Behave at a Dispensary

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Marijuana dispensaries are legal pot stores where people can buy recreational and medical cannabis products in their state. These establishments are regulated by the State law to dispense and sell marijuana and the tools needed for its consumption.

Since the first public dispensary was opened in 1992 in San Francisco, about 30 states have legalized cannabis in the US, at least to some extent. So if you’re living in one of these states and you’re a fan of marijuana products, then you probably would want to visit the nearest dispensary in your location.

However, before you pay your first visit to a cannabis shop, reading some dispensary etiquette will make your experience a lot more fun and less awkward.

What to Look for in Dispensary?

Before going to a dispensary, you have to know what you’re looking for – recreational or medical cannabis shopping? While some shops are licensed to offer either recreational or medical products, others have a dual-license (meaning they attend to both recreational and medical clients). There are many differences but a lot of similarities. For example, they both will carry different conduction or convection style vaporizers.


Legal recreational pot shops are what they are. The cannabis products they offer are strictly for recreational purpose. They are not allowed to provide any form of medical help to their customers.


Medical dispensaries, on the other hand, are designed for medical patients. They are the appropriate establishments that can offer professional answers to patients’ questions as well as give medical advice to them. Although we recommend that you explore different medical cannabis shops as this will help you find the one with professional staffs and budtender. When you do, feel free to ask medical related questions. You can also buy legal dry herb hemp flower from some dispensaries.

How to Have Dispensary Etiquette

Bring Your ID

Since dispensaries are legal, underage people (below 21) are not allowed to use them just like a typical bar or club. So it’s a good idea to go with a valid government-issued ID to save yourself from the embarrassment of making a return trip. This doesn’t apply to new customers only so ensure you take your ID every time you want to make a purchase.

For medical shoppers, ensure that your paperwork is accurate and up-to-date. And if it’s your first time shopping at a medical dispensary, you will likely do some paperwork as a first timer.

Be Polite

Dispensaries are professional establishments and not some illegal cannabis deals so ensure you be at your best behavior when you get there. Budtenders will professionally attend to you, and you’re expected to return the favor. Avoid speaking rudely or try to disrespect other customers in the shop by listening to their conversations or intruding in their privacy.

Put Your Phone Away

Using your phone inside a dispensary is strictly prohibited to prevent customers from violating the “no photo” policy. Even if you just want to text someone and have no intention of taking photos or making videos in the shop, we highly recommend that you put your phone away. It won’t cause any harm to wait until you get outside the dispensary before you use your device. Not like you’d spend the whole day inside the establishment.

Don’t Try to Negotiate

Haggling in a dispensary is a terrible idea. The budtenders or other workers at the shop did not fix the price of the products you want to buy. They are just staffs employed to sell and attend to customers.

Don’t even request for a discount from any staff member because each of the products in the shops is tracked and records are kept. Forcing a budtender to reduce prices for you could only make them lose their jobs or pay for it one way or the other.

If you can’t afford to pay for a product, it’s best you go for a cheaper one or wait until you can pay for it.

It’s Cash Only

While a few cannabis shops accept card payment, a majority of them prefer cash since cannabis is still illegal under federal law despite being legal under state law. So we highly recommend you take to take cash with you to make things easier and avoid paying extra card fees or making a return trip.

Ask Questions

If you are confused not sure about a product or finding it difficult to decide which product you should buy, feel free to ask the budtender or any staff member at the shop. They will be more than happy to assist you in the best way they can. Most dispensaries offer training and certifications to their budtender, so you are guaranteed to receive professional answers and helpful information.

Don’t Consume Cannabis on the Property

Just because the establishment has been licensed to sell cannabis products does not mean that you should smoke or vape marijuana in the dispensary. In fact, dispensaries have policies against marijuana consumption anywhere near the property. You will only embarrass yourself if you do, as you will be asked to exit the facility if a worker or surveillance camera catches you.

Giving Tips

Giving tips to workers when they offer excellent services to you is a nice idea and a cool way to say thank you. Just as you are allowed to give tips to bartenders, some dispensaries allow customers to tip budtenders for exceptional service received.  So if you find any worker at the cannabis shop very helpful, feel free to appreciate their efforts by rewarding them with generous tips.

We hope you find these dispensary etiquettes helpful. We also wish you a lovely experience as you make your first visit to a legal cannabis shop.

About The Author:

Alex is an active cannabis lover and connoisseur. He loves exploring the different effects and characteristics of cannabinoids and how they interact with each other. Born and raised in Los Angeles, hiking and smoking are one of his favorite pastimes.

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