How to Find Recreational Marijuana Dispensary in Canada?
Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries exist because federal law prohibits cannabis from being prescribed and filled at pharmacies. What is a dispensary without the marijuana? A place that specializes in carrying and selling a specific type of product. So, a marijuana dispensary is where you want to go when you need any type of cannabis product. There are recreational as well as medical marijuana dispensaries depending on which state you are in. We’ll go over the differences between the two as well as everything you should know about a marijuana dispensary.
If you want to buy cannabis, be it for medical or recreational purposes, you should purchase it from a licensed dispensary in a state where it is legal to consume marijuana. Currently, 28 states allow medical marijuana dispensaries, and among those, eight states and the District of Columbia allow recreational dispensaries to do business. Marijuana dispensaries are safe, regulated establishments that often carry everything you need to learn about, grow, and consume cannabis.
What Is A Medical Dispensary?
The first public marijuana dispensary in the United States is the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club which the late, great Dennis Peron operated when it started in 1992. Since then, hundreds of medical dispensaries have opened all around California. There are now medical dispensaries in more than half of the states in the country.
Although medical use sales didn’t start until 2015, adult use sales officially kicked off on July 1, 2017—and the state promptly ran into a cannabis shortage less than a week later. However, it’s important to point out that previous policies affected some communities far more deeply than others. And, even in states that have legalized cannabis use, that inequality continues. People of all ethnicities use and purchase cannabis at about the same rate, but people of color are much more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. And although cannabis-related arrests are significantly down overall since 2010, people of color still make up the bulk of those arrested. So, yes, smoking weed has effectively always been legal for me, your basic white lady—even when it wasn’t. But the dispensary experience was still something new to me and, I hoped, would help me understand my personal relationship with the plant in a different way. When I walked into the Apothecarium, my chosen shop, I found a pristine yet welcoming store with a large waiting area for customers to fill out their paperwork and a separate open area for consultations. Each customer meets individually with their budtender (yes, this is really what they’re called) at a space along a large counter with a leather-bound menu book on top. As you flip through, your budtender will take out samples of herb for you to smell and inspect, as well as anything else you might be curious about, including vape pens, edibles, or pre-rolled joints. It felt like buying tea; I remember walking out thinking, “That’s what it should feel like!” According to Sara Payan, public education officer at the Apothecarium (which has three additional locations in San Francisco), the first step is choosing the right dispensary for you. If you’re a first-timer, it may be best to seek out one that has some sort of educational program, which would suggest that it’s more open to beginners, she says. But there’s a dispensary for everyone and every level of experience, so it’s a good idea to do some research on your own to pick the best one for your circumstances.
The first medical marijuana dispensary open to the public was the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, which began serving patients in 1992 despite the fact that cannabis was illegal at the time. Since opening it has experienced social stigmas and legal troubles that can still be an issue for dispensaries across the country, including protests and police raids, but as legalization spreads the worry over these issues dissipates. You can also visit the first recreational dispensary to open in the nation, 3D Cannabis Center, at its flagship store in Denver, CO.
You will find today’s marijuana dispensaries to be clean, comfortable shops that are well-suited to help you get the best cannabis for your needs. The marijuana strains and inventories offered will range from shop to shop, and sometimes even by each visit, but you can count finding a variety of quality cannabis flowers, concentrates, topical salves, and edibles. Dispensaries also offer consumption products and seeds or clones from their own garden.
Your greatest assets at a dispensary will be the knowledgeable budtenders. They will help you decipher the displayed percentages of test results for active compounds and share their personal insights to help you determine which buds may be best for you. If you can develop a relationship with a budtender at your favorite dispensary you’ll get better insights on how the cannabis you buy is grown as well as the latest in what’s going on in the marijuana industry.
