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Beginner’s Guide to Your First Dispensary Visit in Washington

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Are you planning your first visit to a dispensary in Washington? First off, enjoy yourself! Visiting your first dispensary can be a memorable experience. Like any other milestone, it’s a moment filled with excitement, curiosity, and even a bit of overwhelm.

If you don’t live in a state that has already legalized medical cannabis and recreational marijuana, the idea of going to a dispensary can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide, we outline everything you need to know to make the most out of your visit and to help you feel as in-the-know as possible. 

What to Expect When You Visit a Dispensary for the First Time

Just like liquor stores and supermarkets, every dispensary is different. However, there are certain standards and procedures that you can expect at every dispensary. Here are some of the things to be prepared for:

  1. Bring your ID. Whether you’re purchasing medical cannabis or recreational marijuana, prepare to be carded. You must be at least 21 years old to purchase medical and recreational marijuana. Even if you’re well over 21, be sure you have a form of state-issued ID handy and make sure that it’s still valid!
  1. Show your medical recommendation (when required). Budtenders will need to see your medical marijuana recommendation in order to dispense medical cannabis. One of the misconceptions is that recreational users and medical cannabis can get the exact same products simply because recreational use is legalized in the state. The reality, though, is that medical patients can get stronger products, some with higher CBD concentrations – but only with a medical recommendation.
  1. Be prepared to pay with cash. ALL dispensaries require cash payments, as marijuana is still federally illegal. If you forget cash at home (or don’t have any), don’t worry; chances are that the dispensary has an ATM machine. Still, it’s best to come prepared with cash in your wallet. After all, you don’t want to get to the dispensary and find out that the ATM machine is out of order.
  1. Have a general idea of what products the dispensary offers. Most Washington dispensaries publish their menus online. While there are budtenders who are more than happy to answer your questions, having general knowledge about the products can help you ask more informed questions so that you can get the exact experience you’re looking for. Different product types include flower (the actual cannabis bud), edibles, concentrates, tinctures, CBD creams / oils, and much more!

Going to a Washington dispensary is certainly exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. It’s true that medical and recreational marijuana were legalized in the state years ago. 

Even so, there’s something that still feels “taboo” about the experience the first time you step into a dispensary. By being prepared with these tips, it will make your first visit much smoother and more comfortable (and you’ll seem like you’ve been doing this since day one)!

How to Find the Best “Dispensaries Near Me”

If you search “dispensaries near me” online, obviously dozens of results will appear. Search engines like Google rank dispensaries locally based on a variety of factors including distance and online reviews.

We recommend browsing through the Google reviews for the dispensaries that appear in the listings. Don’t get too focused on one overly positive review or one overly negative review. 

Instead, the best way to approach reviews is to look for a general pattern in the customer experience. There will always be outliers in either direction. Instead, you want to look for the experience that appears to be the most common among visitors.

Also, this is a good opportunity to check out the dispensary menu. Do they have a wide selection variety? Do they offer plenty of different strains and different product types? Are products in stock or do they have a lot of products out of stock? These are just some of the considerations you’ll want to focus on!

Washington State cannabis

A Primer on Washington State Consumption Laws

Just because cannabis has been legalized in Washington State, it doesn’t mean that you can use it everywhere you go. Similar to alcohol, there are rules about how and where you can consume cannabis.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not drive impaired
  • Avoid using cannabis in national or state parks
  • Marijuana must be smoked inside (not in view of the public)
  • Users must be at least 21 years old
  • Transporting marijuana state to state, even if purchased legally, is prohibited

We want you to have a good first experience visiting a Washington dispensary, so be sure to keep these laws in mind. 

By following consumption laws, you help the cannabis industry in Washington to remain legal and safe.

Dispensary Recommendations in Washington 

Overwhelmed with options after Googling “dispensaries near me” in Seattle? 

A local favorite, with both a Seattle and Ballard location, is American Mary. There’s also many weekly specials at American Mary, and they have plenty of daily specials as well. 

This means no matter when you visit, you are guaranteed to enjoy some sort of discount! For example, “Wax Wednesdays” means you can enjoy 15 percent off concentrates and “Frighighday” means you can enjoy 10 percent off of all edibles.

Plus, in the current climate, American Mary has been extremely respectful of social distancing and has been taking all the precautions to keep customers safe. 

The dispensary remains open during regular business hours, meaning that you can get the products you need! There’s also the option to pre-order online and then pick up your order in person.

We truly hope you have the best first visit to a Washington dispensary as possible. Enjoy!

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