What to expect first time at a dispensary

For anyone who is curious about cannabis doesn’t know what to expect going into a dispensary, this article is here to help. Dispensaries might be legal where you live but actually stepping foot inside of one can be intimidating especially if you don’t know what to expect for your first visit.

First of all, as long as you are over 21 and the dispensary in question has a state-approved license to operate, you can just walk right in.

However, no children are allowed with you if they are underage under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you are a medical card carrier or you work at the dispensary. Only those who are 21 or older can be present in a facility where marijuana is sold recreationally or otherwise.

Before you simply Waltz into a facility, use filters online the search for establishments that are high-quality. For those who are more advanced purchasers, you might want to search on your phone or online to find locations that offer the products and strains that you prefer specifically.

On that note, it will make you feel a lot more comfortable as a newcomer if you do some research beforehand. If you have very little experience with marijuana, prepare yourself by reading up on different strains, which strains are best for different moods or treating specific symptoms. You will save yourself a lot of embarrassment by not simply walking into the dispensary, and being the guy who stands there staring at the menu with his mouth wide open, no idea what anything means and asking 1000 questions while everyone in line behind him groans impatiently.


When you go into a dispensary expect to show identification. Whether you are a medical marijuana patient or simply an adult consumer, 70 years old or freshly 21, have a state issued ID ready to show. If you have a medical marijuana card make sure that it is valid and show it with your ID. This is something that you should simply make a habit of.

There are many forms of identification which can be accepted by different dispensary. All government-issued photo IDs from any of the United States and its territories including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Guam are accepted. As of 2018 United States military IDs are accepted as well. In the state of Colorado dispensaries can accept federally-recognized tribal cards. International clients can use a valid passport. Regardless of the identification type you are using, make sure it is in good condition. If you have a driver’s license that has been worn out, bent or otherwise damaged over the years, get a new one before you try to use it at a dispensary. Any ID that looks like it’s been tampered with even remotely may not be accepted.


If you have ever picked up a prescription of any kind you know that you probably have to wait. Well, the same is true at a dispensary. In Most states it is regulation that dispensaries only serve one patient at a time so you will have to wait until it is your turn. This might be the perfect opportunity to read up on what the different menu options are before you get to the front.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Whether you know what you’re doing ahead of time or not, ask the people helping you for recommendations on what strains they would suggest for your needs or what their favorites are. The person who served you is generally referred to as the budtender, and they are there to help. If you need something to settle your anxiety or you want something that will help you feel energized enough to clean your house, ask. They have heard every question out there so you don’t have to be embarrassed.


Recreational customers even those who come from out-of-state can purchase up to 1 oz of cannabis per day. That amount can be given away as a gift but you cannot resell it to anyone else even if you sell it for the same amount for which you bought it. You can purchase recreationally for your friends if they are with you and they have ID well, but the budtender will likely ask individuals to make separate purchases and if you are purchasing for everyone you will likely be held to be one ounce limit.

Medical customers can purchase up to 2 oz of cannabis per person, per day.


While they are quite thorough about checking your identification, you are still entitled to anonymity legally speaking so the dispensary doesn’t record your contact information or your name nor do they divulge that information to any government facilities. If you try to purchase more than once in a given day, such as coming in around 9 in the morning and then coming back around 12 in the afternoon, they do have to report you if they see you coming in multiple times. There are cameras in these facilities and each state has access to those cameras for up to 40 days so if they see that a facility was serving the same customer multiple times and failing to report it, that facility can lose their license. Don’t put them in that position.


Cannabis can get expensive. Some retail shops and dispensaries offer cashless ATM system to make purchases but most of them only accept cash. It is in your best interest to just call them and ask if they have the cashless ATM system on site, if they accept cards, or if you need cash. And then, bring a lot more than you think you’re going to need. This will help your purchase to go smoothly.

Just like any store or restaurant or medical facility, if you are sure that you want to follow through with a purchase, or you walk in and you just don’t like the way the facility feels, that’s fine. You are under no obligation to make any purchase even if you stood there for 2 hours waiting in line. You can walk into a facility, show your ID, and then decide that you don’t want to buy anything and leave. Just be polite and if you don’t want to make a purchase, let them know that you’re not really interested at this time but you appreciate the information. The same is true of suggestions that the budtender offers. If they give you their recommendations and you don’t want to buy that, just let them say their piece and follow up with a polite no thank you.

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