State-legal cannabis is available all over town, and a quick look at even Google Maps (much less Leafly or Weedmaps) reveals a lot of choices. Weeding through all of them can be a chore, and it’s one we’re happy to take on for you.
If you buy in bulk at the right times, you can find flower as low as $3 per gram and get concentrates or edibles for free. There are ways to store cannabis to keep fresh for extended periods, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad on you too fast.
When shopping, it’s best to understand cannabis vocabulary and common questions about marijuana. Otherwise you can quickly get overwhelmed by all the marketing buzzwords and sales tactics used by budtenders. Once you start really digging into the industry, there are cannabis conventions and events that can get you deeply entrenched in whatever part of the business you want.
After touring as many dispensaries as we could over the past few years, here’s what we found.
Our Favorite Tucson Dispensaries
The best medical marijuana dispensary needs to provide a safe, secure environment to shop in. Packaging needs to be discrete, so we’re not mugged or judged for our purchases without making it seem like something illicit. Service needs to be friendly and transparent, and product needs to be of the best quality. With all these factors considered, here are our favorite medical marijuana dispensaries in Tucson:
DB Re-Leaf is a throwback to the good ol’ days of the 1970s. This modern hippy paradise has budtenders literally harvesting fresh bud on a table right in front of you. Meanwhile the most adorable dog is roaming around to make sure you’re smiling. Even the lobby is the most relaxing waiting room you’ll ever see, with psychedelic and surreal art and design tastefully surrounding you.
Desert Bloom is easily the best dispensary on Tucson’s east side, with product quality rivaled only by Botanica. Its pricing, however, is easily lower than Botanica though, and the friendly atmosphere makes you feel like you’re almost a part of the family.
Botanica is a little out of the way, hidden near Orange Grove and I-10, but it’s well worth the trip. This luxe dispensary cares about patients and medicine and therefore has the best quality standards I’ve seen so far in Arizona. Be warned this is NOT by any means the cheapest dispensary in Tucson – in fact, it’s on quite the opposite end of the pricing spectrum.
But Botanica’s product quality and atmosphere is well worth the premium. It offers online ordering through its Beeline service, but I always prefer to go in the back to work one-on-one with one of their knowledgeable budtenders. You can get pre-packaged products anywhere, but Botanica is the Whole Foods of MMJ dispensaries, and I never leave without a small and positive vibes for the future.
Located in the heart of Downtown Tucson, The Downtown Dispensary (and its sister dispensary D2) is the hands-down best full-service marijuana business in Southern Arizona. The daily deals are phenomenal, the in-house brand is trustworthy, and the service is always friendly, professional, and dependable.
DD doesn’t always have the best deal in town, but it sometimes does, and I’ve been able to pick up some insanely good deals throughout the past year. Every Tucsonian should check this place out at least once. It has one of the largest selections in the state, and you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for here.
Cannabis Delivery Services in Tucson
The best marijuana delivery service needs to be reliable, efficient, and on-time. Being able to process your order and trust that you’ll get the best possible products is a must. Sometimes independent delivery services even skirt local laws by selling seeds, live plants, and other products they probably shouldn’t. These are typically the co-ops without a storefront. Most delivery businesses are lacking, but these three stick way out above the crowd.
iLavaNow is the delivery arm of Tucson’s Downtown Dispensary. It’s easily the delivery service I’ve used most in Tucson, and there are several good reasons why. First, I enjoy all of DD’s in-store pricing, massive selection, and daily deals, meaning I can stock up on large quantities without leaving the couch. Second, if you order through the company website or phone instead of Weedmaps, you’ll see better GPS tracking than Uber, Dominos, Postmates, or even FedEx, USPS, or Amazon.
Most importantly, however, is the level of personalized service I get from iLavaNow. It’s always fast, efficient, and the drivers stay in communication. Several times I’ve held them up in my home to chat about the industry, and I always make sure to tip them generously for their time.
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc, also known as Harvest House of Cannabis, is actually a multi-national corporation based out of Canada. It owns and operates medical and recreational dispensaries in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Dakota, and Ohio. It also owns brands like EvoLab, Biomed, and CBX Sciences.
That makes Harvest’s loyalty rewards program one you probably want to join in case you travel out of state to any of these other places. Now your rewards won’t exactly transfer between states as easily as they would at a store like Costco, but federal legalization will remove the obstacles to that eventual goal. Also their delivery is obviously top-notch because they have experience everywhere.
AZ Canna Cats is an indie coop that has the best selection of products outside of the storefront dispensary system. It also has decent pricing and mostly reliable service. I’ve tried several of these indie delivery services in Tucson, and so far AZ Canna Cats is the only one I trust. The rest feel barely legal and sketchy at best, certainly lacking the professionalism of iLavaNow.
Now that you know the businesses we like to shop at, it’s time to save some money by finding the best prices and deals.
Shopping for Dispensary Deals in Tucson
There are five common ways to get deals on marijuana products. While pricing fluctuations make it pointless to list current pricing at time of writing, we can point out how to navigate these deals. Like extreme couponing, it just takes a little due diligence and preparation to stay on top of the sales cycles.
