Quick Hit: Dispensary Purchase Limits Explained

Purchase limits featured

Unlike most items for purchase, there are limits on the amount of weed you can buy. The limits started as an effort to minimize diversion of cannabis products into the illicit market. But they also cause confusion and frustration for shoppers.

To add to the complexity, each state law has different limits — some per transaction, some daily, some weekly, and some monthly.

In this quick hit post, we’ll outline what purchase limits are, how they differ from possession limits, and look at a few state-by-state comparisons of marijuana limits.

What are dispensary purchase limits?

Dispensary purchasing limits are the maximum amount of cannabis products that a consumer is allowed to purchase from a marijuana dispensary.

Marijuana consumers may be recreational cannabis customers, qualified patients under the state medical marijuana program, or qualified caregivers.

Purchase limits often vary by:

  • State

  • Consumer type - medical marijuana patient vs. adult-use customers

  • Product category - flower vs. concentrate, for example

  • Timeframe - daily, monthly, etc.

What are cannabis possession limits?

Possession limits are the maximum amount of cannabis products that a consumer can have in their possession.

The possession limits allows patients and customers to have up to the state-specified amount of marijuana products. Having more than the maximum amount is subject to fines and penalties.

Most state cannabis laws distinguish between purchase and possession limits, but in many states, the limits are the same.

How much weed can I buy?

The amount of weed you can purchase depends on which legal market you are in and whether it’s for medical or recreational marijuana.

Note: Most marijuana laws are written in ounces, but some also speak in grams. 1 ounce = 28 grams of flower.

Arizona:

  • Med - 2.5 ounces every 14 days
  • Rec - 1 ounce of flower or 5 grams of marijuana concentrate every 14 days

California:

  • Med - 8 ounces of fresh marijuana per day
  • Rec - 1 ounce of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrate per day

Colorado:

  • Med - 2 ounces of marijuana flower daily (OR 40 grams of concentrate OR 20,000 milligrams of edibles)
  • Rec - 1 ounce of cannabis flower daily (OR 8 grams of concentrate OR 800 mg of edibles)

Massachusetts:

  • Med - 10 ounces every two months (or a rolling 60-day schedule)
  • Rec - 1 ounce of flower OR as much as 5 grams of cannabis concentrates per visit

Michigan:

  • Med - 2.5 ounces per day
  • Rec - 2.5 ounces of marijuana per day, with no more than 15 grams in the form of concentrate

Nevada:

  • Med - 2.5 ounces every two weeks
  • Rec - 1 ounce per day, equivalent to ⅛ ounce of concentrate

Oklahoma:

  • Med - 3 ounces of marijuana flower per transaction

What happens if you oversell cannabis?

Purchase limits exist to provide safeguards to the legal cannabis industry. They are meant to limit the amount of cannabis products that one person can buy and possess.

But they create an extra challenge that doesn’t exist in other industries.

Cannabis retailers need to know who's shopping and what they're buying to ensure they aren’t finding loopholes to purchase beyond their limit. Having strong SOPs can help teach your staff to watch for anything out of the ordinary or suspicious.

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Dispensary SOP Templates

Purchasing (and possessing) cannabis above legal limits comes with fines and penalties for customers, but also for the dispensary overselling to them.

If a dispensary is caught selling beyond purchase limits, they'll face fines and are subject to loss of license. One example is Sweet Leaf’s owners being charged for allowing their budtenders to oversell.

The owners were charged with a year of jail time, a year of parole, and had to relinquish all assets.

How are purchase limits tracked?

States track purchase limits through their dispensary point-of-sale software.

Check out dispensary customers compliantly

Flowhub has a built-in cannabis counter, reflective of the specific state’s requirements and equivalencies. Budtenders can track a customer or patient’s purchase limit by watching this easy-to-read counter on the top of the check-out screen. This way, they never oversell to customers.

To learn more about how Flowhub can help your dispensary compliantly handle purchase limits, watch a demo.

Amber erickson

Amber Erickson

Amber's goal is to create helpful and engaging content to empower cannabis professionals to run a successful and compliant dispensary. Amber joined Flowhub to support the company's mission to help make cannabis accessible to everyone through innovative technology. Connect with Amber on LinkedIn.