First Time at a Dispensary? The Complete Guide

First time you go to a Dispensiary
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The first time you go to a dispensary can be a ride packed with mixed emotions. 

If you are a newbie or a first-timer looking to enjoy the effects of cannabis strains, you have come to the right place, as this blog will comprehensively deal with the expectations and correct protocols for the individuals who are visiting a cannabis dispensary near you for the first time. 

First time visiting a dispensary? Here’s how to prepare.


  • Identify yourself

Before the first time you go to a dispensary, you must identify yourself, whether you wish to consume cannabis recreationally or as a medical patient. To delve deeper, as a medicinal patient, you will be required to have a doctor’s prescription and a medical card, as well as be over the age of 18, and your concerned state must have permitted the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, whereas recreational users must be over the age of 21, and your state must have permitted the use of cannabis or marijuana for the legal public.

  • Right approach

It’s crucial you are aware of your intentions and approach before entering a cannabis dispensary, especially if you’re unfamiliar with cannabis products. Instead of fixating on specific products, focus on the effects you want to feel. Consider whether you want an uplifting or relaxing experience and whether you have any preferred flavors, aromas, or terpenes choices. Keeping these approaches in mind can help you navigate the dispensary more efficiently.
Alternatively, if you do have a specific strain in mind, do some research on its flavors and effects before heading to the dispensary, and it’s vital you keep yourself updated concerning the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.

  • Objective

Before the first time you go to a dispensary, you should get vital information and educate yourself on a wide array of cannabis products or at least should know the basics of marijuana with reference to its types, flavors, and so on.
Furthermore, first-time dispensary visitors also need to identify which products and consumption techniques may be suited to their requirements and tastes. It’s critical to go into the appointment with an open mind and a readiness to learn from the dispensary personnel. 

  • Cannabis laws and regulations in your state

The legality of cannabis is one of the most fundamental topics which you should be thoroughly aware of before you enter any dispensary in any state.
As a first-time legal recreational user (above the age of 21) you need to understand that cannabis usage for recreational purposes is a legal matter and state or country holds precedence over this matter. Countries that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes are as follows: 

  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • 21 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States Australian Capital Territory in Australia

Another crucial thing to be aware of before the first time you go to a dispensary is that transporting cannabis across state boundaries is unlawful both by land and by air. To put it another way, don’t travel across the state with marijuana in your vehicle, and don’t try to smuggle marijuana aboard an aeroplane. 

  • Carry a proper ID

As mentioned earlier, being of appropriate age is vital before you enter any cannabis dispensary, and proving that requires you to carry a government or state-issued ID card, where your name, photo, and DOB are explicitly mentioned. One of the best proof of identity is your valid state-issued driver’s license or identification card, however, the unavailability of a driver’s license can be compensated with other IDs like:

  • Passport book
  • Active military valid ID (with picture and birthdate)
  • Native-American tribe card (if applicable)
  • Passport card
  • Temporary driver’s license paperwork with voided driver’s license

Even, if you are visiting a legal cannabis dispensary for the first time in a state that isn’t the one you were born and brought up in or got your license in, you can still use the above IDs.

  • Source of payment

This is more of a common sense issue since whenever you go out with the aim of purchasing or obtaining something, you must have cash, a credit/debit card, or the option of online payment with you. Similarly, before visiting a cannabis dispensary, it is critical to have a source of payment, since it will only enable or confirm your purchase.

Inside the dispensary

In the previous section, we discussed things to remember before entering the dispensary, now it’s time we talk about what to expect or what to do the first time you go to a dispensary.

  • Entering the dispensary

Given the store’s occupancy and the present crowd, you may be requested to wait in the waiting room. You may be asked to fall in line in some cases when there is no waiting room.

  • Carry State or Government-authorized ID

Carrying proper ID is vital for your smooth dispensary visit. Every dispensary will ask you to produce it before entering the salesroom. Once it’s been verified and approved then only you will be allowed to enter the salesroom.

  • Approaching the staff: 

For the first-times, being overwhelmed after seeing the plethora of cannabis products and categories is normal. To make things comforting and convenient for you, it’s better you approach the staff or budtenders.
They will most likely ask what kind of experience you want and what mode of ingestion you prefer.
No need to fret, in terms of seeking clarification or asking follow-up questions, ultimately they are there to help you. However, at peak hours you may find the budtender’s response to be quick and short, given the large crowd they need to attend.

  • Deciding on the purchase: 

What to buy and what not to buy, this is the most important question. It will often linger over your mind the first time you go to a dispensary. Among the vast cannabis product categories of flowers, topicals, tinctures, vape cartridges, edibles, CBD oil, and so on, you might fluster but do not worry as a first-time user just focus on flowers, concentrates, edibles, and vapes, and ask the budtenders about its recommended dosage for a newbie.

  • Billing: 

Once you decide the product, then all you need to do is make the final purchase at the billing counter where once again you will be asked to show your ID. After paying through the appropriate mode, the budtender will bag your items and generate the receipt for you. For all the hard work put in by the budtender, you may want to tip him or her, but it’s entirely up to you.

We believe after going through this blog you will be confident enough to take your first step towards visiting your nearby cannabis dispensary and making the purchase for the first time for your favorite cannabis products.

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