Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
If you’ve never visited a dispensary before, especially if you’re new to medical marijuana, it might seem intimidating. Don’t stress yourself out though! Visiting the dispensary should be an enjoyable experience. Your budtender will be ready to help you find exactly what you need to treat your specific condition and needs. Even so, before your visit, there are a few things you can do to prepare so that things can go as smoothly as possible.
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Visiting the Medical Marijuana Dispensary for the First Time
For the most part, visiting a cannabis dispensary is no different than visiting any other sort of specialty store. Most budtenders and dispensary workers will be there when you’re ready for them, while giving you a chance to explore the store at your own pace. Think of it like visiting a brewery, a natural health store or any other shop that is very niche specific.
However, there are a couple things you should make sure to bring with you on your first, and every, visit to the dispensary.
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Bring Your Identification
Identification is one of the most important things to bring to a medical or recreational marijuana dispensary. If you’re going to a recreational dispensary, then your state-issued ID, passport, or any other government issued photo ID showing you’re 21 or older will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you’re going to a medical only dispensary, you should be prepared with your state issued medical marijuana ID card.
Have Cash on Hand
Cash is almost as important to bring as your ID. Though this trend has started to shift, especially in the pandemic era, many dispensaries are still cash-only businesses. This is mostly because banks and credit unions are uncertain about offering services to an industry that lingers in a legal grey area between state and federal law. While some shops may be able to take your debit card, you’re better off keeping cash on hand just in case.
Research Before Choosing a Dispensary
Just like choosing your mechanic or finding the right lunch stop, choosing a dispensary is something that you should research online first. Websites like Leafly and WeedMaps make it easier than ever to look up reviews of dispensaries, the products they offer and sometimes you can even order ahead if they take card payments. This will give you the opportunity not only to decide on which shop to visit but it also gives you a chance to consider what you might want to purchase when you get there, which brings us to our next point.
Look at Products Available Online Before Shopping
Comparing product prices and reviews online before making a purchase is practically second nature for most of us. Honestly, how many times have you checked your Amazon or Walmart app before making a purchase in a different store? It should be no different when it comes to the medical marijuana products you purchase in a dispensary. Look up products and brands for reviews before you go, and if you’re still unsure at that point then ask your budtender when you’re in the shop. The more you know going into a purchase the better the results, especially when it comes to medical cannabis.
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Talk to Your Budtender to Get Recommendations for You
The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation when it comes to medical marijuana. Even two people treating an identical condition with identical symptoms may find that different dosages or products work better for them. However, based on your specific needs and preferences, a budtender is like your pharmacist and they can help point you in the right direction. They can help you decide between different products and strains and offer advice on how often and how much to medicate.
Leafwell Can Help You Get Your MMJ Card
If you are looking to use medical marijuana as a treatment option under the guidance of a physician, you’re in the right place. Leafwell is here to help get you set up with a state licensed doctor to get your medical marijuana card. Even in recreational states, having a valid medical marijuana recommendation/certificate and card can have some significant benefits, including:
- Less tax to pay on products.
- Access to a greater number of products and medical-only dispensaries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where dispensary access could be restricted.
- Higher possession limits.
- Medical marijuana reciprocity is available for patients in some states.
- It is arguable that medical marijuana card holders have greater levels of legal & employment protection.
- Some states are more lenient towards those who cultivate cannabis and have a medical card.
- Medical cannabis is available for minors who are in need of plant-based medication, and not just adults aged 21 or over.
Getting your doctors recommendation and medical marijuana certification will allow you access to dispensaries in your state, providing safe and reliable access to your medicine.
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