IF YOU READ this column regularly—and bless your heart if you do—I'll go out on a limb and guess you consume cannabis. Let us say that, for myriad reasons, you have failed to obtain or renew your Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card. Which means you are not obtaining your demon weed from your own garden, your grower, or friendly neighborhood dispensary. Horrors! This means that you are using a "dealer." For the time being, it's still illegal to purchase cannabis in Oregon without an OMMP card—but if you are going to do so and break your mother's heart, at least follow these tips to do it right.

Don't Make Up Your Own Code: "Mister Green Jeans," "Trees," "Help me out, man," said in a way that a deaf cop would understand. Talk with your provider to determine what terms they prefer. If they have a system in place, don't deviate. Example: I once knew a provider who asked his clients to refer to increments of weed as "hockey tickets." One quarter ounce = one hockey ticket. A new client was informed of the protocol, and called the next day. After exchanging greetings, the provider asked what he could do for the caller, who said, "Yeah, I wanted to get some... uhh... you know, hockey tickets." Sure, said the provider, how many hockey tickets do you need? "An ounce. I'd like to get an ounce of hockey tickets, please." Click.

Be on Time: You set it up, so you knew this meeting was happening. It's a pretty good guess you even agreed upon a time. Neither "He's never early/he's always late," should apply to you.

Be Prepared: Go to the ATM first, for crying out loud. And this isn't Bitcoin—unless you've been told otherwise, the price should be the same as last time. Give the dealer some notice; maybe he or she has their coat on, ready to meet you as soon as you call... but, you know, probably not.

"Kinda Spendy, Bro." It's wicked that your cousin knows a guy who has mad 'dro that costs less. You should give him a call. But with weed readily available from literally thousands of growers, there are going to be price differences. As with any other food, beverage, or botanical product, there are many mitigating factors: Is it organic, or were chemicals used? Was it grown indoors or outdoors? Factory farmed or hand-tended small crop? Is it a genetically modified strain or an heirloom landrace strain? All of these influence the final price. Your purchase is not a Persian rug, so refrain from haggling.

Next week we'll delve into the process for determining if you are eligible for an OMMP card—and if you are, how to go about acquiring that.