Imagine the freedom and convenience of being able to walk into a well-lit store and purchase cannabis.
For some consumers, that may seem like a distant dream, and for a growing number of consumers, it’s a wonderful reality.
A growing number of states in the U.S. now allow adult-use cannabis sales.
The unregulated market still exists in those states, and it is decreasing in size with every day that goes by because it’s becoming increasingly harder to compete with dispensaries.
Here is why most consumers tend to prefer legal cannabis over black market mystery cannabis.
One of the biggest advantages to purchasing cannabis at a licensed dispensary versus the unregulated market is that dispensary products are lab tested.
When a consumer purchases from the unregulated market, they likely have no idea what was involved with cultivating the cannabis that went into the flower, edible, concentrate, etc.
Cannabis that is sold at licensed adult-use dispensaries is required to undergo extensive testing, the results of which can be found right on the label.
Reputable licensed adult-use cannabis dispensaries only put the best products on their shelves and in their display cases.
To make sure that happens, the dispensaries review all of the flower and other products that come in to separate the best from the rest.
In an unregulated market, consumers are at the mercy of what people want to sell them, which often involves mixed results.
Licensed adult-use cannabis dispensaries have fixed locations. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s a big change from not that long ago when consumers were lucky to meet at a fixed location.
Oftentimes cannabis consumers had to travel long distances just to wait in a parking lot somewhere to try to acquire cannabis, all the while risking trouble with authorities.
Now consumers in the areas where adult-use sales are legal can go into a well-lit building, show their identification, and make their purchase which is a much easier process.
As a bonus, many dispensaries offer legal delivery and some dispensaries even have drive-thrus.
Just as is the case with other legal retail establishments, licensed adult-use cannabis dispensaries have hours of operation.
That may sound like an obvious and insignificant fact, but it really isn’t. In an unregulated market, consumers have to wait for dealers to show up, which can be a frustrating experience.
With licensed dispensaries, consumers know exactly when they are open and can plan their schedules accordingly.
Fresh product drops
Veteran consumers know that there is a big difference between when cannabis flower is ripe and fresh and when it has been sitting around for a while.
A huge benefit to shopping at dispensaries compared to the unregulated market is that consumers can find out almost immediately when a new product has dropped.
In an unregulated market consumers get what they get, which is often cannabis that has been improperly stored, likely sat around for a bit, has been handled too much, and had to travel great distances.
This kind of mishandling can affect the quality of cannabis as well as its overall effects.
Support workers and craft companies, not cartels
In unregulated markets, cannabis is usually cultivated and sold without any involvement of cartels or organized crime. However, that is not always the case.
Sometimes cartels have some involvement with cannabis in illegal states, with their market footprint varying in size from state to state.
When cannabis consumers shop at reputable licensed dispensaries, their dollars go towards supporting craft cannabis farmers and companies instead of supporting violent, murderous cartel operations.
Legal adult-use cannabis purchases are taxed, with these dollars going to fund all types of things like schools, substance abuse treatment programs, and even police.
This means everybody who lives in a legal cannabis state can benefit, not just cannabis consumers.
All taxes raised by legal cannabis purchases goes towards the public good, which is not something that can be said about the unregulated industry.