What Should You Expect From Your First Dispensary Visit

What Should You Expect From Your First Dispensary Visit?

Maybe cannabis regulations have suddenly changed in your city, and recreational cannabis consumption is legal. Maybe your doctor recommended cannabis as a medical treatment. Then again, maybe you are taking a trip to a place where weed has long been legal, like Washington, and you want to know what to expect when you step inside Seattle dispensaries.

A visit to a dispensary isn’t terribly different from a visit to any other space with regulated substances, like a liquor store or a pharmacy, but if you want to prepare your expectations for the experience, read on to find out how you can make your first dispensary experience a successful one:

What to Bring With You

In truth, every dispensary visit begins at home. You need to prepare for your dispensary trip, regardless of whether you are visiting a retail cannabis store or a medical cannabis pharmacy. Having the right tools on hand will help you and any budtenders you speak to find the right products and make successful purchases without fuss.

If you are buying recreational weed…

You need to bring a photo ID that proves you are aged 21 or older, just as you would need if you were visiting a liquor store. Some dispensaries will check this ID at the door; others will verify your age while you are checking out.

You also need to bring enough cash to cover your purchases. Though financial services for cannabis dispensaries have improved in some states in recent years, many pot shops still struggle with card-based payments. If you want to avoid steep ATM fees, you should pull out some cash before your visit.

If you are buying medical weed…

You also need photo ID and cash when you are visiting a medical dispensary, but you might want to equip yourself with some additional documents to make your trip go smoothly. For one, you will need to bring your valid medical marijuana card. If you do not already have one and live in a state where medical use is legal, like New York, you can apply for a medical marijuana card online and become a state-registered patient. Some states offer reciprocity for MMJ patients, meaning you can access medical cannabis products as an out-of-town visitor, so having your MMJ card with you could be a boon.

Further, you might want to bring some information on your medical condition — specifically, what compounds within cannabis provide you relief. This will help the budtender you speak to suggest the right kind of products for your medical treatment.

What to Look at in the Store

Most cannabis retail experiences nowadays allow you to wander around the store and examine products, just as you would in a bookshop. If this is the case, you should take the time to peruse the dispensary’s offerings to get a sense of what they specialize in.

Most likely, there will be a counter for flower, where different strains are kept in airtight containers and budtenders can measure out different amounts for customers. If possible, you should take the opportunity to inspect and smell some of the strains on offer; if the strains are pungent and look dense, brightly colored and sparkly, the dispensary puts effort into sourcing fresh and high-quality bud.

Meanwhile, there could be shelves filled with other cannabis products, like topicals, edibles, oils and concentrates. You might take note of some of the brands available from the dispensary you visit; if any catch your eye, you can research them online later to better understand their product philosophies and focuses.

What to Ask the Budtenders

Easily the most important resource inside any dispensary is the staff who can explain the difference between blunt vs joint and everything else you can think of. Called budtenders, the employees behind the counter and those wandering the shop are passionate about cannabis and trained to answer any and all questions you might have about their store, the products on offer and cannabis consumption in general. You shouldn’t hesitate to talk to budtenders about any concerns you have, especially if you need advice regarding what you should buy during your visit. Some good questions include:

  • What is a good strain to help with [x health concern]?
  • How do you recommend I dose with [x cannabis product]?
  • Can you tell me about where the dispensary sources its products?
  • Are there any specials or sales for certain products this week?

What to Spend Your Money on

It is common for a first dispensary visit to function more as a scouting mission, allowing you to get familiar with the offerings and layout of the shop before you come back to make purchases. However, if you do want to spend some money during your trip — and you aren’t set on a certain type of product or have specific medical needs — then you should almost always go with a gram or two of flower. Cannabis flower is the most basic way to consume cannabis; you can smoke it in rollies or pipes, vape it (with the right vaporizer), cook it into edibles or even eat it raw. You can learn a lot about a dispensary based on the quality of its flower, and its simplicity makes it a good beginner purchase, too.

Visiting a dispensary should be as easy as spending time in any other kind of store. Now that you know what to expect, you have no reason to put off your first dispensary visit any longer.

Share your love
Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

Articles: 15885

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *