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Why Buying Marijuana From A Store Is Better Than The Black Market


colorado marijuana retail legal recreational stores rulesIn a little over three weeks from now, I will make my first legal purchase at a marijuana outlet in Oregon. It will not be my first time ever purchasing marijuana at a legal store, as I have already made a purchase in Washington and Colorado, but I haven’t made one in Oregon yet since it’s not legal to do so yet. But come October 1st, I will be one of the many people standing in line waiting make my first legal recreational marijuana purchase in Oregon. I personally plan to go to Panacea in Portland for my first purchase, and encourage others to do the same. To see why, check out a recent article I wrote about Panacea. I put together a list of reasons why I prefer to purchase marijuana from a licensed store, as opposed to the black market (if you have reasons to add, please do so in the comments!):

Supports Strong Communities

One of the first reasons that I offer up for why I prefer stores over the black market is that my purchase helps support strong communities. A portion of every dollar that I spend at a store in Oregon goes to schools, law enforcement (to fight REAL crime!), and for substance abuse assistance. I’m willing to pay a little more when I know my dollars are going to those things. The same cannot be said when I make a purchase from the black market, where my dollars go who knows where.

More Variety

Something that no black market dealer can compete with compared to a licensed outlet is variety and selection. Even the most experienced black market dealer will only have a handful of strains. Compare that to a store that has so many different strains at any given time that they have to keep a rolling menu to track all of it. Buying one kind of dank is great, but having five kinds of dank is even better!

You Know Potency

All marijuana that is sold at a licensed outlet has been tested for potency. You know exactly how strong it is, and if the testing is quality, you will also know the terpene profile of the marijuana you are consuming, and many other facts that you probably didn’t already know. Compare that to the black market where you just know that it’s good, but not how good. There have been so many times that I have purchased the ‘pretendica’ from the black market and it looked so good, yet didn’t have any punch to it. That has never happened with a store purchase, where I know exactly what I’m getting every time.

You Know It’s Clean

One of the first things that I offer up when people say that they are going to still purchase black market marijuana after recreational sales begin is that they are likely smoking some type of mold, mildew, bugs, pesticides, herbicides, etc. It makes me cringe when I think of how much junk I have smoked over the years (I started smoking marijuana in 1993). I have vowed to never consume marijuana that I don’t know for sure is clean. When there are marijuana stores that you can purchase legal, tested marijuana from, I don’t see the point in rolling the dice, no matter how cheap black market marijuana is.

Stores Have Defined Hours

We have all been there before – waiting and waiting for the black market dealer to show up. They have text you ‘I’m twenty minutes away’ every hour on the hour for four hours in a row…That doesn’t happen with stores. They have defined hours, a set location, and you can go in, make a purchase, and get on with your day with no hassle. Imagine that!

Stores Virtually Never Run Out

Every marijuana dealer, no matter how good they are at their trade, has run out of marijuana at one point or another. Stores virtually never run out, and if they do, it’s likely only because they are very new, opened during a very popular time, and supply is just starting to flow. I haven’t heard of a store being out in Colorado or Washington in a very long time, and don’t expect them to ever be out again if they don’t want to be. I don’t expect Oregon stores to ever run out.

Because I Can, And Kevin Sabet Hates It

I love buying marijuana from a store BECAUSE I CAN! I still can’t fit my head around the amazing fact that marijuana is legal, and that I can go into a storefront on a busy street and make a purchase in parts of America. During every purchase I have ever made at a licensed store, I have always envisioned that my purchase is killing a part of Kevin Sabet’s willingness to support prohibition, and that’s an amazing feeling!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Dumb, I give it away to friends over 21 and do not want anything for free If you are out, get more friends.

  2. It is no crime to grow your own. The shops are a good thing. Four plants could easily harvest out to 20 pounds. There are enough good gardeners to force the price down. The black market price was artificially high due to prohibition. What happened to the price of booze after it was legal?

  3. Lawrence Goodwin on

    My sources tell me its standard practice upstate, Al Ways. The weight of dried cannabis flower always includes the bag up here, and I’m not talking about those tiny Ziplocks sold in the streets. I used an 1/8 of flower only as an example. A half ounce (14 grams) reportedly weighs in at 10 to 12 grams plus the bag. An ounce (28 grams) sometimes weighs as low as 23 grams plus the bag. I know of no buyer who brings a scale–it’s disrespectful to those who take on the burden and risk of ‘dealing.’ Most buyers are glad that what comes around, still goes around, no matter how many ‘officials’ keep wasting their time and our tax dollars waging ‘war’ on such commerce.

