You’ve decided to venture down the path of medical marijuana. Or maybe you’re a recreational user, looking for a legal supply. So now what? Well, you need to purchase your cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary. So how should you approach choosing a medical marijuana dispensary?

As with any big decision in your life, it’s a good idea to do some research to understand what your best options are. Just remember, before you can buy from a medical marijuana dispensary, you must have a medical marijuana card or a recommendation from a doctor.

Here’s what to consider when finding the right medical marijuana dispensary for you:

1. Health and Safety

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Photo credit: Intergr8 Health

It is important that the dispensary abides by the proper health and safety regulations. The dispensary should ensure that cannabis and cannabis products are dispensed in a clean environment. The marijuana should also be handled correctly, grown using the correct cultivation methods, and storing conditions.

The dispensary should record the transaction in the Point of Sale system. However, personal details about yourself, such as your name, do not need to be recorded.

Most dispensaries will need to record the following: 

  • The type of marijuana product sold
  • The amount of marijuana product sold
  • The birth date of the individual who bought the product
  • The sale price
  • The date of the sale

A dispensary must also develop a written policy that outlines the steps it will take to ensure that no more than the allowed amount of retail marijuana product is sold to one person in a day.

2. Quality

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Photo credit Flickr

Just like any product you buy from a store, you want it to be good quality. The best way to check the quality of a product is to use it, however, this can be very expensive if you are not fully satisfied with the product. In addition, most marijuana you buy from a dispensary will list the information about the strain you are buying, such as the THC level, CBD level, and in some cases the expected ‘high’ you will get.

Before you head to a dispensary, you can search online for medical marijuana dispensaries in your area. Web sites like Yelp, Leafly or Weedmaps also provide great word of mouth reviews from other cannabis users who have purchased from your intended dispensary. This can be very helpful to help you decide which dispensary you’d like to check out.

3. Location

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Photo credit: Denver Post

Obviously you would like the location of the medical marijuana dispensary to be convenient to you. This way, you can stop in and grab products with ease or get any questions you may have answered about dosages, strains and more. Some dispensaries even offer delivery – but this may be an option once you are comfortable with the process of buying from a dispensary, as it is not as easy to ask questions of the experts when your marijuana is delivered.

4. Selection

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Photo credit: Huffington Post

Medical marijuana dispensaries should have a wide variety of products. From traditional bud, to edible treats, to balms, creams and more. Having an array of choices allows you the freedom to find a product that works best for you.

Not only should the product selection vary, you should have a choice from a variety of strains to choose from. Whether you prefer indica, sativa or a hybrid blend – all varieties should be available to you.

5. Price

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Illegal weed can cost up to $20 per gram, where legal marijuana averages around $15 per gram. However, if available, private organic cannabis can sell as low as $10 per gram.

Other helpful tips:

  • Make sure you have valid, state ID. (driver’s license, passport, or valid state ID showing you are at least 21 years of age).
  • Remember, a dispensary is not a head shop.
  • Do not use the product in the parking lot!

Check out this first-hand experience from a first-time visit to a medical marijuana dispensary:

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