Associates Rory Turnbull, left, and Chris Hewitt prepare bags of marijuana buds for sale at the Nature Scripts medical marijuana dispensary in Murphy, Ore., Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. The dispensary is one of many across the state preparing for the first day of retail legal sales starting Thursday. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

Weed 101: The basics of buying cannabis in California (or anywhere)

Effective Jan. 1, California allows licensed shops to sell marijuana to anyone with an ID proving they’re 21 and older.

For adults new to cannabis, or for those who haven’t tried it in years, know that the days of choosing between a joint or a bong in black-lit head shops are long over. Many legal dispensaries today look more like Apple stores, with dozens of different product types displayed artfully in cases.

You can always ask the shop’s “budtenders” for recommendations. But since there’s no guarantee what training that budtender might have, it’s wise to educate yourself a bit on available strains, products and methods before you take your first shopping trip.

Find the right marijuana

Find the right method

Taxes on marijuana

Recreational marijuana tax rates as of July 2017. California, Maine and Massachusetts will allow recreational sales in 2018.

How much does it cost?

Budtenders can help inform you what types of weed they have, but only weed in tamper evident, child resistant packaging can be sold. Marijuana freebies or samples are prohibited.

Here are some specials offered on Dec. 26 that help give a range for products and prices:

Typical price range:
Marijuana products range in price based on the form. Flower, on average, is between $25-$35 a 1/8th, whereas a gram of concentrated cannabis range from $30-$45.

Sources:, Tax Foundation, Colorado Department of Revenue, Oregon Department of Revenue,,,
Photos: Cannifornian staff and handout images

Watch: The pros weigh in: How to shop for weed, and what to look for in shops

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