  4. I’ve lived in New York for 50 years and have never had this happen. If anything the rastas give ou heavy nickels. but who buys eigths anyway. Bags are always heavy in NYC unless you’re being duped.
    Bodegas always give fair counts, again unless you are a schmoe.

  5. Eventually where legal, cannabis sales will end up in court or on your legislators’ desks. Dictating where dispensaries and retail outlets will be a critical point. The tenth amendment to the Constitution outlines the the illegality of regulation of commerce by states except under unusual circumstance. And the U.S. government may not exercise the prosecution of cannabis infractions. None the less, the DEA is still a national policing organization and each state has one or more DEA offices and officers. We need a smart lawyer to take this to the state then federal courts to get a definition of what “commerce” means in each state that sells cannabis, whether medical or recreational. In the mean time, we should be helping other states get legalization on the ballots by pressuring our state and federal legislators to legalize medical cannabis first then move to recreational cannabis, then move to getting cannabis off of Schedule I drugs, which it clearly is not.

  6. Then don’t shop there. The most effective way to lower prices is to either picket the store or have a scene inside the store with a couple of your friends. Do it several times and you will see prices drop. Just like protesting on the streets, only protest action gets results. If you get arrested, its only a misdemeanor and you have made a big point with all the people in the dispensary or retail outlet. Vigilance is forever in this country. You must participate.

  7. Yes, I agree with you on all four pts. Mostly the first. The tragedy of innocents caught in the ubiquitous crossfire of gun fights. Guns supplied by the gun manufacturers and gun dealers in the southwest states mostly. Then cartel stooges just driving back across the border and murdering innocent people. I lived in El Paso Texas and there were daily gun fights in the markets, on the streets. The cartel big wigs would buy a house in El Paso, stash their money in El Paso then go across the border to do the planning and execution of their business. When it became too “hot” in El Paso, they upped the ante in Nogales, Tijuana and any other port of entry. But legalizing cannabis in the U.S. brought an end to many of the wars and cost the cartels BILLIONS of $$. And without a shot fired. Decriminalize, legalize medical and recreational and get rid some of the bureaucracy in the DEA…a way to pay off U.S. Debt and give the people what they want.

  8. Black market is why it doesn’t cost $10 oz like it should. Home grows will force the price down. There will be a black market as long as it is profitable.

  9. It wasn’t made legal by the Oregon legislator. It was the legislators being forced by a ballot measure forced by the people. Now you may be right when it comes to crafting those regulations, but it’s a combination of the people who voted for and against the measure who are calling and writing the law makers who are crafting those regulations.

  10. Nope it is fact. We have lost our human, civil and constitutional rights through the tyranny of our elected governments. Those that hold office for power and influence, for monetary and non-monetary reward. You have heard of the revolving doors from the capitol buildings into the pharmaceutical, tobacco, agricultural…you name the Big Biz and you can get a job in it after you have been a public servant for our socialized corporate structure in this country. if not there then on K street.

  11. it exceeds purity ok what do you use to grow it most everyone use some chemical for bud harding or to get more buds just wondering

  12. doesnt mean store marihuan is all organic ive smoked some from store that stil tasted like chemicals so if its all tested why it still taste lbad then so i trust my cargiver cuz i know how its grown

  13. what really glad i never got screwed and i always used a digital scale way the nugs first or know the bag weighs a gram so should be 4.5 then

  14. Most of those people in prison for drugs wouldn’t be in the game if they were legal…they are usually not qualified and that is why they are attracted to the black market.

    Or are you trying to say the average drug dealer and grower has an IQ of +120, a high gpa, and a strong work ethic with integrity to match?

  15. Or you could just wait for your dealer to donate to the legislator

    That is how it was done in Oregon. Buying OMMP product supported legal reform.

  16. I’m sure your “buddies” don’t favor you in return and you’ve been doing it for a loss without any prospect for any gains…your so charitable

    Nice field of mids though. Looks like a potential moldsplosion

  17. *no you aren’t. Most pot growers are not qualified horticulturalists or highly educated about cannabis breeding in general
    *I see reports of dispensaries shorting enough
    *most vendors do not have the same stuff regularly since the growers are users them selves always rotating strains chasing the dragon.
    *retailers are just legal dealers
    *the people that blow up are not on the shelf or selling anything
    *Buying from legal stores supports the more skilled drug producers and distributors because those systems are more complicated and difficult to maintain.

