Yes, it is 100% legal to go to a Seattle dispensary, even if Washington State’s rules can make it feel otherwise.
Because marijuana hasn’t been legalized nationwide yet, there’s still a stigma. And that stigma can make your first time inside a dispensary feel awkward. Heck, even serious stoners sometimes feel awkward walking into a pot shop!
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whether you’re a tourist looking to get the most out of your stay in Seattle or a local who wants to have a little extra fun, then you’re in the right place!
We’ll cover all the basics (as well as any fine print) so that you feel totally comfortable finding a Seattle cannabis shop and making the most of your experience. Here’s what you need to know.
How legal is a Seattle dispensary? What does “technically legal” mean?
Sure, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but Washington State (as well as many others) has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. This really comes into a legal debate of jurisdiction.
Federal law is above state law, but state law enforcement will not enforce the ban if marijuana is legal in that state. So… for all intents and purposes, marijuana is technically illegal on a federal level, but not a state level.
President Obama set a precedent of the federal government not interfering with state legalization. So far, the Trump administration has followed the same tactic of non-interference.
Many legal scholars believe that if the federal government were to get involved and try to overturn state legalization, they wouldn’t crackdown on users first. They would likely challenge the state in court or go after shops and dispensaries directly.
With all of that being said, you should feel totally comfortable and safe going to a Seattle dispensary.
Weediquette: Best practices
Don’t light up the moment you leave the shop. Wait until you’re in a private place such as your home or apartment. Do note that different landlords have different policies, so be sure to check your lease before lighting up.
At the end of the day, one best practice is to treat it like alcohol. If you wouldn’t drink before driving or drink at public parks, then you probably should avoid doing the same with marijuana.
“What are those green crosses I see everywhere?”
Those are medical marijuana clinics, not to be confused with marijuana dispensaries. Prior to statewide recreational legalization, only medical cannabis was legal. These clinics opened up so that patients with qualifying conditions could get a prescription and medical marijuana card.
Even though recreational use was legalized, the green crosses still indicate that the building is a clinic.
However, these green crosses won’t be around for much longer. Since there are licensed legal pot shops across the state, there’s no need for clinics that specialize in medical marijuana. Many of these clinics have closed as dispensaries have boomed in popularity. Washington itself wants to do away with them.
So, where can I legally buy weed in Seattle?
At a Seattle dispensary, of course!
If you’re not sure what to get, then ask the budtenders. They’re there to help you understand the various products, strains, and experiences available to you!
Before going to any Seattle dispensary, we recommend learning about the general types of weed first: indica, sativa, and hybrids. By understanding the 3 main categories, you can make the most out of your visit.
Indica is known for its more calming effects, whereas sativa can increase energy. Hybrids are a combo between indica and sativa, generally favoring one over the other rather than a true 50/50 split.
Are there clubs or bars similar to cigar lounges where I can enjoy my weed?
This used to be possible in the past, but Washington State passed a law banning these private lounges.
You can still enjoy your weed at home or in your hotel! And of course, there’s incredible nature and scenery in Seattle to enjoy.
The city also really knows how to celebrate marijuana! The largest hemp festival in the world is held here. It’s called Hempfest. Seattle also hosts CannaCon, the largest marijuana convention in the entire country. And of course, the 4/20 holiday in Seattle is extremely epic.
You must be 21 years of age or older to buy marijuana in Washington state. The legal age for medical use is 18.
Remember to bring your government-issued ID so that the budtenders can verify your age!
There are purchasing and possession limits. As a recreational user, you can purchase 1 ounce of flower, 7 grams of concentrates, 16 ounces of edibles, and 72 ounces of liquid at a time.
These are also the limits for what you can carry on you at all times. If you have more than this on your persons, even if only personal use, the law could see this as “intent to distribute,” so it’s important to respect these limits.
With all of this in mind, we hope you have a great experience!