Get 5% Back

on every purchase!

As more and more states legalize cannabis, cannabis dispensaries are growing in popularity. Modern dispensaries are safe, clean, and often beautiful retail environments that starkly contrast with the old black market ways. Nevertheless, they’re brand new things, and people are always uncomfortable with change. We get that, so let’s get comfortable with our top 15 reasons to visit your local cannabis dispensary today!

Why Buying Legal Cannabis at Your Local Dispensary Matters

So what’s keeping you from visiting your local dispensary? Is it because you’re not quite sure how it works? Maybe it’s because the black market’s cheaper? We’ve heard it all, and we understand. It’s your money. You get to choose how to spend it. But before you close the door on your local dispensary, there are some things you might not know that may change your thinking. A huge one is the history of cannabis in the U.S.

person holding grey tongs and kush

U.S. Cannabis History and Prohibition

Did you know that cannabis used to be legal in the United States? True. Abe Lincoln said his favorite thing to do was to sit on his porch, smoke sweet hemp, and play his harmonica. Before honest Abe, the Revolutionary War General and our First President, George Washington, grew hemp. Those were the good old days. But it all halted when the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920. This event spurred a large influx of Mexican Immigrants, and cannabis was a part of their culture.

White politicians who opposed Mexican immigration saw cannabis as a way to criminalize Mexican culture. They called cannabis “Locoweed” to demonize cannabis and Mexican immigrants who used it. The propaganda worked. California outlawed the plant in 1913. William Randolph Hurst’s sensationalized yellow journalism fanned the flames by claiming that cannabis drove African-Americans and Mexicans to lives of crime. By the 1930s, 29 states had banned cannabis. 

Reefer Madness, Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, & Marijuana Laws

The film “Reefer Madness” fanned the propaganda’s flames into an inferno that consumed the nation. Congress reacted by passing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which effectively banned cannabis at the federal level.

In 1970, Nixon chose the nuclear option in his war on drugs and signed the Controlled Substances Act into law. The Act established a federal law criminalizing drugs. Despite scant evidence, cannabis was placed on Schedule I for dangerous drugs with no medical use and a high potential for abuse. 

Most feel that Nixon’s decision was motivated by his fear of the Black Panthers and rebellious hippie culture. As a result, he criminalized cannabis to control groups he saw as threats.

The Impact of the War on Drugs

Arrests and incarceration for non-violent cannabis offenders skyrocketed in the wake of this new law. Mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes rules compounded the gross injustice. But the most appalling aspect of this new war on drugs was how these laws were disproportionately enforced and how this impacted minority communities.

Is Cannabis Legal Now?

California was the first state to awaken from prohibition’s nightmare when it legalized medical cannabis in 1996. 37 states, The District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have since followed suit and passed some form of recreational or medical cannabis law. In addition, some municipalities have taken additional steps to right the injustice with social equity programs that integrate minorities disproportionately impacted by unjust drug laws into the new legal cannabis economy.

Despite this progress, thousands of people remain imprisoned for cannabis. Cannabis is also still federally illegal and on Schedule I. Progress is always good, but if you use cannabis, the war is far from over.

Top 15 Reasons to Visit Your Local Dispensary

Considering the history, buying legal weed is more than just a transaction. It’s a symbolic act. It stands for something: 

You support the fight for legalization when you buy legal weed from your local dispensary. You stand against unjust drug laws, and you stand with those people persecuted by them. You respect those on the front lines who fought for change and are still fighting today. You support the idea that weed should be legal. 

But as much as we love to make our dollars speak truth to power, that’s not the only reason to buy weed from your local dispensary. When you really understand how they work, there are also some practical reasons.

Here are our top #15 (other) reasons to visit your local weed dispensary!

person holding paper on kush

You’re Buying Legal Weed

Call us masters of the obvious, but one of the best things about buying legal weed at your local dispensary is that it’s…um…legal. This means that you cannot be arrested for buying it, provided that you are of legal age with a valid I.D.

What’s that sweet smell in the air? That’s freedom. If you like that smell, visit your local dispensary so you don’t end up in a cage that smells like…jail.

The Black Market Isn’t Safe

It doesn’t matter if you’re scoring at the park, the trap, or the homie’s living room; anything can happen in a black market weed transaction. Places where weed is sold illegally get raided by drug enforcement all the time. You don’t want to get swept up in that mess. It’s not pretty.

Illegal spots are also targets for robberies. These cash businesses are prime targets because they can’t call the cops. Get caught in one when a robbery goes down; you’ll wish it was only a raid.

Then there’s that illegal delivery service with no license, no oversight, and definitely no customer service number. Who did you give your address to? Who is coming to your door? You have no idea. And what recourse do you have if that transaction takes a left-hand turn? None. 

The Products at Your Local Dispensary are Free of Contaminants

Did you know that licensed cannabis is the most heavily regulated and rigorously tested consumable you can buy in California? Edible makers can’t even use California Certified Organic produce in their edibles because they won’t pass cannabis testing. They won’t pass because cannabis regs have a stricter standard for pesticides. In fact, most commercial pesticides are banned in California cannabis cultivation. This is a good thing because some have been linked to cancer.

Some other things licensed cannabis is tested for before it finds its way to your local dispensary include:

  • Residual solvents and processing chemicals
  • Microbial impurities
  • Foreign material
  • Heavy metals
  • Mycotoxins

At least part of why cannabis products cost more at your local dispensary is to pay for the cost of this lab testing. If you like to know what you’re smoking, that’s money well spent.