  18. -Cartels and gangs run legal businesses when illegal ones are not profitable
    -any time a retailer marks up more than 100%, you are being robbed
    -OK, you probably won’t be arrested unless your a loon
    -Actually proving the pesticide and horticultural practice is expensive. You won’t get knowledge without a price

  19. I’m not organic…my product exceeds “organic” standards for purity and potency though…

    Sorry, I am not a horticultural ideologue. There is nothing per se better or worse with “organic” vs “synthetic” anything

  20. A store front and employee standards alone raise “costs” significantly…not to mention quality and other regulatory standards.

    Maybe you should consider simply not supporting criminals or tax evasion..if you can go sober when you come up short that is

  21. I am going to formulate many combo cannabis products…lots of drug plants are unlabeled and not even sold as drugs.

    But if a drug isn’t banned for sale at a pot shop, you will find it there eventually somewhere.

  22. A person with a brain can use those pesticides and still not show residue..

    But since no one cares to employ only the best growers, you get people with average IQ’s in there who don’t understand chemistry.

  23. You can’t get a store with the same price as an unregulated market operated out of car trunks.

    The more the price “matters” to the consumer, the less difference in product you will see in black vs legal markets….no regulations in a legal market will generate product which is identical to the black market.

    Hope you like your pesticides..I rarely meet a heavy user that can’t grow who is actually willing to acknowledge the reality about costs and quality.

  24. i just hope this goes well with Oregon so that i can make good sales there…yeah i myself i dont think there anything wrong with the legalization of MMJ ..I earn my leaving for the sales of this stuff so if its legalize i will probably earn more dollars..marcklitts202@gmail.com.

  25. If they are not weighing on digital when you purchase ,then purchase one for yourself before exchanging .

  26. Kathleen Chippi on

    “Pesticides still being found in Denver marijuana products, six months after official crackdown”

    “Peter Perrone, lab director at Gobi Analytical in Wheat Ridge, who conducted the analysis, estimated that only around 10% of products he has tested since April have been clean. ” The pesticides found were myclobutanil, imidacloprid and avermectin. Chase Bradshaw, co-owner of Treatments, admitted his company did use products that contained the unapproved pesticides. “We used to use Eagle 20 (myclobutanil), I will not deny that,” he told the Denver Post.”

  27. darthhillbilly on

    I can’t wait to make my first above board purchase. Every elicit drug I ever tried came as a result of wanting some grass. I would imagine that much like the liquor store, you wouldn’t have to worry about someone trying to turn you on to anything else. (If they are selling illegal they are usually in it for the money and don’t mind to carry other contraband, also there is a difference between a pusher/dealer)Also you will not encounter a business owner (who wants to remain open for business) selling to 16/17y.o kids. When my kids get old enough and want to experiment I would much prefer a store front purchase for them, as opposed to someone trying to sell them pills/crack/heroin etc… If you want to keep children safe from marijuana…get marijuana behind store counters not on street corners…keep your meds locked with no easy access…educate your children that it is medicine for “you” and if they were to eat any it would make them feel really bad…( the big one) just use some common sense. NEVER…I repeat…NEVER…store medicine/marijuana/ edibles/concentrates where a young child can access them. (I got on a rant…oops…sorry) in summation, I have reasons for anticipating going into a store front and purchasing my meds…lol…Free the Weed!!!

  28. darthhillbilly on

    I have bought weed that was short the weight of the bag…I told the guy…”I’m paying for a half oz. of pot, not almost a half oz. and a baggie!” I told him when he wanted to do business like a big boy to give me a call…he didn’t like it, but he made it right.

  29. I haven’t purchased herb off the street since ’70s. if not for legal shops I would’nt use it. now attempting to grow my own med grade. peace out

  30. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Because black market dealers give you less cut-and-dried cannabis flower than what you ask and pay for. A typical eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams), at least here in New York, often weighs between 2 and 2.5 grams on the black market. Dealers undercut you by counting the weight of the bag itself, which is a full 1 gram for a normal sandwich baggie and 2 grams for a Ziplock type. Totally unethical.

