Tips for your first visit to a dispensary

Almost everyone on the Internet suffers from some ailment that can legally and legitimately be treated by cannabis. Physicians regularly prescribe marijuana for depression, insomnia and post traumatic stress.

Before You Go: A doctor’s recommendation for the use of medical marijuana! If your doctor thinks that medical marijuana can help you through your illness or ailment, he or she can elect to write you a recommendation. Contrary to popular belief, your pass into a dispensary doesn’t come in card form. It comes in the form of a handy certificate. Once you have your medical marijuana recommendation from a state certified health care provider, you can visit a marijuana dispensary.  Dispensaries are safe and secure places to learn about and obtain high quality.  When you arrive, security personnel at the door will ask that you show the original letter of recommendation from your doctor as well as some form of identification to establish identity and state residency, such as identification card, driver’s license, or passport.  If you have a medical marijuana card, you can show that in lieu of the doctor’s recommendation, but you still need to bring a form of valid ID.  Bringing cash as payment is preferred, although some dispensaries will take other forms of payment or have an ATM machine available.

1. Be prepared

Check out and read reviews of your local dispensaries and retail shops. Shops range in caliber, style, and selection, so read the reviews before making a choice. The highest-rated shops are generally going to have some of the best, most informed employees.


2. Expect to Be Carded

For first timers, you will be asked to fill out a membership registration form and be given an overview of the dispensary policies, hours, and guidelines. At this point, you will most likely be offered a menu that lists dispensary offerings and pricing.  A staff member will help you get acquainted with the dispensary and answer any questions you may have about what is offered on the menu. If you have a medical marijuana recommendation, make sure it’s still valid – most recommendations are good for six months to a year.


3. You may be required to wait

This is fairly standard procedure, especially in the medical market. In many states, regulations require dispensaries to serve only one patient at a time, so you may need to take a seat and wait your turn. This is a great time to check out the dispensary menu and think about what products you’d like.


4. Ask Questions

Everyone is different and has different reactions to different strains. Most people find sativa good for daytime jobs as well as focusing, creativity and depression. Indicas are mainly for sleep, pain and appetite stimulation. Hybrids are more difficult to generalize, because some are Indica dominant and some are Sativa dominant. Technically all strains are hybrids, because all the strains you’ll buy at a dispensary have been crossed with others.

Finding your favorite strain will mostly be a matter of trial and error. Higher CBD strains produce a stronger body high, while high THC strains provide a more psychoactive effect. CBD, cannaboid, produces the sedative effects; you can thank CBD for relief from pain, insomnia and anxiety. Most places won’t label THC or CBD percentages, but the budtender should know which strains are higher in CBD or THC.

Whether you know what you want ahead of time or not, one of the best ways to get your bearings during a dispensary visit is to ask your budtender. The staff at marijuana dispensaries – cannabaristas are very knowledgeable and friendly. Get recommendations on strains they like, or ask for strains that might be best suited for your needs. Let the budtender be your guide. Looking for something to settle your tummy? Ask. Looking for a bright sativa to inspire you to finally deep-clean your house? Ask. There are no stupid questions.

Marijuana leaf in front of a question mark

5. Make sure you have enough cash for your purchase

Bringing cash as payment is preferred. Although more dispensaries and retail shops are offering cashless ATM systems for purchasing, most cannabis shops remain cash only. Before you visit, check to see whether they accept cards or have an ATM onsite.

You don’t need to take their recommendations just to be polite. Let them know what you want, and if they recommend a product you’re not interested in, simply say no thanks.

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*Bonus tips

  1. Don’t use weed euphemisms.
  2. Don’t come in and vent about your whole day. Cannabaristas aren’t counselors.
  3. Don’t try to chat with the budtender while others are waiting for their weed.
  4. Don’t ask for a discount.
  5. Don’t smoke in the parking lot.
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