Federal law in the United States prohibits the use of cannabis. So, the moving of cannabis from one state to another, known as interstate commerce, is illegal. However, due to the medical purposes it serves, certain states have licenses to sell cannabis, albeit with restrictions in place.    

If you have a cannabis dispensary near you, you are in one of the states where cannabis use is allowed. Further, this explains why you can find a different product when you go to a  marijuana dispensary in another legal state.    

Each state has expressed particular conditions to regulate the use of cannabis across the United States. Here, we will take a closer look at these conditions. 

#1. Unique Cannabis Type, Dose Size, and Packaging for Each State 

The type of cannabis available and the dose size vary across each state. The motive is to clearly recognize each state’s cannabis by a mere look and quickly identify smuggling cases into the state. 

Some states may make their pills longer, give them a distinct mark, or do just about anything that shows “this is unique to us alone.” They may also have to reduce the pill strength to take more than one to get the correct dosage. An example of this is Florida, where there is a limit of 10mg of THC for each piece, whereas other states have higher THC limits for edibles

So, purchasing from a cannabis dispensary in another state necessitates checking the product to see its dosage size. You can also ask an attendant at the marijuana dispensary since you want to ensure you are taking the proper dosage. 

This rule also applies to the packaging of the products. By this, no two packages are the same. For example, one product may come in plain packaging with nothing written on it, whereas another may have logos, photos, and even instructions on the body of the packaging.   

In Florida, for instance, the Florida Department of Health is the office that regulates the use of marijuana under the general body, and they have several stringent rules for edibles. Specifically, they cannot have a distinct look from any other type sold in a marijuana dispensary, and their color cannot fall into these: red, yellow, and blue. The packaging must be white, containing no image. 

In places like Oklahoma, the packaging requirements are the opposite of Florida’s, as you can include colors and photos in your packaging. 

You can take marijuana right in the dispensary in a place like Alaska, but not all states permit this. State regulations control how the product gets across to consumers and how they can consume them. Whether you get marijuana directly in a cannabis dispensary, through curbside pick-up, or from home delivery depends upon one’s particular state’s regulations. 

#2. Cannabis Products Must Come From Marijuana Grown Within a State’s Borders. 

This law implies that you cannot import a cannabis plant from another state for production. So, every legal state grows its plant. Even though no product is necessarily better than the other, consumers may have a preference.  

The Humboldt region of California, for instance, is known for manufacturing the best cannabis in the United States. Specifically, its optimal growth environment, which comes from the perfect blend of temperature, fertile soil, sunlight, and adequate moisture, enables this. So, consumers may choose to go to California when they need to take their medications. 

Again, each strain of cannabis may still vary in potency and flavor within states or local regions due to the growing technique employed. The cultivation season and the harvesting process may also contribute to the outcome of the cannabis plant. 

The difference in the strength of the products and quality may leave medical marijuana patients confused when visiting a dispensary. They may have to find the exact strain that works for their specific medical condition. 

Brands that sell across states also have to find a way to survive. In most cases, they enter agreements with producers who know their state’s regulations and build relationships with cultivators. Doing so enables these companies to share recipes, techniques, and testing requirements with the producer to ensure consistency in the final products. 


As long as the federal law considers cannabis illegal, products will continue to differ across state lines. Although this inconveniences the consumer, you can inquire when at a marijuana dispensary to ensure you’re getting what you want.