In the US, medical marijuana has been legalized in 30 states, and in 10 states, recreational use is allowed. Since the use of cannabis for medical reasons is how approved, it is obvious that patients and people seeking the benefits will have to buy marijuana from the right sources. A dispensary is basically a store that sells marijuana for medical needs in a legal setting. Note that all marijuana dispensaries are regulated by the state and sell all kinds of products, right from cannabis for smoking to edibles and snacks. If this is your first time in dispensary, it is more than important to know the basics about buying medical marijuana. Here are some quick facts for help.
About visiting a dispensary
All dispensaries sell marijuana products and accessories. Generally speaking, you need to be 18 years of age or above to visit a dispensary. You will be surprised to know that a dispensary almost looks like the office of a doctor, where you may have to wait for a bit in the waiting room before you have budtenders who will help in deciding on the products that can be used. Budtenders are basically trained professionals, who guide patients in choosing products. Keep in mind, that is a wide range of cannabis strains in the market, all of which can be recommended for medical purposes.
Is medical marijuana different?
Before you visit a cannabis dispensary, note that medical marijuana is the same as recreational marijuana. To be more precise, the strains and products come from the same sources. That said, if you are buying cannabis for medical reasons, you have to visit a cannabis dispensary. It is also important to have a valid prescription for cannabis use, which will be checked at the dispensary before you buy the products.
Tips for visiting a cannabis dispensary
- Choose a good dispensary. It is more than pertinent that you select a good cannabis dispensary for buying your supply. Just like you would have to behave and be polite at any store, a dispensary is no different. Keep in mind that you will need cannabis on a regular basis, so if you behave well with the staff, you are likely to get better and more personal assistance for shopping.
- Follow the basic norms. All cannabis dispensaries require patients and buyers to have their ID along, which will be checked right when you enter the store. Also, it is necessary that you don’t disturb others. A lot of patients visiting a cannabis dispensary often have serious health issues, and often, buying products is almost an immediate need. You may want to be careful about not invading and disturbing someone’s privacy. Staff members are usually busy at these stores, so wait for your turn.
- Do take cash along. Please note that many cannabis dispensaries still don’t accept cards, so you may want to get cash along, especially if you are new to a store. Budtenders don’t always expect to get a tip, but that’s what most people like to do when they get the help they needed.
- Behave well. At a dispensary, you are expected not to use your phone, and many of these places enforce the rules quite seriously. If you need to call someone, just step out. Also, clicking photos and taking pictures is strictly prohibited in cannabis dispensaries.
- Asking questions is not a bad idea. Unless you are at a busy place where people are waiting in line, it is absolutely fine to ask questions. Many patients have little or no clue about the range of cannabis products that are available in the market, and if you are one of them, make sure to talk to the budtender for details. Most places have experienced professionals, who will guide you on how to select products. For example, when you want to get edibles, they can tell you on dosage and the portion that’s recommended for one serving for medical benefits.
- Remember there are no under-table discounts. Yes, you read that right. Every cannabis dispensary is closely regulated for the products and quantities they sell, and therefore, don’t expect the budtenders to give you secret deals and under-table discounts. There is no scope for buying products at a discount, unless and of course, the dispensary is offering a deal. You may get an off on the price now and then, but haggling is not recommended and unlikely to yield any results.
- You cannot have cannabis products at the dispensary. Many people are often confused when they find that the use of cannabis items at such places is prohibited. Basically, consumptions of marijuana at public places is strictly banned, and a cannabis dispensary is a public place at the end of the day.
- Comply with security checks. Dispensaries have security people who check every person who gets in. This is a standard procedure, so don’t feel threatened. Cooperate with the staff members, and the check shouldn’t last for more than a minute.
How to choose a cannabis dispensary?
If you have been suggested by your doctor to use marijuana for medical reasons, it is obvious that you need to find a cannabis dispensary from where you can get the supplies. Below is a guide on how you can select a store, especially if this is your first attempt at buying medical marijuana.
- Location and products. Please note that you need to be at least 18 years of age to visit a cannabis dispensary, and in some states, the minimum age limit is 21. As obvious as it may sound, the location of the store is important, and you want to know if they store all kinds of cannabis products, including different strains, edibles and other accessories required to smoke marijuana.
- Helpful budtenders. Most buyers don’t know much about strains or the products they should buy at a store, which is why a cannabis dispensary should have trained and experienced budtenders. Budtenders know what products are on sale, and they can offer the right suggestions. Make sure that you visit a cannabis dispensary where budtenders are not in hurry. As mentioned earlier, you can always tip these professionals for the help, especially if you intend to be a frequenting visitor.
- Check what strains they have. Known dispensaries, such as Mission Organic Center, have a range of quality strains that are sold extensively for the high and medical benefits. Make sure that you check the range on your visit, so that you can take a call for next purchase. Also, just because you have visited cannabis dispensary doesn’t mean you have to place a big order. Check the kind of help they offer and if the store has popular strains.
- Don’t miss the reviews. Just like you would check reviews online to find more on local services, cannabis dispensaries are no different. Check on Google as what other customers and patients are saying about a particular store.
- Check the website of the cannabis dispensary. Most of the reputed cannabis stores now have official websites, where you can check their products, find more on strains and can even place an order online. It is wise to have a fair idea of what to expect at a cannabis dispensary before you step in and seek personal assistance.
Other things to know
It should be noted that dispensaries are not allowed to sell medical marijuana to every visitor. In most states, you need to have a prescription. The cost of medical cannabis is not as high as recreational cannabis, mainly because the taxes to be paid are much lower. We talked a bit on how the location of the cannabis dispensary is important. While you can buy your supplies from any store, it is best to find an option that’s close by and can be accessed when required. Websites of cannabis dispensaries often have a lot of valuable information that can be handy before making a purchase. While cannabis is known for medical use, it should be used responsibly. Most cannabis dispensaries are regulated for the very purpose, so that patients and people don’t abuse marijuana. With a good store, you not only get the best products, but can be assured that the marijuana has been sourced from the right places. Quality of strains and the source of procurement largely impact the high effect that we associate with marijuana. Paying a tad more for better products and strains, especially for medical purposes is never a bad idea.
If you are visiting cannabis dispensary for the first time, do your homework and ensure that you have at least ten minutes with the budtender for your questions. Always buy from a dispensary that can be relied on, and in case of edibles, always check if the product contains the right dosage. For many people, buying edibles is consuming, simply because they are not sure of how much to have for each serving. The budtenders at cannabis dispensaries can help in understanding these aspects and more, and as long as you behave well, you can be assured of getting adequate support.