It’s extremely rare that you’re able to combine offers, so even something seemingly universal like a veteran’s discount can’t be used on top of a coupon. Here’s what you need to know:
1. First-Time Patient (FTP) Deals – Every dispensary in Tucson offers deals for first time patients, known as FTP deals. These deals range from a free 1G preroll joint to Buy One-Get One (BOGO) deals, or percentages or flat rates off your first purchase.
It’s a good idea to try every cannabis dispensary and delivery service in your area at least once to see how well their products and services match their websites. There’s a lot of marketing in the legal marijuana industry, and it’s important to find what works best for you. It’s also nice to get that free item with your first purchase.
When you go into a medical dispensary for your first time, you’ll need your driver’s license/passport/state ID and MMJ card. Most dispensaries have an ATM on site, and many take debit/credit in some form, but it’s best to have cash, especially for deliveries, as mobile equipment can malfunction and slow things down.
2. Calendar Savings – Many dispensaries in the area offer daily deals (Shatterday, a sale on shatter on Saturday, is a popular pun used by marijuana marketing teams). Every day of the week, a new sale occurs, and there are also weekly, monthly, seasonal, and holiday sales.
Keep an eye on all these sales (exporting them into a spreadsheet may be helpful), and monitor regular pricing of products like shatter across all dispensaries. That’s how you’ll find the best deals on individual products (we’ll dive into what’s available more below).
Be aware that many of the cheaper sales deals are for lower-quality products, older products, and store brands made with varying levels of quality. Read all the fine print to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
3. Newsletter Coupons – When you sign up as a new patient, you can give the dispensary your email address and phone number to send daily, weekly, and monthly deals. There are also third-party services like AZ Marijuana that keep patients in the loop of new products and deals.
These deals are meant to be good enough to get you to stop by on your way home from work or just get off the couch. They often pale in comparison to calendar deals, and it’s rare to see a newsletter-exclusive deal, so it’s up to you whether to pimp your personal information to your pusher.
4. Patient Referrals and Loyalty Rewards – Many marijuana dispensaries offer loyalty rewards, and the more you spend, the more you save in the future. This is their way of keeping you coming back, and they’ll even go a step further by giving you a bit of a “commission” for referring a friend.
These referral deals and member rewards are the only deals that can actually be stacked (not always) with other deals and coupons. Think of them as frequent flier miles with a few blackout dates involved. When used correctly, loyalty rewards are the key to free ounces of flower and more.
5. Vets, Students, ADA, and Seniors – If you’re a member of certain classifications of people (i.e. students, Americans with Disabilities, senior citizens), you typically qualify for 10-20 percent off your purchase at a medical marijuana dispensary in Tucson.
Which deal is available to whom depends on the dispensary, but military veterans are pretty universally given the discount. We haven’t seen a dispensary yet that doesn’t honor this tradition.
Finding Deals on MMJ Certification
Even state-legal marijuana businesses are still not federally legal, so their ability to market and advertise is limited. Thankfully, local Arizona media outlets and online platforms like Leafly, WeedMaps, and Mantis give these local entrepreneurs and trailblazers a chance to survive.
Pick up the latest issue of Tucson Weekly, and you’ll easily find all-inclusive offers to get you certified as a medical marijuana patient with the Arizona Department of Health Services. All-inclusive clinics and doctors will verify any medical records from the past 12 months supporting your condition, perform a personal second-opinion check, and file any appropriate documentation on your behalf.
The standard application cost is $150 ($75 for SNAP participants), and you shouldn’t pay more than $300 for the entire process, including the medical examination.
Cannabis Products Available in Town
Once you have your card, there are a TON of THC, CBD, and hemp products and accessories available in marijuana dispensaries. They include:
Each individual product is likely available in a variety of strains, flavors, dosages, and sizes. Different dispensaries will excel at different products in both quality and pricing. Be sure to research menus online and write down prices so you know exactly what you want when you walk into each dispensary. This will optimize savings by removing your reliance on the budtender, who is ultimately a salesperson.
Personally, I’m a fan of sativas, and these can be harder to find, especially in pure form. So my shopping habits ultimately revolve around pinpointing the best sativa strains for my high-energy lifestyle.
Going Out of Town
Your medical card is good throughout the state, and it’s even accepted occasionally at dispensaries in other states like Colorado, Nevada, and California, which have legal recreational status. So, while you can’t legally carry product with you across state lines without committing a felony, you can use your AZ-issued card to negotiate prices elsewhere.
If you’re heading up to Phoenix, this Phoenix cannabis deal guide will be helpful.
I’ve been to recreational and medical dispensaries across Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona so far, and everyone is pretty inclusive and understanding of those with medical conditions from out of town. Recreational dispensaries are definitely more lax, as are smaller towns away from major cities like Denver, Portland, and Los Angeles.
Check out major cannabis events too, like High Times Cannabis Cups held all over the world, marijuana business conferences, and regional cannabis events. These are where I got my start in the cannabis business. You’ll find events ranging from farmer’s markets to art installations to political rallies or even just parties revolving around the cannabis plant.
Finding the best deals on cannabis products in Tucson takes a little bit of online research. Check each dispensary’s online menus and reviews, and create a spreadsheet to cover timing and products. You’ll easily begin to pinpoint ways to save hundreds to thousands a month on marijuana.
But don’t let low pricing deter you from quality products. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little more on something you know you can trust to be exactly what it says it is.