Baby Boomers, Seniors, and Pot Shops: Frequently Asked Questions
By Christine Bryant & Jeff Eckenrode
“I drive for so many tourists, and most of them are folks who retired recently,” my Lyft driver told me after I explained what I do for a living--selling recreational cannabis at Hashtag. She continued, “Now that they don’t work and won’t get drug tested ever again, they are so excited to try smoking pot!”
Whether this is the first time in your life that you’ve wanted to try marijuana, or if you’re in your fourth, fifth, or sixth decade of smoking weed, Hashtag's budtenders, in Fremont and Redmond, love their cannabis and would love to meet you too.
So, where do you start? Here are the most popular questions we hear from baby boomers and seniors!
1. “Isn’t all weed the same?”
Not anymore! Strains of flower have been cultivated for unique effects and flavors for decades, even centuries, and the differences between strains range from subtle to extremely distinct, just like the flavors of two varietals of wine can be very different. When you visit us at Hashtag, you can tell us what kind of activity you’d like to do while you’re high, or what kind of flavors you’d like to smell and taste--and we can make a very personalized recommendation for you out of the 200 strains of flower we carry.
2. “Is there a way to get high without smoking it?”
Absolutely! You can vaporize flower, vaporize oil concentrates, eat solid edibles, or drink liquid edibles. And without getting high, you can even use topical lotions and creams that are infused with THC and CBD. Ask your budtender to show you our vaporizer cartridges and batteries, our wide selection of sweet treats and capsules, or our cold sodas and sparkling waters in the fridge.
3. “How do I transport this? Can I buy weed in Seattle and take it out of state?”
In Washington state, you can legally carry up to 28g of flower, bud, or joints; 16 ounces of solid, infused edibles; 72 ounces of liquid, infused edibles; and 7g of concentrate, by itself or in vaporizer cartridges.
You can purchase weed in Washington state and transport it within the state of Washington, but you cannot fly with it, mail it, or carry it out of the state of Washington--even to other states where recreational cannabis is legal, like Oregon and California. Everything cannabis that’s purchased in Washington must stay on Washington soil. However, it is legal to travel with and to mail cannabis accessories, like pipes and papers (so long as they haven’t been used), out of Washington state.
4. “But my hair is gray! Can’t you tell I’m over 21?”
Yes, I can, but state law requires that we budtenders verify that you are over 21 by your ID, not by our estimation. In fact, the last time I checked the ID of one particularly lovely 83-year-old woman, she thanked me for the compliment and hugged me!
So, whether it’s your driver’s license, your passport, your tribal enrollment card, or your U.S. Armed Forces or Merchant Marine ID card, don’t forget to bring your valid, unexpired photo ID with you when you enter Hashtag. We’ll check your ID once when you enter the store, and again when you make a purchase--so keep it handy. To make doubly sure that we never sell to anyone under 21, we even enter your birthdate at our registers while we complete your purchase.
5. “Why don’t you take credit or debit cards?”
Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, and only legal at the Washington state level, federally-insured banks and credit card companies mostly refuse to do business with the Washington cannabis industry. In fact, Hashtag Cannabis does our banking with Salal Credit Union, and you can read more about their work to advocate for businesses in the cannabis industry here.
We have an ATM on site in both our Fremont and Redmond stores, so you can use your debit card on site to withdraw however much cash you need to pay for your purchase after you decide what you’d like to buy. And if you use our ATM, rest assured that the word “cannabis” won’t appear on your bank’s transaction record.
6. “Where can I smoke weed in Seattle?”
Legally, you can only smoke cannabis on private property in Washington, when the property owner has deemed it acceptable. This includes hotel rooms that allow smoking; be sure to ask if it’s acceptable to smoke cannabis (not tobacco) in a smoking hotel room first.
Then there’s a gray area in Seattle, where cannabis possession has been decriminalized, but public intoxication with any substance may result in a fine. Driving under the influence of cannabis is still very much criminalized, just like DUIs with alcohol. Follow your nose, use your gut, and be discreet.
7. “Do you have anything that can help me sleep, or help me with pain?”
Yes! We carry a variety of high-CBD products that can do just that. To learn more, check out our blog on how CBD works in your body.
8. “When’s a good time to shop, if I have a lot of questions?”
We are happy to answer your questions any time that we’re open, but I recommend coming in to shop during a slower time, perhaps Monday to Thursday in the morning or early afternoon. That way, you won’t feel rushed, and our budtenders can give you their full attention.
Would you like to learn even more about recreational cannabis and ask your very own questions? Come meet Jax Keating and me at Wallingford Community Senior Center on Tuesday, June 26 from 1pm to 2pm for our talk about recreational cannabis for health and happiness! Registration is appreciated for this event, and the fee ranges from $3 to $5. We will meet at the Wallingford Community Senior Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 140, Seattle, 206-461-7825.