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Should I Buy Weed from a Dispensary or My Dealer?


Should I Buy Weed from a Dispensary or My Dealer?

Should I Buy Weed from a Dispensary or My Dealer?

Is marijuana from dealers and dispensaries the same?

The question of where to buy your weed should have a straightforward answer, right? Wrong. 

For many cannabis users, choosing where to buy their product remains a big unsolved question.   

Some don't know the benefits of buying marijuana from a trusted source. Don't worry; this article will go through both sources' pros and cons. 

Hopefully, after reading this article, you should be able to decide whether to buy from a dealer or dispensary.


Sources of Cannabis Products

Sources of Cannabis Products

The advent of legislation allowing recreational and medical marijuana has boosted the growth of marijuana dispensaries. Previously, marijuana's illegal classification meant it came from an illicit unregulated market. Many cannabis users came to believe that dealers were the only available source of cannabis. However, the prominence of legal markets in different states has made marijuana dispensaries the accepted source, especially for newer consumers. 

Dealers in the past have been stereotyped, in large part due to pop culture, as stoners who hang around shady areas and deal weed in the open. Think Jay and Silent Bob in Clerks. 

The advent of legalization has caused many marijuana dealers to upgrade their services. Despite the illegality of their activities, this has repeatedly kept them relevant in the market for cannabis users. 

Most dealers in the market are more sophisticated than ever. They offer a wide selection of products, which makes them the choice of many cannabis users. This is slowly being reflected on our TV screens with characters like The Guy in High Maintenance, played by Ben Sinclair.

Cannabis dispensaries are structured frameworks that permit the distribution and provision of cannabis products in accordance with recognized regulations. Dispensaries have budtenders who are like sommeliers at Michelin-starred restaurants. A good budtender can guide the customer to the strain that can deliver the desired effects: pain relief, a creative high, or a mellow, relaxing experience. More marijuana dispensaries are opening in legal states, and some offer delivery services.


Dispensary or Dealer

The choice between obtaining cannabis products from dispensaries dealers depends on different factors. 

We will try to detail the benefits and drawbacks of both sources. 

 Dispensary or Dealer


Perhaps the most crucial factor characterizing the origin of cannabis products. 

While regulators legally support licensed dispensaries, dealers are illegal, unregulated, or grey markets. 

Marijuana users who legally buy products from dispensaries need not worry about stepping outside the law. 

However, it's a different story for those who illegally possess marijuana from a dealer. 

Although, on the whole, regulators do not seem to be too strict with those who buy from dealers in states with legal markets, that may not remain the case, and there is still some risk. There may not be many options for those who don't have access to medical marijuana or live in states where recreational sales are not legal. In this case, buying from a local dealer could be safer than traveling to neighboring states to purchase legally there. Taking cannabis across state lines becomes a federal issue if caught and could have far more reaching consequences than buying from a local dealer. 



Cannabis dispensaries in many states are spread out and limited by licensing laws. With only a few having delivery services, some may find it hard to access a dispensary in their area. 

It should be noted that the trend in online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery services has grown substantially since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Hopefully, this will continue to offer wider access to the legal market. 

The majority of dispensaries are in larger built-up areas, and the cost of licenses and registration, as well as taxes, can make legal operations prohibitively expensive, so smaller cities may often get overlooked, something that Californians can relate to. 

Dealers exist in most cities; many will deliver or be available locally. 

The convenience alone can be a big reason people purchase through a dealer rather than a dispensary. 


Price is a significant factor influencing most users' choice about where to obtain cannabis products. It's no surprise that with fewer operating costs, dealers can offer lower prices that attract many customers. 

The price of cannabis is perhaps one of the biggest reasons the illegal cannabis market has grown, even in states where recreational cannabis is legal.

Due to state sales taxes, licensing, business taxes, and other costs, such as paying for staff, dispensaries cannot compete on price. These taxes go to education, drug abuse research, social services, etc. Buying from licensed dispensaries can help the local community and economy. 



Dispensaries operate in the legal marketplace. Cultivators supplying legal dispensaries are also licensed and must follow environmental laws around crop cultivation. Illicit growers that provide dealers may not work to the same standards. 

Safety and Quality

Cannabis dealers offer users products whose safety and quality cannot be verified. Users get products they don't know the origin of. Some of these products may pose serious health risks to users due to pesticides, heavy metals, and other residues. In addition, the distributor's estimate of the THC potency of the product may be wrong because the product was not tested. On the other hand, products sourced from cannabis dispensaries are very safe because they go through different stages of analysis to determine the product's safety. Such products do not contain harmful substances such as pesticides and heavy metals. The quality of the products is also assured as appropriate tests are carried out to determine their efficacy.


Final Thoughts

The truth is that choosing where to source your products is ultimately up to you. The above factors can help you determine what is best for you. We would encourage you to question whether your dispensary or dealer represents the values, quality, and services to you, the environment, and the community. Use your money to vote for the type of cannabis market you want. Check where cannabis taxes get spent and be a proactive part and voice for the change you wish to see in the cannabis market in your community, state, and country.