Back in the day, before there were dispensaries, there was Craigslist.
I don't think Craigslist asked to be a forum for connecting cannabis and patients, but it immediately happened when patient-caregiver exchanges became legal. People were trading meds and plants and edibles from the Tucson Mountains to the Rincons. Well, it seems maybe some of that traffic has gone to dispensaries, because Craigslist doesn't offer much for cannabis patients in Tucson now.
A cannabis search of Tucson Craigslist last week turned up a handful of hits but, sadly, none offering meds. There were two charcoal air filters, a hydro grow kit and some water pipe parts for sale. But Craigslist now offers an automatic nearby search. If you look up toward Phoenix, you get a wonderland of med convenience and selection. Caregivers in Phoenix are delivering valleywide, with prices in the range of a dispensary, some cheaper.
For a $50 donation ($5 delivery charge), you can get an eighth of Blue Crack, a custom Green Crack-Blue Dream strain, delivered "a reasonable distance" from Ray Road and 48th Street. Another ad offers to bring you meds anywhere in Arizona's great central valley for $5 to $10 extra.
"This strain is Sour Diesel, it is pungent, sticky, potent and delicious, the aroma will fill up a room. It is great for depression and anxiety. This medicine is dispensary quality all the way! Please text a copy of your valid Arizona State medical card before contacting me. Have a great day!"
OK. I will, but only if I'm in Phoenix, apparently. And while I'm there, I think I'll renew my card because there is a clinic offering certifications for an astounding $49 in Mesa. I'm not aware of anyone in Tucson doing certifications that cheap. If someone is, please tell me. ;)
Classifieds at AzMarijuana.com, which is a nascent cannabis Craigslist of sorts, tell the same story—lots of ads for meds in Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler—everywhere from Apache Junction to Glendale. Exactly zero ads for Tucson. That site offers a lot of other ways for patients to connect with each other.
Its forum offers tips on growing, advice for marijuana newbs, strain advice and about a dozen other topics. You can look up MMJ events, including the Most Awesome and apparently still-strong farmers market at 4853 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix. I still haven't gone up for this, but I should. Something tells me the Counter Narcotics Alliance would frown on that idea here. Road trip anyone?
AzMarijuana.com also has job ads, but don't bother looking there for a job in the cannabis industry. First of all, they're all taken. Jobs in this industry are rare and highly sought after. These jobs are like manna that dispensary operators sprinkle down from the heavens upon their closest and most trusted and experienced associates. You don't get any.
Second, the job ads at AzMarijuana.com are almost entirely from job seekers, not job manna sprinklers. Suddenly everyone is an experienced grower and just needs a break to get into the biz. Good luck with that. Cannabis seems to be emerging as a Who You Know industry, with some What You Know for good measure.
AzMarijuana.com even makes a claim that you can find a med-friendly date there. I didn't, which might be evidence that it's impossible. Hehe.
The website is worth checking out, nonetheless.
In the end, it seems online classifieds and forums are still not a huge factor in Arizona's cannabis biz. There are a handful of caregivers and a few licensed dispensaries advertising, but ultimately the informal online cannabis presence might be weaker than it was last year before dispensaries.
I'm not sure what to make of that. I kind of expected ads offering me a wide range of options and information on all things cannabis. I was hoping for a bunch of clones of every stripe and edibles of every flavor and handmade, lovingly carved pipes in all shapes and sizes. I think I'm a little sad that I only found a handful of Tucson ads.
Oh, well. If I go to Phoenix, I can Have a Great Day!