It’s a Whole New World

Going to a store to purchase a drug that has been illegal for 100 years may seem scary, stressful or at least intimidating. Shopping for cannabis can be fun and educating yourself before you go will make it that much better.

Medical Vs. Recreational

For states that have legalized medical cannabis, each user must first gain a state issued medical cannabis card. While each state differs in their requirements, most require at least: a licensed medical physician’s recommendation, a consultation with a doctor who specializes in cannabis who provides recommendations and gives approval for your medical card. Fees for the doctor, the state and a government issued identification such as a drivers license or passport are all necessary.

Some benefits of gaining a medical card and shopping as a medical user include access to higher concentrations of THC in edibles and concentrates, discounts on consumable cannabis products and reduction or exemption from state taxes.

In recreational states, all you need to provide is your drivers license. In this classification you will pay state taxes, most of which go to education and other state initiatives.

What To Expect

Once you enter a dispensary, you'll need to check-in with a person at the counter. If you are in a recreational state, you'll provide your driver's license and may need to sign in. If you are in a medical state or buying as a medical user, you'll need to provide your driver's license and medical card.

Most dispensaries have waiting areas and cap the number of customers allowed in the shopping area. Once inside a dedicated budtender, a knowledgeable salesperson, will be there to answer your questions and make suggestions.

If the dispensary is licensed by the state, all the flower, concentrates and edibles will be lab tested and free of contaminates. It also means all the products will have informative labels with precise details.

What To Look For

Dispensaries vary in cleanliness, the smell of the store, expertise of the staff and selection of products. Some have a decorating theme, offer classes, enable text pre-order or offer detailed terpene profiles on their products. Product display, delivery, long hours or expertise regarding indoor versus outdoor are other ways they can shine.

Check out dispensary options online, either in your neighborhood or while on a trip. Try them out and be sure to leave feedback.


The tide is turning. A majority of Americans think cannabis should be legal and our laws, state by state, are starting to accomplish this. But millions are still denied access, or languish in prisons, due to antiquated laws that hurt rather than help us.

Do your part to help these fellow citizens and show the world how cannabis should be managed, with education, understanding and compassion: