Now that Marijuana is medically legal in 25 states and recreationally legal in 4 states plus Washington, DC and 9 more on the docket for November, many people will be visiting dispensaries for the very first time. As I have now had the privilege of visiting dispensaries in 4 states I’d like to give you a few tips to navigate this new and interesting landscape.
Many of the dispensaries that I visited were class acts. The help was knowledgeable and the buds were fresh. However, a couple, were not up to snuff. As a newbie, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was excited and just assumed that all dispensaries had great bud. I bought a ton of weed in my first dispensary only to find out that I had purchased dry buds. I quickly learned that although the majority of my visits were great experiences, there were a couple of dispensaries where the quality was lacking.
So here are some tips to “weed” out the posers:
1 – Try dispensaries that have been recommended. If you want to know where the best club is ask a bartender if you want to know where the best bud is ask someone in a head shop or glass shop. They will give you the skinny on the area – shop where they shop, as they will know the best buds in town.
2 – Ask for something with CBD. If the dispensary doesn’t have CBD products or don’t seem to know much about them, go to another dispensary.
3 – Don’t just pick a strain because it has a really high percentage of THC. It’s very exciting when you see a strain with 26% THC but that’s a pretty high percentage and if you’re not used to it you might not be happy with the effect it has on you.
4 - Ask Questions. I was in a dispensary in Bellvue Washington and I was so impressed with the staff. I threw a ton of questions at them and they never skipped a beat. When they didn’t have a specific brand I had asked for they gave great alternative suggestions that wound up exactly what I was looking for, teaching me a thing or two!
5 – Understand the difference between an Indica, a Sativa and a hybrid and know what effect it has on you. You should be able to tell the budtender the type of high you are looking for or name a strain that you like and the dispensary should be able to sell you something comparable. If they can’t, go to another dispensary.
6 – Get multiple selections on your first visit. Pre-rolls are great for this purpose. Each strain has something unique to offer and since the prices in dispensaries are less than on the street go ahead and give several a try!
7 – No time for a recommendation? Then buy a little of your favorite and check the quality. I love Golden Goat and bought a gram, which came in a sealed bag. When I opened it, the bud was so dry it practically disintegrated in my hand. The 25% THC potency dropped significantly as that bud fell apart. This happened to me twice in dispensaries that I chose at random. So buy a gram and check the quality, you can always go back for more.
8- Dispensaries are a cash only business. Avoid high ATM fees and bring cash with you.
9- Be careful. Some states keep dispensaries on the outskirts of the city. You’re carrying cash and Cannabis. Make sure you have a taxi or Lyft/Uber ready to pick you up – and for f’s sake, don’t look like a tourist! (LES Blue Door ’90)
So party on Garth! Have fun, enjoy your experience and wallow in the freedom of knowing that you can purchase Cannabis, walk outside and not see an entire SWAT team there to arrest you. Oh, the times they are a changin!