Selling marijuana isn’t difficult, but dealing successfully is.
Distributing can be as easy as handing out bud business cards, or wearing a “The Dealer Is In” t-shirt in an area known for scoring green. Picking up for several friends when you’re out buying – known to some as the Deadhead way to smoke for free – is the most common entry into the business. This method won’t make cash and often creates losses, but if done properly the price of your own chronic use should come down. Successfully dealing as a sole source of income requires savvy. Don’t anticipate one big transaction with mucho coin. Like growers, many distributors see large wads of cash and manage it poorly. Twenty grand is considered a small amount amongst big “playas”, but that’s 10 pounds with about 10 to 15 percent return upon turnover.
Those with the big bucks all began on the lowest level and learned how to avoid being caught by the fuzz to make their float. There’s no guarantee you won’t spend time behind jail cell bars; whether you sell dime bags or pounds, there’s always risk involved – hence the money. Prohibition is the reason behind the markup on cannabis, but it is the right of the people to break unjust laws. Marijuana selling keeps plenty of people employed. Many folks who are underpaid and overworked have turned to grass distributing to make ends meet. Some have little opportunity other than a McJob.
According to the cops themselves, cannabis is an economic engine in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, where there’s no formal method of getting into this billion-dollar industry. No one is placing classified ads. No resume is required. The best trait to have is common sense. Having a good head on your shoulders limits risks, so trust your instincts, and don?t be stoner stoopid, like spending your re-stock money, or wearing “bling” and gangster threads when you’re carrying cash or quantity. Cops, I assure you, will stop you.
Do not have a lot of girlfriends. Even one is risky. People do crazy shit over “love” and jealousy or betrayal. It’s a truism that any grower or dealer can relate to if they’ve been around in the business. Love turns to hate, greed or vengeance at the most awkward of times.
Ten Steps To Selling Cannabis
1. Smoking Free is Good For Me
2. Smoked Out of Business
3. My Friend?s Bad Credit
4. University Students Buy in $10 & $20 Lots
5. The Connoisseur Market
6. Bulk Buying and Bulk Selling
7. Just In Time Delivery
8. Location, Hours and Customer Service
9. Pot Karma, Dude
10. Dad, I?m In Jail
1. Smoking Free Is Good For Me
Everyone has a few friends who have problems hooking up. Or maybe the herb you’re buying is primo and they’re buying Mexican brick weed, so your three best friends give you money and all want a quarter-ounce. You score an ounce for $180, break it into quarters, and sell to the three pals for $60. You’re smoking free.
But sometimes they hang around a little too long, and want to smoke a little too much of your stash. That’s why call display is critical to weed out those annoying stoners who repeatedly harass – like guys who will call you to buy a gram, five different times a day. Just buy a quarter ounce at one time, please!
2. Smoked Out of Business
Unfortunately, the smoking free plan has a major Achilles heel. Say the third fellow is late picking up their quarter stash, and you’ve already smoked your quarter. This spoken-for quarter – that you just paid for – is sitting in your fridge amongst your vegetables.
And you’re jonesing. Not for the vegetables. Two days later this stoner finally inquires about the quarter; but unlike the milk at the back of the fridge, it’s long gone by now. It’ll always be a bad scenario when you don’t have money to buy another ounce, and instead of toking free you end up smoking yourself out of business.
“Don’t get high off your own supply.” – Scarface
3. My Friend’s Bad Credit
Establishing a line of credit for the business is dangerous in many ways, especially when starting out. Giving ganja for IOUs is as risky as getting high on your own supply! Relates Vancouver delivery dealer SneakyD: “My homeboy’s got a list three pages long of people who owe him. Its so true man.” It’s very awkward once you are in the situation of being bank and dealer.
