Dispensary Etiquette: First Timers' Club

Scroll down to avoid being "that guy" while in line at the dispensary.

So the politicians in your state finally recognized the cash-flow and medicinal potential in a little crop we in the blazing biz know as marijuana. Or perhaps you just moved to California, or Colorado, or Washington. However it happened, you're about to legally purchase weed for the first time.

You walk into your very first dispensary, and you’re surrounded by dreamy buds of purple and green that come in different shapes, sizes and varying degrees of stickiness and ickyness. It smells exactly how you imagined: An aromatic mix of weed and dreams coming true (and more weed).

Equally dreamy bud tenders help your fellow customers decide between concentrates, extracts, and edibles that fill shelves and cases. Jars of pre-rolled joints call to you from atop the counter, almost begging to be blazed. Some are dipped in hash oil and rolled in keef. Others are as long as the limbs of a small child. You browse the menu: Yoda Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, Trainwreck, Skywalker OG, Durban Poison; the list goes on. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. You haven’t yet taken one hit, or eaten one edible. Already you notice a strong sensation of cottonmouth.

Or say you stayed in. It’s Friday night (or reasonably Tuesday afternoon) and you’re eight episodes and a dozen hot wings deep into a binge-watching marathon. You've got sodas, blunt wraps and hot Cheetos on deck. Terror strikes when you realize that you’re all out of pot. Like, totally out. Your homies marinating across the room definitely don't have any bud. You don't even have the makings for a Papa Roach

Image via Kelia/VSCO

Not so fast. It's 2015. 

You open your phone, find a nearby delivery service, browse the menu for what sometimes feels like and is usually around two hours. You decide on a strain and place your order. The real waiting game begins.

Getting weed these days is easy, accessible and consumer-friendly, but sometimes: extremely stressful. 

Which is why THE KIND has compiled some tips on dispensary etiquette. Following these isn't a surefire way to avoid fucking up the next time you're picking up--that's on you. The guidelines will, however, point you in the direction of getting hooked up with good vibes and probably some free edibles or something; so stop breathing into a paper bag and scroll down.

Would you go to the bar and not tip the bartender? If you answered yes, you’re a heathen. Stay home. Everyone else, yeah, it’s a no-brainer, but it can be easy to forget to factor the budtender’s tip into your overall budget before you head into the dispensary. Also, it's easy to blow your whole cash wad once you walk through the door. The nugs-to-people ratio is about 40 to 1. 

If you’re ordering delivery, same rules apply. Depending on your relationship with the driver, a slice of pizza doesn’t necessarily count as a tip. Maybe just added value.

Image via Jordrands/VSCO

Knowing What You Want:

This one is pretty straightforward, but is fairly easy to mess up. It's not always your fault. Sometimes you’ll walk into the clinic on a mission for an eighth of some sweet indica, but the budtender busts open those jars, and you get to browsing. You end up leaving with four sativa strains and a 12 oz. bag of medicated gummy worms that you start eating before you clear the parking lot.


Try to browse the menu online or call ahead to find out if your clinic is running any specials to avoid major surprises. But again: open hearts, open minds. Just don’t change your mind once everything is bagged up. Major dick move.

For our delivery users out there, receiving what you want one is all about execution. Any mistakes will most likely be user error. Before calling or texting, make sure you’re clear on the price of everything and the exact quantities you’re seeking. Remember, the person on the other end of the line is probably just as stoned as they sound. Speak clearly. Double check online orders. Don’t rush things. Turn down the volume of the television. Remember your address. Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee.

Touching/Checking Out Products Before Purchasing Them:
Depending on where you go, most places will have sample products on display that you may or may not be able to examine. But remember, look with your eyes, not your greasy nose and grimy paws. This is medicine, in most places, after all. Would you go to the pharmacy and shove a tab of Vicodin up your nose? Don’t answer that.

Just be cool. Follow your budtender’s lead. When it comes to delivery, you’re kind of out of luck on inspecting goods prior to purchase. Try to stick to places that frequently update their online menus with photos of the products offered so when Skylar shows up at your door with a bag of oregano and some hash that looks more like a Tootsie Roll from the floor of your car, you at least knew what you were getting yourself into.

Image via PotBox

Using your phone while in line:

Don’t be a narc. Not everything needs to go on Snapchat. That text from your homie about how the new episode of iZombie was fire but like, is Liv seriously going to get back with Major?, can wait. You’re here to pick up some weed. That being said, it would be pretty tight to get Siri’s opinion on what strain would be most effective in treating glaucoma, or to smoke before going to the Golden Corral. Alas, another day. 

Now that you're ready to enter a dispensary and not give off over-eager, noobish vibes, or put out the notion that you're a cop, or worse: an asshole; would you mind grabbing us a quarter of some Blue Dream while you're there? Psych! That was a test, too. Don't screw this up!