Cannabis Educator April Olshavsky shares her tips on how to make your next dispensary shopping experience perfect.
Q: When I visit the dispensary, I just get overwhelmed; too many items to choose. How can I actually have good dispensary shopping experience?
A: I feel you. I find the shopping part to be the most interesting part; loading up on new customer deals and going on Weedmaps to preuse the latest brands to decide what to try and what to avoid. But once in front of the budtender, the choices seem endless. Unless you’re one of those know-it-all stoners who can recite every cannabis strain, you can get discouraged fast, and you buy the first cheap gram you see. But if there is something that you would really enjoy, it may be overlooked because it’s a drag buying something that you really don’t need. (As in buying a bag full of medicated brownies, let’s not mention that.) But I want to think of dispensary shopping as the ultimate form of diy self-care experience that helps you live your best life and avoid impulsive purchases of products you don’t need. I also spoke with a few dispensary budtenders who shared some words of wisdom:
How to Buy From a Dispensary
Always Bring Your Valid ID
Whether you’re a recreational or a medical patient, you need to show your ID at the check-in counter. It does not matter if you look 89 years old, you will still need to show your valid ID at the door. Notice I said valid ID– don’t even think about trying to use an expired ID.
Bring Plenty of Cash
Cannabis purchases are done with cash. Some dispensaries will have an ATM on site, but it is not a guarantee. Plus, those our-of-network ATM charges can really stack up. You will want to bring a minimum of $20-200 for your first visit.
Shop for Cannabis When You Know How Want to Feel
Visit the dispensary when you know what you want. You may not know the difference between indica, sativa, or dabs, but you probably know how you want to feel. Whether you’re trying to alleviate a medical condition, or just looking to boost your mood, it will help to communicate your needs. A person wanting to ease a sore knee may not need the same product as the dude looking to get his smoke on. But maybe they do. Talk it out with your budtender.
Be Prepared to Wait Your Turn
Buying weed is not the same as buying a bottle of vodka at the liquor store. State regulations are extremely strict on the amount of steps required to complete a purchase. Plus, privacy is your right as a medical marijuana patient. You may be asked to wait in the lobby or in your vehicle until your turn. Depending on the time of day, you may be asked to wait anywhere from one minute to an hour or more on special event days.
Invite the Budtender to Help
Create a non-intimating shopping exchange by building rapport between yourself and the budtender. Think of your budtender as your private investigator. Share with them all the hopes and dreams you have for your cannabis. Like any purveyor of goods, the dispensary agents are there to help you, but they can’t read your mind. The person behind the counter will listen to the customer and immediately begin to ask questions to help guide newbies and connoisseurs alike. The budtender knows the ins and outs of the products and can help match you with the effect you are looking to achieve. There are several questions you may want to consider before visiting a dispensary for the first time. Do you want to avoid the “high” feeling? Are you looking to relieve certain symptoms? Are you aware of the proper dosage for edibles? Knowing how you want to take cannabis is important, too. While shopping at a dispensary, you may encounter any number of items from infused gummies to medicated popcorn, to oil tinctures and concentrates, capsules, and dozens of strains. It is also important to know if you want something to help with sleep, or if you want something to get your through the day. You may not want to start your workday with a CBD Melatonin tincture. Can you guess why? That’s right, CBD, a natural relaxant, when combined with Melatonin, will send you straight to bed and I’m going to guess your boss doesn’t want to pay you to sleep.
Try not to get hung up on stains too much. Over the years, strains have changed from what they were decades ago. Strains today contain high percentages of cannabinoids and can have adverse effects if you are not careful. The quality dispensary agent knows all the important traits of any given product inside the store.
Do Not Get Pressured Into Making a Purchase
Not every dispensary experience is perfect. If you feel nervous, intimidated, or pressured, it is okay to leave. Be nice to the staff, and thank them for their time. There are other dispensaries with different brands, products, and approaches.
Find more dispensary articles from April Olshavsky