At the price you will pay in marijuana dispensaries, you want quality assurance. The legislation enabling sales of adult-use marijuana is intended to assure customers a thorough quality check from seed to sale.
Quality monitoring seeks to guarantee good product and to prevent the criminal dilution and toxic additives that is killing customers. The idea means to give the authorized dispensaries a competitive edge over the black-market dealers.
This appears to be working in Colorado, but as stores spread, scammers may test the logic and administration with all sorts of schemes. So, you’ll want to know that your dispensary is in line.
7 things you want to see in your marijuana dispensary that indicate quality.
1. Appearance: Your experience begins with location and appearance. Marijuana dispensary owners wanting to do the right thing will seek to open in profitable locations. But, local zoning ordinances, to protect children and special interests, can box the owners out of the most desirable spaces. So, if you feel uncomfortable and insecure shopping in certain parts of town, look for a better option.
Without competition, existing dispensaries have been designed to be inconspicuous and non-description. They often present themselves with green exteriors and covered windows. While it’s a step up from meeting your dealer at the dumpster behind a local fast food restaurant, it’s not a pleasant customer experience.
But, quality ownership is competing by creating welcoming physical environments, interiors that welcome and invite customers. Interiors are nicely lit; products are neatly displayed; and, furniture and fixtures are clean and comfortable. The plan is to present an image of professionalism, quality, and customer service.
2. Clientele: If you watch the customers come and go, you’ll notice what “kind” of people shop there. If you don’t feel comfortable with that profile, you may not be comfortable with the product. Assuming you’re not one of “them,” you will not like waiting in line with stoners smoking on the premises.
This presents three problems. First, you can’t trust the owners if they are not following the mandated rules on process and security. Second, such careless behaviors reveal other weaknesses in the business, enough to make you doubt its concern with quality control. If it’s making sketchy and scaley customers welcome, it’s not worried about their complaining about product. And, third, a slow traffic store warns you that something is not wrong; either product or operation drives away the business that turns the inventory.
3. Budtenders: You want serious advice and support from your budtender. If the budtender is high, disinterested, uncooperative, or uninformed, the product is not worth the price. Serious owners put a lot of effort into recruiting budtenders who are seriously committed to customer service.
They will provide uniforms, train thoroughly, conduct background checks, and pay them well. Budtenders should know the available products well enough to describe their effects and side-effects. They should advise appropriately to the customer’s level of experience, interests, and possible medical marijuana solutions.
It helps if they are local and reflect local values. For example, stores with rustic or hippie traditions might hire budtenders comfortable with those values. Otherwise, customers need to feel confidence in their budtenders’ appearance and advice.
4. Display: State regs have a lot to say about the display of items. You cannot handle and root among the flowers. They regulate labeling and packaging. So, you want to see the rules being followed. Labeling and packaging are important quality and safety issues, and flaws in the display may suggest other system failures.
Quality stores also coordinate the display with their interior design. So, look for clean jars, display cases, and sanitary standards in handling and processing the sale. Menus should meet regulations and contain enough clear information to help smart buying decisions.
5. Honesty: Smart shopping is the customer’s job. You need to do the necessary research to find what you need and what you are willing to pay. But, if the store does not behave as described on its website or in its literature, you may have a problem.
Quality marijuana dispensaries will honor their advertised deals, discounts, and prices. They must honor the weights and packaging requirements. They should be able to demonstrate the seed-to-sale tracking. And, if the store is offering mid-grade as well as top grade, it should disclose and display accordingly. And, you’ll learn by experience if your budtender offers advice you can trust.
You should press the budtender about aroma, flaking, and other concerns you see in the product or have experienced in the past. If you’re new to the system, you may be wrong, and the budtender can explain. If you’ve been using for a while and have a problem with product, you should bring it to their attention.
Remember, security is your friend. Dispensaries run you through an identity check as required by law. It’s nothing personal; they must document that you are of age or have the mandated medical identification.
But, the process and cameras are there for other reasons, too. Dispensaries are cash only businesses, so common sense and liability insurance demands the camera coverage. They also discourage other violations like smoking in the store or on the premises. They provide a deterrent to crime and criminals. Less obviously, the security is a sign of the owners’ commitment to a quality operation.
In short, if the store is operating with above average concern for product and customer, you can see it. If they have quality product and customer, people will keep it busy, drive demand, and reinforce good practices. As owners learn that quality pays, it will drive them to best practices across the board.
In a supply and demand economy, the customer rules, so you’ll get quality when you demand it. So, choose the marijuana dispensary that means quality to you. Let them know what you like and don’t like. And, spread the word!