Bring proper identification
Make sure you bring government-issued ID when you visit a recreational cannabis dispensary—you must to prove you’re at least twenty-one years old. Medical marijuana patients should be prepared to present their medical card or doctor’s recommendation.
Know your cannabis basics
DOPE’s Cannabis 101 series is a great resource to answer basic and commonly asked questions regarding cannabis, including its various effects, different forms and numerous benefits.
Many dispensaries have their menu posted online and regularly update their information. You can easily peruse the menu to find out which strains and products are currently in stock, as well as their cost, from the comfort of your home. Planning ahead will help you get in and out of the dispensary quickly and prevent impulse buys—you already know what you’re getting.
Budtenders are generally well-informed and can explain the specific effects of cannabis strains and products; feel free to ask them about the latest products or their preferred strains. Who knows, you might find a new favorite of your own!
Respect peoples’ space, time and privacy
Conversations between customers and budtenders can get personal. It’s likely you will overhear people discussing personal information with budtenders. Making people feel uncomfortable by not giving them space, or becoming impatient as you wait, isn’t cool. That being said, remember to respect your fellow dispensary visitors’ time as well. Being prepared is the best recipe for success.
A majority of dispensaries operate as cash-only businesses. An ATM machine may be available on-site, but if you want to avoid ATM fees, make sure you have some cash on hand before visiting the dispensary.
Budtenders are doing their job. Keep it professional
While you may think budtenders have the coolest job ever—which okay, they might—remember, this is their livelihood and place of business. So no, they can’t give you a discount on your bud, no matter how chill they seem. Keep your interactions with budtenders as professional and polite as possible.
Consuming cannabis on dispensary grounds is strictly prohibited
As excited as you may be to indulge in your first-ever legal cannabis purchase, sparking up a joint or eating an edible on dispensary grounds is prohibited by law and could get yourself and the dispensary in serious trouble.
No returns or exchanges allowed
Dispensaries are not legally allowed to accept cannabis products that have been opened or taken off the premises. All purchases are final.
Ask about reward programs and member specials
Many dispensaries offer incentives to their customers, where they can earn rewards or points every time they visit the dispensary and make a purchase. Ask if your local dispensary offers any memberships, reward programs or mailing lists.
Armed with this knowledge, your first dispensary visit should go off without a hitch. Happy shopping!