Known as “fronting”, a line of credit can turn worse than a trailer-park-familybrawl on the Springer set. At what point do you get heavy with a friend for owing money on their smoke? And do you? Marijuana people are a pretty docile bunch. Everyone in the business has the story of the friend who became too irresponsible, or the long-time friend who no longer comes around because they owe amounts as a little as $60. In many cases, the creditor would rather have that person just chill until times get better. However, many want to ring up more credit, but don’t allow this to happen either. Ending the line of credit is the best way to resolve the problem, so be prepared to write the amount off.
The money lost is profit pissed away on someone you may have called “brother” or “sister”. For some they’re actual blood. What amount they can reach before getting cut off at the trough is really a personal decision based on your own financial situation.
4. University Students Buy in $10 & $20 Lots
“Homey, I sell an ounce worth of dimes a day at Brock.”
The Phatboy is proud that his post-secondary education is already paying for itself through petty selling on the local university campus. He’s a hilarious business major who moves small amounts during class – for party money mostly – then flips a few quarter- pounders off campus… and I’m not talking McDonalds.
The Phatboy is exploiting the university market with dime bags, which is what most students are looking for. These reefer rookies don’t need anything more than a few bong hits to last the afternoon. But of course campus transactions come with many pot pitfalls, such as campus police. Often times, security students looking for work experience roam the expansive school grounds, so you should spend plenty of time scoping out discreet transacting spots. Do some ground work on campus before the term begins if possible. Take the campus tour two dozen times – or better yet, in second year begin hosting the tour. How about an alternative toker tour of the campus? In September, go where pot smokers celebrate 4:20 every afternoon, or find a safe haven to take your new cannabis clients to.
Keeping a quarter pound at the dorm is reckless. Those White House drug warriors smack stoner students around by ripping up scholarships – another reason students purchase in small amounts. Get involved in campus life to meet stoners. After tuition and books, use your remaining student loan to purchase a load of grass. Find an offcampus location to store larger amounts and bring in as needed. Keep in mind steps one and two. Fall is not only the time to return to school, but harvest too, which drops the price of pot.
If it’s pointed out to the Phatboy that 28 dime bags in his blue baggy sweat pants is evidence of transacting, he can use a good old excuse: “What, you don’t buy an ounce this way? I asked for an ounce and this is what he gave me. Cost me $300. How else do you buy an ounce?”
5. The Connoisseur Market
If you’ve got beautiful wellmanicured herb, demanding more money is perfectly acceptable. Tokers with coin will spend on quality herb. This is more evident in the American market than it is in Canada. Canadians aren’t bartering- type people; the price is the price to most of them.
There’s a vast difference between Hamilton, Ontario’s sewer weed ($50 1/4 at Ferguson Station) and gorgeous Humboldt green, thus there is a difference in the price. Sewer weed makes up the majority of supply in every town, but there’s a high possibility that someone is smoking fantastic herb, somewhere. However, that toker may only have enough for a personal stash because of their limited four-plant grow room.
Given the small quantity, this great green isn’t common in your market but the best dealing herb is most likely in your town. You need to locate these fine spliff specimens. Developing this elite market is not only about who you know, but also depends on the size of your customer’s wallet. If your customers can only afford commercial but they bitch about it, tough schwag! Finetasting, well-cured, half-ounce buds cost money – unlike commercial, which is grown in vast quantities. Connoisseur isn’t mass-produced. This makes quality grass expensive and difficult to obtain; it requires a “cannabis flair” to purchase.
6. Bulk Buying & Bulk Selling
Having “cannabis cool” or “cannabis chutzpah” is very necessary to be a hugely successful weed dealer. Some peeps are stoner stylin’ while others are doobie dorks. People are attracted to cannabis cool when they’re buying. The dealer by nature is a “source” of cool.
