Is the first trip to a medical marijuana dispensary exciting, surreal, or a bit frightening? For us, the answer was all of the above. It’s definitely an exciting thing to know that you’re getting a viable new health care option, and for those who have long lived with painful health conditions this is reason enough to buckle down and move forward. It’s also a new kind of experience, though, and one that may leave you with some questions or hesitations.
Choosing a Dispensary
Some of those questions will rear their heads long before you actually set foot in a dispensary—questions like, how can you pick the right one? Laws vary state by state, and it’s important to note that some states will actually require you to visit a particular dispensary, which takes all the fun/stress out of picking the right one. Your best bet is to ask your doctor if there is a specific dispensary you need to try, or maybe if there is one that he or she particularly recommends.
If you do get to have your pick of the local dispensaries, the best way to make a decision is really just to check out a couple and see what you like and what you don’t. Dispensaries vary in some key ways, and some factors you might consider include:
- Proximity. If you live in Denver, you’ve as likely as not got several dispensaries fairly close to you, so you really do have your choice. If you’re in Arizona, the dispensaries are a little bit less numerous, so you may be more limited in terms of what’s within driving distance.
- The environment. It’s also important to pick a place you’re comfortable with. You’ll find a few dispensaries that are sort of scary—as in, bulletproof doors and big burly security guards everywhere. Maybe others are friendly, community atmospheres, often with big lounge areas. Some even have classes, like marijuana cooking classes. We really recommend dispensaries that fall into this latter category, as they’re more likely to give you the support system you need.
- Knowledge. Hopefully, the staff at the dispensary is knowledgeable, but this can vary wildly. (We’ll say more about this later.) You should feel like your dispensary is a place where you can ask medical questions and have them satisfactorily answered.
- Quality and variety of medicine. You’ll want to ask your doctor which strain of MMJ is best for you, and find a dispensary that offers it; you’ll also want to pick a place that has a good variety. The knowledge of the staff is usually directly proportional to the sheer diversity of strains on offer.
State Marijuana Dispensary Listings:
Arizona Dispensaries | California Dispensaries | Colorado Dispensaries | Connecticut Dispensaries | Delaware Dispensaries
DC Dispensaries | Maine Dispensaries | Michigan Dispensaries | New Jersey Dispensaries | New Mexico Dispensaries
Oregon Dispensaries | Rhode Island Dispensaries | Vermont Dispensaries | Washington Dispensaries
Approaching the Dispensary
The bottom line: While dispensaries vary in a number of ways, all of them should be places where you can go, feel comfortable, and learn about MMJ use. In particular, you should be able to receive insights into how best to use the product—smoking, eating, vaporizing, or whatever else.
There will, of course, be some security in place, and it is important to be aware of this before going to the dispensary, just so that you’re not taken aback when you get there. When you arrive at the dispensary, there will be a security guard who asks to see your ID card; if you really want to feel prepared you might bring along a second photo ID and your original written recommendation from your doctor, though the ID card should be enough.
Another important thing to note: While different dispensaries have different setups, many will require a cash payment. Some will have ATMs available, of course, but we’d still recommend showing up with cash in hand.
Who Works at the MMJ Dispensary?
Frankly, there’s really no telling what kind of folks you’ll find working at the dispensary, just because there tends to be such a variety. You’ll find some very professional people who are passionate about the health care benefits of MMJ; you’ll probably also find some folks who are more excited to be working around pot than they are to be offering a health care service—and that’s fine. It’s great to just talk to folks and get a feel for where they fit into this small community.
We will offer one word of warning, which is that in most cases the employees are only really going to be knowledgeable about the strains of marijuana they have in their dispensary; rather than recommend what you really need, then, they’re going to recommend whatever it is that they happen to have. That’s why we recommend doing some research before you head to the dispensary.
That’s the last tip we’ll leave you with: It pays to do your homework, and AllBud.com is as good a place as any to do it. We invite you to browse the site and educate yourself on anything and everything you might feel unsure of before you head to the dispensary. You can get a complete listing of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in your and get more details on each on All Bud.