Ever since the mid 1990’s, dispensaries, or formerly known as marijuana clubs started springing up in California. This really started off the revolution of legalizing marijuana which we’re still going through and fighting even harder for. It seemed that for the next 15 years or so, it will the wild wild west of cannabis. Not many people knew about these clubs in the beginning but since 2007, they have gained a wide notoriety.

With no rules in place, many clubs were operating illegally by just letting anyone in. Others wouldn’t know how to package up their materials. Edibles did not come in pre-packaged labels with active ingredients written on it. This led to many people taking more than they should. Nothing was regulated nor was it tested. Nowadays, we have the luxury of hopping onto Leafly and checking out the strains or products active ingredient count.

What Are Dispensaries
Dispensaries are cannabis stores that sells legal or medical marijuana depending on the state or county. Since it is federally illegal, the authority is left up to the individual states. Depending on the owner, area or the local laws, not all dispensaries will be carrying the same items. Some clubs will carry waxes or concentrates while another one won’t. Some states have enacted laws that prevent the legal edibles to go above 100mg in potency. Dispensary supplies may also vary, depending on what the local growers are growing. You generally don’t have the same strains all over the state like you would with alcohol. Walking into a liquor store, you expect them to have your favorite alcoholic drink but clubs don’t carry all the same stuff.

Dispensaries have gone through different phases with different names. They also have gone through many different regulations. One thing they all share in common is the fact that they are generally cash only because there isn’t a marijuana banking system yet. Depending on the use of the store, the laws will be different.

Medical
Medical dispensaries are going to be a bit more relaxed because patients do need their medicine. The way people will need their medicine will look different for everyone. Some patients will only use edibles because they have an illness or disease that gives them irritation in their throat. This will stop most people from smoking or even vaping. For this reason, they often don’t put a specific law on edible potency.

Medical clubs in most places are 18 and over to get in with a medical recommendation from a doctor. Prices are also a bit lower too because patients are on a donation base rather than a price plus tax. Medical patients don’t pay tax.

Recreational
Recreational is a little bit more strict overall but it has opened up a world to many people who never considered it. It requires you to be 21 and over in age with a valid ID. Some states only allow its own citizens with that states ID to be only able to purchase. Recreational dispensaries are usually very strict in the way they work their procedure. From the moment you step in, to the moment you step out, you are usually accompanied by someone or you’re instructed on when to go in or out. This is because of the strict state regulations just like the tobacco, alcohol and firearms industry is.

Cannabis Packaging & Labeling Compliance
Sales of marijuana are expected to rise to $22 Billion by 2022 but as that grows, there are other industries growing with it too. For example, as you sell more flower cannabis which is the original way most people use it, they come in pop top vials. These pop tops come in different sizes and colors depending on how much flower you buy. These are starting to get phased out as a lot of states are going towards pre-packaged bags of specific measurements of flower and wax.

Wax is another big portion of sales at a marijuana store. There is such a wide variety of them from crumble, shatter, rosin, run, wax, concentrates and more. Concentrate oils have been very popular recently because of their discreet and ease of use. CBD has also been a very big popular item. It has been gaining popularity mainly in the past 5 years because of its vast amount of products that you can get with it. CBD also has a ton of benefits that you can’t get from other cannabinoids.

Conclusion
Cannabis is slowly becoming legalized all throughout America but the laws on it are still very strict. It’s likely to remain this way as individual states start implementing their own laws and see what works. Some states are more strict than other. For example, Oregon, Colorado and California had medical marijuana for many years prior to legalization for recreational use. This helped them set up previous laws to get them up to date. SVBS

Alex is the SEO and marketing manager of the Smoke Tokes ecommerce operations. They are a wholesale and distribution company for smoke shops, vape accessories and dispensary supplies. With over 7,000 products, Smoke Tokes is ready to help with any smoking or vaping accessory.