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Exploring Inventory Struggles at Cannabis Dispensaries

If you’ve ever gone to a dispensary only to find that they’re out of your favorite strain or the one edible that helps your back pain without putting you to sleep, no one would blame you for being a little frustrated. After all, it’s a cannabis dispens…



If you’ve ever gone to a dispensary only to find that they’re out of your favorite strain or the one edible that helps your back pain without putting you to sleep, no one would blame you for being a little frustrated. After all, it’s a cannabis dispensary. They literally have one job to do: sell weed and weed products. Pot has been legal for years now, how hard can it be to keep enough products on your shelves?

While your first instinct may be to take that frustration out on your friendly neighborhood budtender or on their manager, just take a deep breath and try to see it from their side. Budtenders and their managers also understand that they should always have enough product on hand. It’s literally their one job to do and they want to do it well. Also, you may not be the first frustrated customer they’ve dealt with today.

Unfortunately, the current state of inventory at many dispensaries at any given time can be sporadic and unpredictable.

The employees themselves may be unsure of the hard counts, which can cause real headaches for the dispensary. “Why is this?” you may be asking. “Why can’t the dispensary maintain accurate counts of their products?” The answer is that there may be several reasons for this, ranging from simple employee error to how cannabis is tracked by the state.

Since it always pays to be an informed cannabis consumer, and since it may take the heat off your noble budtender simply trying to do their job, let’s delve into the many reasons your dispensary might be short on your favorite product.


Reasons for Inventory Issues at the Dispensary

The first reason could be budget. Because the cannabis industry is still so relatively new, nearly all shops are owned privately instead of by a larger corporation. While small business ownership is great for a number of reasons, it does mean that there isn’t anywhere else to pull money from. If a shop is just starting out, or has hit a momentary rough patch due to the many issues that can crop up for a small business, they may be short on cash and have had to limit their order from producers.

Flower Shelf

There are many factors behind inventory discrepancies at dispensaries.

The second reason could be the challenges of syncing up the state’s cannabis tracking software with the shop’s point of sale (POS) system. For this example we’ll use METRC in Colorado. Each dispensary uses one of many POS systems that all sync up with METRC. However, sometimes the count will be off, either because a shipment was fulfilled wrong, an employee scanned it wrong, or whatever other reason. This can throw the count off in the computer system, which means managers then have to go to the back of their point of sale system and make adjustments, which throws off things tracked in METRC. 

Finally, due to the strict control of cannabis by state government’s marijuana enforcement boards, dispensary owners and managers are forced to be over-cautious when placing orders and usually favor smaller orders over larger ones. To understand why, let’s use a thought experiment.

A Hypothetical Inventory Example

This example is intended to help you understand the parallels of inventory struggles between “regular” industries and the cannabis industry. Additionally, we’ll show how the strict regulations of the cannabis industry make it even more challenging for dispensaries.

Imagine if you run a convenience store and you decide to order twenty five cases of the very popular (and made up for this example) energy drink “Dragon Lightning.” The delivery driver drops off the order at your store. You glance over the stacked cases on the dolly without doing a full count since it’s been one sale after another today, you’ve worked through your lunch break, and there’s already another customer at the counter waiting to buy your last can of Dragon Lightning. You sign off on the order, wheel it into the refrigeration room, and deal with the customer. Your employee stocks the Dragon Lightning into your cooler and you’re back in business. A month later you’re out of Dragon Lightning again. Even Dragon Lightning’s least popular flavor “Black Licorice and Apricot Apocalypse” is gone from your coolers. Something’s not right about that, so you check your sales against your inventory.

You’re missing at least a case of Dragon Lightning. Maybe the distributor miscounted the order before they delivered it to you. Maybe one of the cases fell off somewhere en route. Maybe someone lifted a case before it got to you. You didn’t have time to check that day so you really can’t be sure and there’s no point in calling the distributor. Maybe your employee entered the count wrong. You just hired someone new and they could have put in the wrong code while selling a can of Dragon Lightning’s Orange Grape Ballistic Missile.

