Along with everything else in the world, 2020 has seen the cannabis industry turned on its head. Despite legalization in states like California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Illinois, the price of quality weed in both the legal and illicit marijuana markets has skyrocketed. The recent inflation is due to a mix of legalization costs, increased law enforcement pressure on the black market, environmental issues like the recent rash of West Coast wildfires, and run-of-the-mill social media hype. No matter the reason, if you want brand-name, top-shelf bud these days, it is not uncommon—after taxes in California’s legal shops—to pay up to $80 for an eighth from brands like Alien Labs and Your Highness, and sometimes even up to $100 on the black market for an eighth of the same highly sought-after exclusive strains, like Maqui or Shady Apples.

But for the black market cannabis sellers who don’t have access to high-quality weed and the stoners who don’t have the funds to indulge, a new set of deceptions has taken hold to trick buyers and increase profit margins for dealers. Last year’s counterfeit vape cartridge health crisis stopped dominating headlines, but that doesn’t mean that unscrupulous weed dealers have cleaned up their act. Whether you’re shopping for the best bud or just looking for the best price, it pays to stay ahead of the game and know how dealers are cutting corners. 

With that in mind, these are the biggest black market weed scams to look out for and avoid.