I have been smoking marijuana for the better part of two decades. Ninjasmoker and Travis have also been consuming marijuana for a long, long time. Naturally, we have come across several types of marijuana dealers; some good, and some bad. This article is intended for entertainment purposes and who knows, maybe people will learn some tricks and tips that might educate them a bit.
This article (the first of a three part series) is about selling marijuana the old fashioned way. If you live in a state that has dispensaries or collectives, then you might not relate to this article anymore, but it is still worth reading to reminisce about the good old days. For the vast majority of Americans, who live in non-medical marijuana dispensary states, buying/selling marijuana on the down low is the only option. I know dozens of active sellers in my part of America, and talk to hundreds of others online, and I have compiled a guide to help others in the industry. Load up your bong and let’s get to it.
A major item that any marijuana dealer needs is a scale. I remember in the early 90’s when a ‘digi’ would cost over $100. In 2010, they are all over the State of Oregon for $40 these days, and if you go online, they are even cheaper. My personal favorite brand is Ohaus, which is a higher end model. But the main thing to get is one with a 0.0 reading, brand can be secondary. You will be weighing out 3.5 gram increments, so the scale obviously has to be able to display a reading that includes tenths. Make sure to check that it works before you buy it (which is impossible online) if you can. Use nickels, which weight 5 grams, or if you’re lucky, your scale comes with a calibration weight. Make sure to be comfortable with your purchase because your scale will be a significant part of your life for the years to come.
Another thing that you will need is a cell phone. We no longer live in the era of pagers and answering machines. If lag too long, your customer will go elsewhere. You will be looking at your phone screen more than your own face from now on, so you might as well get something that suits yourself. There used to be a day when people thought cell phones and pagers were for drug dealers and doctors only. Now, I even see bums with cell phones.
An obvious item that you will need are start up funds. The most common entry level into the marijuana industry is the half ounce. It breaks into 4 eighths, or 8 dubs depending on where you’re at, and so flipping the first 3/4ths of it usually results in a free eighth as the seller. One lesson that every successful dealer learns early is that ‘the larger the bank roll, the better it is for business.’ The more you can buy, the cheaper it is, the longer you can sit on it, the longer you can float it out, and therefore, the easier it is to do business. One of my dealers would always refer to his enterprise as a machine, and that money was lube for that machine. Makes sense.
Of course, if you have a really good friend that is in the hustle, they might be willing to ‘float’ you some product on credit. I would personally advise against this if at all possible. You never know how people are going to be until you actually owe them the money — will they be understanding, harassing, ball busting…you never know until it actually comes time. I have begrudgingly taken floats in the past from people that said ‘no problem,’ just to have them calling me for the money the same day with some chaotic excuse. I like to be the guy that buys my herb straight up, and I think it would be optimal if everyone out there did the same on the seller end. You can never predict when shit will hit the fan, and the more people you owe at the time, the lamer it is.
You will also need baggies. If you are successful, then you will need lots of baggies. Back in the day Glad made the sweetest fold top bags. They were strong, weighed 1.4 grams exactly, and they were the best. They must have discontinued them because I don’t see them anymore. In fact, I barely see any fold top bags anymore. They are always the ‘push seal’ kind. I don’t the sandwich industry knew about the transition, but I guarantee stoners across America did! I remember one guy that had a bunch of Christmas themed sandwich bags, to where he didn’t use them all in the holiday season. It would be mid July and I’d be getting my herb in a Frosty the Snowman baggie. Classic.
Finding Customers is the backbone of your business. You can have all the hooks in the world, and a huge stack of funds, etc, but if you don’t have people physically purchasing from you on a regular basis, you are going to slowly deplete your funds. I knew so many people in Oregon that ran into a huge stack of cash (usually an inheritance), went balls out and bought a huge pile of reefer, then realized they had no one to sell it to.
How do you find new hook ups? Some things to remember when you are purchasing larger amounts than personal use; never settle for a bad hook up, realize that finding bulk sellers is much harder the higher you go up the chain, and try to get as close to the source as possible. For that last tip, remember that you can buy direct from the grower, but most growers don’t have it all the time. You want to diversify your hook ups, until you find one superb hook up. Then ride the train for all it’s worth! The more loyal you are to that one super hook up, the more loyal they will be in return. I know marijuana dealers that have been going through the same single hook up for well over a decade. If it isn’t broke, why fix it, right?
I previously mentioned that buying a half ounce and breaking it up is the most common entry point to the marijuana industry. However, there are rare occasions that might result in selling more than that. This can be due to your place in society for instance. This is common when you are from the West Coast. You might have never sold before, but you have a friend move back East. Inevitably, they want some of the West Coast Chronic because there isn’t any where they live now. So you start running bulk orders. This is a good point to discuss selling style — Bulk vs. Breaking it Down.
The fastest way to make money selling marijuana is to sell it in bulk. If you know someone that wants pounds, and you can make hundreds of dollars off of each pound, well it doesn’t take a genius to figure out you can make a killing in just one run. When you sell in bulk, you make more money in that one transaction. However, with the increased profits, there is also an increased risk. The higher the possession amount, the higher the penalty. Another problem with buying in bulk is availability. Say you buy a quarter pound at a time, and finding four different ounces on the regular is fairly easy to do. Now, say that you are trying to buy five pounds, like you usually do. If your main guy is out, then you are pretty much out too. The last thing that you want to do is go out into the unknown and try to get it from a new, random source. That’s how people get jacked or busted!
