeanor charge.

As the cannabis news outlet Leafly points out, even visitors to national parks from states with legal marijuana who get charged with possession in a national park can be subject to urine tests even after they return home to their legal-marijuana state.

Representatives of both Glacier and Yellowstone national parks declined to “speculate how the park might deal with a potential influx of cannabis consumers.”