In 36 states, it is legal to buy cannabis for medical reasons. If you live in a Canadian state where medical marijuana is legal, it can be scary to go to a dispensary first, especially if you’re new to marijuana. Here are some things you should know before going to a Toronto cannabis dispensary for the first time.
You’ll Need Your Id
Like with alcohol, you have to be more than 21 or older to buy cannabis, whether you live in a market for recreational use. There are stringent rules about how cannabis dispensaries work, and you must have a valid government-issued ID even to enter one. For any other cannabis store in Toronto or any state where cannabis is exclusively allowed for recreational use, you’ll need to bring your medical marijuana card with you.
Don’t Forget To Bring Cash
Some cannabis dispensaries accept credit cards, but they are in the minority. The cannabis industry as a whole only accepts cash. Some dispensaries may have ATMs, but bring some money to avoid stress (and fees for using the ATM). Remember that since you are buying in a legal market, all cannabis products will have state, local, and excise taxes added to the base price. Some pot shops post their menus online to get an idea of prices before you go.
Most Things Will Be Put Away
When you go to a weed store in Toronto for the first time, you might be surprised to see that most, if not all, of the products, are locked behind glass cases. No matter what state they are in, cannabis dispensaries must follow very strict laws. For example, some of these laws say that the products like cannabis flowers they sell must already be packaged. Touching and reading the labels will be possible, but you won’t even be able to smell the item or open the package.
Plan on Seeing Security
Another thing that often surprises people when they go to a cannabis dispensary for the first time is the cameras, security guards ,and protected areas. This level of security is standard for the industry as a whole, and it has nothing to do with how safe the dispensary you’re going to visit is. Security measures keep you, the staff, and other visitors safe, so be nice to the security guards and know that your safety is their top priority.
There’s No Going Back
Like you can’t return a prescription drug, you can’t return cannabis either. Once you leave the dispensary, there is no chance to get a refund or return on any cannabis products. Because of this, our patient coordinators suggest that you start small and gradually buy more of a product you like once you’ve found the one you want. Most dispensaries sell single cookies or pre-rolled joints, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try different things.
You might get a feeling of buying something, but don’t worry about that. It’s OK to go to a cannabis dispensary and leave with nothing.
General Etiquette Tips
Last but not least, treat a trip to a cannabis dispensary like a trip to a pharmacy:
- Don’t talk on the phone in a dispensary because it can distract other patients.
- Make sure to follow all the rules of the dispensary you’re visiting.
As an example, many dispensaries don’t let you take pictures inside. No matter what the rules are, you must follow them.
Going to a Toronto cannabis dispensary for the first time doesn’t have to be scary. If you already know what to expect, you’ll feel better about it. If you have any questions before your first visit, feel free to contact us!