In 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.
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!