Your Local Dispensary Has an Incredible Product Variety

This is a fun one! The shelves of every dispensary are a literal wonderland of cannabis creativity. There’s everything from gummies to candy to vapes to edibles to concentrates to drinks to tinctures to topical to tablets to bath bombs to good old-fashioned cannabis flowers. And even the flower comes in multiple indica, sativa, and hybrid flavors. There is something for every medical marijuana card member and recreational consumer. These shelves are so deep there are probably three things for everyone. So load up, it’s legal!

Licensed Products Have Dosing Instructions and are Tested for Potency 

This one is for all those people new to cannabis. Every product at your local dispensary is tested for potency. Products like edibles, tinctures, and tablets have measured recommended doses and instructions on the packaging. So you know precisely what you’re getting every time, which is essential to find the dose that works for you.

Your Local Dispensary Has Tamper Proof, Child Proof Packaging

We just love a good tamper seal. It’s nice to know that nobody’s been in your cannabis before you’ve been in your cannabis. We also like that whole childproof thing. Kids and weed just don’t go together. Sure, gummies are cute. But these are for adults only!

Your Local Dispensary has Clear Labeling and Warnings

Maybe you don’t know it’s not a good idea to operate heavy machinery after eating a cannabis brownie. If you read the warning on the packaging, you’d discover that and other helpful information like the recommended dose and cannabinoid profile. Labeling for the win!

Your Local Dispensary is Convenient

How amazing is it that you can jump in your car, roll to your local dispensary, and pick up whatever your cannabis heart desires? And if that’s somehow not convenient enough, you can stay camped on the couch in your P.J.s and order delivery from that same local dispensary. This is some hard-core convenience. Seriously. Your old dealer probably had two strains of weed, one of them was Mexican brick, and you had to call ahead to see if he was around. Regular business hours? Pfffft.

Your Local Dispensary Supports the Local Community

Your local dispensary hires local people. Those local people spend money in your local community and support other local businesses. All those people and businesses pay taxes to your community to support things like after-school programs and fire departments. These are very good things!

When you support your local dispensary, you’re supporting your community. And that feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

Black Market Cannabis Causes Violence, Exploitation and Pollution

A December 19, 2021, article titled: “Marijuana Wars: Violent drug cartels turn Northern California into The Wild West” highlights the severe harms caused by black market cannabis. It states:

“The state legalized marijuana in 2016 for adult recreational use, yet the black market continues to thrive with thousands of illegal grows. Criminal syndicates, in turn, are cashing in across the U.S. on the “green gold rush”. They’re undercutting prices of legalized products offered by permitted farmers who follow the rules and pay taxes. And they’re exploiting workers, robbing and shooting adversaries, poisoning wildlife and poaching water in a state fighting widespread drought and devastating wildfires.”

Sure, black market weed may be cheaper. But what’s the real cost?

Tax Revenue From Licensed Dispensaries Goes To Good Causes

Yes, the taxes at your local dispensary are high. But do you know where that money goes?  According to a breakdown entitled titled “California’s $635M in cannabis taxes—where is it going?” published by Leafly in 2020, the money went here:

  • $140.8 million for 11,000 low-income children in childcare
  • $44.8 million for public health and safety grants in cities that allow dispensaries
  • $39.9 million to combat illegal grows, wildland restoration
  • $37.5 million for helping thousands of at-risk youth
  • $30 million in community reinvestment grants for social workers
  • $21.8 million for safer roads
  • $57.8 million to license and regulate the industry
  • $15 million for cannabis science and policy research
  • $100 million in local cannabis business taxes to parks

Look, we don’t like taxes anymore than you do, but we’d rather support child care and parks than exploitation, robbery, and environmental catastrophe. 

Dispensaries Support Community Programs

Did you know that your local dispensary has a community benefits plan? It’s true. Your local dispensary is required to support your community. Holiday toy drives, food bank donations, and park cleanups are some ways your local dispensary gives back to its community. 

Local Dispensaries Promote Diversity and Social Equity

Local dispensaries make commitments to hiring practices that promote inclusion and diversity. Some cities even have social equity programs that favor minority license applicants negatively impacted by the war on drugs. 

Shopping at Dispensaries is Fun

We’ve all heard the saying, “I felt like a kid in a candy store.” That’s what cannabis shopping is like. A candy store for adults! With so many products to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.

Your Local Dispensary has Budtenders!

The local dispensary budtender might be the best reason to visit your local dispensary. They know everything there is to know about that fantastic menu, and they are there to help you find your way. They are your guides and, if you ask us, the true heroes of every local dispensary. 

Indulge with Embarc Dispensary

Embarc dispensary truly embodies the values every modern cannabis retailer should aspire to with their dedication to community, craft and culture. From the iconic sun-grown farms of Humboldt to the legendary indoor grows of Socal, we curate the state’s best cannabis and provide it to you at fair prices.

Embarc donates 1% of all sales back to our community. Forever. So when you shop at Embarc, you directly support the local community you call home. We also support small farmers, women, BIPOC, and LBGTQIA+-owned brands. In addition, 50% of our shelf space is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, and we are all about ethical, sustainable, fair-priced cannabis. Embarc leads with quality and education, not fancy packaging and celebrity endorsements.

Oh yeah, one more thing. We’re also known for our five-star customer experience. So visit your local Embarc dispensary today, or hit us up online for delivery!