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Depending on which state you live in, marijuana could be legal, both recreationally and medicinally. This means that marijuana could already be legally sold in a cannabis dispensary in your state or in a state near you. However, don't jump for joy just yet. Why? Well, you need to know and be aware of the differences between recreational cannabis and medical cannabis. When you are aware of this, then you will be prepared for your first marijuana dispensary visit. You will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to make the right cannabis product purchase from a legal marijuana dispensary. Let's now look more closely at this.

The Patient

Cannabis patients depend on medical marijuana dispensaries to have the cannabis products that best help with their qualifying medical conditions. Cannabis patients have a secure location to get information about the type of medical cannabis that is able to treat their illnesses. These medical marijuana dispensaries are generally regulated and they are also taxed in a different way than recreational cannabis dispensaries. The price of cannabis products might be different in a recreational cannabis dispensary than in a medical cannabis dispensary.

Some Specifics

In addition, medical marijuana dispensaries are usually located in close proximity to a doctor's office. When you enter a recreational cannabis dispensary, you don't have to bring any documentation, but in the case of the medical cannabis store, documentation from your doctor is required. You also may have to ask the budtender about the various cannabis strains related to your illness and which one would be right for you.

The Documentation

Prior to visiting a local medical marijuana store, you need some specific things that may include:

  • Recommendation from a state-approved physician
  • Medical cannabis certification
  • State required documents
  • Must be 18 years or older to be eligible for medical authorization
  • Must have a state-qualified medical condition

State exceptions may apply. Check with your state's marijuana laws to find out. You may have to register with a local medical cannabis dispensary. This allows you to maintain a file with your doctor's recommendation and any certification. And it also helps the store owner to maintain the regulatory laws.


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The Medical Cannabis Patient

Once you step inside the store, you may have to sit in a waiting room until you are called. This helps to control patient and product flow. You will have privacy when you are in direct contact with your budtender as you don't want to discuss your medical issues in a public setting. The recreational user, however, can speak to a budtender in a public setting since there are no medical issues up for discussion. The medical cannabis patient has given the OK to examine different marijuana buds prior to purchase. Of course, this depends on what your state allows.

Recreational Use

As more and more states are legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the term dispensary is often abandoned. They are now start to call it adult-use shops. There are fewer prerequisites needed for an adult-use shop. You still have to be aware of the legalities as it relates to recreational use of marijuana. In some states, for example, you have to be at least 21 years of age before you can even buy marijuana in an adult-use store. You will usually need a state ID card to prove your age. You can go on the store's website first to see the cannabis products offered prior to going to the physical store. Most stores do have their own websites.

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Ask as many questions as you want – just to understand and stay within the confines of the marijuana law, whether you are going to consume marijuana recreationally or medically. If you want to know more about recreational and medical cannabis dispensary, enroll in Cannabis Training University's marijuana certification classes now.