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10 Things to know before your First Dispensary Visit: A Beginners Guide

10 Things to know before your First Dispensary Visit: A Beginners Guide

Are you a first-time shopper at a dispensary? With the legalization of marijuana in many states, visiting a dispensary can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. But don't worry, we're here to help!

Are you a first-time shopper at a dispensary? With the legalization of marijuana in many states, visiting a dispensary can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. But don't worry, we're here to help!


Sunday, July 9, 2023


min read

1. Know the Legal Requirements

Before stepping foot in a dispensary, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements in your state. The rules for cannabis use may vary depending on whether it's for medical or recreational purposes. Here's a general overview:

Medical Cannabis Dispensary

If you have a medical marijuana card, be sure to bring it along with a valid state-issued photo ID. Medical marijuana cards are typically only valid in the state where they were issued. Check the specific regulations in your state to understand the purchasing limits and any restrictions based on your medical condition.

Adult Use Dispensary

If you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, bring a valid state- or government-issued photo ID to verify your age and residency. Different states have different rules for out-of-state visitors, so it's essential to check local laws ahead of time.

2. Understand Your Cannabis Goals

Before visiting the dispensary, it's helpful to have a clear understanding of your cannabis goals. Consider the following questions:

What Are You Looking to Get Out of Cannabis?

Are you using cannabis for medical purposes or recreational enjoyment? Medical marijuana cardholders often seek products that can help with specific symptoms, while recreational users may be interested in the psychoactive effects of THC or exploring different strains.

How Do You Want to Consume Cannabis?

There are various ways to consume cannabis, including smoking, vaping, ingesting edibles, using tinctures, or applying topicals. Determine your preferred method of consumption to help you choose the right product.

When Do You Plan to Consume Your Cannabis?

Consider the time of day when you plan to consume cannabis. If you want to stay functional throughout the day, you may prefer products with lower potency. If you're looking for relaxation or sleep aid, products with higher potency may be more suitable.

What Experience Do You Want?

Some people are interested in the psychoactive effects of THC, while others focus on the different cannabinoids and terpenes present in specific strains. Understand what type of experience you're seeking to help guide your product selection.

3. Do Your Research

Before visiting the dispensary, do some research to familiarize yourself with the products available. Most dispensaries have their menus online, allowing you to browse through different strains, edibles, concentrates, and more. Take notes if needed and make a list of products you're interested in trying.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Guidance

When you arrive at the dispensary, don't hesitate to ask questions. Budtenders are there to assist you and provide recommendations based on your preferences and goals. They have extensive knowledge about different strains, products, and consumption methods. Feel free to discuss your comfort level, desired effects, and any concerns you may have.

5. Consider Different Strains and Cannabinoid Ratios

Cannabis strains can be categorized as sativa, indica, or hybrid, each with its unique effects. Sativa strains are often associated with uplifting and energizing effects, while indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedating properties. Hybrids offer a combination of both. Additionally, consider the ratio of THC (psychoactive compound) to CBD (non-intoxicating compound) in a product, as it can greatly influence the overall experience.

6. Start with a Low Dose

If you're a beginner or have a low tolerance, it's essential to start with a low dose. Cannabis affects individuals differently, and it's crucial to understand your body's response. Begin with a small amount and gradually increase as needed. This approach helps you avoid any unpleasant or overwhelming effects.

7. Be Mindful of Dispensary Etiquette

When visiting a dispensary, it's important to follow certain etiquette guidelines. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be respectful and patient with the staff and other customers.

  • Avoid using your cell phone inside the dispensary, as it may be perceived as facilitating illegal activities.

  • Don't discuss or plan any illicit activities related to cannabis, as dispensaries are under surveillance and required to report any suspicious behavior.

  • Follow any additional rules or guidelines specific to the dispensary you're visiting.

8. Consider Tipping Your Budtender

If you receive exceptional service and guidance from your budtender, consider showing your appreciation by tipping. Budtenders often have extensive knowledge and work hard to provide personalized recommendations. A tip is a gesture of gratitude for their assistance.

9. Don't Be Afraid to Explore

Visiting a dispensary is an opportunity to explore and try new products. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with different strains, edibles, or other cannabis products. Remember, everyone's experience with cannabis is unique, so embrace the journey of discovering what works best for you.

10. Leave a Review

If you have a positive experience at a dispensary, consider leaving a review to help others in their decision-making process. Reviews can provide valuable insights and recommendations for fellow cannabis enthusiasts.

In conclusion, your first visit to a dispensary should be an exciting and informative experience. By following these tips and guidelines, you'll be well-prepared to make informed decisions, ask the right questions, and find the cannabis products that align with your goals. Enjoy your journey into the world of legal weed!

Remember, always consume cannabis responsibly and abide by the laws and regulations in your area.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical or legal advice. Consult with a healthcare professional or legal expert for personalized guidance regarding cannabis use and regulations in your jurisdiction.

Additional Information:

  • It's important to note that the cannabis industry is not without its inequalities. People of color are disproportionately impacted by cannabis-related arrests, despite similar usage rates among different ethnicities. Efforts are being made to address these disparities and promote equity within the industry.

  • The availability of specific products, strains, and consumption methods may vary depending on the dispensary and state regulations. It's always best to check with the dispensary directly for the most up-to-date information.

  • Research local laws and regulations regarding possession limits, purchasing limits, and any other restrictions or requirements before visiting a dispensary.

  • Keep in mind that cannabis affects individuals differently, and what works for one person may not work the same way for another. Start with a low dose and experiment gradually to find the right products and dosages for your needs.

Get your Arizona Marijuana Medical Card Today!