Finding the right dispensary can be a laborious task – much harder than getting a medical marijuana card. Sure, some people manage to get a dispensary they like straight away, whether it’s because they happen to live in the right zip code or because they just went to one by chance and enjoyed it. For others, however, finding the right dispensary takes a few months and lots of travel. Here are three simple ways to make finding the right one easier …
Ask, Ask, Ask (And Research) …
This means asking doctors (although the one recommending you cannot recommend any particular dispensary by law), other healthcare professionals, other patients and anyone else who might know a thing or two about dispensaries. This also means that, when you get to the dispensary, ask as many questions as possible. “Do you lab test your medications?” “Who supplies your dispensary with cannabis, and what is their growing environment like?” “Can you show or tell me the evidence for the efficacy of cannabis for depression, anxiety, etc.?” These are all valid questions.
Another thing to remember is that there are no stupid questions when it comes to your health. Ask your budtender about the strains, their taste, effects etc. Tell them what sort of thing you’re looking for, and what problems you’re trying to deal with. Remember, though: different strains and cannabinoid-terpenoid concentrations have different effects on different people. Everyone has a different endocannabinoid system (ECS), so what may work for one person or even group of people may not work for you.
Once you have done all the asking, it’s time you ask yourself, “Did the dispensary answer my questions properly? Do I feel informed and confident, or am I still in the dark? Were my concerns treated with regard?” If the answer is “no”, then it might not be the best dispensary for you. Searching up the dispensary online and checking reviews can help. If people are complaining of moldy, mildewy weed, then this is a very bad sign, and it is perhaps best to avoid this dispensary.
Who Are the Dispensary’s Main Customers?
This will tell you what the environment at the dispensary is like. In California, almost every dispensary has a different look, and they are clearly vying for different markets. Some are more sportsbar-like, others with a sleek, high-end pharmacy feel. Some will be like a cosy living room, others like a colorful hippie headshop. Dispensaries from many other states have gone for a contemporary, upmarket look (whether by regulation or simply trying to change perceptions), whereas California’s dispensaries have gone down a more individualistic route.
In the end, who and what demographic of people go to a dispensary shouldn’t really matter, as all that matters is the quality of their products and how stringent their quality control is. However, if you want a good sign of potential high quality, it might be worth asking, “How many pediatric and senior patients use your dispensary?” Granted, there won’t be many dispensaries treating children, but those that do will more than likely be of high-quality. Parents tend to want the best for their kids, after all. Medications targeted at children also have to be stringently tested, so you can rest a little bit easier with the testing processes they’re put through.
As for senior citizens, they can be very discerning when it comes to quality medications. They may have more time to do their research and, just as with kids, many want the best for their parents, too. Senior citizens also seem a bit more willing to talk about their ailments and medications, so there’s a whole heap of knowledge to gleam from them!
What About Other Amenities and Facilities?
Does the dispensary hold question-and-answer sessions for newbies? Exercise & meditation classes? Games nights? Growing classes? Seminars on cutting-edge cannabis research? Do they have good contacts with the local doctors and hospitals? Yes, there will be some great dispensaries keeping it no-frills and doing nothing but simply providing you with the best-quality cannabis available, but it’s the ones that give their patients lots to do and think about that are often rated best. Why? Because providing extra stuff shows that they care, and that they are more likely to be fulfilling their status as places where you go to get better. As amazing as cannabis is, it can’t do everything!
Of course, before you can find your perfect dispensary, you will need to get your medical marijuana card first. Oh, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for in a dispensary, why not get a grower’s license and start a mini-farm of your own? You will not only get your own medications for much cheaper, but there are proven health benefits to growing your own plants as well!