What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

Whether you’re seeking relief, exploring recreational options, or simply curious about what’s in store, Euphoria Wellness is here to guide you through preparing for your inaugural dispensary visit, ensuring it’s both informative and enjoyable.

REMINDER: Visiting a dispensary for the first time can seem daunting, but there’s no need to worry! Dispensaries are incredibly welcoming to newcomers, and staff are always ready to guide you through the process from start to finish. As long as you have a legal ID, you don’t need to “prepare” to go to a dispensary. This article aims to enhance your experience, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.

Before Your Visit

Legal Requirements and ID

When planning your visit to a dispensary, the most critical item you’ll need, aside from your curiosity and maybe your wallet, is a valid, government-issued ID. Dispensaries are regulated just as strictly as bars or liquor stores when it comes to age restrictions, and they require proof that you are at least 21 years old to enter. 

Acceptable Forms of ID

The types of ID accepted can vary slightly from one dispensary to another, but generally, a state-issued driver’s license or identification card is your best bet. Here are a few examples of IDs that are usually accepted:

  • Driver’s License: A staple form of identification, accepted across all dispensaries.
  • Passport: Both books and cards are acceptable for proving your age and identity.
  • Military ID: Active military identification is accepted in many dispensaries for its detailed information.
  • Native-American Tribe Card: Specific to individuals who possess this form of identification.

Preparing for Your Visit

Before you leave for the dispensary, take a moment to ensure your selected form of ID is current and valid. An expired ID, regardless of the type, will not be accepted and can prevent you from gaining entry. 

Research Dispensaries

Before stepping foot in a dispensary, doing a bit of homework can greatly enhance your first visit. Platforms like Weedmaps and Leafly offer a comprehensive look at dispensaries near you, including product offerings, customer reviews, and even special deals. 

Here’s how you can make the most of these resources:

  1. Understanding Product Offerings: Both Weedmaps and Leafly provide detailed menus for dispensaries, allowing you to see what’s available before you visit. Whether you’re interested in flower, edibles, concentrates, or topicals, you can get a sense of what to expect. This is particularly helpful for those seeking specific strains or product types to meet their needs.
  2. Discovering Deals and Specials: Everyone loves a good deal, and dispensaries often run specials on various products. Weedmaps and Leafly highlight these deals, which can range from discounts on your first visit to daily or weekly specials on specific items. Taking advantage of these offers can not only save you money but also introduce you to new products you might not have tried otherwise.
  3. Reading Reviews: One of the most beneficial aspects of these platforms is the user-generated reviews. Reading about others’ experiences with a dispensary can give you insight into the quality of products, customer service, and overall atmosphere. Reviews can also provide tips on what to buy (or avoid), the best times to visit, and how to get the most out of your trip.

Tips for Using Weedmaps and Leafly Effectively

  • Start with Your Location: Both platforms allow you to search by location. Begin with dispensaries close to you to simplify your first visit. As you become more comfortable, you might explore further afield based on what you discover online.
  • Know What You’re Looking For: Have an idea of what you want out of your cannabis experience. Whether it’s relief from anxiety, pain management, or just relaxation, knowing your goals can help you navigate the vast product selections online.
  • Check Regularly: Dispensaries update their menus and specials frequently. What wasn’t available yesterday might be on the shelf today, and vice versa. Regularly checking these platforms can keep you informed about the latest offerings and deals.

During Your Visit

Understanding the Check-in Process

Upon your first visit to a dispensary, the experience might feel a bit different from walking into your average retail store. Due to legal requirements and the nature of the products being sold, dispensaries have a specific check-in process that all visitors must go through. This process is designed to ensure compliance with state laws and to provide a safe, secure environment for both customers and staff. 

Here’s what you can expect:

Initial ID Verification

The first step upon entering a dispensary is usually to present your valid, government-issued ID. This is a crucial part of the process, as dispensaries are legally required to verify the age of their customers.

Waiting Periods and Limited In-Store Capacity

After your ID has been checked, you might find yourself waiting to be admitted to the main sales area. This waiting period can vary depending on the dispensary’s policy and the current number of customers inside. Many dispensaries have a limited in-store capacity to maintain a comfortable and secure shopping environment. This is especially true in states where cannabis regulations strictly control the flow of customers in and out of dispensaries.

