Are you planning to buy cannabis?

Right now, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states. Their recreational counterpart is legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C. for adults over the age of 21.

If you live in one of these states, there’s a good chance you can purchase cannabis online. However, you have a lot to consider when buying online, especially if you’re a beginner.

You must ensure you’re following the laws while buying cannabis with caution. Keep on reading for some tips on how to stay safe.

Is It Legal to Have Weed Delivered?

The answer depends on which state you’re in. Check with your state first to ensure you’re not breaking any laws.

In New York and California, individuals with state-approved medical cannabis cards can have cannabis products delivered to their houses. Colorado and other states allow both recreational and medical marijuana delivery.

Remember, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. It’s right alongside cocaine and heroin under this classification.

In some states where weed is illegal, delivery isn’t possible. Some websites offer delivery in these states. However, it remains illegal even when buying from a state where cannabis is legal:

Stay Within Your State’s Boundaries

Marijuana’s legalization status depends on the location. Even when it’s legal in your state, it becomes illegal once you cross the boundary over the next. 

Furthermore, federal law prohibits the transportation of cannabis across state lines. If you want to stay on the side of the law, choose the right online shop.

Buy From Local Dispensaries

If you’re in a cannabis-friendly state, try buying from local dispensaries. Many dispensaries allow you to order online. They use third-party delivery services to drop your order at your doorstep. 

A benefit of ordering from a local dispensary is their physical store. If you have questions, you can visit them before you purchase cannabis online. You can read the labels on products in person, too.

Many dispensaries don’t have delivery services. You can view their inventory online and place an order on their website. In most cases, you’ll have to pick up your order.

It allows you to skip the lines. The next time you visit, skip ahead to claim the order you already paid for.

Verify the License 

Whether for recreational or medical dispensaries, they must have a state license. It’s one factor to look for when buying cannabis online.

However, business verification can be confusing. In theory, it’s easy to verify the shop’s license number. However, most consumers won’t even know where to begin.

An online store or dispensary might seem legal because they ask for your medical card. Still, it isn’t a reliable sign of their legitimacy.

An online directory listing doesn’t automatically mean they’re a reputable business. Many of these directories are pay-to-play. It means businesses can pay for a listing even when they’re unlicensed.

The best way to verify a license is to go to the appropriate licensing authority. Run an online search. Otherwise, contact a governing body and ask for support.

Beware of the Warning Signs

When browsing online stores, there are some red flags to watch out for. These are indications that the shop might be a scam:

Unprofessional-Looking Site

Does the website seem like it’s from 10 years ago? If so, be wary of purchasing from there. A telltale sign of a fake website is unprofessional language alongside typos and bad grammar. 

Check the address and contact information as well. Some won’t even bother putting such details, which is a big red flag. If they have this information on their site, verify it.

A good example of a reputable website looks something like https://slumpedkitchen.com/. It’s clean and easy to use. The best part is the important details are easy to find.

Unsecure Website

Another warning sign is when your browser warns you about the website. If it’s unsecured, your browser will recommend you to leave.

Check for yourself if the site is unsafe through the address. Does it start with “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS?” It means the website has no SSL encryption, meaning your transactions won’t be secure. 

All websites today must use HTTPS. Without it, you risk handing your personal information to hackers. They might get access to your credit card details.

Too-Good-to-Be-True Prices

One of the most effective ways to lure potential victims is to offer low, low prices. They may make it appear they’re having a sale and giving discounts. Sometimes, they won’t even bother with such a farce.

If the shop offers dirt-cheap prices, never let it tempt you. Follow our other tips for buying weed online safely first. It also applies to shops on social media, bringing us to the following.

Ship Anywhere

It’s pretty convenient for a shop to ship anywhere, but it isn’t legal. It’s why you should be wary of shops claiming they can ship even to states where marijuana isn’t legal. It makes them a shady business – one to stay away from. 

Be Careful When Buying on Social Media

It’s easy to create accounts on social media and publish legitimate-looking pictures. That’s why various types of scams persist in this space.

Before you buy from social media, look for some warning signs. The photos must be professional with clear and concise captions. They must also have verifiable contact information.

However, as we said above, these elements are easy to fake. Scammers can set up temporary numbers through burner apps.

You can transact with them through this number. Once they get what they want (your hard-earned money), they can trash the number, leaving you with no other way of contacting them again. They can then generate another temporary number to get more victims.

While it’s tempting to order from social media, it’s best to stay away from it whenever possible. It applies even when some legitimate businesses operate there. Still, unless you’re confident in weeding out fake accounts, it’s best to stick to reputable online services instead.

If you must, only buy from verified accounts. Look for the blue check marks next to their names.

Read Reviews Online

Before you commit to buying from an online store, read some reviews. The good thing about the internet is you can find reviews anywhere – on blogs, product listings, forums, YouTube, social media, and so on.

Search for reviews to find the best recommendations. Also, you can search for reviews about a specific shop on Google. You only need to type the name of the shop and add “review” to quickly find some.

If the shop doesn’t have any reviews, it’s not a sure indication of a scam and you shouldn’t trust it. Still, the risks are higher for shops lacking believable reviews.

Similarly, never trust all online customer reviews on the internet. After all, it’s easy to pose as a customer or pay someone to write a fake review. 

Established blogs with a huge following are somewhat trustworthy, provided they have no sponsored reviews. When reading reviews on social media, gauge the credibility of the poster, as well.

Review the Payment Procedure

Many consumers assume marijuana dispensaries accept bank transfers and credit card payments like any other online business. However, it’s not the case as most banks won’t consider cannabis as an acceptable product. Credit card payment processing networks, like Visa, won’t allow marijuana trades or purchases.

It’s why dispensaries often only accept cash. Don’t worry since there are plenty of other ways to pay online. The process might vary in each online retailer.

In general, you have to do an e-transfer payment. First, sign in to your bank’s mobile app and use the “Send Money” option. 

After that, fill out the information about your chosen shop. You’ll need its name, contact information, email address, and other vital information. Online shops are willing to give this information to you.

Once you sent the amount, wait for confirmation. You may also contact the shop to confirm your payment. The best dispensaries will reply almost instantaneously.

Ask the merchant or look at their website to see various payment methods for your purchases. They might have a different way of accepting payments. 

Purchase Cannabis Online Safely

There’s a lot of risks involved when you purchase cannabis online. As with any product, you can lower these risks through our tips above. You can do more before purchasing cannabis online.

It’s best to expand your knowledge about cannabis in general. Prioritize legality and legitimacy to ensure your transaction goes smoothly. Compare prices online, look for the best product, and many more before buying.

Are you looking for more tips on buying cannabis? If so, feel free to visit our website and learn more.

By Malik

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