Visiting a Cannabis Dispensary for the First Time

If the idea of visiting a cannabis dispensary is intimidating to you, you aren’t alone. Cannabis is safe and even beneficial for many patients suffering from severe health conditions, but cannabis culture can feel exclusive. Many first-time cannabis users feel overwhelmed by the bevy of unfamiliar vocabulary, the strange tools and the complicated laws surrounding cannabis purchasing and use.

You shouldn’t feel too afraid to get the medical treatment you need from a cannabis dispensary. Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable and confident in a cannabis shop.

Find a Dispensary that Suits Your Needs

If you are a member of your state’s medical marijuana program, it is important that you find a dispensary that caters to patients seeking cannabis treatment. Different states have different cannabis regulations, but in most cases, medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell a greater diversity of products at lower prices and higher quantities to licensed patients. Since you are suffering from a severe disease, you should look for a medical dispensary to help you take advantage of these perks and find greater comfort from cannabis.

The best way to find the right type of dispensary for you is to use an online tool like Weedmaps. For example, if you live in Florida, you click here — — to see all the medical dispensaries in your state. If Florida passes recreational regulations in the coming years, you will be able to filter your search to show only the dispensaries that meet your needs. You can also use this site to read reviews of different dispensaries and see their menus to compare wares and prices. Then, you can select the business that most appeals to you as the destination for your first dispensary visit.

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Pack Your Bags Appropriately

While some recreational cannabis shops can provide a familiar retail experience, most medical dispensaries feel more like pharmacies with strict rules. Thus, you need to be sure you have everything you will need before you venture into a dispensary for the first time.

Purely medical dispensaries — that is, shops that do not cater to recreational users at all — usually require you to show your medical marijuana license before you can enter. Medical marijuana cards can expire; most states require patients to renew their membership to medical marijuana programs after one year of use, and renewing before expiration is important for expediting the process. If you have delayed partaking in cannabis despite active MMJ membership, you might want to double-check the activation of your license before you leave for the dispensary.

Additionally, it is a good idea to bring along some cash for your purchases. Many canna-businesses continue to struggle to find financial services like card processing because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. You can read more about that issue here: Bringing cash with you to the shop allows you to avoid the steep fees from ATMs on premises and saves the dispensary from the high fees of financial services firms, keeping their cannabis costs affordably low.

Finally, you might consider bringing along information about your health condition to give to the budtenders, or workers at the dispensary. This is not necessary; if you wish to keep your medical information private, you are guaranteed that right. However, information about the symptoms of your condition and the most useful effects of cannabis can help budtenders guide you toward the most beneficial cannabis products for your treatment. You can ask your primary care provider to print out information to bring to the dispensary.

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Prepare Questions for Budtenders

Budtenders are knowledgeable and passionate about helping people harness the power of cannabis for comfort and confidence. Many are eager to work one-on-one with you to help you find the products that perfectly suit your needs and bring you closer to health. Before your dispensary trip, you might write out a list of concerns and questions about the dispensary in particular and cannabis consumption in general, which your budtender should be able to answer during your visit. Some examples of first-timer questions include:

  • What are the different ways to use cannabis? Which is the best way for me?
  • What dosage is best for me? How do I experiment with dosage?
  • How does this dispensary source its product? Do you have a preferred brand?

You can find more questions (and some answers) here:

You likely experience a bit of nerves anytime you try something for the first time, so your worries about your first visit to a dispensary shouldn’t be unexpected. Still, with the right preparation, you should be able to acquire the cannabis products you need now and into the future.

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