Dispensary 101 – What You Should Know Before You Go

by | Dec 3, 2018 | Blog |

There is and always has been a fascination and an attraction to cannabis, generation after generation. Ever since marijuana was outlawed in United States, beginning in 1916 with 29 states passing a measure to ban it and culminating with the “Marihuana” Tax Act of 1937, which banned the drug across the entire country, the decades-long demonization of the cannabis plant is steadily giving way to cannabis being recognized again as a drug with potent medical value that can help treat millions of people.

Medical cannabis has become more popular with people looking for alternative treatments to debilitating medical conditions and symptoms, especially the often prescribed and potentially addictive treatments like opioid medications. In states like Illinois that have legalized medical cannabis, patients visit medical cannabis dispensaries that can offer them the help and resources they need to treat certain symptoms.

This means that a lot of adults who are new to medical cannabis are visiting local dispensaries to discover how medical cannabis can help maintain wellness for the first time. You might be one of those new visitors, so we’d like to share some valuable information on things you should know and questions you might want to ask when you pay your first visit to a dispensary!

Carry Your Medical Marijuana Card!

No matter your age, from 21 on, you must have your state-issued identification card with you whenever you visit a dispensary. If you have a recommendation from a physician, it should also be carried and presented along with your ID card, because your budtender will ask for them.

A budtender is an employee at the dispensary who helps answer questions for customers, suggest and handle products, as well as showcase the products that are sold at the dispensary. They have the responsibility of selecting the right medical cannabis strains for patients and also providing customer service and education on cannabis use.

Do Your Dispensary Research!

Before you go, check out reviews for the local dispensaries in your area. Dispensaries differ in quality, store layout, and the products they offer. Highly-rated stores will typically have well-informed and educated employees who have extensive knowledge about medicinal cannabis and its many strains to help treat medical conditions and symptoms.

When you research a dispensary prior to visiting it, you not only help yourself but the dispensary staff who can address your needs more specifically and efficiently.

Be A Patient Patient!

You may discover that your dispensary only serves one patient at a time. This is not meant to frustrate customers, but in many states with legalized medical cannabis dispensaries, they are required by regulation to only attend to one patient at a time.

So, if you find yourself waiting, make use of your time by checking out the products on display and which ones you might want to try. Also try to evaluate the store’s ambiance and set up to make sure you’ll feel comfortable and at ease being a regular customer.

Question, Question!

At a medical cannabis dispensary, getting to know your budtender can go a long way in increasing your comfort level. Even if you know what you’re looking for at the dispensary, your budtender will soon become your best friend when it comes to being knowledgeable about the strains that can best serve your medicinal cannabis needs.

If you have questions about your cannabis selections, how to administer it, and how to keep it stored, your budtender should be your first contact.

Bring Green to Get Green!

You should be aware that medical cannabis is not an inexpensive medication. That’s why It’s a good idea to check with the staff at your dispensary of choice to see if they are a cash-only store, or if credit cards are accepted. Some dispensaries are like ours and even have ATM’s inside. Nevertheless, be sure to have enough cash on hand to cover your purchase and help your visit proceed without any issues.

Stay Calm and Get What You Want!

Never feel like you’re being pressured into making a purchase of something you’re unsure of. You owe it to yourself to leave with the exact strain and amount of cannabis you need to treat your condition. Remember, you cannot return any cannabis to the dispensary, as it’s forbidden by law.

If a budtender doesn’t seem to know or have the right information about the cannabis strains you’re interested in and tries to persuade you to try something else, don’t feel obligated. Occasionally this can happen. Remember that you need the right strain, the right form, and the right dosage of medical cannabis to treat your symptoms. If the dispensary doesn’t have exactly what you want, consider a different dispensary in your area.

Give your Feedback!

Dispensaries value your business and always want to attract new customers. So be sure to let the dispensary know about your experience visiting their store. Take note of the atmosphere and general level of service. Reflect on the knowledge and expertise of the budtender who served you. Giving honest feedback is really helpful for dispensaries to improve their service and assist their customers in the most professional way.

It can also help new visitors gain a better understanding of how a dispensary treats its customers and if they engage with them to help them make the best choices for their medical needs.

Concluding Insights

Cannabis has been an attraction, a mystery, and a miracle drug for almost every generation that has passed through time. Today, many baby boomers who abandoned cannabis because of the stigma attached are rediscovering its growing list of medical benefits to treat symptoms and conditions that were only manageable by potentially addictive opioid-based medications.

The continuing discovery of wellness uses for cannabis is also creating a demand for places such as dispensaries to serve the growing needs of legal adults who are looking for more natural and effective treatments. So if you’re among the many who need advice and guidance on medical cannabis and what it can do for you, your neighborhood dispensary is here at your service!


Call your nearest location for information/assistance on obtaining your Illinois medical cannabis card.

If you have just received your medical cannabis card, come see us for your new patient consultation.