How to buy legal recreational marijuana

Although it is possible for adults age 21 and over to legally buy recreational marijuana (cannabis) in the states of Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, existing federal laws make it difficult for potential customers to use checks, credit cards, debit cards, or any kind of electronic payment system to buy recreational marijuana.

This situation is due to the fact that the purchase, sale, and consumption of marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government, and traditionally the federal government has made it very difficult for banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions to work with marijuana-related businesses. As a result, you will likely only be able to use cash to buy by legal recreational marijuana.

You may ask yourself two questions. First, if the federal government is allowing states to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana, why make it difficult for customers to buy it? People have been openly vocalizing their opinion about cannabis and how it contributes to the society. Vaporizing weed seems to be the trend now as those portable vaporizers come out and is widely sold in smoke shops.

That is a question that gets into complex and unresolved issues of the different kinds of control the federal and state governments have over commercial activities, and also about the existing federal laws and regulations that are still designed to prevent the commercial sale of marijuana.

The effect of the unresolved issues is that recreational marijuana may be purchased using cash, and not by credit or debit card.

The second question you may ask yourself is how can you pay for recreational marijuana? Since you may only be able to purchase marijuana with cash, you have to ensure that you will have enough money.

For air travelers, especially those from outside the US, who are used to using credit cards for many of their transactions, getting cash should not be a problem if you use one of the following options

  • Airport currency exchange shops: Most larger airports, such as the airports at Denver and Seattle, have one or more shops offering currency exchange services where you can change your non-US currency into US dollars. Keep in mind that these shops may not be open 24 hours a day.
  • Other currency exchange shops: You may also find currency exchange shops in larger cities, typically in areas with high densities of upscale hotels and tourists.
  • ATM machines: Depending on what bank you use, you may be able to use an ATM machine. Unlike currency exchange shops, they are typically available 24 hours a day and can be found in communities of any size. If your bank account is with a non-US bank, your withdrawal will be in US dollars. Keep in mind that you will likely have additional ATM fees for your transaction.
  • Larger hotels: Many larger hotels that cater to customers from outside the US may offer currency exchange services, but at rates less favorable than what you would get from a currency exchange shop or from an ATM.

How much cash do you need?
How much you need will depend on two factors, how much you plan to buy and what you plan to buy. Prices are variable and will depend on many factors, so you should check with one or more retail marijuana establishments to figure out how much cash you will need.

How much marijuana can you buy?
Each state has slightly different rules on how much you can buy at one time:

  • In Washington, all adults who are 21 or older are allowed to purchase a maximum of one ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana (or its equivalent).
  • In Colorado, residents of that state who are at least 21 years old can purchase up to one ounce at a time, but non-residents can purchase only up to one quarter of an ounce at one time.
  • In Oregon, adults 21 and over can purchase up to one quarter of an ounce at one time.

While you will likely need to use cash to purchase marijuana or or other products at the store selling retail marijuana, you may be able to use your other financial options to pay for related services like taking a taxi to or from the retail marijuana store.

How much marijuana can you possess?
In Washington and Colorado, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to one ounce of marijuana. In Oregon, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to one ounce of marijuana while away from home, and up to eight ounces at home.


Other marijuana resources

How to buy legal recreational marijuana
http://airsafe.com/issues/marijuana/buying.htm -- Revised 1 September 2015