Cannabis is still a very controversial substance, but acceptance is growing. The American cannabis market will likely be worth more than $40 billion by the end of this decade. This includes both the medical and recreational markets.
While acceptance of cannabis is growing, regulation still lags behind. You'll find no shortage of legitimate dealers in the US, but the illegal market is still alive and well. E-commerce and the number of dealers online make selecting cannabis dispensaries harder.
This doesn't mean that getting cannabis legally is impossible. It means that you need to be careful. Read on for some advice on selecting a good cannabis dispensary.
1. Read Reviews
When buying from any business, it's important to make sure that the business is reputable. The dispensary should have a reputation for great service, as well. Reading reviews should help with this.
Make sure to read online customer reviews instead of skimming them or glancing at statistics. Online reviews can be fickle. Some companies will add positive reviews to bolster their own reputation.
Not every bad review is justified, either. Some customers will leave bad reviews based on incidents that were their own fault rather than the business's. We all have to deal with difficult people from time to time.
2. Check Quality
Cannabis is still a niche product, so there aren't too many sources talking about which is better. Most Americans have never seen a commercial for a cannabis dispensary, and we might never see one.
This means that we have to practice more diligence when looking for quality cannabis products. Try asking for a cannabis testing report when you go to the dispensary, or look for one online. A cannabis testing report tells you how the product responded to certain laboratory tests.
A product earns a good report when it does what it claims to do and does not carry any health risks. State governments take this testing seriously. In Illinois, the Department of Agriculture has to inspect and sign off on the lab. The person doing the testing should have a Master's Degree in chemistry or life science.
Having quality products and excellent service doesn't help much if the place is a few hundred miles away. Try to compromise by choosing a well-reviewed dispensary that's nearby instead of one with excellent reviews that's an hour's drive away.
Look into their business hours as well. Even if the dispensary is close enough, there's still a chance their schedule doesn't work for you. For instance, maybe they close at four, but you don't get off work until five.
4. Safety and Security
You should always feel safe when you go to a dispensary. Customer safety should be a top priority for any business. Certain aspects of security might be beyond the business's control.
Many dispensaries set up their businesses in poorer, more dangerous neighborhoods. The stigma surrounding cannabis often makes it hard for a dispensary to find a location that will rent to them.
The atmosphere inside the dispensary should always feel safe. The dispensary itself might be the only part of the experience the owners can control. This makes creating a welcoming mood much more important.
5. Customer Service
No small business survives with poor customer service. The dispensary must train its employees so they know how to help customers. The business needs polite and courteous employees who know what they're doing.
Many good dispensaries have budtenders. A budtender is an employee who specializes in the different kinds of cannabis and what they do. Their job is to help inexperienced customers who don't know what they want.
Different strains of cannabis have a reputation for sparking different emotions or characteristics. If you want to curb anxiety, there are strains for that. If you want to increase your creativity, or treat pain, there are strains for that. If you want all three of those things, there's a strain for that. It's called Blue Dream.
6. Check Inventory
A dispensary that doesn't offer many different cannabis products won't be successful. A dispensary with too many options might be overwhelming. It could also end up with an excess of unsold products every month.
Some dispensaries cater to a wider audience than others. Most are there for medical and recreational users who want a strain that makes them feel good.
However, the legalization of cannabis in some states has led to a spike in marijuana studies and users. Marijuana is still a misunderstood substance, and we still don't know that much about it. If you're a scientist studying Cannabigerolic isolate, your experience will be different from the average shopper's.
7. Understanding Regulations
Cannabis is legal in some states, but its sale and use still follow certain regulations. Those who buy and use cannabis must be 21 years of age or have a valid medical card.
Younger customers need to make sure the dispensary asks about these things. If they don't, try to avoid that dispensary in the future. If they're not checking IDs, who knows what else they're not doing legitimately?
A Guide to Selecting Cannabis Dispensaries
When selecting cannabis dispensaries, you need to focus on yourself and what works best for you. Look for a balance of factors like good quality, convenient hours, at a convenient location.
It's not worth traveling two hours out of your way for a marginally better experience. It's also not worth sacrificing your safety just to buy medicine or something fun.
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