Looking for the best marijuana dispensaries near you? We’ve prepared an all-around guide to buying weed in the US, including local stores, delivery services, and the latest trend on the market — delta 8 THC.

As legalization is moving forward, Americans are gaining more options than ever for buying weed legally in their states — despite the federal ban on the plant.

Dispensaries are popping up one after another, and some of these forward-thinking states have already created a robust recreational market.

“Best dispensaries near me” is one of the most typed-in phrases in browsers when it comes to the cannabis space.

Some people are wondering if it’s possible to buy weed online — which is another interesting subject to cover.

Until recently, it’s been a pipe dream, but with the recent developments in extraction technologies, it seems that you don’t need to live in a ‘legal’ state to enjoy high-THC cannabis these days.

But before we dive deeper into that, let’s shed more light on buying weed in the US in general.

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Near Me: What Are the Options?

Those living in the states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use can buy weed from state-licensed dispensaries.

If you have a medical marijuana card, then you can also purchase weed from a medical dispensary, which provides a few perks that you won’t find in adult-use dispensaries. We’ll get to that later on.

Back to the point, recreational dispensaries offer all sorts of cannabis products including:

  • Flowers 
  • Edibles
  • Capsules
  • Concentrates
  • Vape liquid
  • Topicals

When you buy from a recreational dispensary, you’re getting products that are subject to certain quality standards. It’s a different situation than with hemp-derived products, which are mostly unregulated.

In other words, when you buy marijuana from a dispensary near you, the product should be more or less of decent quality.

Which might be a problem when you try to find weed on the street.

Dealers and Weed Spots: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Weed from the Black Market

Much as you can see the positive impact of legalization on the shrinkage of the black market, some people still decide to stray from the legal path — arguing that weed dealers and local growers offer better prices on the same products.

Well, that’s not necessarily the case.

While it’s possible to find a craft cultivator who knows how to grow high-quality weed, you never know who you stumble upon. You can get top-shelf marijuana, but you can also purchase a product full of pesticides, heavy metals, and laced with different chemicals to enhance your high.

Such products are anything but safe.

When you buy from a licensed source, you can rest assured that they’re selling weed that has been grown in accordance with the state’s regulations surrounding cannabis products. Not every bud from a dispensary will be dazzling for your eyes and nostrils, but at least you won’t have to wonder if it’s clean.

Not to mention that you won’t be bothered by the police when your weed comes from a dispensary.

Comparing Recreational Dispensaries vs Medicinal Dispensaries

Earlier in the article, we’ve mentioned that medicinal dispensaries offer a few perks that you won’t find in recreational stores.

These perks include:

  • Selectively breed strains
  • Higher ratios of CBD to THC
  • Pharmaceutical-grade products
  • Well-trained staff
  • Better prices
  • Higher possession limits (although not everywhere)

Some states have pretty liberal medical marijuana programs, which causes many people to apply for an MMJ card to get the best-quality weed from a medical dispensary near them. However, not every state has a well-developed medical program, so if you don’t qualify, you need to get your herbs from an adult-use dispensary.

Can You Legally Buy Weed Online?

Source: istockphoto

To begin with, you can’t buy weed online just from any state because marijuana transportation between state lines is considered a federal felony and can put you into prison for several years.

But, since weed is legal in individual states, many people are wondering if they can order it online, just like their Canadian neighbors do.

Again, buying weed online remains in sort of a legal grey area.

Buying Weed Online from Dispensaries & Picking Up Later

Most recreational dispensaries have their menus listed online. You can enter their website, choose your products, pay for them, and pick them up later if you want to avoid standing in long queues. That being said, you must pick your order in person; marijuana deliveries are much less popular here in the US.

Is Marijuana Delivery An Option in Some States?

Only a few cities in California, Colorado, and Nevada offer marijuana delivery for recreational users. In most states, it’s the privilege of medical marijuana patients.

