Although medical and recreational dispensaries are starting to look and feel more like traditional stores, they cannot operate like one quite yet. There are a lot of state-specific laws that regulate the way a dispensary operates. They are restricted to only serve a certain set of customers, advertise in a certain way, only accept cash payments, and operate their business according to specific regulations. Although the process of buying dry herb is a lot simpler than it used to be, it can still involve a bit of time, patience, and the right form of identification.
However, if you meet the age requirement and have a valid ID, then you are a step closer to being able to shop at a dispensary. Read on to learn about what else you will need to make a purchase at a licensed recreational or medical dispensary. It might involve more than you might think the first time you step into a dispensary. But don’t worry, the system is easy to get used to and a good Budtender will guide you through it.
The first thing you will need to enter a dispensary is enough years on this earth. There are age restrictions for who can legally purchase products from a state-licensed dispensary, which usually falls to age twenty-one or older in the United States. Dispensaries follow similar regulations to bars or liquor shops, and cannot have anyone under the age of twenty-one enter their business either. And they reinforce this requirement by checking your ID of course.
So, the next thing you will need to shop at a recreational dispensary is a valid state-issued identification card or passport, proving you are old enough to make a purchase. Each state might accept different forms of legal identification, but typically a student ID or club card will not suffice. More often, states will require that you show a Driver’s License, state ID card, or passport, that is valid or not expired. A dispensary can be shut down if they are caught accepting alternative forms of identification or skipping the ID process altogether. So it’s best to keep your favorite dispensary in business and only visit with a valid ID.
You should also keep in mind that you will have to show your ID every time you enter a dispensary, no matter how often you shop there. Even if the Budtenders know you, they have to check your ID for legal reasons. It’s best to keep it out and handy so that you have it ready for any Budtender who might ask. They’re just doing their job and not trying to annoy you.
It’s also best to come prepared with cash when you are shopping at a dispensary. Although there are some dispensaries that are now offering debit card payments, these are few and few between. Many dispensaries will have an ATM on-site for your convenience, but there are also high fees to go along with that convenience. To save yourself some fees and hassle, it’s best to just come prepared with the amount of cash you are looking to spend.
You will also have to arrive at the dispensary with an open mind, ready and willing to learn. There are many new products being added to the shelves of dispensaries every day and it can take some time to learn more about what you are browsing. Thankfully, dispensaries will often have well-trained Budtenders who can help guide you through the shopping experience.
If you have a general idea of what you are looking for, then a Budtender can point you in the right direction. For example, do you prefer dry herb over edibles? Or are you looking for a certain type of wax within a set budget? You should think about what effects you are looking for, how you like to consume, and what budget you are working with, and communicate that to your Budtender. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more about your options, that’s what the Budtender is there for.
While Budtenders want to help you find the right product to fit your needs, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not trained, medical professionals or therapists. Be sure to consult your doctor with any medical-related questions. However, feel free to ask a Budtender what their favorite strain of dry herb is for the evening or what edibles they might recommend with a good balance of CBD. They will most likely know their dispensary’s products best and provide some excellent recommendations.
Shopping at a licensed recreational or medical dispensary will take more time on average than shopping at your local corner store. This is not only because your ID may need to be checked multiple times, but also because it takes time to pick out products. The shopping process becomes more simple the more you learn about the products you are looking at, but to get there might take a learning curve and time.
You also have to have a bit of patience once you purchase your product from a dispensary before you get to enjoy it. It is still illegal to smoke in public in many states, and especially illegal to smoke near the dispensary you made the purchase at. If you light up in the parking lot, you could be facing legal charges as well as shutting the dispensary you shopped at. Have a bit of patience and wait to light up until you are in a private space or legal smoking lounge.
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