Whether you are familiar with cannabis or are simply wanting to try it for the first time now that it is legal in your state, you may have little to no experience with visiting a dispensary. Although recreational cannabis dispensaries are just shops, the way they do business can be a little bit different due to the nature of their product. The following guide can help you prepare for your first visit so that you know what to expect.
As a general rule, legal dispensaries will not accept checks, debit, or credit cards. This is because they fall into a gray area where they are legal by state laws, but federal law has yet to catch up. This means banks, which are federally regulated, cannot process payments easily for a cannabis retailer. The easiest workaround is to only take cash, which is what most dispensaries do. Although a dispensary may have an ATM on site, keep in mind that you will be subject to the ATM fees and possibly fees from your bank. For this reason, it makes sense to just bring the cash you need along with you.
Respect security protocols
Unfortunately, some dispensaries have been targeted by thieves, so it is not uncommon for there to be extra security protocols in place. These vary from dispensary to dispensary, so just be aware of the protocols and be prepared to follow them. Often, you may see signs on the door requesting customers to remove hats, sunglasses, or other items that obscure the face (within reason, of course). Some dispensaries may also require customers to check in before shopping, generally by showing their ID to a staff member. Generally, any security protocols are not intrusive and not much different than entering another sensitive business, such as a bank or liquor store.
Bring your ID
You must show your ID, as must anyone that accompanies you, whether they are purchasing cannabis products or not. Bring an up to date state or federal picture ID, such as a driver's license, military ID, or passport. Private identification, such as work badges or school ID cards, will not be sufficient. For most dispensaries, age also does not matter. Many dispensaries have a blanket policy in place to protect themselves, which requires staff to check the ID of all customers that enter the store.
Don't be shy about visiting a dispensary for the first time. The budtenders and staff are more than happy to answer your questions and lead you to the cannabis product that will best suit your needs.