It will take some time until the legal infrastructure for marijuana deliveries is set up, especially in the states that have just hopped on the legalization bandwagon. Weed delivery is temporarily legal in some places, but only for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis; it is unclear if the current regulations will stay with us once the situation has settled down.

You can find many businesses offering marijuana delivery in states where weed is legal; however, these are not cannabis dispensaries. Certain companies will offer “free” cannabis as a gift that comes in conjunction with another purchase (e.g. clothes, room service, etc.) — but it’s only a workaround, not an official route.

Delta 8 THC – A Better and Legal Alternative to Buying Weed Online

The main problem with buying weed is its legal status. On a federal level, cannabis is still a Schedule I drug according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. So, until the federal government decriminalizes cannabis nationwide, it’s up to individual states to regulate its legality — which significantly limits its availability.

That being said, there’s one alternative to buying weed online that’s legal in all 50 states. 

Correct, we’re still talking about THC-rich products.

However, it’s a slightly different type of THC.

Delta 8 THC is the new trending cannabinoid on the market. But before we elaborate on its properties and why it has grabbed cannabis users by the throat, let’s explore the cons of its delta 9 analogs.

Cons of Delta 9 THC from Marijuana

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory impairment

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC

Both delta 8 and delta 9 are different forms of the THC molecule. They are each other’s analogs.

An analog compound is a substance that has a similar molecular structure to the original compound, but with slightly different effects on the body.

Delta 8 and delta 9 THC are different in terms of the arrangement of their atomic bonds.

Delta 8 THC has this bond on the 8th carbon chain, while for delta9, this bond is on the 9th chain. As a result, delta 8 THC is about half as potent as delta 9. This translates into a smoother high that is more clear-headed and less anxious. You’d need to take twice as much delta 8 THC to experience the same intensity of high as with delta 9.

In fact, anxiety and paranoia are extremely rare among delta 8 THC users. The high is more focused on the body; it’s also bland when you consume delta 8 alone, which is why many users are mixing it with terpene blends and other cannabinoids to achieve a more complex profile of effects.

Delta 8 THC is also (theoretically) legal on a federal level. 

Besides being extracted directly from marijuana, delta 8 can be obtained from hemp, using a conversion process from CBD into delta 9 and then into delta 8 THC. Such products are legal because they contain less than 0.3% of delta 9 THC.

Nevertheless, not all states show a positive approach to delta 8. Currently, you won’t buy delta 8 THC-infused products in:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

Wondering where to buy delta 8 THC near you?

Best Delta 8 THC Vendors

If this is your first time shopping for delta 8 THC — be it online or a nearby local shop — it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the abundance of different brands and products. 

Not only that but new consumers are also lured by super cheap prices that (unfortunately) reflect the product’s quality. 

Following the above steps should help you significantly narrow down your options, but if you’re in a rush, here are the top 2 vendors that leave the competition far behind when it comes to the quality of ingredients and transparency standards.

1. Area52

Area52 is a company specializing in premium delta 8 THC distillates in traditional formats like tinctures, edibles, and vape carts. The company prides itself on making products from organic hemp and gently extracted without the use of acids and other toxic chemicals. 

All products offered by Area52 are tested at different stages of production to ensure the highest purity and consistent potency. They come with up-to-date certificates of analysis that you can scan with a QR code or easily check on the company’s website.

While these delta 8 THC extracts are a bit more expensive than the market’s average, the transparency of this brand and its integrity of testing make them worth the higher price tag.

2. Finest Labs

Finest Labs is a great company for beginners and those who prefer to take lower amounts of delta 8 THC. Similar to Area52, this brand offers pure delta 8 THC distillate infused into tinctures, gummies, and vapes — but in lower potencies. Finest Labs also provides relevant third-party lab reports for all their products, listing the results for potency and purity. Less delta 8 THC in the product means lower prices, so if you’re just trying to figure out your optimal dosage without breaking the bank, this is the best choice quality-wise.

Delta 8 THC Near Me: Why Choose Online Vendors

Until 2020, delta 8 THC remained in the underground and was mostly known to researchers, but thanks to the recent scientific breakthroughs, it could finally make its presence on the commercial scene. 