During peak times, there may be a line, or you might be asked to wait in a designated area until it’s your turn to shop. This is similar to waiting for a table at a restaurant during busy hours.

Consulting with a Budtender

During your visit to a dispensary, one of the most valuable resources available to you is the budtender. These knowledgeable individuals are there to guide you through the vast array of cannabis products, helping you to understand the nuances between different strains, consumption methods, and what might work best for your specific needs or desired effects. 

Tips for a Productive Consultation

  • Be Specific About Your Needs: The more information you provide, the better. Are you looking for pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep aid, or just a mild, relaxing experience? Your goals can significantly influence the recommendations provided.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t be shy about asking for more information on anything that’s unclear. Whether it’s about the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, or how to use a concentrate, your budtender is there to help.
  • Keep an Open Mind: Sometimes, the best product for you might be something you hadn’t initially considered. Budtenders often have insight into the latest products or emerging cannabis trends.

Making Your Purchase

The federal classification of cannabis as an illegal substance means that federally regulated banks and credit card companies are often hesitant to process cannabis transactions. This has led many dispensaries to operate on a cash-only basis. When preparing for your visit, ensure you have enough cash on hand not just for the products you intend to buy, but also to cover state and local taxes, which can be substantial due to specific cannabis taxation policies.

In Nevada, understanding the tax structure for cannabis purchases is key to budgeting for your visit to a dispensary. The state imposes a combination of taxes on both recreational and medical marijuana purchases that can significantly affect the total cost. For recreational marijuana, consumers are subject to a 10% excise tax in addition to the statewide sales tax, which is 8.375%. This means you can expect the total tax added to your purchase to be approximately 18.375%. For medical marijuana, the only tax applied is the statewide sales tax of 8.375%. There’s no additional excise tax for medical cannabis purchases.

Tips for a Smooth Transaction

  • Bring More Cash Than You Think You’ll Need: To avoid the frustration of not having enough to cover your purchase and taxes, estimate your expected total and then add some extra to ensure you’re covered.
  • Check for ATMs Ahead of Time: If you plan to use the dispensary’s ATM, it might be wise to inquire in advance about any associated fees or withdrawal limits.
  • Understand the Tax Rate: If possible, look up the tax rate on cannabis products in your area before visiting the dispensary. This will help you better estimate the total cost of your purchase.

Additional Tips for Your Dispensary Visit

Navigating your first dispensary visit can be an enriching experience, especially when you’re armed with the right knowledge and mindset. Here are some additional tips to help you make the most of your visit:

1. Product Knowledge is Key

  • Strains and Effects: Cannabis comes in various strains, each with its own unique effects. THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids in cannabis, with THC being psychoactive and CBD non-psychoactive. Familiarize yourself with the effects of these compounds and the strains available to find what might work best for you.
  • Consumption Methods: From smoking and vaping to edibles and topicals, the method of consumption can significantly affect your experience. Each method has its onset time and duration of effects, so consider what suits your needs and lifestyle.

2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Buy

Remember, visiting a dispensary should be a positive experience. If you don’t find what you’re looking for or if something doesn’t feel right, know that there’s no obligation to make a purchase. 

Tipping Budtenders

While tipping is not obligatory, it is a common practice to show appreciation for the guidance and service provided by budtenders. If you receive helpful advice, consider leaving a tip as a thank you. Tipping amounts can vary, but even a small gesture can show your gratitude for their expertise and assistance.

Choose Euphoria Wellness: Las Vegas’ First Dispensary

When you’re ready to visit your first dispensary, make Euphoria Wellness your destination. We pride ourselves on offering a supportive, informative, and welcoming environment for everyone, especially first-timers. At Euphoria Wellness, you’ll find a diverse selection of products and a knowledgeable team eager to assist you in finding exactly what suits your needs and desires. When you’re ready to make that first visit, choose Euphoria Wellness to ensure a positive and enlightening experience on your cannabis journey.

This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition. Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.