August 17, 2023

What To Expect The First Time You Visit A Dispensary

What To Expect The First Time You Visit A Dispensary

First Time You Visit A Dispensary

It’s natural to feel unsure about doing something you’ve never done before, so don’t be worried if you don’t know what to expect the first time you visit a dispensary.

No longer is buying marijuana something that’s looked down upon or something you have to keep a secret. And even though Michigan has had legalized recreational weed for a few years now, you still may not have visited a dispensary yet. That’s OK! We’re giving you the guide you need for your first dispensary visit.

The last thing we want is for you to feel intimidated when you come to Lake Effect, or to any dispensary for that matter, so we’re here to simplify the process.

A Few FAQs

Before we jump into what to expect from the first time you visit a dispensary, here are a few questions we hear a lot from first-timers:

As long as the dispensary has a recreational weed menu (which Lake Effect does), you don’t need a card to come in – as long as you’re 21 years of age or older.

How much weed you can buy at one time depends on how much the dispensary has in stock, along with local regulations. For example, here in Michigan, you can buy up to 2.5 ounces of flower at one time. To know for sure, give your store a call and ask an employee!

Some dispensaries accept tips and some don’t. If you want to tip, just give whatever you feel comfortable giving – tips are typically appreciated, but never required.

Before You Head Out

We want to arm you with the information you need to feel in control of the first time you visit a dispensary. After all, heading to a dispensary should be something you look forward to doing, and hopefully this will be far from your last time making the trip!

Before you go, you should:

  • Feel confident.
    • Shopping at a dispensary is 100% legal! Just because it’s the first time you visit a dispensary you shouldn’t feel anxious. Nothing about your shopping trip is shady or discouraged in any way.
  • Have a goal in mind.
    • If you’ve never been to a dispensary before, you might not be clear on what you want to buy – and that’s okay!
    • Even if you don’t have a firm idea of the products, you should have an idea of how you want to feel (or not feel) when you use them. Having this info on-hand will give employees the context they need to help you pick out products.
  • Know your rules and regulations.
    • We want you to feel secure using what you bought, so look into your local cannabis laws to make sure that you’re consuming it legally.
    • In most cases, that means in the privacy of your own home! If you rent, you might have to get consent from your landlord.
    • Word to the wise: it’s illegal to take weed across state lines or onto an airplane.
  • Bring your ID.
    • All dispensaries require proof of identification and will use your ID to verify your age.
    • You can use a state-issued driver’s license or a state ID. Sometimes, a passport book, passport card, active military valid ID, Native American tribal card, or a temporary driver’s license will be accepted, but call and check with the dispensary first.
  • Bring cash or a debit card.
    • Lake Effect accepts credit cards, but a lot of dispensaries don’t. So, bring cash or pack your debit card, because many locations have ATMs on-site.

Once You’re at the Dispensary

You’ve prepared, and now you’ve finally arrived. Here’s what to expect once you get to the dispensary:

  • You’ll most likely spend some time in the waiting room.
    • You’ll be asked to wait in a waiting room before you can come in and start shopping. Use this time to chill out and check out what’s on display.
  • They’ll ask to see your ID.
    • Your ID will likely be scanned or used to set up your customer profile and check you in.
    • The person at the door will take a look and let you into where the actual products are being sold.
  • Take your time to browse.
    • In most cases, a dispensary will be organized by its forms of cannabis.
    • Find what you’re looking for by noticing where the flower, edibles, concentrates, accessories, and joints are located.
    • Not sure what you want? Ask your budtender. Share your interests, any previous experience you may have and what kind of products you want to explore. A good budtender can explain the products, intended effects and how you should consume it to get the experience you’re looking for.
  • Join the rewards program.
    • Many dispensaries give a gift item, like a free preroll, to first-time visitors, especially if you join their rewards program. This is a great way to rack up points to get discounts on future purchases.
  • Security may be making their way around.
    • Security in a dispensary is typically more than you’d see at, for example, a grocery store or the mall.
  • You might have to show your ID once more.
    • The budtender might ask to check your ID one more time before you make your purchase.
    • Dispensaries take legal age limits seriously, so they want to make sure that everyone they serve is being served legally and identified accruately.
  • Get ready to check out.
    • Once you’ve picked out your product(s), it’s time to pay — again, usually with cash or a debit card.
    • The budtender will ring you up, you’ll pay, then you’ll be on your way out the door.

A Few Final Tips

When you head to a dispensary, it’s wise to be prepared for a line and a wait. There are lots of people who enjoy recreational cannabis, which means the dispensary is a highly-frequented place!

But just because there are a lot of people doesn’t mean you can’t take your time or ask the budtender questions. This is especially important for your very first time. Getting the lay of the land is key to feeling comfortable. Remember, the employees want you there, and everyone (of age) is welcome.

The cannabis selection at a dispensary is there for you to explore and get experimental with. Don’t be afraid to try new things as a newbie – just be careful with dosages and always start slow before jumping off the deep end.

Head Over to Lake Effect

We love new customers and regulars alike at Lake Effect, and we offer discounts to any and everyone who signs up for them!

Let us know if it’s your first time visiting when you stop in. We’d love to guide you through the buying process in person. Cannabis enthusiasts are our people, and we can’t wait to get to know you.

Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to drop by, check out our website, or get in touch with us! We operate two locations — one in Kalamazoo and and one in Portage, with the Kalamazoo location open 24 hours a day. We also have delivery options available for whatever your needs may be.

With all this information, we hope you feel comfortable enough to come by and see what Lake Effect has in store. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Photo Credit: Terrance Barksdale

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