Cannabis dispensaries were a matter of fiction back in the days. For the people who wanted or needed cannabis products, there were not so many options left. They could have tried to find someone who would supply them with weed, but it was, and it still is a risky thing to do. Not only for the sake of your safety, but because of the legal consequences too. However, luckily for all the people in need, cannabis has been recently legalized in many states of the United States. Other than that, Canada is the first country to have it legalized in its whole territory. Other than the freedom of choice, purchase and consumption, this great news brought us a fantastic novelty – cannabis dispensaries.

What are these anyway?


Along with the legalization of cannabis in states such as Washington, California or Michigan, or in countries such as Canada, certain steps have been made toward making cannabis and its products more accessible than they used to be. What’s a better way to do it than by opening cannabis retail stores? That’s what dispensaries actually are. The only reason why they are called that way, is the fact that the first locations where you could find cannabis in the past, were there for medical purposes. Today, it’s not much different, since you can still find both medical and recreational cannabis products in these dispensaries or in other words – retail shops.

Is a dispensary the same thing as any other shop?


However, these shops are still not completely the same as any other shop you regularly go to. You don’t need permission nor there is an age limit to enter Nike, for example. When it comes to medical dispensaries, you will need a medical card with a specified note from your doctors, to be able to get the products you need. In reality, this means that there is an age requirement, or you need to bring your adult caregiver along with the practitioner certification. This is quite logical, since the states needed to find a good way to legally regulate cannabis use and retail, so they came up with a pretty simple yet effective solution for those who need cannabis products for medical reasons.

On the other hand, there are no other limits but the age limits, for the shoppers who visit recreational dispensaries in order to get something from the huge range of products they offer. You will need to be at least 21 years of age, and of course, you need to bring your ID or passport with you. This is also a great solution because it prevents minors from having free access to cannabis, which is extremely important for preventing the development of addiction through exposure to numerous products that may seem interesting for young people. Why is this dangerous? Minors don’t have their personalities developed yet, nor they have self-regulation mechanisms that would allow them to think rationally and have complete control over their actions. This is why age requirement is of great importance, in states that may have dispensaries on every other corner of the street.

With so many options available, it can be hard to choose the right dispensary. Therefore, before you enter the chosen shop, there are some things you need to research, and consider. Here are some of them:

1. Don’t forget about the quality of cannabis – Not every dispensary is the same


It may be hard to tell if a product is of high quality or not. Still, a bit of research never killed anybody. This means that you should use every possible source of information to make sure you are at the right spot. It includes information that can be found online, whether it’s the dispensary website, social media, people’s comments, or simple price comparison, as well as the complete impression you can get through what’s available about them. But, that’s not the only way to find out the essential info. You can also consult testing facilities in your city to see if the target dispensary is on the list. And finally, you can simply enter the shop and chat with the staff. This is a great indicator of their experience and quality too – their budtenders should act friendly but they should also be highly qualified in the field they work in. They should also be very transparent about the sources of their products, where do they come from, how fresh they are etc.

2. Are they the manufacturers or are they just selling?


Neither of these options is necessarily a good or a bad thing. The dispensary of your choice doesn’t need to actually produce the cannabis, although it could be a good thing, because in that case, you will easily get detailed information about the products available, their quality and freshness. Don’t hesitate to ask the staff how they get their strains, if you couldn’t find that info on their website. The most common case is that they buy from the local farm, which is a great thing because it allows small manufacturers to keep their business going, closing the whole process. Still, the experience has shown that the best cannabis is grown on-site, which then results in the best, high-end products. Still, it all depends on the dispensary!

3. Don’t be lazy. Check out the reviews


Reviews do matter. People who are satisfied with certain products, manufacturers or dispensaries will certainly share their thoughts and spread the good news. The same goes for bad reviews – people are usually loud when they don’t like something or when they find it low quality. Luckily, there is a lot of information available online, whether those are review websites, groups or forums, or simply comments under social media posts. Make sure to check them all out and make a selection according to the reviews and other factors. Still, don’t rely solely on other people’s comments since they can never be a 100% objective.

4. Can you trust them?


According to, there are several ways to check if the dispensary is a reputable place. From the location and the source of their cannabis, to the website and available information about their products, to the variety of products, from vapes, flowers, edibles, to vapes, or concentrates or accessories – look at what they offer and look if they do it professionally. The About us page on every dispensary’s website should be the first thing to check out. You should always aim for high-quality products, no matter the price. The price itself can oftentimes be an indicator of quality, since cannabis isn’t cheap. If the products you see are too cheap, then keep in mind that if it’s ‘too good to be true’, it probably is.


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