Cannabis Dispensary Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

Cannabis Dispensary Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

Updated: 08/20/2023

For some, a medical or recreational cannabis dispensary may be an entirely new experience, and navigating the proper dispensary etiquette can be confusing.

While it’s completely normal to feel out of place in a new environment, figuring out what you should (and shouldn’t!) do when buying cannabis products at your next dispensary trip is essential to improving your experience and having better interactions with those who work and visit cannabis dispensaries.

To help you head to your first dispensary trip fully prepared to explore legalized cannabis, we are breaking down all the dos and don’ts for the average cannabis consumer. Let’s dive right in!

Do Ask the Right Questions

When you visit many dispensaries, keep in mind that you don’t have to be an expert to buy cannabis products. In fact, most dispensaries are equipped with highly knowledgeable staff who are there to help you navigate how much cannabis to buy, pick a particular strain, and engage in any conversation about the perks of different cannabis forms, like edibles or flower.

When heading to the dispensary for the first time, and on any visit after, don’t hesitate to ask questions. This will help ensure you get personalized recommendations and end up with your best product.

Do Understand Dosing

Do Understand Dosing

Understanding and being aware of the proper dosing and best dose for you is a must for both medical and recreational cannabis use. For recreational users, it’s important to start with a low dose and slowly increase as needed. This general rule will help you gauge your tolerance and reduce the risk of side effects.

For medical cannabis users, however, it’s important to consult with a trusted professional in the cannabis industry to discuss dosage. Medical dosing requires more specific measurements, but keep in mind, everyone’s response to cannabis can be different, so you may need to adjust your dosing based on how you feel.

Do Be Able to Articulate What You Like or Don’t Like

Whether it’s your first trip visiting a dispensary or your 10th, be sure that you can properly articulate what you do or do not like.

While this is a no-brainer for many, some may forget that specifying the taste, aroma, desired effect, or even specific strains is a crucial step to ensure you find the best product for you. By expressing your preferences, even a first-timer can walk out of the dispensary with a really great product match. They don’t expect newcomers to know their preferred strains, but even letting the dispensary employees know you don’t like chocolate can help narrow the search down.

In addition, you can help avoid certain unsavory flavors or side effects by sharing prior experiences to help direct what is best for you. With effective communication, customers can increase their likelihood of finding their ideal cannabis product, matching both their needs and tastes.

Do Know Where You Can Consume Legally

Knowing where you can legally consume and possess cannabis is essential for all recreational users and medical patients to avoid complaints or legal complications.

While laws vary based on the jurisdiction, it’s important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area, ensuring you don’t smoke in any illegal or unwanted areas. By understanding the rules and limitations, you can not only enjoy your cannabis responsibly but be respectful of your surrounding environment.

Do Bring ID and Cash or Debit Card

Do Bring ID and Cash or Debit Card

You don’t want to walk out of your first visit to the dispensaries empty-handed! While some people forget their wallets in the car or think they aren’t needed, you must be sure that you have your government-issued ID on hand, like your driver’s license with a photo ID, as well as some cash to make a purchase.

Some dispensaries operate on a cash-only basis but most have a cash machine inside, and accept debit cards or electronic payments like CanPay. In the event of system issues, cash is always the safest option.

Do Tip Budtenders

Need another reason to carry cash? To tip the budtenders when purchasing.

Budtenders are there to provide detailed, helpful advice, serving as attentive associates for customers in stores. And this hard work deserves a bit of a tip!

We know shopping for cannabis can be expensive, but the budtender helped ensure you ended up with the best product. As you would with a bartender or server, consider tipping those who helped assist in your purchase, even after small purchases.

Do Check the Menu Online Before

Do Check the Menu Online Before

Another of our top tips is to check the menu of cannabis products available to purchase at your local dispensary.

Before visiting the dispensary in person, ensure you review the menu and familiarize yourself with the products available, as well as the strains and pricing. This will help you make better purchasing decisions, and save you time in the dispensaries. In addition, before your first time, you can do more research on the menu to learn more about specific products, and their reviews, and learn about their effects to make a more confident choice.