Now, compare selling in bulk with selling it by breaking it down. Finding a 3000 dollar pound is easy on the West Coast, and if you can break that down into eighths and half ounces, you make a ton of money. In the aggregate, you make far more money off of that pound than had you sold it in bulk. Also, you have the added benefit of not having as much on you. When you are going to deliver an eighth or half ounce, you are under the limit in most jurisdictions for trafficking. However, there is an increased risk due to the fact that you have increased exposure on the streets. When you sell in bulk, you are selling to one or two people, doing one transaction ‘every so often.’ When you sell it by breaking it down, you are completing dozens, if not hundreds of transactions in order to get rid of the weight, and meeting people all of the time. A benefit, however, is that when you buy it in smaller increments, it is easier to find. I know 100 people at any given time that have an ounce to sell. However, I only know a few people that can get huge bags of it on a moments notice…I know people that are firm believers in both styles of marijuana sales, bulk or breaking it down, and clearly there are benefits and drawbacks to both.
Setting a selling price is crucial to your business, and it can vary from customer to customer. Let’s face it; some people are savvier than others. You should never rip anyone off, but realize that there are some rookies that will pay more than veterans. There’s a famous quote that I always tell people, ‘You can sheer a sheep many times, but you can only skin them once.’ Meaning, sure you can make a bunch of money off a person in one transaction, but you can make far more in the long run if you give them a decent deal, and they give you all of their business and keep coming back to buy more. Selling marijuana in this regard is like any other thing in economics — find the price where supply meets demand and you will do good business. Click here for a great article about marijuana prices.
One thing that you will run into (guaranteed) when you start selling is the ‘buddy hook up.’ Whether it’s your best friend, or your relative, or even your spouse, you will run into times that they want the hook up, and since they know you so well, they want a deal. When you encounter this, you have to handle it with care. Remember — FELONIES ARE NOT FOR FREE. You shouldn’t be hooking people up for free, not even your inner circle. There is a lot of risk involved, so make sure that you are compensated accordingly. By no means am I saying that you need to tax the S out of your buddies, but make sure that they at least smoke you out or hook you up with a sandwich or something. And if it’s a reoccurring thing, found some equal ground. Explain to them that you want to make it work for everyone, so ‘let’s figure out a price that will make everyone happy.’ Remember, a happy customer and a happy seller will do business forever; it’s when the deal gets shifted in favor of either side that people usually look for other hooks/customers.
Another thing that you will run into is the ‘harassing customer.’ Anyone who has sold knows this guy — he calls every 2 minutes, sends texts every minute, and has even been known to show up unannounced in person. These types of customers can break the will of even the most seasoned veteran. I understand that people have to sell to these customers out of necessity, but if you can, avoid these people at all costs. My friend’s mom put it best, ‘They want what you have. If they need it so bad, they will wait for your time to free up. If not, than clearly they didn’t need it so badly.’ Find a good balance of customers that are mellow, and appreciate your services.
Karma is a big force in the marijuana industry. If you are a jacker or welcher, then chances are people won’t deal with you. If you are straight up, and play by the unspoken rules, people will clamor for your business. There are a lot of growers and bulk sellers out there, and they are always looking for solid customers to join their team.
You will know that you have become a successful marijuana salesman when you have gotten past ‘the hump.’ This is a term that my friend and I used when we were growing up. The general evolution for a marijuana seller is typically as follows: you start out just wanting free weed. ‘If I could just smoke my brains out for free, I would be happy’ is what you tell yourself. Then there comes a point where you are making so much profit, and hooking up so often, that you couldn’t smoke all your profit even if you tried (which chances are, you have tried hard!). That, my friends, is ‘the hump’ that I am referring to. Once a seller crosses this point in their career, they will probably last awhile and always hustle in some form, or at least try to.
Finally, here are a few things that you DON’T NEED if you are trying to become a successful marijuana dealer:
Random, Useless Possessions — I understand that running into a new stack of cash is exciting, but blowing all of your profit on stuff is a bad idea for several reasons. First, like I previously discussed, cash is a high commodity in the hustle. The more money you have, the more you can buy, etc. If you blow all of your bank roll on a new car or whatever, you won’t be able to continue making money like you have been (not to mention it brings attention when you are constantly spending money, yet work at a fast food place or have no job).
Guns — Law enforcement looks at marijuana and guns as the worst combination (not sure why), so if you can avoid having a gun where you do business, that is a good idea. Plus, if you feel the need to carry a gun around because you sell marijuana, than you are obviously dealing with the wrong crowd of customers!
High Profile — The expression ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ is a common phrase uttered amongst marijuana dealers. Yes, you are making a lot of money selling marijuana, and yes, many people think that is cool…However, sitting in a jail cell, or getting a jacker’s gun pointed at your face is not cool, and should be avoided at all costs. The best way to ensure this is maintaining a low profile. Know when to have fun, and know when to be conservative. DRUG HABITS AND ALCOHOLISM ARE A PLAGUE, AND WILL RUIN YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE QUICKNESS!!
I encourage others to add tricks and tips to this article in the comments section. Look for the second installment of this series — ‘How to Be a Marijuana Dealer — Growing Your Business’ in the upcoming days…