1. Get your MMJ card
Your first step should be to obtain your own cannabis card. If you don’t know of a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana to you, head to MMJRecs for either a phone or online consultation with a medical board licenced physician. They’ll determine if you’re a good candidate for MMJ and can help you get your official cannabis card to use to purchase your MMJ products.
2. Locate an MMJ dispensary near you
Once you’ve received your card, you can find an MMJ dispensary near you by using online services like WeedMaps. Sites like this one allow you to search by city for the closest location near you. If you can’t find an MMJ dispensary in your area, there are some businesses that even offer delivery services, so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to stock up on MMJ products.
3. Check out the staff
A great way to see if an MMJ dispensary is legitimate or not is to evaluate the staff. All employees and the onsite doctor should be knowledgeable, professional, and helpful. If the staff isn’t able to answer your questions about MMJ products, it’s probably not a very reliable dispensary. They should be able to speak about the background of the products as well, including where they came from and how they were grown. The staff’s professionalism can also tell you a lot about how the dispensary is run and if they’re following the proper regulations. This means that the dispensary should always ask for your cannabis card and a photo ID. The staff should also be able to help you become educated about products you’re trying out (including giving you reading material so you’re well-informed).
4. Make sure you like the atmosphere
A proper MMJ dispensary should remind you of a hospital or pharmacy – professional, well-organized, and clean. It’s also a good sign if you feel supported and welcome at your MMJ dispensary. If your dispensary is in an unsafe neighborhood, has lots of security, or has staff that isn’t friendly, it’s probably not a great fit, and you’d be better off trying out a different location.
5. Must have high-quality products
Your dispensary will only be worthy of you as a customer if they sell the best MMJ products. A good dispensary will have clear policies that ensure you’re getting high-quality medical marijuana, like food safety regulations for their edibles. In fact, well-run dispensaries should have edibles that are made in a safe, clean kitchen (like any establishment that makes and sells food to the public). If products are not grown onsite, the dispensary should be able to vouch that it’s grown with safety protocols that prevent any mold or contaminants from affecting the products. The dispensary you choose should also carry the specific MMJ products or strains you need to treat your physical symptoms. The best dispensaries sell indicas, sativas, and hybrid blends of cannabis, as well as alternative forms of marijuana (including edibles, balms, tinctures, and inhalants), so you can find what works best for you. Check with dispensary staff or their website to make sure they carry what you’re looking for. It can also be helpful to read reviews online (like on Leafly) of different MMJ products to determine what fits your needs.
6. Consider if the products are in your budget
It can be really helpful to set a budget for yourself before you head to a dispensary to purchase MMJ products. Sites like Wikileaf can help you compare prices ahead of time, so you’ll know if you’re getting the most bang for your buck. You can even set a price range for yourself, and the site will let you know about dispensaries in the area that fit within that range.
7. Check privacy and patient’s rights
To make sure you’re dealing with a professional MMJ dispensary, check their privacy and patient’s rights policies before you make a purchase. You’ll want to make sure your information is being protected, and a high-quality dispensary will guarantee that your info is never shared with outside parties without your permission. Because good dispensaries are run like health care offices, the staff should consider your privacy rights to be of high importance.
8. Watch out for these red flags
If you end up just trying out a new MMJ dispensary, but aren’t sure if it’s the right fit or not, make sure to keep your eyes open for these red flags:
- Big, colorful signs: the dispensary should look similar to a hospital or pharmacy
- Smoking inside the facility: unless there’s a separate smoking lounge, no one should be using the products in view of other customers
- Lots of security: a reputable dispensary won’t need considerable security
- Random hours: dispensaries should have consistent hours that are always posted – unpredictable hours are a sign that the dispensary is sketchy
Don’t get overwhelmed with picking a good MMJ dispensary. Just follow these tips, and you’ll be able to select a dispensary that can help with all of your medical marijuana needs.