Today, delta 8 THC is a booming market with the potential to catch up with the CBD space when it comes to popularity.

Since hemp companies saw an opportunity to create another niche with delta 8 THC, they have been feverishly making new products in formats typical of cannabis extracts.

Delta 8 THC is available as tinctures, edibles, capsules, concentrates, and vape liquid; you can find them in vape shops and head shops near you, but even gas stations are joining the next green rush, offering some delta 8 THC products on their shelves.

Now, the problem with buying delta 8 THC locally is the lack of regulations on the market. It’s a similar situation to where the CBD space was just a few years ago; there are many great companies selling high-quality products, but there’s also no shortage of fly-by-night businesses that sell cheap delta 8 extracts that are often contaminated with toxic substances.

The majority of delta 8 THC products on the local scene are uncertified and should never be made available for sale.

If you’re looking for high-quality delta 8 THC and don’t have any cannabis dispensaries near you, we recommend checking out Observer’s guide also on finding a trustworthy online vendor.

Here’s what to look out for when choosing a delta 8 vendor.

1. Product Choice

Delta 8 THC is a relatively novel subject on the commercial scene. Even people working in dispensaries aren’t yet familiar with its properties and how to explain its use to new consumers. In most dispensaries, delta 8 THC products are only a humble addition to the store’s collection. Local shops typically offer 1–2 product types, while in online stores you can browse through different formulas and potencies because these places specialize in delta 8 THC.

2. Transparency

Many reputable CBD manufacturers are now expanding their product line up with delta 8 THC extracts. If you know a brand that makes high-quality CBD products, and you suddenly see that delta 8 THC has arrived at their store, it’s a safer bet than buying from an unknown brand. But even if you’ve never heard of a particular producer, you can easily check their website for more information. Online vendors compete with each other when it comes to transparency, so if a company has nothing to hide, they will provide plenty of details on how their products are made — including hemp farming, extraction method, and lab testing. You can also check for certificates of analysis, read user reviews on third-party websites, and reach out to experienced users on niche forums.

3. Convenience

Having a marijuana dispensary or vape store near you doesn’t mean that they will carry delta 8 THC products. Sometimes, local errands may take hours before you find a store that sells d8. When you shop for delta 8 THC online, you can browse through different brands and their products in the comfort of your home. Ordering takes just a few clicks, and the products usually arrive within 2–3 days. By taking the extra time to wait for delivery, you make sure that the products you’ve bought have been tested and are thus safe for your health.

4. Prices

With no middleman involved, online stores can offer lower prices on their products than local vendors. When you buy delta 8 THC from a marijuana dispensary, you need to be aware of a higher tax that is put on your product. Hemp-derived delta 8 THC is subject to different regulations, so these products are often less expensive overall. 


Online stores also offer discounts, coupon codes, and reward programs for returning customers to help them save more money on regular purchases. It would be difficult to find such perks in a local head shop.

How to Find a Reputable Delta 8 THC Vendor

Source: Shutterstock

Remember that no two delta 8 THC products are made the same. You can have an extract that comes from organic hemp but has been poorly extracted and improperly purified. Or, your product might be extracted by the book, but the source plant could be contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, which requires further refinement. This, in turn, may compromise the potency and overall chemical profile of the end product.

There are 3 major parameters to look for when choosing your delta 8 THC vendor. They can easily tell you if the manufacturer knows what they’re doing — or if they’re just another scam company.

Read Third-Party Lab Reports

Reputable brands send samples of their products to third-party laboratories for content analysis. A laboratory is considered third-party if it has no affiliation with the manufacturer; there are several such facilities throughout the United States.

The certificate of analysis (COA) from the third-party testing should list the potency of delta 8 THC, the cannabinoid profile of the extract, and the results for contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and solvent residue. If there are any impurities in the product, or the potency is inconsistent throughout the batches, the lab analysis will show it.

