How to Legally Buy Weed Online in 2022
Published on 4/3/20
Updated: January 27, 2022
Legal cannabis has come a long way over the past twenty or so years. Starting as a taboo, black market illegal street drug that was widely seen as a dangerous "gateway drug" thanks to Reefer Madness-era American drug policy, cannabis has since evolved into a thriving, legal cash cow worth multi-billions. Legal weed has been led to historic influxes of money to the states that have pushed through cannabis legalization bills, either allowing its use recreationally or establishing medical cannabis programs for in-state patients with qualifying conditions. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, states with legal cannabis have generated more than $8 billion in sales taxes from selling weed.
Cannabis hasn't been the only thing that has grown exponentially over the past few decades, however. Along with the heel turn on legal weed, Americans have fully embraced the concept of online shopping. In 2020 alone, an unprecedented year when a global pandemic forced people inside and out of retail stores and restaurants, American consumers spent an astounding $791.70 billion in eCommerce. That's a 32.4 percent spike from the previous year, doubling the 2019 jump of a meer 15.1 percent. Simply put, Americans love buying, ordering, and spending online. So is it possible to do that for cannabis products as well?
It only makes sense for the cannabis industry to move online in an age where Americans are more comfortable splashing the cash than ever before, but there are still quite a few hurdles to jump through if you're looking to buy pot online. That's why we here at Where's Weed are here to help!
This article is going to answer the question if can I buy weed online in 2022, what products are avalble, what states those products are and aren't available in, and hopefully give you some confidence that you know exactly what you're doing before placing that online order for some top-notch cannabis products. Let's get right into it!
Can I Buy Weed Online?
While we would love to give you a straight yes or no answer here, it's unfortunately a little bit more complicated than that. Due to the federal status of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, any cannabis-infused products or the plant itself containing more than .3 percent THC are illegal. On a state-by-state basis, however, things are much different. That's why we think it's important to break this portion up into two sections; states where cannabis is legal and states where cannabis is still illegal.
States Where Cannabis is Illegal
If you live in a state where marijuana is currently illegal, the short answer to "can I buy weed online" is still no. The federal government still considers cannabis a Schedule I drug, grouped right beside cocaine and heroin, which restricts all legal access to the drug unless some state-level legalization bill passes. That means that even if you were to live close to the border of a recreationally legal state, like Pennsylvania to New Jersey and New York, you wouldn't be able to purchase your cannabis online and have it shipped to you without committing a serious federal crime. Simply put, if your state doesn't have some form of recreational or medical cannabis legislation on the books, you simply won't be able to buy weed online without risking serious legal punishment.
It's worth noting, however, that some cannabis products are available for online orders even if you live in a state that still restricts access to legal weed. Any online shopper, no matter where they live, can purchase CBD products as long as that CBD is hemp-derived and contains less than .3 percent THC thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. If you're looking for cannabis products with a THC kick, then Delta-8 products are a great option as well. While there are some states that have restricted access to them like Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, they're still widely legal in places that have limited access to other forms of cannabis.
States Where Cannabis is Legal
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, then the answer is maybe. As of 2022, there are 18 states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. If you live in one of those states, and delivery services are also legal in your city or state, then there is a good chance that you can purchase marijuana legally online.
It's worth noting, however, that most of these purchases won't be 100 percent full online. Due to the federal status of cannabis, many state-legal dispensaries and cannabis businesses don't have access to banking infrastructure. That lack of banking forces most dispensaries and cannabis businesses to be cash-only, which means you'll still need to physically exchange cash by hand for most purchases.
Are Weed Delivery Services Legal?
While shipping cannabis across state lines may still be illegal, many legal weed delivery services exist within the borders of certain states. In states where delivery services are legally allowed to operate, consumers can have products delivered straight to their door. While delivery services are not available in all 50 states - yet - it is an option for a few of our proud states!
In Arizona, California and New York deliveries are allowed for individuals with a state-approved medical cannabis card. Recreational cannabis deliveries are also available for California residents over the age of 21. However, in New York, only certain products are available for delivery. In Colorado, a bill recently passed which allowed the delivery of recreational and medical marijuana starting in 2020. Legitimate delivery services are a new up-and-coming trend that consumers should be on the lookout for.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, widely expanded the use and mainstream acceptance of delivery, curbside pick-up, and online orders when it comes to cannabis. Many states even deemed dispensaries to be essential businesses, which meant that they could operate and deliver when pretty much no other business could. We don't see those types of services going anywhere anytime soon, so it's only going to become easier once legislation like the SAFE Banking Act passes and allows cannabis businesses to accept cards, credit, and online purchases just like any other legal retail business.
Be sure to check search our directories to find which delivery services will delivered to your area!
Order Ahead from Your Local Dispensary
While you may not be able to get your green delivered straight to your doorstep - many dispensaries offer a pre-order service. Different online services allow you to view and browse the store's current inventory and place your order online for pickup. So on your next visit to any dispensary, skip the lines and place an order ahead of time.
How to Spot a Cannabis Scam
If you are one of the millions who frequent cannabis Instagram pages, you have undoubtedly seen some of the marijuana scammers advertising in the comment sections on popular pages. An account will advertise pictures of weed and then offer to ship anywhere in the world for a very affordable price. It can be deceiving because the account will even list a phone number that you can call and order through. However, these numbers are only temporary and created through a burner app. This means that as soon as they have made a transaction, they can trash the number. The account holder will then use this burner number to broker a deal with their latest victim. Once the victim has deposited money into the dealer's accounts, they stop communication and are never heard from again. The buyer is left with no product and hole in their wallet.
While it may be tempting to order cannabis online, we strongly recommend you order only from reputable, legal services.
Tips for Ordering Marijuana Online
- Don't buy cannabis from unverified accounts on social media. In fact, stay away from making weed purchases on social media, period.
- Don't mail or receive cannabis across state lines.
- DO pre-order online from your favorite dispensary! Skip the lines, walk in and walk out!
- DO be on the lookout for verified legal marijuana delivery services - especially if you live in Colorado!
- DO check out Where's Weed for the latest deals in your area and the most recent news!
Have you ever ordered marijuana online, or have you been thinking about it? Have you or someone you know fallen victim to an online marijuana scam? How about pre-ordering from your local dispensary? Tell us about your experiences! Share with us in the comments below!