Marijuana Dispensaries are Growing in Popularity
Compared to Amsterdam, it took the Americans more than a generation to embrace the idea of setting up marijuana dispensaries. They are regulated by the local government and are generally situated inside a retail store or an office building. A person can buy marijuana as well as marijuana related items either for medical or recreational use.
The concept of marijuana dispensaries blossomed for the very first time in Amsterdam in the 1970s. They were referred to as coffee shops. Today, even if the Dutch shops allow consumption of marijuana on the site, this is forbidden in the United States (US).
The first dispensary in the US went under the name of San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club and was founded in 1992. Washington became the second state that has developed a regulatory framework for those operating marijuana dispensaries with the aim of improving access to cannabis with regards to patients.
The first recreational patient attending the 3D Cannabis in Colorado in 2014 was Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War Veteran. Struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) but unable to obtain a medical license for his condition, he found relief at the dispensary.
Already in 2015, Americans spent more than $5 billion on legal marijuana and the trend is on the rise. Today, marijuana dispensaries are growing in popularity and more and more dispensaries are mushrooming across the country. Harborside Health Center in California is a good example of a large shop and was even featured in a reality show. Another shop to make the headlines is Kind for Cures that converted a defunct KFC.
What Products Are At Dispensaries?
As cannabis becomes more legal, the industry surrounding it continues to expand. Politicians now campaign on a platform of total weed legalization since it’s that popular a stance, and it seems every other week there’s a local news story about a mom who became a millionaire baking and selling edibles. Now that it has reached the suburbs, companies want to expand marketing efforts. That’s actually pretty difficult. Prominent search engines like Google aren’t particularly keen on letting people advertising marijuana products on their website, even if the state it’s produced in is legal. Manufacturers have been forced to find other means to sell their products. Despite these roadblocks, the explosion in cannabis popularity has meant an explosion in cannabis products this decade. Because THC and CBD can enter the body in so many ways -smoking, vaping, ingesting, through skin – the number of products that can be made with it are, if not endless, certainly bountiful. Certain products, though, seem to be more prominent, or at least on the rise, than others.
It should be noted that this article is not an endorsement of any of the products that will be mentioned. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and due to its classification as a Schedule 1 drug the amount of research that can be conducted on it is limited. This is simply an acknowledgement of popular types of products in states where cannabis is legal in some form.
- Cannabis Oil. This is admittedly a pretty wide category in its own right. There are weed products we’ll get to further down that contain cannabidiol (CBD) oil to give you the desired effects. But cannabis oil can be taken by itself in a number of different forms. That versatility has made it easily the most sought-after cannabis product for people looking for legal use. CBD oils have exceedingly low traces of THC, so they won’t give you the high that you’d normally associate with marijuana. That way one can potentially get the desired effects – pain relief, anxiety relief, nausea relief, etc. – without psychoactive reactions.
- Cannabis Beauty & Skin Care Products. As CBD use became more widespread and cannabis became further legalized in more states, certain companies and entrepreneurs had ideas of marketing these products to people who aren’t often marketed weed: suburban women. Thanks to this, the industry of CBD beauty products grows exponentially every year – though it’s not just suburban women who use them. CBD, in addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties due to cannabinoid receptors in skin. Some researchers say it may be able to help fight acne, and beauty/skincare products with cannabinoids are advertised as being able to help with pain relief, hydration, or even just a euphoric relaxed feeling.
- Cannabis Beverages. Cannabis beverages haven’t reached the mainstream heights of the beauty products, but they’re getting more exposure, as evidenced by a recent article about CBD cocktails in Goop. Cocktails infused with cannabis are still in their infancy, relegated mostly to a few bars in Los Angeles, but should recreational marijuana use continue to get legalized in more states, it’s a trend that could expand quickly.
