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  • Do's & Don'ts for shopping at a dispensary

Over half the US has legalized medical or recreational marijuana, meaning dispensaries are popping up all over the US. There are still many people who have yet to go to a legal dispensary or are new and don't know the proper dispensary etiquette.

I've been to both recreational and medical dispensaries here in Colorado and I've had my fair share of rude customers and rude budtenders. This guide will hopefully help keep you from being 'that guy' on your next trip to the dispensary.

 First things first, make sure you have a legal, unexpired form of ID or passport. If you don't, then skip the dispensary. They will not let you in to shop. And don't be upset with them, it's protocol. If they let you in, they can be shut down. So be prepared with your ID. Also come prepared with cash, as most dispensaries don't accept debit or credit cards. Most dispensaries have ATM machines available, however, they will have ATM fee. It's not new that ATMs charge nor is it new that cash is usually needed to purchase cannabis from a dispensary, so don't get upset if you arrive unprepared.

  Secondly, be mature. Please don't start talking about how effed up you're about to get. If you're buying weed for someone else, which is illegal by the way, don't talk about it in the shop! I've been to dispensaries where the people waiting are being obnoxious and screaming, "I'm a stoner." Those are the people that give us a bad name. Don't be that person. Treat the dispensary with respect. Come in, be mature, buy your weed and go home. I promise 10 minutes of being mature isn't that hard.

Next, don't act like you are the discoverer of weed. The budtender's are trained and filled with knowledge of the products they have in store. No they don't know everything but neither do you. Don't be disrespectful to the budtender and tell them you know this, this and that and roll your eyes when they respond with a different answer. It's okay to ask questions and correct the budtender if they are incorrect. What's not okay is to talk down to them as if you are the expert.

 One of the biggest pet peeves of most budtenders is touching the weed. You can not touch the weed! Don't pick up the jar or reach your hand inside to touch the weed. It is so rude and unsanitary of you to touch the weed with your bare hands. Most dispensaries make their budtenders wear gloves or use tongs. Now you can always ask if you can touch because usually they will give you a glove. But honestly you don't need to touch the weed. Look at it, smell it. Always ask before picking up the jars or opening them to smell. From my experience most budtenders will un-lid the jar and slide it to you on the counter or will hold it up to your face for you to sniff.

 Something that can get you kicked out of a dispensary real quick is taking photos, videos or talking on your phone. In the waiting rooms you are usually welcome to use your phone but once you are in the actual shop, keep your phone in your pocket. You can ask, but from my experience you cannot take pictures, videos or use your phone. I've been told to put my phone away while waiting inside the shop, so just be weary. And honestly it's just plain rude to be talking on your phone in public anyways.

 Lastly, it's awesome to tip your budtender. Even just a dollar or the change from your purchase. Just throw a little something in there for them. They are literally bartenders who serve weed rather than alcohol. They are there to help you shop, answer questions and ring you up. When I was a budtender, my dispensary would use all the tips we made that week and buy us lunch on Fridays. A lot of places do things like that so the tips are always super appreciated!

 I hope this helped out some new dispensary goers and refreshed dispensary etiquette for the veteran shopper. Just be mature, ask before you touch and leave a little tip. Going to the dispensary should be a good experience for both the budtender and the shopper. 


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Do's & Don'ts for shopping at a dispensary
provisional_air 3 years ago
Great article, Janelle!
Like you I have worked in a dispensary as well as shopped in different states and countries. These are spot on tips for newbies and those who sometimes need a refresher.
MedHead 3 years ago
I've learned to not expect TOO MUCH of budtenders! When my local shop advertised that they have terpene wheels (showing amount of each terpene in a strain), they did not know that the long numbers on the wheels mean "parts per million" which conveniently provides the number of micrograms of a specific terpene in 1.0 gram of the strain.