Legal cannabis is still fairly new here in the US, and often people don’t know what to expect during their first dispensary visit. Visiting a dispensary for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re also new to using cannabis. But if you feel intimidated at the thought of visiting a dispensary, we’re here to help! Below, we’ll be sharing our top tips on how to prepare for your first dispensary visit. We’ll talk about things you should remember to bring, what you may want to think about before your visit, and what you can expect to see when you visit a dispensary.
What Should You Bring to a Dispensary?
Always Bring Your ID
You’ll always need one thing when you visit a dispensary: your ID. Every dispensary (whether they sell medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or both) will ask to see your ID when you arrive. So, remember to always bring a valid government-issued form of ID (such as a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card) to the dispensary or you won’t be able to shop. Additionally, if you’re a medical marijuana patient, you’ll also want to remember to bring your medical marijuana card.
Know That You May Need to Bring Cash
If you’ve never been to a dispensary, you may not know that many dispensaries are cash only. While some dispensaries accept credit or debit cards, many (if not most) do not. So be sure to check whether or not a dispensary is a cash-only before you visit so you can come prepared with cash if necessary.
How Do You Prepare For Your First Dispensary Visit?
Think About Your Goals Before Going to a Dispensary
Before you visit a dispensary, we recommend that you consider what you want from the products you purchase. Do you want to buy something that will help you chill out? Or maybe something that could be energizing? Do you want to buy something specific or perhaps get a recommendation for a new strain? The employees at a dispensary should always be able to give you a product recommendation (so don’t feel worried about that if you’re new to marijuana!). But if you understand what type of effect you’re looking for, they’ll be able to guide you to the right product for you much more easily.
Do Some Research Before Your First Trip to a Dispensary
As we mentioned in our last section, a dispensary employee should always be able to help guide you toward a great cannabis product, regardless of your experience level. However, if you’re completely new to cannabis, doing a bit of research before your visit may help you feel more confident and comfortable during your first dispensary visit. Getting familiar with common cannabis terms and products can help you feel more prepared as you ask a staff member for cannabis product recommendations.
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more about it, check out the Knowledgebase section of our website. Our Knowledgebase guide is full of helpful information that can help you understand everything you need to know about the cannabis plant! There, you can learn all about the different types of marijuana products, like a flower, vapes, concentrates, tinctures, and edibles. You can also learn about the different types of marijuana strains so you can understand whether a Sativa, Indica, or hybrid strain may be right for you. Then, you can also get some more in-depth information and learn about things like terpenes, cannabinoids, flavors, effects, THC, CBD, and more!
Think About The Level of Assistance You Want During Your First Visit
Another thing to consider before you visit a dispensary is what level of assistance you want. Some people who are new to marijuana might want a lot of help finding the right type of cannabis product for them. Or, long-time marijuana users might want assistance finding an exciting new product or a different strain. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people may just want to have a “get in and get out” type of experience at a dispensary. They may already know exactly what type of product they want and they just want to purchase it and move on with their day.
Regardless of the type of experience you want at a dispensary, it’s a good idea to think about the experience you want in advance. Then, if you know you want more assistance, you’ll be prepared to let a dispensary employee know that you would like more guidance or information during your visit. Or if you know you want to have a quick experience, you can prepare for your visit by picking out your product before you head to the dispensary. (Note: At Essence, you can also make a pickup order for faster service at one of our dispensaries.)
Check Store Availability
If you’re looking to buy a specific strain or product, check your local dispensary’s availability before you visit. Most dispensaries will have an online menu that can help you plan your visit. If you’d like to see what we have in stock here at Essence, visit our Shop page and browse our inventory by dispensary location.
Know Your Local Laws
Before you visit a dispensary, make sure you understand your local cannabis laws. Every state has different cannabis laws surrounding purchase, possession, and use. These laws may differ for medical vs. recreational use and your state may also have different laws surrounding industrial hemp CBD products (which have little to no THC). It’s important that you understand all of your state’s local cannabis laws if you’ll be buying cannabis so you’ll feel confident when you visit a dispensary. For example, you’ll feel more prepared when you visit a dispensary if you know how much marijuana you can purchase at any one time in your state.
What is it Like at a Cannabis Dispensary?
Expect To See Security
First-time visitors are sometimes surprised when they walk in and see security guards, cameras, and/or protected entrances at a dispensary. But this is normal and completely standard, so don’t feel intimidated if you see security when you visit a dispensary. Security measures are simply there to keep both employees and customers protected. So if you see security at a dispensary, just relax, be respectful of any security guards, and enjoy your visit.
Be Prepared to Wait
Waiting to be served is very common at dispensaries, especially at many medical marijuana dispensaries. In many states, medical cannabis dispensaries are required to serve only one patient at a time. So be prepared to wait a bit to be served, especially if you’re visiting a medical marijuana dispensary.
You Can Always Ask Questions
Dispensary staff members are there to assist you, so you should always feel comfortable asking them questions. No question is too big or too small, too simple or too complex, so ask away!
First-time dispensary visitors often wonder if there’s any specific etiquette they need to follow when visiting a dispensary. While we would say that every dispensary is different, there are a few things you can generally always do to be courteous at a dispensary. For example, it’s polite to give your fellow patrons a bit of space when they order to respect their privacy. It’s also polite to avoid talking on the phone while you’re at a dispensary since it can be distracting to your fellow patrons.
In addition to these general etiquette considerations, the specific dispensary you visit may have its own rules. For example, many dispensaries don’t allow photography inside their locations. When you visit a dispensary, just be mindful that a dispensary is not exactly like a standard retail store. Dispensaries may have rules you need to follow in order to shop there. So if you see any posted rules at a dispensary, be respectful of the store and be sure you follow them.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Purchase
Our last tip is to remember that you’re not obligated to make a purchase just because you visited a dispensary. If you feel unsure about making a purchase for whatever reason, know that you don’t have to. Marijuana is something you generally can’t return, so it’s best to make sure you actually want a cannabis product before you purchase it. And you don’t need to buy something just because an employee recommended it. If you need a little more time to think about buying a product, feel free to take it.
Visit Essence Dispensary
There you have it: all our top tips on preparing for your first dispensary visit! We hope that these tips will help you feel comfortable, prepared, and excited when you visit a dispensary for the first time.
If you’re in the Nevada area, know that the employees at Essence Dispensary are always happy to guide first-time cannabis shoppers through the dispensary experience. If you’re a first-timer, let one of our employees know. They’ll be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. To find the Essence location that’s nearest to you, click here. To learn more about shopping at Essence, click here.