Buying cannabis online is incredibly convenient. You don’t have to leave your house to order, and you get to choose from a much larger selection than your local dispensary likely carries. But you also want to be careful when buying cannabis online. Shoppers are mostly on their own in terms of finding quality products from reputable companies. The good news is that as long as you follow some simple tips, you should have no trouble buying cannabis online and enjoying it safely.
Always Buy From Legal Stores
The most important rule to follow is to always buy cannabis from a legal store. There are plenty of risks if you buy from an illegal one. To start, there are potential legal consequences for you. These can be costly and include jail time in some cases.
More importantly, if the store is not legal, you have zero guarantees about the quality of the product or even if the product will arrive. In the best-case scenario, scammers will just take your money and send you nothing with no recourse on your end. A more dangerous possibility is that they will send you a low-quality product with contaminants or other harmful chemicals in it.
Know How to Tell If a Store Is Legal
The good news is that most illegal or less-than-reputable websites will give you some signs that they are not a good choice. Be on the lookout for warning issues such as:
- Exaggerated delivery claims (very low cost or quick times)
- Prices that are significantly better than the competition
- No policy information
- No contact information
- Low-quality or unprofessional website
- Obvious grammatical and spelling errors on the website
- Poor-quality photos
- Minimal online presence
Choose Reputable Online Dispensaries
Don’t just buy from the first legal online dispensary you find. Take a few minutes to confirm that it has a good reputation. Google its name to find reviews and see what people say about it. You should also look around its website a bit. Although not always the case, the best dispensaries tend to have professional websites. The absolute best dispensaries will even have educational content on their website in addition to their products.
This is also the time to look at contact information for the dispensary. It should have several ways to reach real people. If you have concerns, take a minute to reach out to their support team on one of the methods to confirm they are real. You can typically skip that step, however, if you do your research and see overwhelmingly positive reviews.
You may also want to look at the dispensary’s social media pages. This gives you a chance to see more of its products and get a feel for customer reviews and complaints. If the social media page is filled with complaints, take it as a warning sign.
Pay Attention to Shipping and Returns
Before you buy, make sure that you understand everything about a company’s shipping policies. This includes how long your order will take to arrive and how much shipping costs. If you care, also check whether they ship cannabis in discreet packaging. It’s a bonus if the company gives you a tracking number for your package.
While you are looking at shipping, pay attention to the return policy as well. Most dispensaries only accept unopened products in their original packaging. But you want to be able to return something if there is an issue; the most important thing is to avoid unpleasant surprises with returns.
Look for Details About the Product
The best online dispensaries will include detailed information about their products to help you make a good choice. This should include whether a given product is sativa, indica, or hybrid. It should also include concentrations of THC and any other major cannabinoids. For example, some dispensaries may also list CBD concentrations for certain strains.
The more detailed the description, the better. Top dispensaries will tell you about a strain’s genetics, flavors, and effects.
As with anything else you buy online, it makes sense to compare the prices of cannabis before you choose which strain to buy from which dispensary. As you do so, just remember that cheaper is not always better. Be ready to pay more to ensure you are buying from a reputable dispensary instead of a shady website.
Look at Payment Methods
Be sure to confirm what payment methods your chosen dispensary accepts. Keep in mind that it is very hard for dispensaries to find payment processors, so you may not necessarily see your favorite options. If a website requires a less popular payment method, there should be instructions for using it.
Think About What You Want
It should go without saying, but one of the most important things to do when buying cannabis online is to think about what you want. Do you want flowers? Or do you prefer concentrates or edibles? What effects do you want? What flavors do you prefer?
This is also the time to think about whether you want other related products, like CBD or magic mushrooms. If you do, consider getting your cannabis from a dispensary that has everything you want. This will typically save you time and also reduce the overall amount you’ll pay for shipping.
The Bottom Line
There are hundreds of websites that let you buy cannabis online, but some are better choices than others. Always do your research before choosing to buy from a retailer. Look for signs that it is legal and reputable, including looking at online reviews and its social media pages. The best online dispensaries will even have educational articles, such as a blog or dedicated education section of their website. Pay attention to shipping and return policies so there are no surprises there. Finally, think about what you want from your product. Consider if you want buds or a cannabis-based product, like extracts. Then, choose an online dispensary that has everything you need. You should be enjoying your cannabis in no time.