• Jeimmy Grace

Marijuana Then and Now

Now that weed is legal in California I've noticed the changes and quiet frankly, I'd much rather go back to when it was illegal. Not only are we losing local shops but we don't even have bud tenders anymore. That to me is huge.

During the second shut down of the pandemic, I saw a guy in the news who was upset that the local bars would re-open but no TV or food was allowed. His remark was "I like being waited on. That's what we miss about life pre-pandemic." I think it's very much the same thing for avid marijuana users. Walking into a weed shop used to be like a kid walking into Dylans Candy Store. Rows and rows of non stop candy. hard candy, liquid candy, soft candy, lollipops, gummies, chocolates, themed candy, I mean it's fabulous even for an adult.

Weed shops were kinda like that, you walked in to rows and rows of weed, all kinds of it like edibles, beverages, tea, candy but mainly jars and jars of flower. They had so much that it was a bit anxiety inducing from wanting to smell and look at them all before deciding. It was fabulous!

This was my weed shopping experience today and was disappointed, first, because I couldn't find a shop. Once I found a shop 3 miles away from my apartment. This is ridiculous considering that in Koreatown, we had at least 5 shops within a two block radius. I walk into the shop where the music is too loud for me as usual. Kinda wishing that weed shops were more like Planned Parenthood; low key, private, quiet and at the end you walk out with a bag of condoms. Except you'd walk out with whatever kind of flower you bought in whatever quantity you got.

So there are three girls, four if you count one out on the floor doing I don't know what. I'm not really greeted, I mean no one is looking at me and I didn't hear a greet. The girl who decided to help me didn't even ask me what I was looking for. Didn't make any significant suggestions and definitely could not explain the kind of high her suggestion delivered. The shelves look empty. No rows of giant jars keeping the strains fresh lined up by quality, instead there are smaller jars. Small enough to carry 3.5 grams or an eight. The presentation was awful not to mention no 3 day weekend specials which usually went on the whole weekend. So these jar, they're the same jars they sell you the product in. They run to the back, or a low cabinet somewhere not visible to the patients and retrieve the same pre-weighed, pre-packaged glass jar with a sealed copper lid which is then placed in a small white paper bag and stapled shut. I mean the cashier, because I can't even call them bud tenders anymore, rang me up and bagged my things and that was it.

Fun Fact: paper bags are actually a pharmacy thing. I'm too lazy to check but apparently pharmacies can't carry plastic bags for whatever reason so that's why you get paper at dispensaries because technically they are pharmacies.

but anyway, the original dispensary experience has officially been killed. This is the third time that I experience someone who doesn't know shit about weed. I mean weed is definitely more expensive these days and I'm willing to pay but I'm not willing to pay for what exactly? packaging that I did not ask for? a service that I am not receiving? Sounds like medical malpractice if you asked me. Overcharging for things that are not necessary. No one complained about the plastic bottles we used to get. Yes, I know plastic, bad! I'm sure there could have been and still is some kind of solution for this problem. I don't dig the glass jars with fancy labels, I don't want to pay for that. I want to pay for the experience, to be able to walk in there and enjoy the true are to dispensaries which is the flower itself, the mugs the size of miniature trees, to the ones the size of a fingernail. I want to enjoy it's deep purple leaves to the orange crystalized hair on them, I want the fine bud tender to spin open the lid on those jars and place it underneath my nose for me to smell the hints of diesel, berries, or pine. I liked when the bud tender weighed out the product for me. I liked the murals painted by local artists in your shops. The music, though too loud for me, was part of the experience. It was this experience that engaged all our senses that did it for me.

This other issue I have about the tradition of avid marijuana users is the post-pickup happenings. In my younger days, I was proudly a member of the losers club. what this meant is picking up fresh flowers from the newest batch of favorites and head over to the spot. The spot would either be video games in someones car while rotating two blunts or maybe catching a movie or the latest episode of whatever was big at the time. This could mean someone's birthday party at a club or someones backyard. If adulting didn't put an end to those carless days of nothing to do and no where to go, the pandemic sure killed it. but that's for another time. There's been all these changes but we still haven't gotten a pay with credit card option unless you order delivery and it will cost you twice as much.

What do you guys think? Do we like the OG dispensaries better than the new shops? How do we feel about delivery?

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