“There are four distinct states of being in the cannabis and marijuana society. There’s cool, groovy, hip and square. If a square can figure out what is happening he can raise one notch and become hip. And if he can convince himself of what is happening then he becomes groovy. Groooovy. Then he can raise himself to the rank of cool. He can become one of those cool guys.” – Dr. L. Ron Bumtwist (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas)
Chances are if you’re uncomfortable in the setting of buying fifty pounds a week, the wholesaler is going to sense you are in the state of “not cool”. There’s stress involved in high-volume transactions due to potential jail time. The movers and shakers who shift quantity not only have their own sense of fl air, they have developed a solid setup to move marijuana. Sophisticated networking is required. You don’t move a ton of hashish out of the Middle East without savvy, smarts, and style.
A sharp mind and great memory are required to remember amounts, phone numbers, times and dates without keeping physical records. Write nothing down. If writing is required because of volume or technicalities, use a pocket size flip top notebook and destroy each page as transactions are completed. Invest in a paper shredder for cell phone bills and try to switch numbers often. Always count your money twice. A large amount of paper green is needed to obtain a few pounds of green. Nine times out ten this is acquired through doing business; very few start out shipping tons. Those too burned out won’t be able to develop the sophisticated network required of volume dealing.
Regular mail in an envelope with postage is probably the safest form of communication, because firm legislation is in place regarding the unauthorized opening of private mail. If you think using code words is keeping the fuzz at bay when you use the phone or email, think again. Lingo isn’t confusing anyone.
Info obtained from wiretaps isn’t so much for reliable court evidence but to keep tabs on your movements. Invest in a PGP encryption for email – Hushmail and Gmail offer amazing privacy options. Funnily, folks tend to save their passwords via a “cookie” on their computer, and if this is you then you’re really not cut out for volume. If you get busted, the fuzz doesn’t even have to figure out your password as it’s saved on your computer. Leave no trail.
7. Just In Time Delivery
In an effort to cut their inventories down to nothing, automotive manufacturers developed a system known as “Just In Time delivery.” It’s not that sophisticated of a plan, really, and works amazingly for cannabis.
As an example, parts from one automotive plant are timed to arrive at another plant only when they’re needed at the next stage of car building. Thus no inventory is stored in warehouses. The goal is a seamless flow of parts without any hold-up. However, if one of the links in your chain is weak, then all havoc will break loose. The Big Three automakers have less worry about their delivery system than cannabis people will. There are always headaches when it comes to developing a seamless flow of cannabis business.
Your whole purchasing chain needs to be littered with professionals, not slackers. Keep as little inventory around as possible because it will be to your advantage if the DEA boot down your door. Have four people prepared to come over to buy their ounce within the half hour of the quarter pound arriving. If it’s eight stoners, then you’ll need a half-pound. Sixteen stoners is a pound; and on it goes. Throw in the “Payday” system and the cash register should really start ringing. Both “Just In Time” and “Payday” are perfectly suited to the connoisseur market. Develop a reputation where everyone knows you have amazing weed every Friday. Even commercial British Columbia dealers need to be fully stocked for the weekend. That’s just a given! At Friday’s five o’clock punch out, before everyone heads to clubs, concerts and parties, they’re going straight to your place to buy a big ounce.
Keep a small amount during the week (personal stash). Make it sound like a hassle to scrounge up some on their behalf mid-week – and maybe it is, in your situation. Tell potential customers the best day to buy is Friday and over the weekend for you, and stock up late Thursday afternoon. But there’s sacrifice here: No going out on the weekend, because pot peeps are getting hooked up at your house.
8. Location, Hours, & Customer Service
Unless you’re living in alleyways, street dealing (selling dime bags on the corner) should be avoided. This is just summer sustenance selling, and can lead to winter months behind bars if a beat cop lands your peddling butt in prison; if you can’t afford bail and have no fixed address, you proceed to spend months in the local lockup. An autumn arrest is best, because you at least get three squares and a warm bed every night during the harsh winter.
Most sellers do not have established business hours, which results in potheads calling for bags 18 hours a day, or even 24/7. Small operators rarely have hours, which burns them out in more ways than one. There’s the common belief that dealers don’t wake up before noon, but that’s not true of people who are earning dosh. Hours of operation and a place of business is “cannabis cool”. Stoners will have difficulty understanding why you only conduct business from 10:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., so be prepared to explain why you’re not a full-time connection.
