Visiting a Marijuana Dispensary

Whether you just received your medical marijuana card, or are visiting a recreational state, visiting a marijuana dispensary for the first time can be an intimidating experience. 

There’s no need to act conspicuously here because it’s legal! But if you’d like for your first marijuana dispensary experience to go as smoothly as possible, here are 7 things you need to know first. 

  1. Research dispensaries in the area

Make sure you read reviews online of all of the dispensaries in your area before you select one to visit. Customer experiences can vary from place to place, so finding one with the most positive reviews is a good start. 

Find out if the dispensary offers both medical and recreational cannabis, or just one or the other. Not knowing this could land you on one side of town and not allowed to go in because you don’t have a medical marijuana card!

You can find a marijuana dispensary near you by checking out this page. Once you’ve found a dispensary, read through reviews and call ahead to make an appointment if you need to.

2. Sometimes there are two entrances

Because there are both medical and recreational dispensaries, depending on what state you live in, one dispensary might have two separate entrances. 

Save yourself the awkward turnaround and follow the signs. If you don’t have a medical marijuana card, don’t go through the medical entrance, as they won’t lead to the same place!

3. Bring cash and your ID 

Interestingly, most marijuana dispensaries only accept cash. Few will accept card payments, and only in rare cases, so it’s best to have enough cash on hand to be able to purchase what you want. 

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If you’re only interested in purchasing a single rolled joint, you’ll only need about $10, but if you want to supply your entire vacation, be prepared to pay a bit more!

Have your ID ready when you walk in. Acceptable forms of identification include driver’s licenses and passports. 

4. Research strains based on the experience you want

You might not be able to pinpoint the exact strain you want to purchase before going into the dispensary, but knowing what kind of experience you want will help your selection tremendously. 

Do you want to feel a body high and relax on the couch? -you might like an indica-dominant strain. Would you prefer feeling more talkative, energetic, and creative? -you might prefer a sativa-dominant strain.

5. Know your preferred consumption method

When you walk into a dispensary, you might be overwhelmed at the various methods of cannabis consumption. That’s why it’s best to know what you’re looking for before walking in. 

Whether you want to smoke cannabis flower, vape concentrates, cook with cannabutter, or purchase store-made edibles, it’ll make the whole process simpler by knowing ahead of time how you plan to consume your cannabis. 

6. Relax and don’t be afraid to ask questions

While it’s helpful to have an idea of what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask your budtender questions. They’re there to help and are likely to know much more about the differences in cannabis strains they have for sale. A little bit of advice can go a long way! 

Budtenders will either be great, or totally sub-par though. You might get someone who treats you as a helpful consultant would, or someone who acts like a burned-out store clerk waiting to clock out. The best approach you can take is to be kind and respectful, and if you’ve done your own homework, the whole process should be smooth either way!

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7. No returns accepted!

One slight downside to purchasing marijuana is the risk associated with it. What if you end up not liking the product at all? Unfortunately, returns are almost never accepted, so take your time in the store to make sure you’ll enjoy what you get. Otherwise, don’t get so much, and you won’t have to worry about it!


Whether you’re on vacation in a recreational state or purchasing medical marijuana for the first time, if you follow these seven tips, your first experience at a dispensary will go off without a hitch!


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