What to Look for When Choosing a Dispensary: A Shopping Guide

Over the last decade, using marijuana for its health benefits has become widely accepted throughout the country, with most states legalizing some form of the plant’s consumption. 

Whether you plan to use marijuana recreationally or medically, you must obtain your products through the appropriate legal channel. Currently, a marijuana dispensary is the only place an individual can purchase the plant’s products, except in states where cultivation is allowed.

Luckily, most states have multiple, if not hundreds of dispensaries to choose from. However, not all dispensaries are created equal and some may send you home with overpriced or low-quality merchandise.

If you are new to purchasing marijuana, keep reading for information on what to look for when choosing a dispensary.


For many marijuana consumers, especially those with disabilities, traveling to a dispensary can be a difficult task.

When looking for a dispensary, start by deciding how far you are willing to travel. This will narrow your options and make the decision process easier right off the bat. You can visit Veriheal.com to see an updated list of dispensaries near you.

Customer Base

One of the first things you want to look at before checking out the specifics of a dispensary is to see who their customer base is. 

In states where both recreational and medical marijuana is legal, you may find that some dispensaries cater to one type of consumer over the other. For example, a dispensary may only sell recreational marijuana or only sell medical marijuana. Some may sell to both but have a limited supply of the more potent medical-grade products, or vice versa.

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Medical marijuana has a higher cannabinoid content, making it more potent. If you are a patient looking for symptom relief, you should shop at a dispensary that offers a wide range of medical products.


You should always look into the reputation of a dispensary before making a purchase. Unfortunately, some dispensaries sell marijuana products that are of poor quality or expired in an effort to save money. This can not only be a waste of money but dangerous as well.

You can look into a dispensaries reputation in many ways, such as looking at reviews, asking local forums, and checking their licensing.

Product Selection

Each dispensary will have a unique selection of merchandise. If you are interested in trying products other than dry bud, you will want to consider the selection available at each shop.

Some examples of the marijuana products on the market include:

  • Gummies
  • Chocolate
  • Tinctures
  • Beverages
  • Vaporizers
  • Concentrates
  • Capsules
  • Topicals

Dispensaries also sell paraphernalia and the essential tools you need to prepare your marijuana products. To make shopping easier, find a dispensary that sells the paraphernalia needed for the consumption method you choose.

Price and Discounts

When it comes to most purchases, price is typically one of the most essential deciding factors.

Marijuana prices are generally about the same from dispensary to dispensary; however, some shops sell their products for much more or much less. Therefore, it is important to compare prices in your area to avoid wasting money and get the best deal possible.

Most dispensaries offer various discounts, loyalty programs, and punch card style reward systems. The most common discounts found are offered to local residents, medical patients, and the elderly. 

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Daily or weekly deals are also common and you can usually find the details on the dispensary website.


For some individuals, the dispensary atmosphere is important. There are many different types of atmospheres seen when going from one dispensary to another.

Some shops feel like a nightclub, while others feel like a doctor’s office. The typical dispensary will have music playing, vibrant decorations, and incredibly unique paraphernalia on display. 

The atmosphere you choose is completely up to personal preference. Just be sure to choose a dispensary that makes you feel comfortable and welcome.

Staff Expertise

Finding a dispensary with a knowledgeable staff is essential, especially if you are a new marijuana consumer.

Dispensary staff members are called “budtenders” and the budtender is who you go to with all of your marijuana-related questions. The budtender should be able to educate you on potency levels, product types, onset times, and dosage, and be able to answer most questions. 

The budtender will also have a great understanding of which products are perfect for your needs. These individuals can look at your condition list and help pinpoint a product that will relieve your symptoms comfortably. 

You can find out if a dispensary has knowledgeable staff before going there by calling the shop and asking a few questions. After speaking to the budtender on the phone, do your own research to cross-reference their answers.

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