Have a business cell phone and a home line for non-business. Don’t answer the phone during non-business hours, so you don’t forget to go off and enjoy life. Get away from the dealing career by establishing hours, and move your supply in the busy days and weekends. Again, good quality and always being stocked during specific times and days goes a long way in eliminating out-ofsupply fears.
The home office is a fantastic connoisseur investment. Plenty of people coming and going all hours of the day to a residential home is kind of a sign (should someone pay attention) that something is going on. Go to City Hall and register a home business related to a hobby or actual profession. Find out if city zoning allows a home based business, as some don?t. Whatever you decide for as a cover – graphic design, computer programming, model train building – needs to have some basis in reality. The home-based business explains to your neighbors why you’re around all the time and why people are always stopping by. Your clients need a solid and likely “reason” for being at your place. Once established, observers will almost never suspect the real business going on.
In New York City, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia and many other North American cities, weed is delivered via Vespa scooter, bicycle, car, subway and bus. You don’t invade anyone’s turf with a delivery service like you might with a fixed location, where “blocks” are usually some existing dealer’s turf. (If you get arrested, your bicycle, motor scooter, or car may be seized. Know that your beloved weed-mobile could be forfeit at some point in your dealing career.)
With delivery, no one knows where your stash is, or where you live, or where the money is. They call and you bring weed. They pay on delivery. There is no credit, and you know where they live. If you don’t like the look, attitude or vibe of any customer, you don’t do business with them and don’t let them buy at your place. Delivery services can be regular business hours or value-added hours, say like $15 or even $20 for delivery from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. You know how people get when they just “have to party”.
9. Pot Karma, Dude
There’s plenty of potential for earning big bucks selling cannabis. The lure of good money on your own terms is the reason people get into the business. Sadly, our weakness to greed, hoarding and consumerism is often such a downfall that it leads to arrest. It takes discipline to not spend willy-nilly!
So do something productive with your dollars. Give to cannabis charitable organizations, but do so without seeking recognition for it. Provide your local activist group some cashola to produce legalization pamphlets or protest flyers; send an anonymous money order to NORML or the Marijuana Policy Project. Give something back to the community, but do so anonymously. There’s nothing worst than a big donor’s ego getting the best of them.
The outspoken activist in the spotlight unfortunately can’t be heavily involved in the industry, and vice-versa. So if the leader of some hard-working marijuana reform group or organization is buying from you, cut them a good deal! Build pot karma by doing ganja good deeds.
10. Dad, I’m In Jail
Get ting pinched sucks. Whether it’s street trafficking or cargo ship interception, getting caught by the fuzz while still on your buzz is terrible come down. Handcuffs are a rude awakening, but making the highlight reel of the local news station is cool.
Hopefully you retained a lawyer – a professional and experienced one – when the coin was rolling in. Tell your booking sergeant who you want to speak to, and provide a phone number. Always set aside some profit for lawyer retainer fees, because it never hurts to pay up front when it can save your ass from prison. Very good legal representation is expensive, but not investing for future legal predicaments is the most common folly among weed dealing practitioners.
The lawyers who advertise for stoner clientele in Cannabis Culture clearly want to be retained. It’s preferred you don’t call them from jail and introduce yourself; you’ll be better off if they know who you are beforehand. The complexity of your case will determine your costs for uber-legal eagling. If you run a big business, retain a lawyer immediately. An incredible number of prisoners are in for cannabis offences, which is scary as these are non-violent lawbreakers mixed in with the real threats to society.
To really keep yourself safe from being nabbed by cops, you should pick up a copy of Busted! Drug War Survival Skills by M. Chris Fabricant (as seen in CC #58). This is the best book you can buy if you want to be aware of pot pitfalls, and should help you become a successful weed dealer!