Does your weed pass the vibe check, California? (2024)

Why licensed dispensaries are the best choice for quality cannabis.

Even in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, there are still a couple of things that you can always rely on. Puff puff pass is still the rule, it’s never cool to scorch the bowl, and California weed is in a class all its own.

Ever since the days before cannabis was legalized statewide, California set the tone of cannabis culture for the entire country, immortalizing the plant in music and art. A significant percentage of the strains we love first sprouted in California soil and was tended by Californian hands. This legacy has endured the peaks and valleys of the industry and come out even stronger than before, and that inheritance is well worth protecting.

To safeguard this legacy and to ensure the continued quality of California’s chronic, the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) launched the Real CA Cannabis initiative to help consumers find licensed dispensaries.

The dispensaries licensed by DCC sell products that are regulated for reliability, environmental friendliness, and product quality. You can rest easy knowing that any flower, edibles, or concentrates purchased from a licensed dispensary are considered Real California Cannabis—locally sourced from California cultivators and tracked from seed to sale so you always know what you’re getting and where it’s coming from.

Before we start…

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Listen, we get it. We know that the last thing you want between you and your weed is a bunch of red tape. Regulation can have a negative connotation, conjuring images of besuited bureaucrats joylessly stifling innovation. While that certainly isn’t DCC’s bag, we don’t blame folks for being reluctant.

However, the fact of the matter is that the cannabis industry is a different animal today than it was in the past. The new legal landscape has brought with it a host of new challenges that require a steadying hand to ensure that California weed remains well-regulated for all the generations of potheads to come. The people at DCC are dedicated to just these goals, and well deserving of a bit of trust.

Meet DCC

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As the governing body charged with regulating all legal cannabis purchases in the state, DCC compiles critical data, issues recalls on harmful products, and constantly works to keep up-to-date standards for cannabis. Since the situation regarding cannabis on the federal level is still a fiasco, DCC is the last word on legal cannabis in California. When the federal situation inevitably changes, we’ll be lucky if the feds adopt a similar model to the California DCC.

RelatedPresident Biden announces marijuana will move to Schedule III

That’s why licensed dispensaries are the clear choice—and that’s why DCC launched Real CA Cannabis to make it easier than ever for Californians to find them.

And we should all be glad they’re on the job. Illegal cannabis products have been found to contain any number of things that aren’t weed, like harmful contaminants, acetates, and a long list of other nasties. Consuming cannabis that hasn’t been regulated opens you up to all sorts of risks that can have very real health effects for both you and your friends & family.

There’s no way to tell by looking at cannabis whether or not it’s free of harmful contaminants and other hazardous byproducts of the growing and packaging process. Consumers need to rely on regulators like DCC to make sure all of the growers, manufacturers, distributors, and everyone else who has a hand in getting those buds to the shops are following the rules that are there to protect consumers. That’s why licensed dispensaries are the clear choice—and that’s why DCC launched Real CA Cannabis to make it easier than ever for Californians to find them.

Judging books by their cover

It’s no secret that weed has gotten a lot more potent in recent years. Due to increased demand following legalization, breeders have been driven into a virtual arms race trying to develop the strongest strains. That means that the weed available in dispensaries can vary wildly in potency, ranging from “light buzz” to “bed, immediately.”

RelatedWhat are the strongest weed strains?

Because of this wide variation in strength, it’s essential for cannabis to be accurately labeled. This is where the Real CA Cannabis search tool comes in, where you can confidently find weed you know is the exact strain and potency that you wanted. This goes for flower, edibles, concentrates, and all the other treats behind the counter at a dispensary. All these products will be accurately labeled with not only THC content, but with important information regarding where and how the cannabis was grown.

That means that the weed available in dispensaries can vary wildly in potency, ranging from “light buzz” to “bed, immediately.”

Only legal dispensaries that are regulated by DCC are guaranteed to sell Real CA Cannabis, which means it is accurately labeled and high quality. So if you want to make sure you’re supporting Californian growers, or you’re just looking to avoid getting way too high (or not nearly high enough), legal dispensaries are the way to go.

How to spot a legal dispensary

Now that you’re all tuned up on all the benefits of well-run legal dispensaries, you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to tell a real outfit from one that isn’t. Thanks to the Department of California Cannabis Control’s new Real CA Cannabis campaign, there are a few easy ways to differentiate the shops that only offer the best of the Golden State.

It may surprise you to learn that even though cannabis is legal statewide in California, 56% of cities and counties don’t allow any type of cannabis business. So the first step to finding out if your favorite dispensary is legal or not is to check your local ordinances regarding cannabis. Luckily, DCC created the Real CA Cannabis search to make it easy to find legal shops.

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If you’re eyeing a new dispensary and want to quickly check its status, DCC also has you covered. Soon, every legal dispensary in California will be issued a new seal, marking the weed sold inside as regulated to meet consumer protection standards.

This seal will be prominently displayed at licensed dispensaries, so consumers can simply tell at a glance if the spot is up to snuff. These seals will also feature a QR code leading to the Real CA Cannabis website, where consumers can make sure they’re physically at the correct legal shop.

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These seals will finish rolling out soon, but in the meantime, there’s a more informal way you can tell if your dispensary is licensed or not. Many illegal operations will use bright, colorful packaging reminiscent of existing candy brands or packaging featuring copyrighted characters. These are telltale signs that the dispensary carrying this merchandise doesn’t sell Real CA Cannabis.

RelatedCalifornia’s cannabis scene: Top strains and emerging favorites of 2024

The days are coming when mainstream celebrities and massive media franchises see the value in lending their images to cannabis brands, but it’s mostly not today. So, if you see Taylor Swift, Patrick Mahomes, or Iron Man on a pre-roll, take your business elsewhere.

The California shops listed on Leafly are all licensed, legal, and legit, and can be verified using the Real CA Cannabis search tool to make sure you’re only getting the good stuff.

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Thanks to the Department of California Cannabis Control and the Real CA Cannabis search, people all over California can partake confidently knowing that their cannabis is high-quality and supports healthy businesses and communities. Head over to the Real CA Cannabis website to learn more about the Real California Cannabis initiative.

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Writing and research by Jake Rosendale

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Edited by Anna Elliott

Does your weed pass the vibe check, California? (2024)
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