Marijuana is illegal on a federal level, but states have been chipping away at that authority. In 1996, California started the ball rolling by making medical marijuana legal and, by January 2020, 11 states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana while 20 more have legalized just medical use of marijuana. In fact, the federal government may be backing down as a bill was officially introduced in Congress to make it legal on a national level. Find out what it all means to you below. 

Is marijuana legal in my state?

While marijuana use is legal in 31 states currently, it helps helpful to know the laws in your own state. Each state has different restrictions on use -- medical or recreational -- as well as what form the marijuana can take -- CBD oil, cannabis, edibles. You can look up your state's specifics here

What is a dispensary?

Current federal law prohibits the sale of prescription marijuana in pharmacies. States got around this law by creating dispensaries, stores that exclusively sell cannabis and cannabis-related products. 

What do they sell at dispensaries?

While it varies by state, dispensaries sell cannabis (both loose and pre-rolled), CBD oil, and edibles. Many also sell marijuana use accessories, like rolling papers, vape pens, and bongs. If you aren't sure what type of cannabis to buy, you can ask the staff, called 'budtenders', to help you make a selection.  

Do I need a prescription to go to a dispensary?

Whether or not you need a prescription to go to a dispensary depends on your state. The 11 states that allow recreational use no longer have that requirement. If your state does, however, do not forget and leave it at home. It is a requirement that you present your prescription card when making a purchase. 

What else do I need to go to a dispensary?

When you shop at a marijuana dispensary, you need to bring a photo I.D. for each member of your party. The staff not only scans your I.D. to prove that you are 21 years of age, but also checks to make sure the I.D. is valid. A dispensary puts their own license to sell at risk if they sell to anyone underage or with a fake I.D. You also need to bring cash to a dispensary. Most do not have credit card processing machines or apps. It is currently a cash-only business model. 

The laws are constantly changing as Americans begin to accept marijuana usage and will likely continue to do so in the 2020 and 2024 elections. Going to a dispensary is no longer has to be a scary thing, but rather a socially acceptable errand.