1st Time I Bought Legal Weed

Feeling Joyful About Weed with Michelle Matsuba, Tara Cannaday and Ashley Keenan

Episode 234

Show Notes

Ashley Keenan, Tara Cannaday and Michelle Matsuba

Today’s episode celebrates the pure joy of buying legal cannabis! Michelle Matsuba, Ashley Keenan, and Tara Cannaday join the show to share their initial dispensary experiences, highlighting the wonder of exploring a ‘weed playground’ for the first time. Along with insights into the vibrant world of legal cannabis shopping, this episode is brimming with happy moments and heartfelt stories.

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Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.


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Ashley Keenan (01:02):

I felt like a kid at Christmas time. I felt like that same story I’d wonder that you feel as a child walking into a toy store. All of these options and colors and smells, and it was heaven. I was a grown woman just feeling and living for that childlike wonder that you don’t really get to experience that much as an adult.

Ellen Scanlon (01:32):

Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon.


You just heard from Ashley Keenan, an Ontario based freelance journalist and cannabis consultant. One of the biggest misconceptions about shopping for legal weed is thinking that you need to know a lot about cannabis before you go. You do have to bring your government issued ID and it will make it easier if you bring cash. But visiting a dispensary has become a lot like a regular shopping experience now that more states have legalized it. This series is dedicated to providing you with a support system of women all across the country who have been in your shoes.


Today’s episode is all about joy. Enjoying cannabis of course, but also the joyful adventure of shopping for legal weed. I hope these stories help you feel supported, less alone, and a little lighthearted when you decide to make your first cannabis shopping trip. I really want you to have fun.


Before we get into this week’s episode, I am so grateful to the people who have been asking how they can support the show. Please tell all your friends word of mouth is a great way to help us grow our listeners. Another thing you can do is sign up for How to Do The Pots Newsletter. It’s a twice a month resource that helps you feel confident about cannabis for health, wellbeing, and for fun. There are already thousands of subscribers reading and replying with comments and tips, and the more, the merrier. We couldn’t do this without you. Please go to dothepot.com to sign up. Thank you. I really appreciate your support for the show.


California-based, Michelle Matsuba is the founder of Eleganja, an online fashion brand helping you find black-owned products, bridging the worlds of fashion and cannabis. For Michelle’s first time buying weed, she visited a dispensary in San Diego, California. By the time she walked out, she couldn’t wait to spread to love to all her friends. And now I’m happy to share her joyful story with all of you.

Michelle Matsuba (04:13):

A little bit hard to remember at this point because let’s be honest, we’ve come so far. But my first time buying legal weed was when I was living down in San Diego, I heard about a dispensary that had just opened and I thought, “This is it. Let’s go.” So I rolled up. I thought it was going to be as easy as coming in and shopping just like any other store. I was mistaken. I was greeted by an armed security guard, which if you’ve gone to a dispensary you are now familiar with. At that point, I was not expecting that and was pretty alarmed by that situation. A little curious and a little scared about what I had gotten myself into, but I just followed their instructions. I handed over my ID, I went through all the steps, and finally I made it inside, and it was definitely worth it.


Once I entered through those doors, I just knew I had entered the future of weed. Seeing all of the products just strewn across the walls and in the display cases, anything from the freshest flower to the range of edibles that they had to the concentrates and the different devices, it just felt like a weed playground. I had never been surrounded by that much cannabis at one time, and it was very exciting. I have to admit, it was also a little overwhelming because there were so many products that I just didn’t know about or different types of products that I had never used before. But what really helped was the budtenders were so welcoming and so nice. They made me feel calm and that there was no rush and that this experience was mine and something to be enjoyed. So that really helped.


And when I finally picked out what I wanted, I remember that I picked out some hybrid flour, some gummies as well. It was just a really fun experience. And by the end of the day, I just was really glad that I came. And when I checked out and went on my way, my first thought was, “I’m calling all my friends, telling them what just happened, and they’re coming with me next time.”

Ellen Scanlon (06:18):

Ashley Keenan, who you heard from at the beginning of the show, was always a bit nervous about buying weed in the illegal market. I can relate. And in the year leading up to federal legalization in Canada, she visited a shop that seemed amazing, but turns out it wasn’t quite legal. The joys of an emerging industry.

Ashley Keenan (06:42):

Believe it or not, the first time I bought legal weed, and the first time I thought I bought legal weed are actually two different stories. So let me tell you about the time I thought I was buying legal weed. It was the year leading up to federal legalization in Canada. All of these gray market stores were opening in urban centers. In fact, my urban center was so overpopulated that the city declared an emergency against these illegal pop shops. However, I was oblivious to all of this at the time, and I was very excited to go to my first legal store. You see, I was the kind of girl who always got her weed off friends or from parties. You know that annoying chick who never had her own? That was me. The few times I tried to buy it from a dealer, I was very scared and it was always in a shady parking lot or going to someone’s house I didn’t know. And as a single woman in the city, it’s not always the safest revenue. So I was really excited to go to a store.


I walked in and you would never have guessed, it looks quite like the legal stores of today. Only you were able to see and smell the product. So I walked up and I was able to ask the budtender all of these questions, and there were just jars of jars of jars of different strains of which I knew nothing about. And I got to smell them and look at the flowers and talk to someone who absolutely loved weed, who could explain to me what exactly I was buying. And there wasn’t just flower. There were bath bombs, there were edibles, there were topicals, hash, moon rocks, things that I’d never heard of, and I felt like a kid at Christmas time. I felt like that same story. I’d wonder that you feel as a child walking into a toy store, all of these options and colors and smells, and it was heaven.


I was a grown woman just feeling and living for that childlike wonder that you don’t really get to experience that much as an adult. I walked away with several different products that I enjoyed trying. I had a beautiful experience, and then I found out it wasn’t legal weed. Semantics of that aside, the first time I bought legal weed was in contrast, much less starry-eyed and filled with wonder. It was more of a transaction. In Canada, the laws state that you can’t really look, touch or smell the jar of weed you’re buying. It’s all sealed up with a safety seal and excise sticker. We’re talking about highly secure, nondescript, black, one primary color kind of products. So it was very different.


I still had a great conversation with the budtender about things that they liked, what they wanted to try. It was still wonderful, and I will never diss legal weed, but I do miss that dispensary feel with the jars. While there are definitely kinks to still ride out in legal weed, it is becoming one of those experiences slowly and surely, where that childlike wonder can sneak through and you can get excited about holiday releases for pride or Christmas, and you can try different things from the same grower and enjoy the variety that comes with legal cannabis.

Ellen Scanlon (10:34):

Tears of joy are a rare and beautiful experience. That’s what happened for Tara Cannaday, the main based Executive Chef of Pot+Pan, a cannabis edible brand, when she first bought legal weed.

Tara Cannaday (10:49):

The first time I purchased legal weed in Maine was on 4/20 of 2022. And I went to my favorite rec store in Portland on a mission to buy a Pot+Pan lemon bunt chocolate bar and some grapefruit gummies. And I remember standing at the register weeping tears of joy, because not only was I purchasing weed legally for the first time in Maine, but I was purchasing two products that I helped to create. It was such a beautiful moment. I will never forget it.

Ellen Scanlon (11:26):

If you like this episode, please share it with a friend. We love new listeners and are here to help everyone feel confident about cannabis. Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love How to Do The Pots Newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.com. And if you like How to Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show.


Thank you to producers Maddie Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do The Pot.



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