A beginner’s guide to shopping for cannabis
If you’re anticipating your first-ever marijuana dispensary trip, we envy you. Soon, you’ll get to experience that elusive kid-in-a-candy-store feeling… especially once you’re surrounded by edibles. And if you’re headed to a Zen Leaf dispensary, you can expect top-tier hospitality, expert recommendations, and premium products, too. That said, shopping at a cannabis dispensary has its quirks—adventures always do—and understanding what to expect beforehand can help you get the most out of your visit.
Find the Right Dispensary
Whether you’re a cannabis newcomer or connoisseur, you’ll be warmly welcomed at Zen Leaf, MÜV, and other Verano-owned storefronts. Just use the dispensary location finder to scope out your neighborhood store. From there, you can check out shop photos to gain a clearer picture of the inviting atmosphere and exceptional product quality you can expect at Zen Leaf. You’ll also find the hours of operation, directions, patient resources, and the fun part: The cannabis menu!
Know What You Want to Accomplish
Good dispensaries welcome everybody, whether newcomer or connoisseur. So if you don’t yet know the difference between flower and concentrate, indica and sativa, THC and CBD…it’s no biggie. A cannabis advisor will be thrilled to guide your experience no matter what.
It can be beneficial, however, to make note of any issues you want to address or effects you hope to experience, and check out the cannabis menu online to see if any particular products pique your interest.
Bring Along These Essentials
Once you’ve chosen a dispensary and some menu items you’re excited about, you’re just about ready to treat yourself. Just make sure to take the following with you:
- A government-issued photo ID verifying that you are over 21 (or, depending on the state, over 18 if you carry a medical marijuana card). Valid forms of ID include driver’s licenses and ID cards issued by any U.S. state, U.S. territory, or Canadian province, as well as official passports and passport cards. You’ll likely be carded at the door and several times throughout your dispensary experience.
- Your medical marijuana card if you’re visiting a medical dispensary or if you live in a state that only allows medical marijuana cardholders to be in possession of cannabis
- Cash. Because of federal banking regulations, most dispensaries still can’t accept credit card payments. Although you’ll often find an ATM on-site and sometimes you can use your debit card and pin number at the register, good old-fashioned cash is still your best bet. (And don’t forget sales tax! Recreational cannabis taxes vary from state to state.)
Don’t Be Intimidated by Extra Security
Due to federal restrictions, shopping for cannabis still isn’t as simple as, say, picking up a loaf of bread—but that doesn’t mean it has to be scary. Just prepare for these steps:
- Expect a security guard to verify that you meet the legal entry requirements at the dispensary door.
- Keep your ID card out. A receptionist will scan it again once you’re inside. (And if you have a medical marijuana card, keep that out, too.) Don’t be surprised if someone asks about your zip code, eye color, or other basic identification details. Dispensaries are under legal obligation to monitor how much THC is in your possession, so they need to confirm you are who you say you are. You will not be entered into any kind of weed database—that’s a myth—but dispensaries will abide by the law.
- Once you’re checked in at reception, you’ll be assigned a cannabis advisor. Cannabis advisors are cannabis experts and are uniquely qualified to answer your questions and recommend products… so now would be a good time to bust out that list of q’s and items you’re interested in.
- You’ll see a locked display case full of the goods: Flower, pre-rolls, edibles, topicals, concentrates, vapes, tinctures, and more. Your budtender can help you narrow down your options.
- Then you’ll pay with cash or debit card and be on your merry way. Easy!
A Few Dos and Don’ts for Good Measure
- Come armed with queries and all the information your cannabis advisor ought to know about you. While budtenders aren’t allowed to give medical advice, there’s no such thing as a dumb question—especially when it comes to weed.
- Cliché as it might sound, bring an open mind. Verano dispensaries offer a whole universe of premium delights to enjoy, so get curious.
- Break dispensary rules, i.e., don’t consume anything on-site or touch any products without asking, take any pictures for the ‘gram, or ask about illegally transporting marijuana across state lines.
- Cave to your nerves. Your local dispensary is lucky to have your patronage and should do whatever they can to make you feel comfortable. You don’t need to be a cannabis expert to enjoy cannabis—that’s why dispensaries and budtenders exist!
At Zen Leaf and MÜV dispensaries, we’re lavish with our top-tier focus on hospitality, our premium ingredients, and those who put their trust in us. Find your closest dispensary, and with a little practice, you’ll be a confident cannabis consumer in no time.