  31. You need to pick the old one and grow a new county seat. Yep pick your seat and clean it up it stinks.

  32. All good reasons, but we need to include because the price is low enough to remove the incentive for a black market like beer.

  33. Mikki Caliesunn on

    PS: if it wasn’t for Cannabis I’d most likely be dead! So RSO along with cooking with cannabis is my life saving miracle…not to mention my eating from farm to table and organic too. Being positive and just loving life….there’s no ” do overs ” on Mother Earth. :)

  34. Mikki Caliesunn on

    As a current cancer patient it is extremely wise to purchase your medicine from a reputable store….as you always want certified organic medicine. I’ve already got an illness I most certainly do not need any bad side effects nor bad back-lash from cannabis meds. And for the record….my cancer didn’t spread..all 4types have and are from DNA related causes …bummer. PEACE-LOVE-HARMONY-ENJOY LIFE.:)

  35. You’re not supporting “trespass grows”, which may run by slave labor, wreaks havoc on the environment and are grown with dangerous pesticides such as carbuforan. I hope Arizona gets on board with this next year. Prohibitionists such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio, DAs Bill Montgomery, Sheila Polk and Lando Voyles will have to find another Straw Man to fight on behalf of the public. That is, if their heads don’t explode first. They’ll hate this worse than Kev-Kev does.

  36. “Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The issue is whether we will live in freedom or in tyranny!”

  37. Good article! – Here’s another reason. – Professor Julian Heicklen never smoked, or cared about, marijuana. But when he retired in 1998, he decided the most important thing he could do was to lead marijuana smoke-outs at the Gates of Penn State, every Thursday for more than a year. Of course, he was arrested several times. When asked why he was doing this, he replied:

  38. You can Research and become informed. Contact your elected political leaders, tell them. Vote only for pro-legalization candidates. Connivence others by talking about the positives of legalization and squash the refeer madness lies. Ask norml what you can do to help.

  39. Research and become informed. Contact your elected political leaders, tell them. Vote only for pro-legalization candidates. Connivence others by talking about the positives of legalization and squash the refeer madness lies. Ask norml what you can do to help.

  40. Couple more positives to legal commercial cannabis:

    -Your not supporting cartel and gangs.
    -Your not going to get ripped off or robbed.
    -You don’t have to worry about arrest.
    -Continuing on knowing what’s in / on it, you don’t have to worry about being laced with something deadly like pcp or the “spice chemicals.”

  41. Other good things about legal stores:

    * You are more likely to get the actual strain on the label (“Blue Dream” is more likely to actually be “Blue Dream”).
    * You are MUCH more likely to actually get the weed you pay for. No more being ripped off. No more being shorted on weight.
    * More likely to get more of the same strain you tried and really like: “Wow, this is some great stuff. I’m going back this weekend to stock up on it”).
    * Fewer associations with questionable characters.
    * Concentrates are more likely to be made using safe methods (butane explosions by amateurs is bad publicity for the legalization movement).
    * Buying from legal stores validates the argument that a legal market
    eliminates the black market, thus helping other states get legal
    marijuana and legal stores.

  42. Good for you that you have that option (or will have) in your part of the state. Wish I could say the same for us on the eastern side…

  43. The Black Market will thrive in Oregon. With all the surplus that is going to be generated from home grown and there are quite a few top shelf growers out here in Oregon country and the prohibitive cost to be able to sell to dispensary’s not to mention street costs will be less that the stores. The BM will thrive.

  44. Frank Semonious on

    Not sure I appreciate being called Black market. Besides you can’t buy it from me, I give it away.

  45. Can’t wait for Missouri to get on the band wagon. I look forward to getting to “choose” my weed.

  46. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Nice list. I like to dream about walking into a legitimate store to buy various strains of cannabis flower, but I keep living the nightmare that is New York state. Thousands of nonviolent people (growers, dealers, etc.) are stuck in our county jails and state prisons, while many more such citizens are being harassed by district attorneys and parole officers. Hundreds more people get arrested for growing cannabis or dealing marijuana year after year. I’ll most likely be gone before New York lawmakers see the common sense of eliminating the black market by letting people grow cannabis plants (again) for manufacturing, medicine, nutrition AND recreation. The People should have been doing so legally all along, since the entire 78 years of “marihuana” prohibition are rooted in complete lies and outright fraud. New York lawmakers: Wake the f#@$ up!!!!!

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