Why Buying Edibles Online In California Is Not Legal

California Dispensaries Shipping Out Of State

Dispensaries, by definition, are any room wherein medicinal products are prepared and provided. Another iteration of this definition would be any place in an office, school, industrial plant, or any other infrastructure that dispenses medical supplies and treatment.

As such, we shall preface this by disclosing that the topic of this article will be mainly marijuana or cannabis dispensaries.

Can California dispensaries ship out of state? No, simply because dispensaries cannot use any government-approved shipping agency like UPS, USPS, FedEx, and the like to take care of their deliveries, inside or outside of the state.

This article aims to tackle what marijuana dispensaries are, their purpose, and how they came to be. This article will also feature the struggles and limitations imposed by federal law upon the legal cannabis market.

What Are Cannabis Dispensaries?

Cannabis dispensaries, also known as cannabis shops or cannabis cooperatives, are any establishment that sells marijuana to the consumer either for medical or recreational use.

Other countries that have legalized the use of marijuana, like the Netherlands, call cannabis dispensaries “coffee shops.”

In addition, cannabis dispensaries provide consumers with recreational or medical items and feature paraphernalia that will allow you to grow and cultivate your brand of weed at home.

Cannabis Dispensaries In The U.S.

The first-ever cannabis dispensary to open was called the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in 1992 that mostly gave out medical marijuana to consumers even though marijuana was not yet legalized in the state at the time.

As such, the store’s opening was met with harsh social stigmas and even harsher legal troubles. Thankfully, with the ongoing march or the legalization of medical marijuana throughout America, much of these social stigmas have long since dissipated and legal troubles less and less severe.

The experience of paying a visit to a dispensary is not much different from paying a visit to your local coffee shop. What makes the difference is that you won’t be buying coffee; you’ll be buying weed.

Dispensaries offer tons of different consumables for customers and even seeds and clones from the garden.

Knowledgeable budtenders are a great asset to any dispensary. They help customers find whatever brand of marijuana may be best suited for their tastes and share their personal insights.

Of course, all of these may depend on which state you live in. If you live in a state where cannabis and cannabis dispensaries are still illegal, then you might have to take a trip to the nearest state to satisfy yourself.

Depending on the laws of each state, you may have to purchase and consume what you bought within the legalized state’s boundaries. You wouldn’t want to get caught crossing the border with weed on you.

The First Cannabis Dispensary

1992. The world was greeting a new millennium that brought about incredible advances in technology. The World Wide Web was merely an infant. The chaotic but totally radical energy of the eighties can still be felt in the air.

During this time, like many countries globally, America still had an unfavorable opinion about marijuana. To corroborate this, merely 16 percent of Americans believed that marijuana should be legalized, a far cry from the 30 percent in the 1980s.

While it was a dark time for marijuana enthusiasts, all hope was not lost. In 1991, San Francisco passed Proposition P that allowed the use of medical marijuana within the city’s limits.

Unbeknownst to the public at the time, this event would, later on, spark an unstoppable movement to make weed legal across the United States of America.

The “Father of Marijuana in San Francisco,” known as Dennis Peron (who had passed away in 2018), was one of those at the forefront to make cannabis legal in the United States.

Peron saw how weed was able to help patients with AIDS and became a staunch advocate to legalize medical marijuana. Peron saw the disease take his partner, Jonathan West, in 1990.

The following year, Peron organized the passage of Proposition P and founded the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club that same year.

Not everything was rainbows and sunshine. It’s important to remember the era we’re talking about right now, and back then, California wasn’t precisely the marijuana paradise it is today.

This is California in the 1990s, where most of the state governors we republican. Hence, brutality against dealers of weed was not uncommon.

The majority of the men and women involved in creating the Buyer’s Club have previously been arrested for selling marijuana. For example, Mary ‘Brownie’ Rathburn was caught with three pounds of pot she intended to make brownies to give to AIDS patients in 1992.

Afterward, she was hailed a hero in her community. After her arrest, she was catapulted into the spotlight with slots in shows such as Sally Jessy Raphael and Maury Povich.

The media exposure gave Peron an idea, and the next step the collective wanted to work towards was the legalization of weed throughout California. Everyone knew the risk of fighting for their cause, but no one buckled.

The Club’s first public sale was made in Peron’s basement. They planned a stunt that made the news show a ‘shop’ called ‘Brownie Mary’s Cannabis Cafe.’

They aim to raise awareness of the plight of marijuana sellers by getting arrested. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but they did receive all of the exposure they wanted, with callers bombarding the stations to know where the ‘secret store’ is.

Peron and their friends soon decided to open a legitimate store at Ford and Sanchez before moving to Church Street and finally settled in 1444 Market Street in 1995.

After making their headquarters, The Club now worked on Proposition 215, which proposed making medical marijuana legal throughout California. They submitted the bill in 1995, and it was put to the vote in November of 1996.

Everything was looking up for the Club until Dan Lungren, the Attorney General, raided the Club just months before the election day. No one can argue or protest against the Attorney General since, technically, marijuana was still illegal at the time.

The Club was lucky in that it was the Election year and that the incumbent President at the time, Bill Clinton, was a Democrat even though Governor Pete Wilson was a republican.

In the end, Proposition 215 or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was passed. The first medical marijuana initiative was to be passed on a state level that would soon start a North American movement.

Delivery Laws Of Cannabis In California

As mentioned in the article, the continued legalization of cannabis throughout America has always been a movement worthy of praise.

Be that as it may, regulations on cannabis are constantly shifting, making it difficult for brands and consumers to keep up with what is allowed and what is not. Such regulations can affect how cannabis is delivered or if it is being shipped at all.

Remember that federal law still considers cannabis a Schedule I dangerous substance. It is likely to stay that way until it is allowed to perform in a large-scale clinical trial to prove its effectiveness.

However, it is hard for the drug at the same time to be given that chance since federal law considers it dangerous. It’s a vicious cycle.

The good news is that California has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana within its jurisdiction. The dispensaries in the state also have their ways of delivering your package to your door.

The problem here lies in some counties in California that contradict the cannabis regulation in place that can make things hard for businesses and consumers alike, but that is a more delicate subject to be discussed in another article.

Can California Dispensaries Ship Outside The State?

Unless marijuana stops being classified as a Schedule I dangerous substance, the answer is likely to be no. Federal law states that possession and shipping of cannabis are considered a felony and can land someone in jail for a very lengthy period.

What’s more, government-related shipping services like UPS, USPS, and FedEx are out of the question when it comes to shipping items like cannabis.

Another barrier that prevents people from shipping cannabis out of California is the state laws in place of each respective state since not all states handle cannabis the same way California does.


Shipping cannabis out of any state is a risky endeavor since federal law says that the act is basically drug trafficking. People should be even more careful about how they deal with a substance that is not entirely proven to be all that beneficial in the eyes of the law.

Long story short, most places in America already allow people to possess and carry weed. People, in turn, need to be responsible and careful with it—a fair enough trade in most people’s books.

Recent Posts