What’s for Sale in Pot Shops? Is marijuana legal? As of early 2017, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana—also known as cannabis, pot and ganja—for recreational use. All told, 29 states have passed measures permitting use of medical marijuana, and a number of states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Still, the use, possession, sale and transportation of marijuana are illegal under federal law. Wherever you fall on the issue of whether marijuana should be legalized, the topic is hot news and marijuana shops may pop up in your neighborhood. Do you know what’s for sale in pot shops, also called dispensaries? Bong You may think this is a dull, resonant sound such as a church bell, or what happens when an audience doesn’t like a contestant. But ask for a bong in a pot shop, and you’ll be shown a wide assortment of water pipes used to smoke marijuana or hash, also called hashish. Hash is made from the resin of the cannabis plant, and dried and pressed into blocks. It doesn’t burn when rolled in a joint, which is why it’s typically smoked in a bong, or water pipe. Bongs come in a variety of sizes and materials—including acrylic, bamboo, ceramic, glass and metal—and prices can range from affordable to high-end. Budtender OK, budtenders aren’t for sale—they do the selling. A “bud” in this context is the dried flower of a cannabis plant. Similar to a bartender, budtenders work in marijuana dispensaries. Need a job? To get hired, you need to be passionate about pot, know the products and be able to provide good customer service. Edibles You may already be familiar with the idea of pot brownies. Pot shops now sell a wide variety of edibles—snacks, sweets, candies and beverages—that let people consume cannabis orally. Pre-roll You won’t find a pre-roll on the menu of your favorite Japanese restaurant. Marijuana rolled in paper and then smoked like cigarette is called a joint. Dispensaries sell pre-rolled joints, for those who don’t like to roll their own. Topicals These cannabis-infused balms, creams, lotions and oils are absorbed through the skin, to provide relief of pain, soreness and inflammation. People who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without getting high use them. Vaporizer If you search for a vaporizer on Amazon, you’ll most likely find a cool mist or steam device, typically used to add moisture to a room and to provide relief from congestion. In a pot shop a vaporizer, or vape, is a device that heats up cannabis so it can be inhaled. Strains All marijuana is not alike. There are different strains, or varieties, for sale in pot shops. The budtender should know best, but different strains are known to affect people differently. For example, indica strains are known for being physically sedating, while sativa strains are typically branded as more uplifting or invigorating. And of course, there are hybrid strains available, too. Different flavors and smells are also a part of the decision making process in a dispensary experience.