Legal marijuana is big business in San Diego and throughout California. Dispensaries are stocked with products that promise to relax, elevate, alleviate, and more. This primer will help you cut through the smoke and find what is right for you.
Marketing Mainstream Marijuana
Californians voted to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in 2016, creating a new industry to legally produce, procure, and sell cannabis and cannabis-based goods. Formerly medicinal-only dispensaries could openly market to existing users and also explore new
ways to appeal to a new class of casual consumer, granted the budding businesses obtained the proper permits and played by their local jurisdiction’s rules.
As marijuana becomes more mainstream, those looking for potential careers in this burgeoning industry can turn to people like Jon Baumunk, a lecturer at San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business and expert advisor to the aspiring industry professionals in its Canna Club student organization.
“It’s not pro-cannabis or anti-cannabis—I just try to present the facts, both sides of the relevant issues,” he says.
One of the biggest hurdles pot purveyors are facing, he says, is the “80/20 rule,” meaning 80 percent of consumption can be attributed to just 20 percent of cannabis users. These consumers tend to be very enthusiastic about cannabis and are enticed by potent products and “more bang for your buck” marketing. The dilemma lies in how companies can continue targeting this population while also appealing to a broader audience and establishing consumer trust.
“There’s this feeling that if you’re in the business to make money, you don’t want to be on the leading edge of trying to educate the public about cannabis use,” he says.
But as marijuana becomes more palatable to John and Jane Q. Public, industry pros are branching out and focusing on products that make cannabis more convenient and comfortable for the casual customer to consume, Baumunk says. Vape pens that let users discreetly inhale a small amount of concentrated cannabis extract, and higher-end edible pot products have become wildly popular, while informed and nonjudgmental budtenders at your friendly neighborhood dispensary can answer any questions novices may have or provide a certificate of analysis, if available. The shared social experience and environment are also becoming more of a consideration, though experience is subjective and individuals may react differently
THC vs. CBD: What’s the difference and what’s right for you?
There are countless cannabis-based products on the market, claiming everything from migraine relief to calming anxious pets to inducing an all-encompassing state of euphoria. So how do you know what’s right for you?
Start by determining whether CBD or THC would best suit your needs. Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is thought to help regulate a variety of functions, but there’s one very big difference: CBD contains none or very little of the psychoactive compound that gets you “high.”
CBD products have become big in the wellness market and come in a variety of forms, such as tinctures, gummies, skin care products, and even treats for your pets, all of which do not have to be purchased at a licensed dispensary, though many are sold there as well. The purported benefits are many, including alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, and providing relief from mental health conditions like anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A prescription-only CBD product that counters the effects of seizures in certain patients is also the only cannabis-derived product to date to receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
THC also comes in many forms, the most familiar of which is smokable dried flower buds that induce an altered state of consciousness. It can also be delivered through edibles such as candy or baked goods, smokeless vaporizers, and as a concentrated tincture in eyedroppers. Smoke shops boast numerous strains with catchy names, but they all sort into two camps: indica or sativa. Indica is considered to be more relaxing and may help relieve stress and pain and aid sleep, whereas sativa tends to be uplifting, inspire creativity, and is generally thought to boost serotonin levels. There are also hybrids of the two that tend to soften the more pronounced effects of both.
The Cream of the Crop
Whether you’re seeking relief, relaxation, or just a real good time, San Diego’s world-class dispensaries have got you covered. These four boast an array of products and services sure to meet all of your medicinal or recreational needs.
Torrey Holistics is San Diego’s premier cannabis store. Its safe and welcoming storefront in Sorrento Valley and convenient delivery options are ideal for beginners and the canna-curious. Torrey Holistics also offers online educational resources, including blog posts and videos highlighting products created specifically to address women’s wellness needs.
Jaxx Cannabis in East County can help you find the right product to match your unique lifestyle at a price that fits your budget. Jaxx’s knowledgeable staff can answer any questions that may arise and its hand-selected products have been tested to ensure guests receive the highest quality. Customer satisfaction guaranteed.
Flora Verde, the first licensed retail dispensary in Vista, strives to provide top-quality products and lasting relief to North County medical marijuana patients. Flora Verde staffs only qualified specialists who are experts in their unique and exclusive catalog and can advise patients on cannabis’s medicinal properties. Safety and satisfaction are key.
March and Ash is a customer-focused, licensed cannabis dispensary with four locations including Mission Valley, City Heights, Vista, and Imperial Valley. They believe that consumers deserve a comfortable and confident cannabis experience and they prioritize customer education, safety, and satisfaction at their dispensaries. Shop their wide selection in-store, online, and in-app.
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