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It is likely that marijuana may have become legal in the state that you currently live in, whether recreationally or medicinally. This would mean that marijuana would or is already being sold in local marijuana dispensaries. Wait! Do not jump for joy just yet until you head on over to your local marijuana shop to know whether you will have legal access to recreational cannabis and/or medical cannabis. Why? Some states have yet to legalize recreational cannabis, even if they have already legalized medical cannabis. Before your first visit to the dispensary, you should know the differences between recreational cannabis and medical cannabis. Below are some great tips to follow prior to making your purchase.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Medical marijuana dispensaries are put in place to allow patients to have a safe location to get information about legal medical or recreational cannabis. Most people that shop at these dispensaries have ailments that they would like to treat. The medical dispensaries are generally regulated and they are also taxed in a different way than dispensaries that only sell recreational cannabis. For this reason, you will pay different prices on cannabis products, depending on how you will use it, recreationally or medically.

In addition, the interior of the dispensary is usually designed differently. For dispensaries that sell medical cannabis, the interior simulates a doctor's office instead of the usual storefront. The opposite is true for the recreational cannabis dispensaries. Make sure that when you do visit the dispensary, you have your appropriate documentation. You should also have questions for the budtenders. In addition, you should be aware of the extent of your illness.

Before the Visit

Prior to visiting a medical or recreational cannabis dispensary in your local area, here are some things to be aware of.

  • If you are a medical cannabis patient, a recommendation from your doctor along with any certifications is necessary
  • To qualify for authorization, you have to be 18 years or older. In some states, there are some exceptions for minors with debilitating conditions
  • Your should register with a medical marijuana dispensary. In doing so your doctor's recommendation or certification is kept on file as required by the law
  • You should see a waiting room where patient and product flow is easier to control
  • A dividing wall offers privacy to patients
  • A budtender will offer a high level of customer service, answering your questions and giving you information about different cannabis strains

Sometimes, there are dispensaries that track your purchase, but not in all cases. However, when everything is tracked, it helps the staff and the patient to have a better experience as record maintenance will only serve to improve the service, providing follow up and future references. Most cannabis dispensaries allow their patrons to take a close look at the buds and also to smell it before purchasing.

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Recreational Cannabis

The term used for recreational cannabis stores is usually marijuana dispensary, cannabis dispensary or adult use store. The ‘adult use' term was put in place to explain that you are consuming or buying legal marijuana just for recreational purposes. An adult use dispensary makes it easy to differentiate recreational cannabis from medical cannabis. There are a few requirements that adult use shops have, which are different from medical cannabis dispensaries.

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  • You have to be 21 years or older to buy from an adult use shop
  • You need a valid photo ID to prove your age
  • Budtender may be available, but not to devote a lot of time with answering questions as they do with medical cannabis patients.
  • You will be able to look at the menu of strains before buying

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