Whatever the reason, that case of Dragon Lightning is gone. It happens in retail all the time and it’s no big deal. You’re out some money, corporate may have some questions, but overall you’ll just mark it down as “wasted/missing” and be more careful next time.


Cannabis Industry Tracking is No Joke

In the highly regulated cannabis industry, you would have a lot more to answer for if any of your product went unaccounted for. If that missing case of Dragon Lightning were instead a case of gummies or a couple dozen grams of flower, you could face fines, your business could be shuttered, or you could lose your license to operate. Thus, dispensary owners can be much more cautious about ordering too much product.


Missing cannabis products can result in big issues for dispensaries.

As mentioned before, cannabis and products are tracked meticulously from seed to sale. Even with this, mistakes do happen. Some product may get scanned wrong by a new employee or there could have been a mix-up with the delivery. If the orders are small, it’s not a huge deal. One tube of chocolate chip cookies or a couple grams of product can be adjusted in whatever cannabis tracking software the state government is using. This sort of thing happens all the time.

However, if the same thing happens with a large quantity of product, things can get real dicey for the dispensary real fast. A large amount of missing live resin or 100 grams of missing weed, even if something innocent happened, gets flagged in the system and can trigger an investigation. This means that whatever the state’s marijuana enforcement division can come down to the dispensary and start making demands. They can audit the dispensary’s transactions, gather the budtenders for individual interviews, demand access to the security camera footage, and much more. They can also temporarily close down the shop while they do the investigation, impose fines, or remove the dispensary’s business license altogether.

With consequences like these for basic errors that happen regularly in every retail-based business, dispensaries are wary about dealing with larger amounts of product. All this is to say, they would rather risk running out of product and dealing with a couple of angry customers than order a larger amount and risk losing their license.

So, the next time you visit a dispensary that’s out of your favorite product, just relax. If it happens all the time, maybe find a new dispensary. If it’s only once in a while, just know that the manager and the employees are working their hardest to keep your favorite products on the shelves as well as keeping their small business open.

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Do Other Fruits Besides Mango Intensify the Effects of Cannabis?

If you’re a regular cannabis consumer, you probably already know that mangoes have been associated not only with increasing your high, but also reducing the time of onset, meaning that the high arrives more quickly. That’s thanks in part to a terpene (…



If you’re a regular cannabis consumer, you probably already know that mangoes have been associated not only with increasing your high, but also reducing the time of onset, meaning that the high arrives more quickly. That’s thanks in part to a terpene (aromatic compounds that give plants their signature smells while also providing some defense from sunlight and predators) that both mangoes and cannabis have in common, myrcene. Current thought goes that myrcene, also found in lemongrass, hops, and bay leaves can enhance and quicken the effects of THC due to its ability to move more quickly through the blood-brain barrier. 

Terpenes have become a popular topic of conversation in the cannabis world over the past few years because they are thought to play a vital role in how cannabis delivers its ameliorative effects. It goes without saying that cannabinoids like THC and CBD play a crucial role in cannabis’ particular effects. But how terpenes interact with cannabinoids is becoming more clear, as researchers continue to demonstrate how terpenes and cannabinoids are both vital in the full implementation of the entourage effect, a principal suggesting that the cannabis plant works best when all its compounds work together instead of isolated from one another.

Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis and often emits an earthy and musky scent and flavor.

But let’s say you have a strain at home with minimal terpene content and you don’t happen to have any mangoes in the fruit basket. Are there other fruits out there that could intensify cannabis’ effects like mangoes? The answer is, you bet! Although, we do have to stretch the definition of “fruit” just a bit.


Fruits That Intensify the Effects of Cannabis

Technically speaking, nuts are fruits, and they are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids that bind to cannabinoids like THC and CBD and move through the blood-brain barrier more efficiently, just as myrcene does. If you’d like to test this out, you’ll have to stay away from peanuts, which are technically legumes, and almonds, which are protected by a plum-like shell. Nuts fitting the definition of fruit are walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.