- Cannabis Chocolates. Edibles are a particularly popular way to get high, as they have more potency than other methods. It also lets you snack while taking your now legal medicine, which is a plus. The most well-known edibles are fairly standard – the weed brownie, the pot cookie, marijuana gummies (which have occasionally caused companies to run into legal trouble due to concerns kids might inadvertently take them). As it becomes legal and companies want to market cannabis treats, though, it is chocolates that have become something of a trend. Chocolates can be marketed to those interested in trying legal weed but who want a more “refined” method than smoking a joint. It also allows companies to attempt a more sophisticated marketing campaign than you could do with, say, a gummy bear. Two of the more prominent makers of marijuana chocolates, Kiva and Défoncé, each use a Godiva-esque design to their wrappers. Now you can feel fancy eating a chocolate bar designed to get you high!
Things to Know Before You Even Set Foot in a Marijuana Dispensary
- The first thing your budtender will want to know is why you’re there or what your goal with cannabis is, so go in prepared with an answer. Although I knew there were basically an infinite number of strains out there, I had been under the impression that there were really only two types of weed: the kind that made me drool until I fell asleep and the kind that made me sweat with paranoia. So I was surprised to find myself having such a detailed conversation with my budtender about my vacation plans. Did I want poolside weed or did I want concert weed? Would I be drinking as well? How anxious would I be in a crowd of people? How relaxed is too relaxed for dinner? “When people come in and they ask for something, we’re really illustrating a spectrum [of experience],” Payan says, “and there are a lot of variations in the spectrum.” So whether you’re a total newbie or more experienced, thinking about these questions will guide you as you figure out the kind of experience you want in more and more detail.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest, and be prepared to ask a ton of questions. “We want to make sure everybody is prepared with as much information as possible,” Payan says. If you have a question—no matter how basic or silly you think it is—know that your budtender is there to answer it. It’s their job! You don’t necessarily need a specific appointment time (walk-ins are welcome), but you do need to call ahead if you want a consultation in total privacy. Most Popular 27 Craft Kits for Adults to Keep You From Going Stir-Crazy at Home By Sarah Madaus This HIIT Core Workout Will Really Make You Sweat By Sarah Madaus 8 Small Ways to Actually Cut Down on Your Food Waste By Marygrace Taylor I brought a friend with me who had never—never!—consumed cannabis in any way, shape, or form in their entire life. Understandably, they had a lot of questions that I had sort of forgotten were questions someone could even have. Of course, those are the sorts of queries that become the most important to bring up. “How will I know when I’m high? How long does it take to feel high? How do you turn on the vape pen?” they asked, and our gracious budtender answered each one with the sensitivity and patience of my favorite elementary school teacher. No question is too silly or “beginner.”
- Find out what forms of payment your chosen dispensary takes and get cash if necessary. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, which may present some challenges when it comes to payment (lol banks!). For the time being, many stores work with cash only. But some have found loopholes and workarounds that allow them to take credit or debit cards. That’s why it’s so important to know what your chosen dispensary takes ahead of time. You don’t want to rack up $200 worth of purchases only to find that you can’t use your Visa. Payan recommends calling the dispensary ahead of time or taking a look at their website to check what payment methods they allow.
- Take note of any health issues that could affect your experience. The side effects of cannabis are not usually serious but they do exist, and it’s important to be aware of them and how your body reacts. For instance, as SELF wrote previously, we know that weed can cause a rapid heart rate and that inhaling smoke can irritate the lungs. Mental health conditions count here as well—if you’re someone who’s prone to anxiety, for instance, be aware that certain types of cannabis can produce highs that come with even more anxiety. In my case, I knew that some concentrated oils tended to aggravate my asthma even though they’re vaped. I don’t really know why, but I wish I had brought that up during my consultation and definitely before purchasing a whole cartridge of oil and a vape pen that caused some unpleasant coughing fits before I totally gave up on it. So, if you have a preexisting medical issue, you may want to talk to your doctor about the best way to consume cannabis (if at all). If you have lung issues, for example, your doctor or budtender may advise you to stick with edible forms of cannabis that won’t involve inhaling smoke or vapor.