Physicians and other licensed medical practitioners may not prescribe the use of medical marijuana. They can only make a written recommendation. If the practitioner is truly professional, the doctor will recommend marijuana for specific diseases and symptoms.
Now, depending on the regulations in your state, that recommendation may only be a form letter with your name, date, patient identification number, and expiration date. It needs the doctor’s signature and embossed seal. Once you register at the medical cannabis pharmacy, it will accept a digital version or issue a small I.D. card.
If your primary doctor is reluctant to recommend use, you can contact a cannabis specialist, often called a “medical marijuana doctor.” High Times warns that while these “specialists” can be found in most major cities, “it’s not always a pleasant experience to visit one. In fact, more often than not, these evaluation centers are stuck in hard-to-reach places in sketchy neighborhoods.” They long waiting lines and often overcharge you.
Where permitted by state law, you can connect with a medical marijuana doctor online. You fill out some standard forms and upload any relevant records or medical files. You hold a phone conversation or video chat with the doctor. And, you purchase a recommendation letter or medical marijuana card.
The medical marijuana card and/or official recommendation letter ships in 2 – 3 days in a sealed package. Once you have your medical cannabis card, you can safely enter marijuana dispensaries and make purchases.
But, what if you can’t get one?
The following are well-reviewed recreational marijuana retail stores in states where approved. It is not exhaustive and it not offered as endorsement of their service. But, if you cannot get access to a medical marijuana card and want to shop in these cities and states, here are some options:
Anchorage, AA: Dankorage, located at Benson and Spenard, is run by life-long Alaskans who promise the highest quality in Alaskan products. Owners partner with local artists to offer art, gifts, and handmade goods from the local arts community. Their cannabis products – flowers, edibles, and concentrates are also locally sourced and quality controlled.
Denver, CO: Botanico on Larimar in the RiNO Arts District posts a daily menu on its easy-to-navigate website. The location has a clean, well lit, modern vibe with an adjacent room for massage, shamanic healing, and a detoxing foot bath. They offer medical and recreational products, edibles, concentrates, and more. Reviewers consider their online and in store prices low.
Boulder, CO: Since 2009, The Farm at 2801 Iris Avenue, has pioneered compliance for responsible consumers. They favor super potent local weed raised without additives and pesticides. The Farm has been designated Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder in 2015 & 2016, Yellow Scene’s Best of the West in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as many other industry accolades.
Fort Collins, CO: Elite Green Organics at 804 South College boasts “the purest genetics, most prolific buds, and all natural herbs.” They monitor seed-to-sale cultivation. Westword.com calls it “a glorified closet – and a messy one at that.” But, the reviewer enjoyed its retro-hippie atmosphere, “uncorrupted by the money pouring into many of the area's surviving and thriving dispensaries, like a simple, back-to-basics pit stop on your way to the real adventure.”
Steamboat Springs, CO: The Golden Leaf, at 1755 Lincoln, is one of many locations on the western slopes. Its handsome website sports daily menus for recreational and medical brand name edibles, concentrates, vapors, and recreational CBDs. The site offers apparel, supplies, and information videos.
Bend, OR: High Grade Organics on Bend’s SE Davis invests in cannabis, compassion, and creativity. With education and design, they highlight organic, handled-with-care product raised in Central Oregon. The unique rustic store is constructed of wooden pallets, sheet metal, barn word, and recycled materials. From the walls to the display cases, everything was handcrafted with lots of positive energy.
Portland, OR: The Bridge City Collective has two locations, one on N. Williams and the other on SE Grand. Since 2010, they have offered premium product and education to experienced and new users. The stores sell flowers, clones, seed from their own farm as well as tinctures, extracts, salves, and more. The Potlander says, “Bridge City's shops aren't flashy or overly branded—they're utility shops, with customer bases that fit their locations. The North Williams location caters to neighborhood buyers, while the Grand spot is popular with commuters and office workers on breaks.”
Grants Pass, OR: SkunkRx™ on Rogue River Highway is southern Oregon’s artisan cannabis shop providing indoor grown flower in addition to a wide selection of edibles, tinctures, concentrates and topicals. They promise quality, compassion, and education in the medical and recreational cannabis industry. You’ll find low prices, a varied inventory, and many positive reviews.
Salem, OR: The aptly-named The Joint on Market is located at 3270 Market NE. The local business strives for full customer satisfaction, low prices, good quality medication, and fast service, well documented with multiple 5-star reviews.
Poulsboro, WA: Agate Dreams offers a chance to “Unwrap and Unwind: at 59158 State Hwy 305 NE at a retail cannabis shop operated by the Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Port Madison Enterprises, an agency of the Suquamish Tribe. It’s the largest selection of recreational product on the Kitsap Peninsula with a variety of cannabis-infused goods including flowers, concentrates, edibles, and lotions. You can even you’re your budtender on their website.
Seattle, WA: American Mary, at 325 NE 45th, calls itself “Seattle’s most highly-rated marijuana shop.” They stock 45 premier strains, joints, concentrates, and edibles as well as a selection of glass, grinders, and vapes. And, you can check out their online menus as well. The closest shop to the University of Washington, it entertains expert and novice users.
Spokane, WA: Sativa Sisters is a recreational marijuana retail store on E. Trent in Spokane, serving the Inland Northwest with the highest quality marijuana from a group of the top regional growers including Nettles Unlimited, Nugreen, and Washington’s Finest. Their website has a long list of inventoried strains plus concentrates and edibles.
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!
Recreational marijuana has been legalized in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, but their administrative apparatus is still not in place to permit the opening of recreational shops. In some places, the recreational weed may first be available through established medical marijuana dispensaries. So, watch for news near you!