Don’t Take a Photo Without Asking

When it comes to dispensary etiquette, it’s important to always ask for permission or about the guidelines before taking any pictures in the store.

While it can be tempting to capture the inside of the store, with all the products and decor, it’s important to respect the dispensary rules, as well as the privacy of other customers. Taking photos without content infringes on people’s privacy, and potentially violates the rules at the store. So, always ask before snapping a picture in order to remain respectful.

Don’t Be Impatient or Rude

True for proper etiquette in every aspect of life, it’s important to avoid being rude or impatient.

Dispensaries are incredibly busy, and staff members can be assisting many customers at once. Keep this in mind when looking for the right products, and wait patiently for your service. This will help avoid creating a negative atmosphere, and allow for a more smooth experience where you can ask questions and get the quality attention of one of our associates when it’s your turn. Always remain friendly and courteous in order to maintain our positive environment.

Don’t Overshare Personal Information

While talking and sharing your needs is a good thing when visiting a dispensary, you do not need to overshare personal information.

While it’s important to share necessary identification and proof of legal age, avoid sharing unnecessary or sensitive details. At a dispensary, whether you are there for medical use or recreational, customer privacy and confidentiality are top of mind. With this in mind, avoid disclosing personal information unrelated to your purchase or needs. This way, we can create a safe environment.

Don’t Consume or Open Products in the Dispensary

Don’t Consume or Open Products in the Dispensary

When visiting a dispensary, you are not legally allowed to consume or open any of the products in the store.

Cannabis consumption is usually regulated and restricted to specific areas, such as private residences. With this in mind, opening products or consuming them in-store will violate both legal and local dispensary policies. To remain respectful of the dispensaries and maintain a safe environment, hold off on opening and using your cannabis products until you get home.

Don’t Bring Your Pet Inside

As much as we love our furry friends, it is not proper dispensary etiquette to bring pets inside.

While service animals are welcome in dispensaries, your pets are not. This is largely for sanitation issues, as dispensaries are full of products people intend to consume. Even in the case of an extremely well-behaved pet, their fur and dander can linger in the space, contaminating the products inside. So, while we love animals, it’s best to keep your pets outside.

Don’t Use Your Phone

Another piece of advice when visiting a dispensary is to avoid using your phone. As a general rule, it’s not polite to talk on the phone, as it can be disruptive to other customers. In a dispensary, in particular, people are being helped one-on-one, making phone conversations all the more disruptive.

If you want to talk on the phone, this can be disruptive to those helping customers, and rude to employees who are trying to assist you. This will not only create a more abrasive environment but make your transaction take longer. So, be polite and put the phone away.

Don’t Hold Back Information

While we did note not to overshare, it is important to tell the employee helping you about your previous cannabis experience. From the products you’ve used and what you liked, be honest with the budtender so they can help make a better recommendation for your needs and experience level.

Keep in mind, our staff is not here to judge. So, even if it’s your first time, share honestly so we can help!

Don’t Linger Too Long

Although it’s a good thing to take your time perusing our menu and looking at the products, interacting with employees to find your best item, once you’re done and have checked out, it’s best to avoid loitering. Whether waiting around inside or outside, this type of loitering is a red flag for a dispensary security team, and they may worry that you are hanging around too much. So, once you’re done, it’s best to make your way to your next activity.

Elevate Your Experience: Uncovering Premium Products and Exceptional Staff at Windy City Cannabis

Elevate Your Experience: Uncovering Premium Products and Exceptional Staff at Windy City Cannabis

No matter if it’s your first visit or one of many, these tips on dispensary etiquette can help create a smoother, more positive experience. And at Windy City Cannabis, our team is there to help make every customer’s experience all the better.

With premium products, a knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to your satisfaction, we are here to elevate your cannabis journey. Visit one of our dispensaries today, and uncover your ideal cannabis products with our exceptional service. Contact us to learn more about our offerings today!

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