For those in California – and soon in Massachusetts – the first trip to a legal marijuana dispensary is coming soon. With sales beginning in both states this year, residents will join those in places such as Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in being able to buy legal cannabis.
First Dispensary Visit
The first trip can seem a bit strange, especially for those who grew up in an era where marijuana was strictly “black market” only.
Going to a dispensary has many advantages. First and foremost, you can consult with experts on the right strain of marijuana for what you hope to experience. Second, you can have the confidence of knowing that what you are doing is within the law.
A trip to a dispensary is nothing to be anxious about, if you follow a few rules of etiquette. They include the following.
Having access to banking services is still an issue with many dispensaries, as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. Bring enough to buy cannabis and leave a tip for your helpful budtender.
Bring ID Card
You’ll need a state-issued identification card, such as a driver’s license, to both enter the dispensary (a front desk person will check it out) and make a purchase (a budtender typically will check it again). They need to know you are over 21 and that you are who you say you are.
Know What You Want
Research and information about marijuana is available on this site. Have some idea of what type of marijuana you might want to buy, as well as a ballpark figure on the cost. That will help you decide once you are in the dispensary. That saves everyone a lot of time and energy.
Put Phone Away
A dispensary usually has a strict “no photo” policy, so it’s best to leave your cell phone in your pocket or purse. Also, like any other transaction, talking or texting while making a purchase is just rude.
This isn’t a back alley or darkened parking lot where you are negotiating for a little extra marijuana (not that you ever did anything like that, of course). State laws mandate very close monitoring of every ounce of marijuana, which includes tracking it from “seed to sale.” Budtenders can’t suddenly change prices or give you a little extra. They are there to help, not haggle.
Don’t Hang Out
You can’t use marijuana in public yet in any state. You certainly can’t use it at the dispensary. Once your purchase is made, make your way out and leave the area. People hanging around a dispensary are hurting the business and asking for unwanted attention from law enforcement. Take your purchase and go to a private residence, where you can legally use it.
Dispensaries are usually enjoyable places to go. People are friendly and helpful, and there’s no stigma attached to buying cannabis these days. Think of it as sort of like a fine wine store. Behave properly and enjoy this new experience.
Just keep these rules of etiquette in mind and your first trip to the dispensary (and all the ones after) will be a fun and enjoyable experience.