Certain nuts, like pecans, are also known to intensify the effects of cannabis. photo credit

For some other foods that could intensify your high, we’ll have to wander far away from the fruit tree. Here are a few candidates:

Other Food Items Than Can Increase the Effects of Marijuana:

  • Broccoli is replete with another terpene called beat-caryophyllene, most frequently affiliated with black pepper, basil, and cloves. Munching on broccoli before your sesh could intensify your high while delivering outstanding nutritional benefits like vitamins A, C, E, K, B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and iron
  • Sweet potatoes are high in minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamins C and B6, important for a strong immune system and brain and nervous system health. Rich in complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes have been linked to an increase in the feel-good chemical serotonin. Cannabis may also increase serotonin levels, though how precisely cannabis interacts with serotonin is an ongoing process
  • Eggs contain many of the same nutrients of nuts, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and  vitamins A,B,C, and K, the minerals magnesium, folate, and protein

But let’s say you’d rather just stick with mango. What’s the best way to get the full benefits this myrcene-filled fruit has to offer?

Does Metabolism Matter when Boosting Your High with Foods?

There are a few factors to consider if you want to try and use foods to increase your high, but the first thing to keep in mind is your metabolism. If your metabolism runs high, eat 2-3 mangoes approximately two hours ahead of your smoke sesh. For those with a slower metabolism, one mango about an hour ahead of time should suffice. This is all anecdotal guesswork of course, but the idea is to have myrcene circulating through your system when you begin your cannabis consumption.

To really get the full benefit of myrcene, stay away from mango juice (unless you juice it yourself) from the store. Juice, in general, is frequently chock-full of unnecessary sugar and in actuality may contain little to no myrcene, the ingredient you’re really after.

Have you tried any of the fruits and foods above to increase your high? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Trang Doan (license)

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420 Culture

Cannabeer Craze: Will There be an Alcoholic THC Beverage?

You’re on your regular trip to your local dispensary and your eye catches something new in the refrigerator display case. Your head whips around to behold this recently released, bottled product. “Could it be?” You ask. “Can it finally be real? Is Cann…



You’re on your regular trip to your local dispensary and your eye catches something new in the refrigerator display case. Your head whips around to behold this recently released, bottled product. “Could it be?” You ask. “Can it finally be real? Is Cannabeer finally available for purchase?”

You ask your friendly and noble budtender for a closer look. They pass you the bottle over the counter and you turn it in your hands. You can almost hear angels singing. Then you turn to the ingredients. Zero percent alcohol. Your dreams of a chill, hoppy cross-fade in a bottle foiled again! You hand the bottle back to the budtender and go on with your regular purchase, asking yourself one of the big questions in cannabis: “Will there ever be a true cannabis-infused, alcoholic beer?”

PotGuide is here with an answer, but first off we should distinguish between a couple of different kinds of beverages calling themselves “Cannabeer” which are being brewed in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.


What is Cannabeer?

“Cannabis Beers” are beers that are brewed using the stalks and roots of the marijuana plant instead of barley. This gives the alcoholic beers a weedy taste that some consumers like. Since cannabis and hops are closely related plants with some shared terpenes, they compliment each other well in the right combinations. However, cannabis beers contain no THC. 

“CBD-Infused Beers” are beers that are infused with CBD oil but no THC. They have no psychoactive effects beyond the alcohol.

A couple of brewers have been experimenting with CBD-infused beer since the cannabinoid became federally legalized and these beverages generally contain around 3mg of CBD and 5-6% alcohol.

Green Times Brewing CBD Beer

CBD-infused beers can already be found on the market. photo credit

“Cannabis-Infused Beers” are traditionally brewed, non-alcoholic beers that are infused with the same THC concentrates used in other marijuana beverages. These are the “cannabeers” we’ll be referring to for the rest of the article.

