A cannabis shop, cannabis dispensary, or cannabis cooperative is a location at which marijuana is sold for recreational or medical use. In the Netherlands these are called coffeeshops. In the United States they exist as an outlet for both recreational and medical use. These shops differ from head shops in that the latter sells only drug paraphernalia. In 2015, the City of San Diego made A Green Alternative the first licensed medical marijuana dispensary and delivery service in the city.
Cannabis selling coffeeshops began in the 1970s. Establishments like Mellow Yellow coffeeshop were known for open cannabis smoking and dealing. After an explosion of hard drugs authorities began to tolerate soft drugs and legalized cannabis selling in registered coffeeshops.
In certain territories in the United States and Canada, dispensaries distribute cannabis to the general public or in some cases only to approved patients. In Uruguay cannabis dispensaries are built by the government and can sell to the public.
Originally appearing in the United States during Prohibition they sold cannabis as a legal intoxicant. Today they exist in New Zealand, Spain Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria. and Germany.
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