Changing marijuana laws in many states are making it possible for much of the adult population to explore the possible benefits of cannabis use through legal dispensaries. Currently, 33 states, plus the District of Columbia, have already passed laws that legalize the use of marijuana in some form, while support for similar legislation continues to build in several additional states. 10 of the 33 states that have legalized medical usage have also made recreational usage legal.
A few states also allow the home cultivation of a small number of plants, but the confusion surrounding differing state and federal marijuana laws make many would-be cannabis users uneasy about doing so. Instead, many prefer the simplicity and transparency of using a cannabis dispensary to acquire marijuana in the form of tobacco, edibles, oils, or other products. If you are planning a first visit to a cannabis dispensary, there are several things you should know and do ahead of time to make sure your visit is both enjoyable and productive.
Make sure you fully understand current, applicable cannabis laws
Although well over half the states have enacted legalization laws, each one can be vastly different. Whether you are planning to visit a cannabis dispensary in your immediate area or will be doing so while visiting another state, you will need to fully understand the current laws. In addition to learning about the legal purchase process and requirements, you will also want to fully understand any laws regarding possession or transportation of the cannabis products you will be purchasing.
Check to be sure your identification is current and legible
The legal marijuana industry is highly regulated, and customers should expect and welcome the efforts made by cannabis dispensaries to precisely follow these laws. This includes the need for customers to willingly provide the forms of proper identification required by the state where the dispensary is located.
At minimum, customers will need to have a legible, current state-issued driver's license or photo ID card. Customers who are purchasing cannabis for medical reasons may also be required to provide documentation issued by their state that shows proof of this need, usually in the form of a state identification card or document.
Phone ahead to verify acceptable forms of payment
While the availability of legal cannabis is growing quickly, the fact that federal laws have not changed makes it difficult or impossible for cannabis dispensaries to accept debit or credit cards, checks, money orders, or bank drafts. This is because processing payments of this type generally involves crossing state lines, which could violate federal law even though the state in which the sale was made deemed it a legal transaction.
Keeping sales on a cash-only basis effectively alleviates that worry and is the most widely accepted payment form at this time. Customers who plan to visit a cannabis dispensary should always verify the accepted forms of payment before their visit and make sure they have enough cash to cover their planned purchases.
Be willing to make small purchases when trying new products
As a new industry, constant changes are to be expected, especially in the development of new products containing cannabis. This can lead to wide variations in the user experience of each one. Customers who are just beginning to explore the use of cannabis can enjoy a better user experience by making very small purchases of new products to allow them to try them in a cost-effective way. Cannabis product purchases are generally non-returnable and non-refundable so choosing to purchase small quantities is the best policy for new users.
Rely on expert guidance to help you make a great choice
Cannabis dispensary workers are trained to answer customer questions knowledgeably and guide them in making good choices. When planning to visit a cannabis dispensary, offering information about your expectations, health, and budget will allow the dispensary personnel to guide you to the most suitable product.