The Cannabeer Market

As the cannabis market still is wide open at this point, more and more brewers – and some cannabis companies – are dipping their toes into the cannabeer game in the hopes of creating the next breakthrough product. Craft breweries like Maryland’s Flying Dog are creating hop forward, cannabis-infused IPAs like their Hop Chronic, which will contain around 5% THC and no alcohol. On the opposite coast, California’s High Style brewing has created a citrusy Blood Orange Haze cannabeer with less than .05% alcohol and 10mg of THC that’s already for sale all across the state. 

So far the feedback from consumers has been mixed. The taste of cannabeer is being constantly improved as brewers and cannabis companies collaborate to find just the right mix of terpenes for a smooth flavor. A beer lover looking to enjoy a different kind of intoxication will not be lacking for choice in the coming years. However, many are finding that it’s not enough of one thing or the other to enjoy. 

A group of people sitting at a table drinking beer

While there are some alcohol-free cannabeers on the market, their success has been limited. photo credit

For cannabis consumers, there are plenty of THC-infused sodas, juices, and other beverages that produce the same effects as cannabeer with a much lighter flavor. Some of these products have multiple servings per container so they can last for days rather than having to be finished once they’re opened. This makes them a much better bang for a consumer’s buck than a bottle or can of beer that’ll go flat if left open in the fridge.  

For beer lovers, the effects of consumed cannabis don’t really match up to the traditional buzz of a beer or two. Plus, one of the many joys of beer is that you can have more than a couple cold ones throughout your day off or at the bar with friends. Unless your weed tolerance is high, you’ll probably stop at one or two cannabeers for the day and at that point you may be too high to want to get any more drunk. Plus, you may be waiting up to an hour to feel any effect from those cannabeers, whereas beer’s buzz comes on much quicker. 


Cannabeer Will Require New Laws

However, there is still the dream of an alcoholic cannabeer. Bottling the chill vibe that a pull off of a joint after a couple beers in the middle of a summer barbeque would be a hit with consumers. (It’s important to note here that mixing alcohol and marijuana in even small amounts can also lead to drowsiness and impairment. As with everything, use both in moderation.) 

The dream of a true cannabeer will probably be deferred for the near term, as most legalized state’s cannabis laws are either still in their beginning phases or are being improved at a snail’s pace.

The long hangover of our country’s conservative views when it comes to non-prescription drugs –whether it was alcohol or marijuana prohibition–means that most states are incredibly wary of passing lenient drug policies. Legalizing an alcoholic product infused with THC thus becomes a stretch for any state liquor and cannabis control board. Laws would have to be changed to either allow the sale of cannabis in bars, liquor stores and grocery stores, or the sale of alcohol at dispensaries.   

Alcoholic THC Drinks Seem Inevitable

So, what is the future of Cannabis-infused beer? Will there ever be a literal “‘Bud’ Light?” Will you be able to stroll the beer aisle of your dispensary and choose between a malty Mad Dog 4/20 or a crisp High-P-A? Will there ever be a Corona Extract that lives up to the hype?

Two glasses of beer next to weeed nugs

Although the desire for a THC-infused, alcoholic beer to enter the market is strong, we can expect to have to wait years before this dream becomes reality. photo credit

As usual, in the end it will all come down to market forces. Legalization is only gaining more support throughout the country, and medical marijuana laws are already gaining toeholds in the South. As any state legalizes, companies spring up looking to fill any remaining demands in the cannabis product market. Once the demand is high enough, one state is sure to allow THC-infused, alcoholic beer at some point down the road. It’s probably going to be Nevada. Or Oregon.   

Given the cross-marketing potential, this seems like an inevitability no matter how long it may take for local or federal laws to allow it. For a couple that hangs together as much as weed and beer, it’s going to be hard to keep them apart forever. Of course, when cannabeer is finally available for purchase on dispensary shelves (or your local bar), consume responsibly.  

