If you’re wondering how to buy legal weed in Washington, you’ve come to the right place. This simple, comprehensive guide explains the fastest and easiest way to enjoy recreational cannabis in The Evergreen State.
What To Know About Recreational Weed Laws in Washington
A lot has changed in Washington this year. Back in May, Governor Jay Inslee signed an omnibus cannabis bill. The bill makes changes to several of the regulations the state put in place in 2013. Washington voters legalized the sale of recreational weed in 2012.
As a pot tourist to Washington, those changes impact you in a few key ways.
First, adults 21 and over can now share marijuana with each other. In fact, you’re allowed to share a half-ounce of flower, eight ounces of edibles, 36 ounces liquid cannabis, and one eighth ounce of concentrates. Just make sure no money is exchanged, and you’re golden.
Additionally, the new rules let medical card-holders buy seeds and clones direct from the source. You still can’t grow at home, though that’s not likely to matter much if you’re just visiting.
The bottom line is this. Simply put, if you’re old enough to drink alcohol at a bar, you can buy legal recreational weed in Washington.
Before You Leave For Washington
Thankfully, Washington makes buying legal weed simple for residents and non-residents, both. Under Washington’s legal weed law, anyone 21 years of age or older can purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana.
So you don’t need to live in the state, have a Washington address, or even a Washington ID.
All you’ll need is some kind of government-issued ID, from literally anywhere in the world, that verifies you are of age to purchase and consume legal cannabis.
Even better, you don’t need any special card or documentation for recreational purchases or use. Just keep your ID on you.
One last thing you’ll need is cash. Federal prohibitions prevent legal cannabis businesses from using banks and other financial services like credit cards.
But if traveling with lots of cash makes you nervous, there is an alternative. Some retail stores do accept debit cards. Washington is also a state that offers CanPay, a debit payment solution that lets consumers pay with an app.
It’s also a good idea to do a little research before you travel. Check out reviews for the storefronts located in the area you’ll be staying. Many businesses offer deals and discounts for new and first-time customers.
There once was a time when Washington pot stores were few and far between. But as regulations loosened and more businesses became licensed, the retail market has absolutely exploded.
With plans to boost the number of retail marijuana stores further, you won’t have a hard time finding one when you arrive.
How To Buy Legal Weed In Washington Once You Arrive
Buying legal weed in Washington as a tourist couldn’t be easier. Just make sure you have your ID with you, and head to any recreational cannabis store you want.
But here’s an important tip: do not try to buy recreational weed at a medical marijuana dispensary!
Recreational users can only purchase cannabis at licensed recreational-only retail stores. So make sure to head to a recreational weed store, and not a medical dispensary.
What To Expect At The Weed Store
Once you’ve chosen the perfect recreational storefront for you, here’s how to buy legal weed in Washington.
- Bring your documents. Make sure to bring your government-issued ID with you
- Register. When you enter, expect some security. The front-desk clerk will check your ID and verify your age. Then you’ll be added or checked into an electronic system that keeps a registry of all customers. After this process, you’ll hear a small buzz as the electronic lock to the retail area releases.
- Take your time. Don’t be shy about looking around and asking questions about products that are unfamiliar or exciting to you. Enjoy the process of examining the different strains under lights and magnifying glasses. Take a close look at those sparkling trichomes. Budtenders will help you decide exactly which strains, products and accessories are right for you. Don’t forget to tip!
- Buy wisely. When you enter the store proper, try to contain your excitement. If you’re new to this, you’ll be overwhelmed by the plethora of options. On top of that, budtenders are eager to upsell, and prices drop if you buy more. Understandably, it can be very easy to walk out with way more than you could ever hope to eat/smoke/vape/dab during your trip. Good news is, now that it’s legal to gift cannabis, you won’t have to trash your stash before you head home.
- Don’t hang around. Finally, absolutely do not touch or open your products after you buy them. Your budtender will package your goodies up in a discreet container. You may be excited to peep at them on your way out of the store. But it’s illegal to consume cannabis in public. And weed stores are tightly regulated and could get in serious trouble for this. So once you receive your purchase, it’s time to leave. Wait until you’re in private to ogle your haul.
Can You Buy Legal Weed From A Delivery Service In Washington?
Some folks might prefer to avoid the dispensary scene in Washington altogether. Unfortunately, despite a ballot initiative last year, marijuana delivery services are still very illegal in Washington.
But just because they’re illegal doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Actually, Seattle has a problem with illegal pot delivery services, but that’s another story. Yet clearly delivery could simplify how to buy legal weed in Washington. So voters will take another shot at passing a measure to make this happen later this year.
The point is this: if you’re trying to buy legal weed in Washington, don’t purchase from a delivery service.
Where Can You Enjoy Your Legal Weed
Now that you bought some legal weed, it’s yours to enjoy! You can keep it all to yourself, or gift some of it to other adults 21 and over. But one thing you can’t do is enjoy it anywhere in public.
Legally, you can only consume cannabis, smoking or otherwise, in a private residence. Then again, the civil penalty for smoking in public is only $100. In Seattle, it’s just $27. Something to keep in mind if you are going to be toking in plain sight.
You can personally possess up to an ounce of flower, 7 grams of concentrates or extracts, 16 ounces of edibles or topicals in solid form, and 72 ounces in liquid form. That’s a serious arsenal for even the most seasoned cannabis veteran.
Final Hit: How To Buy Legal Weed In Washington
So to sum up, here’s how to buy legal weed in Washington.
- Paperwork. A government-issued photo ID verifying you are of-age.
- Do some research ahead of time to dedicated recreational weed stores. You can’t purchase at medical dispensaries without a card.
- Register at a dispensary; avoid delivery services (they’re illegal).
- Enjoy your legal cannabis in a private place.