Premium Cannabis vs Street Weed

Medical marijuana is more available than ever but premium cannabis vs street weed is only one dichotomy. There are more nuances than people think in discerning the difference between the two. Things like potency, dosing, and strength of different weeds are key to understanding how they are different. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between dispensary premium cannabis and street weed so you know what to look for if you’re shopping around. 


Medical marijuana patients are thought to use at higher rates of THC levels or potency than street weed. Individual states set controls and limits on what they can sell legally. Recreational sellers are also limited, but not in the same way. Medical dispensaries can sometimes double the amount sold of dispensary weed vs street weed. Strains with a higher CBD to THC ratio are often sold to cardholders who visit dispensaries for medical weed.

Possession of Weed

Street weed possession can cause serious jail time for offenders. Many states now offer certain qualifying conditions access to a medical marijuana card where use is legal. Dual-licensed shops offer service by trained and certified staff. Protection from the law with a marijuana card helps lots of people use premium cannabis responsibly and for their health rather than look at unreliable sellers on the street who may not offer what they need. 

Quality and Cost

The quality of medicinal and recreational cannabis is key. The way it is grown, cultivated and produced determines its use for recreational or medicinal purposes. Cannabis used for medical purposes has to pass rules like where it is grown, pesticide checks, and a thorough review of the end product as suitable for consumption. Medical cannabis is seen as cleaner and more holistic than street weed. 

Dispensary Cannabis

One of the benefits of legalizing cannabis is being able to access dispensaries across the country. It is more regulated, of course, so not everyone can get access without a card. Some of the benefits are knowing what’s in it. Street weed is a toss-up as to where or how it was made and what’s in it. Lots of options like edibles exist to give consumers choice. Medical consumers can find the right strain for their ailment or discerning consumers who want high potency know what to buy. Purchasing from a dispensary has its bonuses. 

Street Weed

Street weed gets a bad rap because of quality issues. Without having a reputable ‘dealer’ who provides good quality weed, it’s anyone’s guess what is in it or where it came from. Buying good quality marijuana means building rapport with people and it can be a dangerous game because street weed is illegal. The criminalization of marijuana and tough laws have meant people go to jail and receive lifetime records for buying marijuana. 

Is Medical Weed Stronger than Street Weed?

To determine if medical marijuana is the appropriate strength, check for documentation. Cannabis when used as medicine contains CBD and/or THC. Cannabidiol can be effective for many ailments. Most marijuana could be considered medical-grade, meaning it has therapeutic properties. However, if you are consuming marijuana to alleviate a medical condition or treat it, you are using it for medicinal purposes. Strength is determined by starting with lower strengths starting between 2-3% THC. Strong strains with a higher potency level go up as high as 30% THC. Stronger does not mean less should be consumed. It just means less may be required and it will be more potent. Processing is also key. Make sure to know where weed is processed and how it is harvested. Improperly harvested marijuana can be dried up and adds to weight value but isn’t necessarily better. Medical weed follows different guidelines and you know basically what you’re getting on purchase. Street weed is a toss-up every time as to what you get, how much, and what quality exists. 

Build Rapport

Going to a dispensary to buy premium cannabis creates a relationship for consumers. It helps local businesses grow in the community. It also means the business can put roots down in the community and build a reputation for building back businesses that often don’t exist in some areas that struggle economically. Street weed is illegal to purchase, sell, or deal in. Even if building a street reputation is important to dealers and buyers, it is very risky legally and personally. Cannabis may also be laced with more things now, making it more dangerous to just buy off the street even from a reputable dealer who may not realize what’s in their stash. Going to a dispensary for premium cannabis guarantees a certain level of safety and legality many consumers enjoy. 


One of the challenges for dispensary cannabis is its price. Economically speaking, street weed is cheaper. The price is ‘what you see is what you get.’’ No taxes or extra fees. Dispensaries are highly regulated and charge more for the quality control, distribution costs, and taxes associated with it. There are also more rules behind how much can be purchased or used at any given time. This can price some consumers out of the market at the moment. Applying for licenses is time-consuming and difficult for many people so they aren’t able to open their shops. State and local licenses must be obtained, and maintained, to keep the business running. Investment up front is costly and takes time while that energy can be spent making cash on the street. This is one reason many consumers pay higher prices at dispensaries.


Despite all the challenges people face, consumers are still turning toward dispensaries to meet their premium cannabis needs. Dispensaries offer education and value on top of high-quality products. Medical marijuana comes from fully licensed sources and consumers know what they’re getting. Even if it costs more, the benefits to many are greater than the risk of buying off the street. Legally, consumers can purchase what they need without concern with a card. Speak with a local dispensary budtender or owner and talk to them about why medical-grade cannabis is the way to go.


Mary and Main aims to help educate consumers on products and services they can access in Maryland. 

Contact us to find out how we can help you select the best products for your situation.


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