How To Get Wax (and Why It's So Hard)
For the wax-lover in all of us.
Published on February 29, 2016

Even if you live in a place in which cannabis has not yet been legalized, acquiring cannabis is usually pretty easy. Countless numbers of delivery services for dry herbs have popped up throughout the country and law enforcement does not appear very interested in clamping down on them in many urban areas. (There is also the possibility of going to your friendly neighborhood “man” to acquire dry herbs, though delivery services are usually more convenient and reliable.)

Yet for all the ease there is in obtaining dry herbs, other substances, especially wax concentrates, remain difficult to acquire. And even if you are able to somehow get ahold of some wax, the prices can be exorbitantly expensive. So what should a wax-lover do?

Part of the reason behind the difficulty in obtaining wax concentrates lies in how difficult it is for it to be produced. To produce an extract such as wax concentrate, a chemical solvent --such as butane or CO2-- is blasted through the marijuana plant, an act that “purges” the extract. This complicated process is not an undertaking for a regular person, least of all an everyday neighborhood dealer looking to score a few extra bucks.

The wax-making process, aside from being complicated and expensive, is also dangerous. While safer methods have been developed recently, even a minor error during the conventional purging process can trigger a massive explosion, indicating that this is a process best left to professionals.

The production process isn’t the only thing making wax difficult to acquire; differences in state laws are also a major factor. Dry herbs and wax concentrates are still illegal in many parts of the country. This means that wax is only widely available in states with cannabis dispensaries, or where cannabis is legal. Thus, in order for distributors in such cannabis-loving hubs as New York City and Chicago to obtain their supplies of wax, they must have it shipped in from out of state. (While the state of New York has recently opened a number of legal medical cannabis dispensaries, state law stipulates that they are only to be processed and sold in non-smokable forms.) The process of shipping in these products can be risky and expensive: transporting illegal substances across state lines is a federal crime and could result in jail time.

Finally, wax can also be difficult to obtain because it is so darn potent. A typical wax concentrate will often yield more far power than an ordinary batch dry herb. (Caveat: There is continued debate on the true effects of concentrates.) The product’s level of potency thus incentivizes distributors and owners of delivery services to jack up the prices, or for dealers and delivery services to decline to carry it at all, since that level of highness is much more difficult to obtain with traditional dry herbs.

However, if you are still intent on getting your hands on some wax, what is there to do? The best route is through larger delivery services. In places like New York City, these are the services that have so much bud that they can rent out entire warehouses in order to store, and possibly produce, their product. As a result, they can be counted on to produce wax in safe and reliable ways.

The bigger and more reliable delivery services typically use references from current clients to acquire new clients; that way they can weed out the shadier and less-trustworthy clientele. Ask around in your friend group as to who has the proper hookup, and you should be well on your way to finally acquiring that sweet and beautiful wax.

John Winston
John Winston is a New York City-based journalist. He is also a media advisor for
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