A couple weekends ago I hosted a tour of cannabis dispensaries. The attendees ranged in age from 22 to 70+. Among the tour takers, some had never been to a dispensary and some had been to over three dozen.
The older tour takers chatted with me about the wonder and majesty of being able to walk into a storefront and acquire a wide variety of cannabis and canna products. That led to tales exchanged of what it was like to buy weed "back in the day," and what it might look like in the future.
So for your consideration, here are two sets of facts, and one of predictions.
Most of what you could get was imported and was nearly always heavily laden with seeds. Concentrates came in the form of imported hand rolled hash that arrived in bricks or balls. Edibles involved brownies from a box, to which someone added handfuls of leaf and, if lucky, crumbled buds directly into the pan.
Your dealer/connection/guy would meet you after a series of calls made from pay phones using code, most having you arrive at their apartment or house. You may have been forced to expend precious time and energy indulging your host while they played you their new songs, or shared their deep contemplations on all matters.
Others would come over to you, but you had to plan to clear your schedule: "Man, I'm running a half hour late" was universally understood to mean you would be waiting another two to three hours, minimum.
You got what you got; good dealers had a few types to select from, but it was based mostly on price and bag appeal quality, not strain names. It came in plastic sandwich bags or small plastic film canisters (the precursor to the packaging we now use.) Organic wasn't a thing, testing for potency/mold screenings were unheard of because any lab would call the police as soon as you showed them the flower. Volume got you a discount, and some would front you until payday.
In Oregon we have hundreds of dispensaries, with hundreds of products grown, processed and sold by growers, edible makers/extractors and budtenders who have a deep knowledge and passion for the plant. They can help you determine which products are best to support your intentions, be they for physical or mental relief. You can access menus of their offerings using apps on your phone, and some allow you to place your order for pick up. There are frequent buyer discount cards and daily specials. Today in Central Oregon we have even seen the advent of home delivery services, with Bend's Cannabend being the first to roll that out.
Cannabis is tested to a standard more rigorous than most agricultural products. Prices can range from $100 to $700 an ounce, with quality not always being in line with the pricing. A breed of self proclaimed "cannasuers" (which needs to stop. Really, please...stop) will "pass" on a product simply because it was not grown under artificial lights, or has a lower THC percentage number than the one next to it. It's now about the terpenes as much as the THC, and don't forget CBD, or if you are trying to shed that winter weight, THCV.
Tax is 20 percent on adult use purchases, 0 percent on medical purchases.
In the best-case scenario, the outdated, racist and insane prohibition is lifted, allowing for universal access. Revisions to the laws regarding state-to-state sales, access to banking and tax deductions, and the lifting of financial burdens placed upon growers results in lower costs to consumers. Large scale grow ops and new technologies allow the wholesale costs to drop to less than $1 per gram, making the $100 quarter pound a possibility.
Years of cannabis research—unfettered by governmental interference—results in breakthrough products that rely as much on the terpenes as they do THC. Time release is perfected, so consumers can ingest products that provide precise effects at exact times throughout the day.
Opioids are replaced by a new class of cannabis pain relievers. Smoking and dabbing are generally replaced by ultra efficient and compact portable vaporizers.
But still, there will remain that one person who insists that they can handle two to three times the recommended dose of any edible...