by Cassidy Rush
12 July 2021
Heading to a marijuana dispensary? Here’s what you need to know before, during, and after your visit.
Get in the right frame of mind
The most important thing to do before your visit is to get in the right mindset.
The truth is, many people initially shy away from a dispensary visit because of the perceived stigma attached to it. But visiting and purchasing from a legal marijuana dispensary is your legal right, and the process can be easily comparable to a visit to a liquor store (more on that later).
The bottom line? Feel confident knowing what you’re about to do is extremely legal, and you’ll also be supporting a small business in your community.
Have a cannabis goal
If it’s your first time at a dispensary, you may not know exactly what cannabis products you want to buy, and that’s okay.
Instead of focusing on products you want, we suggest thinking about the effects you’d like to feel (or not feel). It’s also helpful to think about flavors and smells you like (and dislike). For example, if you like the flavor and aroma of grapefruit but don’t want to feel sleepy, your goal may be to find a product with energizing effects that tastes like grapefruit. Keep this goal in mind as you make your way to the dispensary. On the flip side, if you do have a strain in mind, find it on Leafly to learn about its specific flavors and effects.
Bring your ID and cash
This is a pretty easy one to get right. The hard and fast rule at virtually any dispensary is that valid proof of identification is required before you can enter, and you have to be at least 21 years old. The best proof of identity to use is a valid state-issued driver’s license or identification card. Credit cards and other non-cash forms of payment are not accepted at most dispensaries. Cannabis is a cash-only economy.
Note that cannabis products have a vast range of pricing depending on what you buy. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $30 to $150 on your first purchase. If you forgot cash or come up short, many dispensaries have ATM’s located inside, although you will likely have to pay an additional ATM fee on top of your cash withdrawal.
When you’re at the dispensary
Expect a line, wait for a budtender
Depending on the size of the dispensary, you may need to prepare yourself to wait in line either inside or outside. This means checking the weather before you head out so you aren’t left standing in the cold. Dispensary lines tend to move quickly, you can avoid waiting by visiting during non-rush hours in the early morning or late evening. You can also ask people working at the dispensary when their busy hours are.
The reason for the line is simple: Many dispensaries operate on a one-to-one budtender-to-customer basis. You may be asked to wait until a budtender is available, then step forward and browse the store’s selection with the budtender’s help.
Take your time
People often feel like they need to rush when it’s their turn at the dispensary counter. Even if there is a line of people waiting behind you, don’t stress. Take your time. Chat with the budtender and ask questions about cannabis products. Your budtender will work with you to find the best products for you based on your budget, needs, and wants. Pro Tip: Many dispensaries provide discounts for first-time customers, so make sure to ask your budtender if that’s available.
Paying: taxes, ID, cash
Cannabis is a cash-only business, due to federal banking laws. Your budtender may ask to check your ID one more time prior to your purchase. This is normal. Legal cannabis dispensaries take compliance with age limits very seriously. Your final bill may add up to more than you estimated due to state and local taxes, which tend to be extraordinarily high on cannabis products.
Tip your budtender
While budtenders don’t solely work for tips, they are highly encouraged. When determining how much to tip your budtender, consider the level of customer service as well as the total amount you’re spending on cannabis. For instance, if you spent $25 on cannabis products and your budtender provided you with outstanding customer service, you might consider tipping $5.
The post What to know before you visit a dispensary for the first time appeared first on Leafly.