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Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.

Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.

Which strain should I grow?

Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.

Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.

When growing regular seeds, some won’t germinate and some will have to be discarded because they’ll turn out to be males. With feminized seeds, some won’t germinate, but a higher percentage of them will turn into flowering plants because there won’t be any males.

You can also try our Virtual Budtender tool, which is a quick and easy guide that narrows down strain options based on how you answer a few brief questions about the experience you want.

When a state legalizes cannabis for adult use, only adults ages 21 and older with valid identification may legally buy cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Medical marijuana legalization restricts purchases to valid patients—typically ages 21 and up, although some programs allow patients ages 18+, as well as minors who have a qualifying condition, a doctor’s authorization, and a parent or guardian to dispense medication.

After you’ve selected a shop, you have one of two options as a first-time buyer:

Step 1: Find a cannabis dispensary near you

Recreational dispensaries also check ID, and like medical marijuana dispensaries, they often only accept cash or debit cards due to the lack of banking services set up for the cannabis industry.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the US to legalize cannabis for adult use. Since then, other states have followed suit. States and territories with legal recreational markets also operate legal medical marijuana programs that cater to patients with qualifying conditions.

While medical marijuana patients are also limited by the amount of cannabis they can purchase, many states allow patients to purchase and possess more cannabis than recreational consumers since cannabis is being used medicinally.

Making your first legal cannabis purchase may feel a bit awkward and intimidating, but it’s a simple and safe process. Follow the steps below and you’ll be ready to walk into a recreational cannabis shop with confidence and emerge with the right products for you.

Delivery services can be found in the same ways as a physical store. Once you find a delivery service you want to use, typically, you will need to call in to the delivery service to place an order. However, more savvy services allow order by text. Some even have their own smartphone apps or allow you to order online through their website.

It is even possible to buy marijuana online or with smartphone apps. These apps and websites allow you to easily place your marijuana order as you would any online purchase and some even let you schedule your delivery ahead of time for delivery when it works best for you.

State marijuana laws will vary regarding what is needed in order for people from outside of the state to purchase marijuana, but in general, all you need to do is find a local recreational dispensary and show your ID. Once you do, you are allowed to freely purchase a variety of marijuana and cannabis products.

Ordering Delivery

In some markets, it is also possible to order your recreational marijuana products to be delivered to your home. Buying marijuana through delivery is a smart choice if you aren’t able to leave your home, there are no nearby brick and mortar shops, or if you already know what you want and don’t have any questions.

The first step is to take your time browsing available products. A recreational marijuana dispensary can be staggering at first glance, so take your time to slowly look through all of the products offered. Marijuana products often have information on their labels that give the user more information about the possible effects of use.

Recreational dispensaries often advertise either online, in a city’s free culture and nightlife magazines, or even on billboards in some markets. Sign spinners are also a popular way for dispensaries to get your attention.

Anyone who does this is breaking the law and asking for trouble. While many states have made recreational marijuana legal, it is still federally illegal. Therefore, when you are crossing state lines with marijuana, you are technically breaking federal law. Even if you purchased the marijuana legally in your state of origin, it is against the law to cross state lines with any marijuana on your person.