Always look for batch-specific and up-to-date certificates of analysis for any given product when buying delta 8 THC online. 

Never purchase from a company that doesn’t publish their lab results and refuse to send them via email on request.

Check the Company’s Reputation

If there’s ever been something sketchy about any company, the internet will spit it out.

This also works the other way round; companies that have a lot of positive feedback from their customers are more likely to sell you high-quality products than brands with no presence. Just make sure to check for these reviews on third-party websites, such as online rankings or expert blogs, as they often stay in stark contrast to what companies are posting on their websites.

Consider the Source of Delta 8 THC

As mentioned, delta 8 THC can be extracted from hemp or marijuana.

Marijuana-derived delta 8 THC is legal only in the states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Hemp-derived products are legal on a federal level because they meet the conditions ruled out by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp is the way to go if you want to buy delta 8 THC online from another state. But even then, you need to consider how the hemp was grown. Mass-produced hemp may contain heavy metals and other toxins from the soil. It can also be sprayed with pesticides and other synthetic chemicals that are used to scale up such operations. The best delta 8 THC products come from organic hemp that was grown in clean soil, under natural sunlight, and without the interference of man-made products.

Benefits of Delta 8 THC over Delta 9: Medicinal and Recreational Use

Wondering why so many people are turning to delta 8 THC from marijuana? Here are several good reasons:

Less Anxious

Delta 8 THC produces a smoother and more clear-headed high than delta 9. That’s because it’s twice less potent and thus has a lower chance of triggering mental discomforts such as anxiety and paranoia. Most users describe the high as mild and focused more in the body, with a tendency to provide mild stimulation in low doses, and sedation in high doses. The effects can also change depending on the product’s terpene content.

Longer-Lasting Effects

That’s an interesting fact about delta 8 THC. If you’ve just bought a delta 8 THC tincture from a marijuana dispensary near you, you’re probably expecting it to kick in within 15–20 minutes, just as CBD tinctures do. But in fact, you’ll need to wait up to 1.5 hours until the delta 8 starts working. These effects also last longer than the high from delta 9 THC.

Stronger Appetite Stimulation

In one animal study that examined the efficacy of delta 8 THC for boosting appetite in mice, the authors concluded that it had a stronger effect on appetite than delta 9 THC. Although more studies are needed to confirm these effects on a human sample, these findings look promising, considering that all mammals have the same endocannabinoid system. 

Curbs Nausea and Vomiting

Delta 8 THC has been suggested by several studies as a potential antiemetic in both children and adults. Cannabinoids are known for their ability to interact with the mechanism controlling sensations of nausea, helping to reduce it and prevent vomiting.

Similar Relief from Pain and Inflammation

Similar to delta 9 THC and CBD, delta 8 engages with the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and mitigate pain signals. The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids have been mentioned in several studies. They have even been dubbed “novel anti-inflammatory drugs.”

Key Takeaways on the Best Marijuana Dispensaries in 2021

Today, finding weed near you is easier than ever, with more and more states joining the legalization movement. There are already over 15 states that allow the recreational use of marijuana, and nearly every state has a medical program for qualifying patients.

In these states, finding high-quality weed is easy, and you can do it legally despite the federal ban on weed.

Marijuana dispensaries must abide by the standards regarding the quality of cannabis products, so they generally sell decent weed there. But what if you don’t live near a dispensary, or worse, you’re located in a state that still has backward marijuana laws?

Not everyone wants to risk their freedom for a few grams of herb.

If you can relate, consider finding a trustworthy delta 8 THC vendor online. Hemp-derived delta 8 THC products are not only legal on a federal level, but they also provide a smoother psychoactive experience while delivering similar benefits to delta 9 in terms of pain relief, nausea reduction, appetite stimulation, and mood elevation.

Just make sure to check if the company you’re buying from tests their products in a third-party laboratory and doesn’t use bleaches or other contaminants during extraction. You can easily check it by reading the lab reports in the form of certificates of analysis.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly