No two cannabis dispensaries are the same. They come in all different sizes, with lots of different themes, and in many distinct locations. The increasing number of chain stores do have coordinated looks, signage, and interior décor, but they still want to match their market. So far, cannabis dispensaries are local markets.
If you’ve been putting off a visit to a dispensary because you don’t know what to expect or fear of what you may find, it’s not a worry.
10 hot tips to maximize your dispensary experience:
1. Think about your experience. If you’re afraid to shop, and many people are, you probably need some product to reduce your anxiety. But you shouldn’t worry about being a cannabis virgin. The cannabis world has always been a socially friendly world sharing a secret as members have for a long time. Veteran users want to introduce you the pleasures and benefits, so they are not likely to shame you on your first try.
In fact, you should be honest about your experience level. This is not someplace you want to overreach. You’ll find store personnel and customers willing to help and recommend product and accessories.
2. Be prepared to identify yourself. Requirements vary state to state, and some dispensaries take risks they shouldn’t. But you should expect to show official identification as soon as you enter the dispensary. In most places, a state driver’s license, valid passports, or U.S. Military I.D. will be enough. In medical marijuana only states, you will have to show your state issued permit. If you find security lacking, you should leave without going farther. Security is your friend.
Legitimate dispensaries will not admit you without the proper I.D. They will not admit you to enter with children or anyone under 21. Your state’s dispensaries may honor documents from other states or other countries, but you should call ahead to find out what they require. While you are the dispensary, however, you will not be allowed to use a cell phone, text, or take pictures.
3. Plan on waiting. When you enter the dispensary and show your identification, you will be asked to wait. The dispensary itself can only handle so many shoppers at a time. Those shoppers will not be pressed to move on, and the checkout and documentation can take a little time.
At certain times of day like when people are on the way home from work or certain days of the week like those before a weekend or holiday, there will be more customers than usual. So, you might plan on avoiding those rush hours.
4. Know what you want. If you are new to the dispensary experience, you should consider what experience you are after. You might want to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, or depression. You may want to treat other established health conditions from chemotherapy side-effects to MS spasms and more. Or, you might be after a psychoactive euphoric experience or similar trip.
In any case, there is no one size fits all cannabis strain or product. But you’ll find scores of cannabis strain analyses, product experiences, and medical benefits online. And you can master online dispensary reviews to help make your decision. When you narrow dispensaries to just a few for convenience and good reviews, you can explore their website for product information usually classified as a “menu.”
5. Don’t be surprised by a huge inventory. Small dispensaries in rural locations do not have large inventories. Their products tend to be locally sourced and limited by the resources. However, their size allows tighter inventory controls on organic materials that have a relatively short self-life.
Mid-sized dispensaries are often choked with large inventories. You will find cannabis flower behind glass and under security. If you are not certain what you want, you will need the assistance of a budtender to open products and explain their content. If you have the time, that can be a rewarding experience. But the stores walls and racks will be loaded with hundreds of cannabis-derived and cannabis-infused products from lollipops to bongs to t-shirts. On your first visit, you should focus on selecting your cannabis strain and the things you need to use it.
6. Make friends with your budtender. Budtenders are employed to do more than check you in and out. They are encouraged to build customer relationships listening to your wants and needs and answering any question you might have short of lighting a joint for you.
Budtenders may not all be geniuses, but you can expect them to know a strain’s name, ingredient, potency, effects, and side-effects. Some providers label product well enough to help with decisions, but it you are buying your flower straight from the jar, you’ll need the budtender’s input.
7. Carry enough cash to make payment. Dispensaries are pressing their state governments to permit them to do business without cash. But for the time being in most environments, cannabis sales are cash only.
So, when you are reviewing the dispensary’s website be sure to not how they expect you to pay and, then, carry enough cash and more to purchase what you want. You might plan on a specific purchase, but you’ll always be tempted to pick up something else while you are shopping.
8. Join the customer loyalty programs. More dispensaries are adopting retail marketing practices offering customer loyalty and rewards programs as incentives to continue shopping there.
They are offering deals on social media, coupons, and text messages alerts to steals and deals of the week. Some encourage customers to participate in surveys or write reviews online. Any store incentive that saves you money will be appreciated when you consider the price of cannabis product.
9. Decide on a consumption method. You must select a cannabis product consistent with the consumption method. You will experience much different effects from bongs and dabs than you will from smoking pipes or joints. New users should research effects and how consumption method influences the experience.
If, then, you decide to use bongs, dabs, or other concentrates, you will have to buy paraphernalia, too. But if you are a novice smoker, you may want to work up to the more advanced methods.
10. Every purchase is final. You can’t return your purchase, so you need to know what you want. The need to know, however, should not prevent you from researching, making a list of questions, or asking everything you need to know.
It’s about the need to know
Shopping dispensaries is not like hitting Walmart or Dollar General. There is a process and somewhat complicated purchase. You should leverage your personal connections, internet knowledge, and personal wants and needs to shop smart – and have some fun.