When a new smoke shop opens in town, people sometimes drive by a few times before they seriously consider going in. While smoking is pretty well known, smoke shops still seem a bit mysterious to those who are not used to them. Learning the answers to common questions about smoke shops can help you better understand what this new business has to offer, and then decide whether you should pay a visit.
Are smoke shops legal?
As long as they hold the proper licenses and permits, they certainly are. In most states, smoke shops need to hold a tobacco sales certificate from either the state, the county, or both. They must also have all of the relevant business permits, as any other business would. Although there is some stigma associated with smoking, it is legal for adults — those over the age of 18 or 21, depending on the state — and properly licensed businesses selling smoking products are well within the law.
Do smoke shops sell cannabis?
In most cases, the answer is no. The term smoke shop has long referred to businesses that sell tobacco products, and sometimes also the gear and supplies needed to smoke tobacco. Cannabis has only been legalized for recreational use in some states, and it is regulated under a different set of laws than tobacco. So a store with a license to sell tobacco cannot sell cannabis unless they also go through the process of getting a cannabis sales permit. Unless the smoke shop heavily advertises that they also sell marijuana products, you can assume they do not.
Why are the windows dark?
If you notice tinted or dark windows when you drive by the smoke shop, don't be alarmed. In some areas, this is required in order for the smoke shop to be licensed. It is meant to deter underage people from looking in the windows, and it's also meant to help prevent theft. Even if darker windows are not required, some smoke shop windows might opt to tint their windows for loss prevention purposes. Tobacco products are small and relatively expensive for their size, which makes them a commonly thieved item. Therefore, security is a top concern for most smoke shop owners.
Now that you understand a little more about what a smoke shop is and why they operate the way you do, stop by a smoke shop in your town. It's bound to be a memorable experience, especially if you're a smoker yourself.