Connecticut Post (Sunday)

How to Choose a Dishensary


- From the Editorial Team at GreenState

If you’re new to cannabis, you might feel a bit overwhelme­d. The legalizati­on of medicinal and/or recreation­al cannabis is brand new in many states. Plus, the world of cannabis is vast. In 2021 alone, the cannabis market was worth over $10 billion in revenue, and there are a lot of industry changes to keep up with every year.

Before you head to a local dispensary, it’s important to feel confident and informed. Just choosing a dispensary at random means you may miss out deals available at another dispensary, and you might end up with less-thanhigh-quality products.

That’s why we came up with several factors to consider when deciding what dispensary to buy from. Ask yourself the following questions before choosing a dispensary. If the answer is “yes” to all five, you should be able to expect a good experience.


Cannabis is still illegal at a federal level, but most states have legalized cannabis consumptio­n for either adult-use or medicinal purposes.

There are some critical difference­s between the states where medical marijuana is legal and those where recreation­al use is legal.

If you’re in a state where recreation­al cannabis use is legal, you won’t need a medical marijuana license to consume. However, you must be at least 21 years old to partake or purchase products at a dispensary. The only loophole around this is if you’re 18 to 21 years old and have a medical cannabis license. Sometimes, minors under 18 years old can get approval for a medical card from the state, but these cases are rare.

States that only allow the use of medical cannabis will typically allow anyone over 18 to get a license. Minors under 18 with certain qualifying conditions can still participat­e in cannabis consumptio­n with approval from their parent(s)/guardian(s).

On top of all this, certain localities do not allow cannabis dispensari­es to operate in their area. And in many states, cannabis dispensari­es cannot open within a certain distance of schools and other public spaces.

Basic as it seems, it’s important to think about whether the dispensary you’re eyeing down is legal under state and local laws. You must make sure the dispensary you’re interested in is licensed by the state before purchasing anything from them, and become familiar the laws around cannabis near you to prevent yourself from accidental­ly purchasing illegal products.


You’re likely curious about the affordabil­ity of the products at your potential cannabis dispensary. Since cannabis is not a federally regulated product at this time, the cost of cannabis varies by region—a lot. The pricing of cannabis varies based on how competitiv­e the market is, so it’s essential to be prepared with some knowledge of your chosen dispensary’s competitio­n. If there are a lot of dispensari­es in the area, odds are prices will be more competitiv­e. If it’s the only dispensary within 100 miles, you might see some price gauging.

The cost of cannabis products also depends on the availabili­ty of cannabis growers compared to the need of users. Consider the difference­s in medical cannabis pricing. In states where it’s pricey, like Illinois or Virginia, cannabis growers struggle to keep up with market demand. In Oregon, though,

products is freshness. Look elsewhere if you spot mold, or if the cannabis has an unpleasant odor.

Healthy, fresh cannabis buds typically have vivid coloring. They may also have trichomes, which are tiny white appendages attached to the bud. They make the flower look like it has been lightly frosted, which typically indicates good quality and a higher THC potency (a nice bonus).

Next, look at customer reviews and any news reports on the brands sold at your local dispensary. Make sure they are not selling products that have a history of harming consumers. If the dispensary seems to be selling well-researched products with positive customer reviews, you should be able to trust the quality of their inventory.


Another critical factor to consider before purchasing from a dispensary is the availabili­ty of detailed ingredient­s. Cannabis products all vary slightly in the levels of CBD and THC they contain. Different combinatio­ns of these cannabinoi­ds will cause different effects when consumed. It will take time to get to know what your preferred levels are of these cannabinoi­ds. Some consumers like to experience a euphoric, giddy sensation while others are just looking to feel relaxed and get some help sleeping at night.

Note whether or not the cannabis products for sale are labeled with informatio­n beyond what strain they are. You should be able to see a full ingredient­s list for every product sold, along with the CBD/THC ratio of each product. Some products will even mention terpenes included.

If a dispensary consistent­ly sells products that are not transparen­t about their ingredient­s, they’re not worth your investment.


To find out the answer to this one, you’ll have to visit the dispensary. But if you’ve answered “yes” to the last four questions, it will probably be a worthwhile trip.

The last thing to note when choosing a dispensary is the level of customer service you receive. Be willing to question the budtenders as much as you want before buying. A good budtender will be both knowledgea­ble and friendly.

Before making a purchase, take your time to get comfortabl­e with the staff, the product you’re considerin­g, and the dispensary itself. You’ll probably be here quite a lot, so it’s important that you enjoy the buying process.

If you’ve done your research and are ready to choose a dispensary, congratula­tions! You’ve made an informed purchasing decision. Knowing what to look for in a dispensary is essential to finding high-quality cannabis products that are trustworth­y and provide the desired effects.

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