Cupids Health

6 ways to not be ‘that guy’ at the cannabis dispensary


It’s a weird time in the world. Nothing feels easy. Everyone’s upset. Getting high helps with the stress of being alive. That’s why weed was declared essential during the pandemic. And Americans turned to cannabis in record numbers, with nationwide sales increasing by 71%. New consumers flocked to dispensaries, while established customers increased their weed spending by a third.

Dispensaries are busy with the massive boom in foot traffic, and budtenders are helping more folks than ever. They’re also experiencing noob mistakes and bad behavior from shoppers. We’ve heard pet peeves from budtenders around the country, so we’ve put together this handy list of shopping tips for anyone who might be in danger of being “that guy.” You know, the one who messes up the flow for everyone else by being a total dumbass. Don’t be that guy.

Bring a valid ID

(Courtesy Beyond Hello University City, PA)
(Courtesy Beyond Hello University City, PA)

Every cannabis dispensary will check your ID. Make sure yours is valid, and have it ready to show to any employee who asks. And don’t be paranoid about it. Lisa Black, budtender, training and education coordinator at INSA Cannabis in Massachusetts, says, “Please don’t hassle us for having to check your ID more than once—we’re following regulations.”

Do a little research

This is a licensed establishment, sir. (Courtesy GorillaRx Wellness)
Hundreds of products await. Have a plan. (Courtesy GorillaRx Wellness)

Know before you go. Check the dispensary listing, browse the menu, and choose a few options that intrigue you. Your budtender will be able to guide you from there. Cannabis activist Lo Nunez, a dispensary supervisor at Treehouse in Santa Cruz County, CA says, “Know what effect you’re looking for. Don’t just say ‘I want edibles.’ We need to know how you want to feel in order to help you.”

Also, don’t show up so high that you’re completely paralyzed by the menu options.

Don’t be a know-it-all

Even Snoop Dogg and Poo Bear bring an open mind to the Wonderbrett cannabis store grand opening on July 8, 2021 in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Wonderbrett)
Even Snoop Dogg and Poo Bear bring an open mind to the Wonderbrett cannabis store grand opening in Hollywood. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Wonderbrett)

Nobody likes someone who’s seen it all. Even if you feel like you have, keep an open mind and listen to your budtender.

 “Please don’t condescend to us. We’re trying to help people,” says comedian Tema Sall, a budtender at Los Angeles dispensary The Higher Path. “We don’t want to be disrespected. There’s always something new to be learned. Be open to hearing new things and learning more.”

Don’t ask your budtender how to break the law

It seems obvious, but don’t do this. Lo says people often ask her how to take weed on a plane, or if it’s OK to mail it to themselves.

“If you asked me on the street as my friend, then maybe my answers would be different, but at work, it puts me in an awkward position, because if I were to offer advice the dispensary could be fined.”

Legal cannabis is a highly regulated industry, and dispensary workers are following the law to the letter. Don’t be a jerk and ask them how to get around it.

Bring cash

Hello, ATM fees. (Courtesy Beyond Hello - University City, PA)
Hello, ATM fees. (Courtesy Beyond Hello – University City, PA)

And plenty of it. Get it before you arrive at the dispensary to avoid steep ATM fees. Don’t haggle over price or ask for freebies. Your budtender isn’t authorized to make deals or give away free weed. Tema recommends checking out the dispensary listing for daily deals before you shop.

“For edibles, we have 10 percent off on Tuesdays,” she says—and on Fridays, you can get a $1 joint at The Higher Path with your purchase.

Respect the store and the neighborhood

Dispensaries are nice now. Act right. Above, the luminous interior of GorillaRX Wellness in California. (Courtesy GorillaRx Wellness)
Dispensaries are nice now. Act right. Above, the luminous interior of GorillaRX Wellness in California. (Courtesy GorillaRx Wellness)

Stay off your phone when you’re in the store. Don’t text or call your bud, or take pictures inside the store. When you leave, don’t light up on the property. Lo says that’s a rookie mistake:

“Beginner consumers often don’t realize how strictly regulated our business has to be for us to operate.”

Don’t litter, and park legally. Don’t give the neighbors a reason to complain about the business. Don’t be that guy.

Mary Jane Gibson's Bio Image

Mary Jane Gibson

Mary Jane Gibson is Leafly’s Product Specialist in Southern California. She wrote and edited for High Times for over a decade. Currently based in Los Angeles, she writes about cannabis culture, entertainment, products, and cutting-edge trends. Mary Jane also co-hosts a podcast, Weed + Grub, with comedian Mike Glazer.

View Mary Jane Gibson’s articles



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