Marijuana Dispensary Etiquette: The Top Tips for Your First Dispensary Trip

In the US, there are over 1,700 medical marijuana dispensaries. If you have a valid medical marijuana card, needless to say, you’re spoiled for choice. It can be daunting to sift through all your options, but perhaps you’ve finally picked a Reno dispensary to make your maiden voyage.

So what exactly do you do while there? And on that same note, what don’t you do? We’ll give you the top tips for your first trip so you’re comfortable and confident.

Bring Your Government Issued ID and Cash

You don’t want your first dispensary trip to be over before you even step inside, do you? Then make sure you bring your government-issued ID, as well as some cash.

Treat your trip to the dispensary like one to the bar. All reputable dispensaries won’t allow you entrance if you don’t have a legitimate ID on you.

Also, most dispensaries take cash only, as many credit card companies have distanced themselves from this industry. Even if you find a dispensary that takes credit cards, bring some cash as a backup in case their machines are down. You never know!

Check out Their Menu Online

You’ve probably gone to a fast food restaurant before, stepped up to the register, then panicked because you had no clue what you wanted and there was a ton of things up on the menu.

If you want to reduce the chances of this happening at the dispensary, you can check out their cannabis menu online if they have one. That way, you can get familiar with what they have to offer.

Should you find a particular strain you really want to buy, it may be wise to call ahead and ask if they still have it in stock. This can help you avoid disappointment when a popular strain runs out and you have to choose something else.

Some establishments may even let you purchase online. If the thought of visiting a dispensary in person is still a bit intimidating to you, this can be a viable alternative until you’re ready to go to their physical location.

Ask Questions

Everyone’s been a dispensary newbie before, so you’re not the only one! Even if it’s a basic question (like the difference between sativa and indica), the budtenders will be more than happy to assist you.

They are there to ensure you pick the right products for your purposes. For instance, if you have issues sleeping, they can suggest a strain other customers have excellent results with.

And even if you’re well-versed in marijuana, things in the industry change quickly. You never know if there are new strains or information. It’s always a good idea to keep up with the times.

Plus, striking up a conversation with budtenders means they’ll most likely recognize you the next time you come in. When you build some rapport with the staff, they’ll be more inclined to help you out.

Don’t Be Overly Confident or Arrogant

You may feel insecure because you’re new to dispensaries, but you don’t want to overcompensate. Once again, everyone’s been a greenhorn before, so it’s ok if you’re a little lost.

While you may feel embarrassed to ask “stupid” questions, it’s still a whole lot better than being flippant with a budtender. Walking in and demanding the strongest strain they have can sour the whole experience for everyone in the establishment.

Sure, you may have a good grasp of marijuana, but it’s always useful to chat with the budtender and get their opinion on things. 

Budtenders are there to help, not challenge you. If you try to go past your limits against the advice of budtenders, you’ll just end up feeling foolish — and queasy!

Put Away Your Phone

Most dispensaries will have strict “no photo” policies, so it’s best if you leave your phone in your pocket or bag. If you have it out and are texting or chatting, the staff may feel uneasy, since you can snap a photo discreetly.

It’s also rude to be distracted on your phone while a budtender is giving you all their attention. Checking social media posts or replying to a text message can wait a few minutes while a budtender’s focused on you.

Make Sure You Tip

Just as you’d tip a bartender for a well-made drink and good customer service, you should also do so with your budtender. If they’ve done a good job helping you out and explaining the different strains, you can show your appreciation with a tip.

In general, you should tip anywhere from $1 to $2 for small purchases. Tip $5 or more for larger purchases.

Wait to Use Your Weed Products

It can be tempting to open up your bag and start smoking your purchase as soon as you walk outside the door. But as with alcohol, there are laws on public consumption for marijuana.

Just wait until you get home to light up. It’ll be a much more pleasant experience, and you won’t have to worry about breaking the law.

Enjoy Your First Dispensary Trip

All things considered, just remember to have fun and enjoy your first dispensary trip.

If you have any questions, don’t be shy. The budtenders are there to help you with their extensive knowledge and passion for the products they’re selling. They are there to make every experience a positive one!

If you’re in the Reno area and would like to visit a reputable dispensary, come visit SoL! We’re committed to making a positive difference in our customers’ lives.


7 Responses

  1. Thank you for these tips. I’ve only been to a dispensary twice for pain relief. I’m old. The budtender was very helpful and I went with his suggestion. I now know I should have tipped him and I will next time.

  2. I have been considering getting medical marijuana to help me deal with some really bad anxiety I have been having. Thanks for explaining that I would want to consider asking the dispensary some questions about the process. That does seem like a good thing for me to do after getting a medical marijuana card.

  3. As a budtender I appreciate that you took the time to write these tips for our patients/customers/friends 🙂

    It is definitely a turn off when someone comes in and just straight up says “give me whatever you have with the highest THC” and doesn’t want to listen to advice. It’s not just about the thc, it’s about those terpenes!

  4. Sounds good and all, though the snobbery is strong and alive with most staff. Budtenders aside (they are mostly stellar at customer service) the support staff at most dispensaries visited has some elite stick up their ass. From picking “buddies” out of lines to go in first to treating recreation customers like second class citizens.

    Note: support staff are not stakeholders and business owners. So why does management allow such rude interactions?

    This article sounds like the consumer is the problem but reality is, stuck up support staff thinking they some executive investor that has no time for the peasants in line. Ha! Pay isn’t even enough to support a single family but go on with your bad self.

  5. Thank you for providing such helpful information. It can be a little overwhelming even if you have been a few times.

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