What are your hopes for cannabis hops? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Credit: Paloma A. (license)

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420 Culture

Marijuana Holidays: Tips for Safe, Solo Celebrations in 2020

The 2020 Holiday Season is sure to go down in history as being unlike any other before it. Social distancing, altered holiday shopping, the stress of the craziest year on record for over a century, there’s a lot going on that will change the way we cel…



The 2020 Holiday Season is sure to go down in history as being unlike any other before it. Social distancing, altered holiday shopping, the stress of the craziest year on record for over a century, there’s a lot going on that will change the way we celebrate. This year, due to COVID, many may find themselves like Santa in his sleigh: flying high on a solo mission for the good of your fellow humans. However, don’t start up with the “bah humbug” just yet, there are plenty of ways to make merry with Mary Jane. The PotGuide team has put together some tips to toke your way through the Holidays.


Have Yourself a Stoney Little Christmas

We would never encourage anyone to overindulge on cannabis, but if you’re solo this year, one advantage is a chance to let your cannabis flag fly to whatever height you choose. Once that video call to the folks back home is done, you can get your eyes as red as you please. After-dinner dabs? Don’t mind if we do! 

A small solo christmas tree with a woman sitting next to it

Just because you may have to be celebrating Christmas solo this year, doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of it! photo credit

Being solo can be a bummer, but it’s also a chance for free expression, exploration and relaxation. Start that weird art project you aren’t ready to show people! Dye your hair funky colors! Make food no one else would like! It’s your tiny vacation, live it up to the fullest.

Cue Up Some Cannabis Friendly Holiday Movies

It doesn’t take a seasoned smoker to recommend adding some extra special mistletoe to your holiday viewing list. Christmas movies are by their nature over-the-top visually stimulating, and all those lights twinkle just a little brighter with some Kush. If you’re looking for some overt Christmas smoke-fests, there’s A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, or Seth Rogan’s The Night Before

The Night Before movie poster

The Night Before is the perfect Christmas movie to pair with some kush. photo credit

The classics pair well with cannabis as well. Any version of the Grinch is good with some green, and we doubt Adam Sandler would protest trying eight crazy strains over Eight Crazy Nights. We always thought Ralphie from A Christmas Story could use some more chill, or if you really want to get weird, try doing a Hallmark marathon with some edibles. For bonus fun, consider making your own smoking game (bong rip every time someone says Santa?), or convene for a watch-party sesh with friends.


Take Advantage of Cyber Sales

With the vast majority of holiday shopping shifting to online this year, plenty of deals that used to be more time-sensitive have been extended to last the whole season. We’re pretty sure everyone will understand if gifts are a little delayed this year, so take the extra time to shop with leisure, from your living room, with a nice big joint.

PotGuide Cannabis Gift Guide

Check out PotGuide’s Cannabis Gift Guide to find the perfect gift for the cannabis lover in your life. photo credit

There are few better ways to get through the buying blitz. And if your shopping for others is done for the year, why not yourself something nice? 2020 was crazy, you deserve it. 

Infused Food Part 2: Return of Cannabis

Oh, you thought Turkey was good with Trainwreck? There’s more where that came from. Give Santa’s cookies a little extra fun this year, and make some for yourself while you’re at it. 

Holiday foods

Elevate your Christmas and upgrade your meal by infusing it with cannabis. photo credit

Fruit cakes, rum balls, hot cocoa, warm cider… Our heads swim thinking of all the great things to infuse. Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas, no matter what your friends and family celebrate, there’s sure to be a feast attached to it. Brisket and blunts? We’ll take seconds.


Happy Holidays from PotGuide

Much like the winter Holidays, cannabis is known for bringing people together. Through our common love of the cannabis plant, we can feel close even with miles between us. While this year’s celebrations may be a little strange, let us not forget that they are still celebrations. We at PotGuide are celebrating the incredible amount of cannabis progress this year, and look forward to the year to come. We wish you all the happiest of holidays, and may you stay safe, warm and well.

How will you be celebrating the Holidays this year? Share your plans in the comments below!

Photo Credit: PS Imaging (license)

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