Recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries are still very new and, because of this, we know that many customers are a bit unsure about dispensary etiquette. It’s completely normal to feel unsure about what you should (or shouldn’t) do at a dispensary, especially if it’s your first time visiting one. So what do people need to know about dispensary etiquette? How do you make sure you’re being respectful toward dispensary employees and other customers? Below, we’re answering these questions as we go over our top marijuana dispensary etiquette tips. We’ll cover the things you should do at a dispensary, the things you shouldn’t do at a dispensary, and how you can make the most of your dispensary etiquette.
Come Prepared With ID
You need to bring a valid, government-issued form of photo ID (like your driver’s license or your passport) with you when you go to a dispensary. This applies to everyone, whether you’re 21 or 80. Dispensaries are legally required to check your ID before they can sell you cannabis, so always double-check that you have a valid form of photo ID before you visit one. Then, when you get to your dispensary, be ready to have your ID checked.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people forget to bring their ID to a dispensary. Some of these people then try to sweet talk their way into purchasing cannabis without an ID. But please be aware that this will not work, since dispensaries have to check your ID by law to make sure you’re 21 years of age or older. Also, it’s definitely poor etiquette to try to get a dispensary employee to ignore the law. So just check to make sure you have your ID before you leave home, be ready to show it at the dispensary, and be polite to the employee who is checking your ID.
Note: If you have a medical marijuana card, remember to bring that too!
Respect the Store’s Security Measures
Tying in with our last tip, it’s polite to be respectful of all of a dispensary’s security measures. The security at a dispensary is there to make sure that you, other customers, and the store’s employees are all protected. So be respectful of security guards, security equipment, and any posted signs that may have guidelines on what you can or cannot do in the dispensary.
Don’t Bring Pets Inside
Service animals are welcome in dispensaries but, generally, your pets are not. Dispensary employees may love animals (we know ours do!) but having pets in a dispensary is a sanitation issue. Dispensaries are full of things people are going to consume. And even if your pet is well behaved, pet fur and dander can always linger. So know that, as a general rule, dispensaries don’t allow pets inside. Be aware of that and don’t make an employee have to ask you to take your pet outside.
Understand How Much Cannabis You Can Legally Purchase
While medical and recreational cannabis may be legal in more and more places within the United States, every state that has legalized cannabis still has cannabis laws. This includes laws on how much cannabis you can purchase and possess at any given time. It’s important to understand these laws before your first visit to a dispensary so you don’t try to purchase more than is legally allowed. That can be awkward for both you and the person serving you at the dispensary since the employee will need to enforce local laws and regulate your purchase if you try to buy too much.
If curious about how much cannabis you can purchase at Essence, know that we can sell up to one ounce of cannabis or up to 1/8 of an ounce of cannabis concentrate in one transaction. That’s our limit because that’s the legal limit for possession here in Nevada.
Know Where You Can Consume
In a perfect world, you’d be able to consume medical and recreational marijuana anywhere. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Just like there are laws that restrict how much cannabis you can possess or purchase, there are laws that restrict where cannabis can be consumed. It’s important to know your local legalization laws for yourself, but it’s also good to know this for etiquette reasons. For example, here in Nevada, you cannot consume any kind of cannabis in public. That includes inside a dispensary or just outside of the dispensary. So using cannabis in or just outside of a local dispensary here in Nevada would be quite rude since you could jeopardize the compliance of the dispensary.
Come Prepared With Cash
If you’re planning your first trip to a dispensary, you may not know that the vast majority of dispensaries are cash-only businesses. So before you make your first dispensary trip, make sure you have enough cash to purchase what you need. If you get to the front of the line and are checking out before you realize you don’t have enough cash, this will slow things down for you, employees, and other customers.
Note: Essence is a cash-only dispensary. However, we do have convenient ATMs on-site at all of our dispensary locations! If you forget to bring cash to our dispensary, be sure to hit the ATM before you get in line.
Be Ready to Talk About Cannabis
Unless you already know exactly what you’ll be purchasing at the dispensary, you’ll probably chat a bit with an employee who will guide you toward the best product for you. So to help both yourself and the employee, be ready to talk about what you do and do not like in cannabis. Think about what you want and don’t want before you head to the dispensary so that you’ll be able to communicate that to the employee. If you don’t know what you like because you’re a first-timer, that’s totally fine. But do share that you’re a first-time cannabis consumer with the employee who is assisting you. That way, they’ll be able to guide you toward some beginner-friendly products that are great for your experience level.
Don’t Take a Photo Without Asking
Different dispensaries have different rules about taking photos in the store. Some dispensaries may like it if you take photos, since they may think it will be good for photos of the dispensary to be shared with friends or on social media. However, many dispensaries do not like photos being taken within their store, since they may consider it a security issue. So when you’re in a dispensary, never assume that it’s okay to take pictures. Always ask first in case you’re in a no-photos-allowed dispensary.
Don’t Talk on the Phone
Don’t talk on your cell phone when you’re in a dispensary. It’s polite to not talk on the phone no matter what type of store you’re in since it can be irritating to other customers. However, in a dispensary, it’s particularly important not to talk on the phone, since people are often being helped one-by-one. If you talk on the phone while you’re in line, this can be very distracting for other customers who are thinking about what CBD or cannabis products they’ll order when they get to the front of the line. If you talk on the phone while you’re ordering, this is rude to the employee who is assisting you. And, on top of that, it will probably make your transaction take longer, which is rude to other customers. So to be polite to everyone in the dispensary, just wait on taking that phone call until you’ve left the dispensary.
Don’t Linger Too Long
It’s perfectly fine to take your time if you’re browsing a menu, looking at products, or are talking to an employee in a dispensary. But once you (and your party, if you’re in a group) have checked out, most dispensaries would prefer that you be on your way and that you don’t loiter around or outside of the dispensary for long. This is another thing that raises a red flag for dispensary security. This isn’t common behavior and security may worry that you are scoping things out too much. So once you’ve checked out, head out.
Remember that Cannabis Dispensary Employees are There to Help
Lastly, we want to remind you that it’s not bad etiquette to ask questions of employees. Many people worry about asking questions at a dispensary, but asking questions is actually a good thing! Dispensary employees are there to help you. So if you need some questions answered, ask them, since that will help the dispensary employees assist you. Know that no question is too big or too small– everyone’s level of cannabis experience is different. So whether you’re an experienced user of cannabis or a first-timer, don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you may have. That will help your budtender match you with the best possible product and it will help you make the most of your dispensary etiquette.