We’ve all had that “new kid at school feeling.” As an adult, it may be less likely but not any less daunting. For your first dispensary experience, you may not know what to expect or maybe you have the wrong expectations. Maybe you’ve been a cannabis user for years or maybe it’s your first experience with cannabis. Either way, learn what to expect, ask, and purchase at a dispensary with a little help from your friends at Silver Sage Wellness.

Dispensary vs. Cannabis Shop

What is a dispensary? What makes it different from a “cannabis shop?” We’re glad you asked because there is, in fact, a difference.

Dispensary: a definition

Originally, “dispensary” meant any place or room wherein medicines are prepared or provided to people of all ages. In recent years, marijuana dispensary has come to mean a place where they dispense marijuana to patients 21 and older. Simply put, a dispensary is a place where a storefront dispenses medical marijuana. While dispensary cononates medical marijuana, dispensaries may also sell recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana means patients with a medical marijuana card purchase their marijuana for a specific ailment and typically at a cheaper price. Recreational users can use marijuana medicinally as well although without the discount. In Nevada, we strictly have dispensaries.

Cannabis Shop: a place to do just that

The cannabis shop typically entails just recreational sales. As marijuana becomes more accepted federally and prevalent in our day and age, the necessity of the term dispensary may become less prevalent but focus more on the accessibility to adults over 21 who wish to purchase cannabis for a variety of intents. Some things may stay the same when you initially enter a dispensary or cannabis retail store.

medical dispensary

Your First Dispensary Experience: What to Expect

Dispensaries or cannabis retail shops may vary across the legalized states but the general process remains the same.

What to Know in Advance

First, know your rights. You may no you can buy rec legally now in Nevada—great. But, make sure you know where and when you can use the awesome cannabis you just purchased. Here are some important points to remember about marijuana consumption and purchasing in Nevada:
  • You must be 21 years and older to purchase and consume marijuana in the state of Nevada.
  • If you’re a minor with a medical marijuana card, you still need a legal guardian or caregiver to go with you to a dispensary.
  • You cannot possess more than one (1) ounce of marijuana (legal cannabis places will not sell you more than that anyhow.)
  • Smoking in public places is strictly prohibited.
  • Possession of more than a 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated marijuana (the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana) is also prohibited in our state.
  • You cannot smoke while operating a vehicle.
Some specifics may differ in each state so make sure you read up on the local laws before head out. We want your first experience to be a positive one.

What to Bring

While some dispensaries can vary in size, aesthetic, or experience, they all require by law that you bring your real ID. From out of town? We get it, but you still need a photo ID. Out-of-state licenses work just fine. Make sure they’re valid and show your accurate age of 21 or older. No matter where you get your cannabis for the first time or go to a dispensary for the first time, here’s what to bring:
  • Photo ID
  • Cash
  • Your knowledge
  • Your questions
Don’t forget your head at the door. Remember what you learned here or elsewhere and be sure to ask if you’re not sure about something. Since federally illegal, you cannot purchase weed directly with your bank card. However, most dispensaries provide an ATM nearby so if you forget to bring cash, you can still access your account without going far. Avoid those pesky bank charges, though, by bringing your own cash or stopping by your bank on the way.

What to Ask

You’ve heard it said: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Maybe that’s true, and we mean it when we say you should bring all your questions. If you’re unsure or even nervous about the experience, you can always ask for help. Budtenders, patient consultants, or cannabis consultants as they are sometimes called, all want to help and serve you and provide you the best product to suit your needs.
  • What are some products you recommend to first-timers?
  • Are there any deals or specials running today?
  • What’s your favorite product or strain?
  • I suffer from _______ . What do you recommend?
Depending on your background, age, sex, and general preference, your questions may vary. Don’t hesitate to ask all of them.

What to Try First

Now, this is the exciting part. After you’ve done your research and asked your questions, you now have the opportunity to consume cannabis in a myriad of ways. These questions will help you determine what to try first:
  • I’m a new user. What strain is good to start with?
  • I don’t like to smoke. What are some alternative methods?
  • I don’t like the smell. How can I be discreet but also medicate?
  • I’m a long-time user. What are some of the best products you carry?
Have a friend you know who’s been? The buddy system is an ancient practice that still holds true to this day.

What’s Next?

If you’re a first-time patient, Silver Sage Wellness offer first-time patient deals as well as a loyalty program. We have daily deals and event specials so be sure to sign up for our text and emails to receive those. And welcome, to wellness!