Believe it or not, medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and recreational use is legal in 11. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of those states, it’s high time to visit your first dispensary!
Sure, the first trip can feel daunting and it’s normal to be nervous. But you don’t have to be. Just take a deep breath and remember that it’s a lot like going to any other store.
With one difference: you’re buying cannabis instead of clothing or groceries.
Here are a few tips to help you get ready for your first trip to your local marijuana dispensary.
Keep Your ID Handy
Both medical and recreational marijuana are highly regulated. Recreational users have to be over 21 years old to buy cannabis from dispensaries and should always have a government-issued ID handy. Medical users will need a government-issued ID as well as their medical use card before they can buy cannabis.
If you’re not sure what counts as a valid ID, call the dispensary and ask. They’ll let you know what forms of identification they accept.
Just remember that you won’t be able to get inside without your ID. If you forgot it, you’ll need to go back to the dispensary at a later time.
Choose the Right Marijuana Dispensary
Most dispensaries sell both medical marijuana and recreational, but according to this dispensary, some specialize in one or the other. Before you head out the door, make sure you’re going to the right type of dispensary.
If you’re looking for recreational cannabis, choose a dispensary that advertises retail or recreational sales. If you’re looking for medical cannabis and have a valid medical-use card, you’ll want to buy from a dispensary that works with those users.
Buying medical cannabis is often cheaper than recreational marijuana. Paying higher prices isn’t in your best interest if you have a valid medical card.
Think About What You Want
There are hundreds of different strains of marijuana on the market and just as many ways to use them. Before you head to the dispensary for the first time, think about the types of products you want to try.
For example, if you’re not a fan of smoking, you may want to try edibles or a tincture. If you want to relive the 60s, bud and pre-rolled joints are the best choice.
There’s no right answer here. It comes down to personal preference and what you want to get out of the experience.
If you’re still not sure, don’t panic. The budtender behind the counter will be happy to help you find the right products for your needs.
Know It’s a Judgement-Free Zone
Think of the budtender as the expert in all things cannabis. They know the strains they sell, have heard what others think of the products and can help you make a decision. Unfortunately, this can also make first-time shoppers feel a bit intimidated.
Budtenders have seen everything before and you won’t ask a question that they’ll think is stupid. If you’re confused about what each type of strain does, ask. If you’re not sure how to load a bong, tell them.
The more information they have about your knowledge and your concerns, the better advice they’ll be able to give. Remember, they’re not judging you, they’re just trying to get to know your preferences.
Be Ready to Wait
Shopping at dispensaries isn’t like shopping at a grocery store. You can’t walk inside and wander around, browsing cases. You have to wait until a budtender is free.
Depending on the time of day you go in, this could take a while. You need to be willing and ready to wait when you check in at the front desk.
If you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to wait for a free budtender, come back at another time. It’s a first-come-first-served deal, but you can always call ahead and find out what the wait time is like.
You May Want to Use Cash
Marijuana isn’t legal at the national level. This means that some marijuana dispensaries can’t take credit cards or other types of electronic payment. But they all happily take cash.
Before you head to the dispensary of your choice, consider swinging by your bank’s ATM and taking out some money. This way, you’ll avoid paying any ATM fees at the dispensary.
If you’re dead-set on paying with a credit card, consider calling ahead. The last thing you want to do is spend time picking items out only to discover that you can’t pay for them.
Don’t Be Nervous
It’s normal to feel nervous when visiting a dispensary for the first time. After all, marijuana was illegal just a few years ago.
Take a deep breath and remember that shopping at a dispensary is just like buying anything else. You’re free to go in and browse and you should never feel pressured to make a purchase. If you don’t find something you like, go to a different dispensary and keep looking.
Buy Only What You Think You’ll Use
Buying marijuana is exciting, but that doesn’t mean you should try to buy as much cannabis as you can. Instead, buy only the products you think you’ll use in a reasonable amount of time.
Dried marijuana flower won’t go bad, but it will lose its potency if you let it sit for months at a time. This can make it hard to get the results you want.
If you use up what you buy quickly, you can always go back.
Enjoy the Trip to Your First Dispensary
Going to a marijuana dispensary for the first time should be fun. Use these tips to help you get ready for the experience.
Once you’re there, have fun. Look into new products, listen to the budtender’s advice, and enjoy your legally acquired weed at home.
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