Currently there are 33 states in the US that have legalized, to varying degrees, the use of medical marijuana. Not all of these states have opened medical dispensaries, yet. For those in states still without a medical marijuana dispensary, be patient, with the revenue sales of cannabis both medical and recreational at record highs, pun intended, states will be moving quickly to take advantage of the trend. If it’s your first time visiting a marijuana dispensary, medical or otherwise, being prepared is important and will help you have a great first experience not to mention getting the right kind of medicine for your needs. If you are in Canada, lucky you! Things are moving at a breakneck pace with our northern neighbors. Clearly they have the right priorities.
Bring the Necessary Documents
In most states you are required to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card (MMC) which is a process that differs from state to state but always requires a visit to a doctor, some paperwork and registering with your state. A few states just require that you get a letter from at least one, sometimes two doctors and submit them to your state’s registry. No matter what the process is, make sure you have done what you need to so that you can legally buy medical marijuana. Also don’t forget your government issued ID. All states accept a driver’s license, some accept a state ID if you don’t have a driver’s license and some also accept a passport. Check with the dispensary before you go because not having your ID is not a negotiable thing if you plan to get through the front door.
Know Your Medical Marijuana Dispensary Needs
The more you do your homework before you go, the easier it will be for budtenders to make just the right recommendations. Most budtenders at medical marijuana dispensaries are extremely knowledgeable but they are not mind readers. If you know that your main medical need is pain management but you are not interested in the psychoactive effects of THC, then by all means make sure you explain that to your budtender so they can point you in the direction of the best CBD products for pain management. Similarly, if you prefer or can’t smoke anything then let them know right away. Also depending on your medical needs, jot down a list of crucial questions to ask about any potential products. Your budtender will really appreciate this. For example do you want something to quell nausea and increase your appetite but need it to last more than a few hours? Then the question how long do the effects last? Should be on your list.
Dispensary Vibe and Payment Methods
Again doing a little research before you go can save you an unplanned second trip. These days some dispensaries are completely no contact and actually have a window that opens up onto a sidewalk so you may be standing in line for a long time and will not be able to touch the products much if at all. Will you be able to stand for an hour? If not then consider bringing a friend to hold your place in line while you chill on a nearby bench or in your car. Wait times are typical of so many other businesses, weekends and early evenings tend to be the most crowded so if you can plan your visit at another time, it will likely be shorter and the budtenders will have more time to spend with you. Especially if this is your first visit, attentive budtenders are invaluable. Payment methods are also something you should know before you go. All medical marijuana dispensaries accept cash and some do allow you to pay by debit or credit card, however this is still pretty rare. Another option is the conveniently located ATM which will generally be inside or very nearby the medical marijuana dispensary. The only problem with this method are the fees, they can be quite steep. Some dispensaries will deduct the fee cost from your medical marijuana purchase but you usually have to ask. It never hurts to ask. Do what you can to prepare for your visit to a medical marijuana dispensary and you can expect to have a fun, educational and as an added benefit, you will get the right medicine for your symptoms.
Be sure to check out: Medical Marijuana: Treating What ails You with Cannabis