How Can You Tell If A Medical Cannabis Dispensary Is Good or Bad?

Dispensaries come in all shapes and sizes. What constitutes a “good” dispensary is somewhat subjective and is dependent on the needs of the individual shopper. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when picking out a dispensary. It’s generally the same for medical and recreational use; the strain you select matters more than the place you pick, but some medical dispensaries may have some extra benefits for patients, so that’s worth considering.

Whatever you are into, there is a dispensary whose atmosphere will make you feel right at home. Atmosphere is important because, as a customer, nothing will make you walk out that door faster than an uncomfortable or awkward setting. With all those options comes a new problem: picking just one. To help you find the best dispensary for your specific needs, we’ve outlined a few things to consider to make the decision a bit easier.


Location, location, location. You want your dispensary to be as convenient as possible. Sure there are dispensaries going well out of your way to visit, but overall you will be happier with one that’s conveniently located to your home or work. This way you can stop in and grab products or ask questions whenever you want without any extra hassle.

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You should feel safe when visiting a dispensary. You should feel confident about walking into the shop and returning to your car. Good dispensaries always have security on duty.


… of Product

As with any product, you want to make sure it is good quality before buying. With marijuana it is difficult to know the quality of the strain without trying the product first, so do your research! Is the marijuana fresh, did it deliver the effect or potency you were expecting or what the budtender described? Are the products lab tested and well labeled? Some dispensaries grow and produce their own products and some receive theirs from wholesalers. This means that the quality of cannabis products can differ quite a bit between locations so it is important to understand what you’ll be getting ahead of time.

… of Staff

Unless you are an experienced marijuana user, you may have more than a few questions during your first visit to a dispensary. Even experienced smokers are not always up to date on the newest strains and products.If you’ve got a budtender who is honest, knowledgeable and willing to answer your questions, chances are good that you’ll be happy with the experience in the end. The quality of cannabis can fluctuate based on the grow conditions, and there isn’t a dispensary in the country that allows taste tests (to our knowledge). That means you need someone on the inside. We don’t expect them to be trained doctors, but it would be ideal if the staff knew a thing or two about what conditions cannabis can help treat, as this can help them give more informed advice. The staff should also do all the basics you’d expect of any other retail business, like weighing whatever you’re buying, storing the cannabis in the best way possible, listening to your concerns and offering good customer service.

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Purchasing cannabis should never make you feel uncomfortable. Look for dispensaries with welcoming atmospheres. Stores may come in different styles (clinical, laid back, spa-like, etc.). Find one that you find enjoyable to visit. Whatever you are into, there is a dispensary whose atmosphere will make you feel right at home. Atmosphere is important because, as a customer, nothing will make you walk out that door faster than an uncomfortable or awkward setting.


Cost is one of the most important things that will influence your decision when picking the correct cannabis provider for you. Prices vary wildly, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not. Some dispensaries offer better deals than others and it pays to shop around. Marijuana is no different than any other commodity. So what makes a good deal, then? Most cannabis is priced based on scarcity, yield and flowering time. If it takes three months to flower, the yield is small and it’s the only plant in the entire state, you’re going to pay top dollar no matter what the quality is. That’s why you see some strains becoming super common; they’re generally quick to flower, decently potent and yield enough to make the grow worthwhile. Others fizzle out due to low yields, difficulties while growing or a general lack of usefulness. You need to balance price versus quality and find the balance that makes sense for your needs.

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Marijuana dispensaries should have a wide range of products, especially if advertising for addressing medical concerns. In a good dispensary you should be able to buy not only dried marijuana but also edibles, oils, and accessories such as pipes, grinders, bongs, and papers. All dispensaries should also have a wide selection in strains — sativas, indicas, and hybrid blends. All should be available and stock should be updated regularly. A large array of options also means that your changing mood can be accommodated – one day you might want a hard-hitting indica, the next you may be looking for an inspirational sativa and the following weekend might bring on a craving for concentrate. More choice equals more products to try.

Finding a new dispensary shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun. There are definitely plenty more factors to consider than these. Take your time and sample what the local cannabis community has to offer before making any commitments. Know what you like and know who you are dealing with. Online reviews can be helpful, but as we all know, they can also be gamed. Asking other people what their favorite dispensary or dispensaries are and why can help inform your decisions.

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Keep these things in mind and it will make your final choice in cannabis providers a rewarding one.

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