Cannabis Legalization 101 – What You Need to Know

On How to Do the Pot, so many amazing women have generously shared their excitement, concerns, and very practical tips about buying legal weed – a first-time shopping experience unlike any other. Hearing their diverse stories led me to think about how different the buying experience can be state to state. Our new series, Legalization 101, breaks down all you need to know about medical or adult-use (aka recreational) cannabis. If you’re not sure about what’s legal where you live, check out this map

When the podcast first aired in November 2019, there were only a handful of states with legal, adult-use cannabis. Today in nineteen states – nearly 40 percent of the U.S. – anyone over 21 can buy it. If you haven’t bought legal weed yet, this series will answer your lingering questions and help make the experience smooth and fun. Please share with anyone who could use a friend on their legal weed journey. ❤️ Ellen


1. What is adult-use cannabis? While many call it recreational use, to us, trying cannabis for whatever reason you choose seems very reasonable for adults over 21. What if stereotypes tied to cliches & stigma could be overcome by using a word other than “recreational”, that doesn’t judge why anyone chooses to consume? Seems worth a try. To buy cannabis in a legal dispensary, you’ll need to show a government issued ID, bring cash or a debit card, and it will help to consider how you want to feel before you buy.

2. What is medical cannabis? In the thirty-six states with medical cannabis, laws allow you to purchase, consume, and sometimes grow your own cannabis to treat serious and chronic symptoms. To receive a medical card, a licensed physician must approve your request based on the qualifying conditions allowed in your state. Qualifying conditions vary and often include chronic pain, nausea, migraines and epilepsy. Google your state’s “office of medical cannabis” to find out what’s allowed where you live.

3. What does “decriminalized” mean? Some states that have not legalized cannabis have decriminalized its consumption and possession. Basically this means if you’re caught with weed, you won’t face criminal charges but you will have to pay a fine, similar to a speeding ticket. Social justice remains a key issue for the industry when across the U.S. there are still 40,000 people in prison for cannabis crimes, and they are disproportionately people of color. 

4. What about CBD? CBD from the hemp plant is legal in all 50 states and available online. We trust these brands because there is still no regulation or clear guidance from the government about CBD testing and safety. CBD purchased from a licensed dispensary is tested and must pass cannabis regulations decided by your state. 

5. Ready to buy, but still feel intimidated? Hear all the details from women who have gone before you, in an adult use market, a medical market and a really funny story, because this is about buying weed! The New to Weed playlist shares our most listened-to episodes and answers the top questions we hear from you.

We cover legal weed

So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.


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