It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous the first time you visit a dispensary because you don’t know how to buy Marijuana.

Marijuana has been illegal for decades and there’s always been a big stigma attached. California residents are now permitted to buy recreational marijuana on top of the medical strains that have been available for over a decade. But, it could take some getting used to.

Don’t worry! We’re here to help make your first time as pleasant as possible. There are a few items you’re required to bring, like cash and a valid ID, but there’s also a shared etiquette to understand before visiting a dispensary. In this article, we’ll explain how to buy weed at a dispensary by discussing what you should bring and the way most customers behave once inside.

What Is a Marijuana Dispensary?

If marijuana is legal now, why can’t you buy it at the drugstore or while grocery shopping? Many states have legalized it over the last five years, but the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.

Current federal laws ban marijuana from being prescribed or filled at pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens. As a result, independent stores called dispensaries were opened to service customers seeking medical or recreational marijuana.

While most dispensaries can serve both kinds of customers — medical and recreational — generally there are differences between the two operations.

A medical dispensary is usually regulated and taxed differently by the state government. It will also look more like a doctor’s office. They’ll ask customers to keep their cannabis recommendation or medical marijuana card on file.

The recreational or “adult-use” dispensary is more laid back. Customers get a menu to choose from and can chat about selections with experienced budtenders. State laws may differ but most dispensaries require customers to be 21 or older.

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How to Buy Marijuana: What Should I Bring?

Make sure you’re prepared before visiting a dispensary for the first time.

The California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program is voluntary but is used by many patients and caregivers.

With this card, you save on the overall cost of your purchase, state taxes, and you have access to more potent forms of marijuana. If buying medical marijuana, also bring your physician’s recommendation with you.

As we stated earlier, most dispensaries require you to be 21. You must bring a current and valid ID to even get through the door.

Save some time by doing research ahead of time. Ask friends for recommendations on types of marijuana or read online reviews for the products being sold.

Finally, bring cash with you. Dispensaries can’t process credit or debit cards for cannabis purchases because it’s still considered illegal under federal law.

Since everything is a cash transaction, most dispensaries have extra store security so you don’t have to worry about walking around with a lot of money in your pocket.

How to buy Marijuana

What Do They Have at Marijuana Dispensaries?

Marijuana dispensaries are not head-shops or fronts. They’re legitimate businesses with large inventories of high-quality products.

Wondering what to buy at a marijuana dispensary? There are more choices than you ever expected.

Licensed cannabis dispensaries sell dozens of marijuana strains. Purple Kush, for example, helps treat pain and muscle spasms. Sour Diesel gives the user a burst of productive energy.

This is where your physician’s recommendation comes in handy. If they’re recommending a certain strain for anxiety or depression, for example, dispensary staff can help you find it.

Product selections don’t end there.

Next, you’ll decide how you want to consume marijuana once you get home. You can buy the original flower and use it as you please, but you also can get vape cartridges, edibles like pot brownies, pre-rolled joints or blunts, and oil tinctures.

Topicals are growing in popularity as well. Many customers are purchasing marijuana-infused balms, lotions, massage oils, and even bath bombs.

The best part of shopping at a dispensary is the peace of mind you get knowing they offer only high-quality, regulated products. It’s much safer than buying marijuana off the street.

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Tips for the Best Dispensary Experience

After a few visits you’ll be a dispensary expert, but in the meantime here are a few tips to make your first experience the best it can be.

Believe it or not, going to a marijuana dispensary in California is like visiting an upscale boutique. You want to make sure you know how to act.

Besides having your ID, cash, and relevant paperwork on hand, here are some other ways to behave like a regular:

No phones inside of the dispensary because they don’t want pictures are taken or breaches of confidentiality
Ask your budtender questions because they’ve likely tried every strain in the store
Tip your budtender if they went above and beyond to help you
Don’t use products in the store, it’s illegal and rude
Have a general idea of what you want before arriving to save everyone time

The most important thing you can do is have an open mind and try to learn as much as possible.

It’s a good idea to start developing a relationship with your budtenders. As they get to know you, they’ll be able to make future recommendations.

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Ready to Visit Your First Dispensary?

This article shared everything you needed to know about how to buy weed at a dispensary. Follow these tips and the budtenders won’t even know it’s your first time.

If you live around San Jose, drop into the Purple Lotus to browse our selection of over 50 strains of the Bay Area’s most exotic Cannabis. Our full menu is available online for marijuana order or delivery to save you time and money.

First-time visitors will benefit from our outstanding customer service. Our staff is dedicated to personalizing your experience and helping you leave with the best product for your needs.

Check our website for new deals or specials, and read the Purple Lotus Blog to learn about the marijuana industry.