In 2019, if you live in a legal recreational state, there is likely a nearby cannabis dispensary. These dispensaries are stores that sell cannabis and ancillary products. The products include herbal flowers to smoke, cannabis wax oil, edibles, and other cannabis related products. Many people have also been getting into CBD herbal hemp flowers and the dispensary will have those as well. Dispensary products vary from items similar to those in a smoke shop or vape shop to items at a convenience store. Your local dispensary will be a one stop shop for anything under the sun related to cannabis.


Dispensary Appearance

 Dispensaries usually have tinted windows so that passersby cannot see into the store. Exteriors are generally new or remodeled to have an upscale modern look. The appearance of the interior varies. Some dispensaries are large and can accommodate multiple customers at a time while others only accept one or two customers at a time.

Dispensaries always have a security guard or two, usually armed, to help keep everything under control. They are either at the front or in the main room. There are always helpful budtenders who assist customers with their purchases.

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Types of Dispensaries

Dispensaries are either medical or recreational. Laws can vary from state to state and county to county but generally you have to be age 18 or older to enter a medical dispensary.  The age for recreational dispensaries is 21 in some states and 18 in others.


As a medical cannabis patient, you have the chance of getting your cannabis products at a discount price. Recreational cannabis has an extra tax that is not applied to medical cannabis. There are, however, some strict laws with respect to medical use. For example, in California you cannot have edibles with more than 100mg total per edible. Generally there is a wider variety of cannabis vapes available because medical cannabis patients usually like to use vapes. Many patients experience irritation in their throats or lungs so a vaporizer works best for them.


One of the biggest drawbacks with respect to recreational cannabis is the tax that the store must collect. The tax revenue is, however, used for great causes like public education and fixing the public streets. And legalization has provided a safe and readily available source of cannabis.

The Dispensary Experience

Going to a dispensary is a wonderful experience and your attitude can only make it better. Walking in with a smile and a positive attitude will give you a better perspective, considering everyone there is happy.

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Bring I.D.

Recreational cannabis is governed strictly. The law requires that the store owner be extra cautious. Cannabis legalization is very recent and states want to keep everything under wraps. Your identification can be a passport, driver's license or other acceptable state identification.

Ask Questions

If you are not familiar with the different products and different cannabis strains or with what they will do or how they will affect you, keep asking the budtender questions so that you become familiar with everything. Do not worry about annoying the workers. If they do a good job of answering your questions, you will keep coming back and that is their goal.

Be Curious

Being curious is a good thing but don’t take it too far. Of course, ask questions and do not just blindly buy items. For example, cannabis flowers are much more potent than they ever were so start slow. Anything more than flowers should be taken with caution. Cannabis oils are 3 to 7 times stronger than regular flowers. Edibles are metabolized in the liver and this gives you a totally different high experience. Sometimes it’s good to experience the different effects you can get from different types of consumption. For example, you can vape cannabis oils which will give you a clear headed high. So be curious but know what to expect.

cannabis obama kush

Tip If You Had a Good Experience (Optional)

In America, tipping is common when someone does a service for you. You do not necessarily have to tip at a dispensary but if you feel your service was great, do it. Going back to attitude, if you’re happy, you will make them happy, which will make you happy!

Dispensary Etiquette

There are some do’s and don’ts on how to behave at a dispensary. Once again, try to be courteous to everyone including the door guy and the security. When you walk in at first, don’t be surprised! Most of us never imagined walking into a store that has nothing but THC related products. It is literally equivalent to walking into a candy store when you were a kid.


Do Not Use Your Phone

Many dispensaries do not like you to use a phone. The budtenders do not want pictures of them taken and the owner does not want pictures taken of any of the dispensary products . You can find dispensary pictures on weedmaps or other related sites. Also do not talk on the phone or text while you are there. You are usually in and out quickly anyway.

Do Not Smoke on the Premises

Smoking on the premises of the dispensary is always a no-no unless you are specifically told otherwise. Smoking on the premises is a quick way to have the dispensary license revoked. Be considerate of the store owner and the legal requirements.