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Dispensary Shopping on the Cheap: Do You Have a Weed Budget?

Cannabis legalization and regulation have made weed more accessible and safer, but also more expensive than what it was in the illegal market. Learn how to do some dispensary shopping on the cheap here...

Remember back when weed was illegal and you used to have to go to somebody’s house to get it? It was never quick or easy. Since you were “friends” with your weed dealer you were always forced to listen to the new cd they just recorded or you had to go check out the new dirt bike they just bought. Maybe even roll up something to share with them? Other times they would not answer their phone for three days, you had to meet them somewhere sketchy, or you got a light bag full of seeds and stems.

It was always a process, added to the fact that it was illegal so if you were caught by the police you had even more of a headache to deal with. I was arrested once for smoking weed. It cost me almost a year of my life dealing with the fallout. I was introduced to lawyers, judges, drug counselors, alcoholics, and drug addicts in that time. It was scarring, it was a time in my life I will never forget and it happened because I was simply enjoying a joint after work with three friends. Oh, how I do not miss the old days. It sure is mentally cheaper than it used to be even though nowadays it can sometimes be a little more out of pocket. I like to think about that stuff when I hear any concerns or complaints about the current cost of weed. I always tell myself, hey at least you don’t have to go over to Jimmy’s house and wait for crappy weed anymore.

Well, that was fun to take a stroll down hazy-memory lane but it is time to break some news to you. Products in dispensaries are f*#@ing expensive, and they will be getting more expensive. Yell at me in the comments about this gripe if you are angry, and leave the nice budtender at your local dispensary alone. I am pretty sure customers know it is not the budtender who sets the price but we are the ones who will hear about it. So, now you must start considering how to become a savvy weed buyer. It is easy to smoke your entire paycheck away after one visit with me. If your dispensary is currently offering some good deals on your favorite products, go get them, because they will be going up in price soon. Cannabis has become an industry that will take any tax, that any one, wants to put on it. So long as we can be met with no legal action that is. Some states are even issuing taxes of up to forty-five percent. A new article in Vice addresses this exact topic for the emerging cannabis market in Canada.

Do not fret though my fellow traveler, as usual, that is what I am here for. I have some ways to get you through your dispensary visit without you having to cash in your 401(K). Have you figured out how much of your overall budget you spend on weed? You can plan ahead by comparing websites and with the types of coupons they offer you may catch a pretty good deal somewhere. Leafbuyer, Leafly, and several other websites have daily coupons to sort through. In addition to life’s other needs, weed can be a significant expense. There are ways to make smoking weed affordable though without succumbing to the generation blunt, sifting through the ashtray for half-smoked bowls, or engaging in the dreaded scraping of resin. We have all been there and I for one am not going back.

The first thing to look for if you are on a budget is the discount stuff, every place will have it. Some places might call it lower shelf, discount, shake, mixed buds, or ready roll. Ya know, it is yesterday’s top shelf weed. What this will mean is fewer buds, more shake, or older weed than what is offered on the top shelf. These are good choices because you are essentially getting the same stuff for a cheaper price. A ground up bag of shake will get you just as high as the pretty nug in that top shelf jar, but demand makes the price go up and pretty buds are always in demand. Thank you for that High Times. Nowadays, many dispensaries are also offering discount prices for strains that test lower than eighteen percent in THC, but it is all grown with the same effort and quality as the stuff that is thirty percent in THC. Sometimes weed is weed, am I right?

If you have higher standards and you do not want the shwag buds, next time you visit a shop try to choose a variety of strains. More than one option could help you save a little cash in the long run because different strains will affect you differently. When you only get one strain of bud every time you go into a shop you can build up a tolerance to that strain (unless that strain happens to be Chem Dawg or Flow Kana bud of course). The saying variety is the spice of life definitely applies to cannabis. By giving yourself a few different options for a buzz you maximize your benefit and your budget, rather than just blazing through that one strain even quicker than you did last week. If you get a significant amount you will also get a deal for buying in bulk. Think about it as an investment in your future. If your dispensary does not allow for you to break up your overall selection or are unwilling to give you a bulk deal for your quantity purchase leave and go somewhere else. Plenty of places will.

You could also consider spending that money on wax or shatter instead of buds. Woah, woah, woah stop the clock there Dabriella, I am not suggesting you need to start ripping dabs , because, in the end, that becomes expensive too. You need to start making your own edibles with those concentrates. After all, that is what the edible companies are using. Aside from a few coupons here and there most one hundred milligram edibles cost between twenty and twenty-five dollars, it is not a fair price to potency ratio for the customer. Learning to make your own can potentially add some money back into your wallet. Stop buying gummies, just stop folks. I know they are good and yes, they work but do you realize you are paying probably twenty-five to thirty dollars for one hundred milligrams of THC? Sure, it is easy and ready to go but why spend so much money on such a frivolous item that will be gone quickly? For example, most quality wax and shatter should cost the consumer around thirty to fifty dollars, depending on if you are shopping in Aurora versus shopping in Vail. The potency on that gram should be between seventy and ninety percent in THC. Do the math, that is seven times the potency for less than twice the price. Chocolates or gummies are not hard to make. All you need is a few ingredients, a mold for your gummies (which you can get on Amazon), and a couple of hours. There are excellent recipes available to make edibles and doing it yourself can save quite a bit of money, you will just need a little extra time to do it. There is an entire "cooking" section right here on The Weed Blog. Seven times the quantity can be an appealing thought, right? If you would like some gummies just hit up the grocery store or the convenient store after you leave the dispensary and get some. They are probably better tasting gummies anyway. Oh yeah, and since you are now saving money on your visit, leave a tip for your budtender!

Author Bio: Chris Fisher grew up in Dover, Delaware with his sights set on the wild west. Inspired by 80’s and 90’s- era ski movies Chris found his way to Gunnison, Colorado in 1999 to attend Western State College, now Western State University, and to ski Crested Butte. In this little mountain town in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo mountains Chris also found a lovely little plant called cannabis. Chris still lives in Colorado, having moved to Steamboat Springs after graduating to follow his love of skiing, mountain biking, and all things outdoors. Currently working as a budtender with 7 years experience in the cannabis industry Chris has a passion for cannabis, a desire to write, and a love for Colorado. You can follow him on Twitter at @Chrisher929

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