For many, the idea of walking into a marijuana dispensary can be daunting. Regardless of how legal it may be in your state, or how much you and your doctor have discussed the benefits for your health, it can still seem like an overwhelmingly nerve-wracking or frightening experience.
So what it’s like to buy legal cannabis? Here are 3 experiences to help show you what it’s like to walk into a legal dispensary in America today.
Andy, 24 years old | Atlanta, GA
Andy has been using medical marijuana ever since he injured his back at work about a year ago. Physical therapy helped him in the beginning, but he’s noticed that during the colder months, his shoulder can tense up and make work a little difficult.
He doesn’t smoke, but he’s found that his local dispensary has a lot of products that make his life easier. At his favorite dispensary, Andy can find all kinds of salves, tinctures, and lotions that he can massage into his shoulder that help him loosen up.
Andy’s budtender – the manager who helps educate customers – orders a special cannabis cream just for Andy. His budtender uses it on his knees and recommended it to Andy personally.
For Andy, his local dispensary isn’t about finding a place to help him get high. He likes that he’s found a place that offers him more natural and “down to earth” remedies for coping with his shoulder pain. He likes that he can go somewhere friendly and social, without feeling pressured to buy something to smoke. Instead, his dispensary is all about finding things to help him heal – and he likes that.
Camille, 53 years old | Boulder, CO
Camille is a recreational marijuana user who visits her favorite dispensary about once a month. It’s in the same local mall as her favorite hair salon and coffee shop, so she likes to pick up a few strains on the same trip to getting her hair cut and picking up a pound of local coffee.
Her dispensary is a fairly small place, but it’s very sleek and contemporary inside. Everyone who works there is professional and sharp. She likes that she can trust their opinions on what she will or won’t like – she can tell them exactly what she’d like to experience with her highs, and they can help her find it on the shelves.
Camille also likes that her dispensary doesn’t feel like the “head shops” she went to when she was in college. While they were fun when she was in her 20s, she likes that the dispensaries she visits today feel like professional, upscale boutiques – really solid businesses.
For Camille, visiting her dispensary is about having a professional experience, one that doesn’t seem sketchy or make her feel nervous. She likes that she can buy her pot and it feels like any other errand that she finishes any other day of the week.
Sam, 43 years old | Annapolis, MD
Sam has a high-stress job. It’s not only a bureaucratically demanding job with lots of paperwork and office handling, but it’s an emotionally-charged one that keeps him on edge. Sam and his therapist both worked out that for Sam, even knowing that the option to use marijuana seems to make the stress better.
Sam’s favorite dispensary is on his way home from work. He stops in every now and then when he’s had a particularly stressful day. He knows everyone that works there, and likes that they all call him by name. For Sam, his dispensary is a personal and intimate place – the guys and girls behind the counter are like his friends.
He also likes that his dispensary always has something new. The budtender loves ordering lots of new strains for the menu, so even though Sam might come in often there’s always something new for him to try. He also likes that he can buy those strains already rolled in joints, or even in edibles so he can snack on them when he gets home.
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