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Feb 7, 2017 11:25 AM

How to Find Right Dispensary: Medical vs. Recreational Stores

More and more states are accepting the fact that cannabis can become a part of their lives without drastic side effects. Following last year's legalization of the plant in several states, many cannabis shops have been opened.

If you live in a place that has legalized weed, you will probably want to visit a cannabis shop sooner or later. There are many tricky things about marijuana consumption, and newbies usually have to prepare before diving into the world of weed. On the Internet, you can find many articles meant to help people get to know the culture and the industry better.

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One of the most important questions is where to buy the product. The first rule to remember is to never buy weed from street dealers. You have to visit a licensed store that sells cannabis legally. You have probably already heard that these stores are called dispensaries. The next issue that comes to our minds is the question of choosing a dispensary. Are they all the same?

No. In fact, there are those stores that sell medical cannabis and the recreational adult-use ones. So, how can you tell the difference?

Medical dispensaries are designed specifically for patients who need to buy weed to treat ailments. Such an establishment looks more like a doctor's office than a regular store. Besides, they are regulated and taxed differently. All medical dispensaries require documentation from their customers that specifies their need for cannabis. You must also have a medical cannabis card or at least a doctor's recommendation depending on the laws of your state.

A medical dispensary usually has to register you to keep your certification on file for legal and regulatory purposes. In addition, most places have some kind of waiting room to control the flow of patients. A budtender always communicates with you one-on-one to find out the specifics of your illness and discuss other medical issues.

Medical dispensaries mostly follow common rules and stick to people who really need cannabis for treatment.

An adult-use marijuana shop can also be called “a dispensary.” Recreational shops are definitely more varied. Their owners are not afraid to style them in unexpected ways. The decor of the shop is now a new trend that more and more entrepreneurs are trying to follow.

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A massive wooden table lined with iPads, goods are carefully arranged on those tables, cheerful workers welcome you to the store. Does this picture remind you of anything? While it all looks like an Apple store, the shop actually sells cannabis and accessories.

Although they face many legal issues as well, adult-use dispensaries are not restricted to as many rules as the medical ones. Here, you do not need to show a medical card, you just have to be of legal age to be able to buy some weed. Do not forget to bring your ID.

While you are standing in a line, you can look through the menus that usually list products sorted by type. Just like in a medical dispensary, in a recreational store, you can chat with a budtender and ask them for help. However, here, instead of inquiring about your ailment, they ask about your preferences.

Despite the differences, these two kinds of cannabis shops have some common rules and tips to follow.

  1. Bring a valid ID, passport, or a medical card.
  2. Do research at home.
  3. Be polite and respectful towards a budtender.
  4. If you feel like it, give a tip.
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