Overcoming the Stigma of Buying Edibles

Buy Infused Cannabis EdiblesA friend of mine really wants to buy edibles to help with her anxiety but she is afraid of the stigma.  She doesn’t want to be seen walking in or out of the cannabis store by a client or a neighbour.  For her, smoking marijuana (cannabis, weed, pot, etc.) was something done as a rebellious teen and you stopped as a responsible adult.  I had to remind her that it is legal now, and not to be ashamed.

The first time I bought cannabis was at a medical dispensary.  It felt like I was doing something bad and hoping not to get caught…it was a little thrilling.  And in actuality, it was illegal but the police only enforced the rules once the provincially sanctioned shops opened.

These former medical marijuana dispensaries were located all over the city, however in order to buy product, you had to have a medical marijuana prescription.  Once signed up at the dispensary, you waited your turn, only two people were allowed in at once.  The door was locked and when space was available, you got buzzed in to go to the back room.  Here there were jars of bud of all different strains, edibles, hashish and shatter.  They even had a club where you could enter a draw to get $25 worth of product.  The women working at the dispensary were really knowledgeable and could answer any question, it was like belonging to a community.   This dispensary is where I bought my first edibles, an orange sucker and a chocolate macaroon. This is also where I learned to listen to the store clerks and only eat half!

Leaving the dispensary, I would have a look around the parking lot for marked police cars, as it was illegal.   One time, men came in without their medical marijuana card and they were asked to leave.   The women told me they were sure these men were undercover police.  That was a close one!  Many of the dispensary’s customers were elderly and disabled so it wasn’t your stereotypical pot heads.   I had some interesting conversations with people in the waiting room and why they were using cannabis.

Once the government made recreational marijuana legal, and the product was available within liquor stores or privately licensed stores, the logistics of buying recreational cannabis changed but not quite yet the stigma.   Think about it, your whole life, buying marijuana was kept covert, people went to jail for possession and now to be able to buy it out in the open, you still feel like you’re doing something bad.


The first time I was in the legal store, it was so different from the dispensary.  The stores are very sterile and trendy in design with many warnings/advice posted.   Unlike the dispensaries, there is very little to view in the open and no samples to smell.  The clerks have limited knowledge and operate under strict rules.  When I left the cannabis store, it was like a gauntlet, holding your paper bag and walking through the liquor store, not buying any liquor, and finally passing the store clerks at the cash register who politely smiled at me.  Many people will find that after the third time buying products from the cannabis store, the novelty or thrill lessens and it’s no big deal…it’s legal and the government is making a lot of money.

My last visit to the cannabis store, the people in the line were of all sexes and mainly under the age of 35.  The lineup went out of the cannabis section and at least five people were waiting in the liquor store.  When I left, there was no one in line buying alcohol.  So, purchasing cannabis and edibles has been embraced by Millennials, now Gen Xers need to get on board.  Boomers, who are the original cannabis aficionados, really never stopped smoking.   This generation is mostly retired and could care less what other people think at this point in their lives.

I suggested to my friend that if the cannabis edibles are located in the back of the store, bring a big purse and put your product in your purse so no one in the liquor store or on the sidewalk will know what you bought.   She could also go back to her teenage years and ask someone else to buy product for her, give them the money and wait outside!