All Manner of Things
PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR YOUR FIRST DISPENSARY TRIP
Your first time can be intimidating. Something you can only partially prepare for with regards to what lies ahead. All the aromatic sensations arouse emotions, all the pretty flowers enhance the mood. All the anticipation, the uncertainty, and especially the forbidden.
You’ve arrived at a Nevada dispensary. Now what? Consider it like going to a bakery to get some goodies when you were young. Remember the olfactory sensation that greeted you at the door?
Most of the population has yet to set foot inside a dispensary. Hard to translate what’s in store from short clips of videos on TV or photos in magazines. There’s nothing like the real thing. What keeps someone away, other than those who dismiss the benefits, is fear of the unknown.
Once you summon the courage, read a little bit about marijuana before the trip. Visit sites that teach about the varieties and effects. Do some research and find strains that fit your needs. Check out previous articles on the elevatenv.com site and hit Leafly, Weedmaps, Medical Jane and others to get familiar. Which weed really does make you feel euphoric? What knocks you silly? What makes you creative? What makes you want to conquer the world?
But not to fear, Nevada’s dispensaries have plenty of knowledgeable people behind their counters who are more than happy to assist and lend guidance, so you can locate what you need. “Be open minded and ask questions,” are words of wisdom from one Las Vegas dispensary head, who continues, “if something doesn’t work for you, try something else. Reactions and effect vary from individual to individual.”
The First Time
A first look inside a dispensary may be intimidating because there are so many different types of product to see -- from concentrates and topicals to flower and edibles. And not every dispensary is set up the same. Some let you look at the actual bud you are buying, sometimes the dispensary only supplies a sniff jar with a magnifier on it. This isn’t the best way and most purists want to see the bud they are buying. Inquire within.
“Medical advice will not be given – only research,” advised another Las Vegas dispensary boss, adding, “We won’t give you any legal advice, either.”
The biggest complaint is the cost of weed in a young market with tourists willing to pay just about anything. But the price of cannabis has gone down in Colorado and Oregon, and never was high in California. But quit crying and remember you are paying for quality-controlled weed that is lab tested for harmful chemicals.
“The price will come down as the process goes along,” said another dispensary manager in Las Vegas. Top-shelf cannabis costs more and cheap weed is cheap weed. Stay away from leaf, not worth the sacrifice in quality.
Taxes are a way of life. Get over it. Think of it as paying for a child’s education. Remember, medical people don’t pay the regular state tax, only the additional pot tax. For rec users, tack on a little less than one-fifth of your total cost to figure a ballpark final cost.
Here’s a Tip for Ya
Tips recorded in most places haven’t amounted to much – yet. Budtenders make $11 to $16 an hour so it isn’t a glamorous job, quite yet. Tip jars are found near the cashier, although often not in plain sight.
The public perception is that a budtender is not a bartender, rather looked upon as a healthcare professional. “Do you tip at the doctor’s office?” quipped one local budtender. “We would like to be considered a bartender when it comes to tipping, but that hasn’t happened yet.”
Wait until clubs open. Until then, treat your budtender like your bartender. Both budtenders and bartenders are relied upon to give good advice and should be rewarded when they do.
Don’t be in a rush. Be nice to security guards. They don’t mess around when it comes to bad behavior. If they look mean it’s because they’re tired of no one following directions. As one security guard told me, “people need to learn how to read a sign.”
Here’s some more free advice:
• Childproof bags may be hard to get open, but they are a mandate from the state. Leave some bags in your trunk to use as some dispensaries charge for them.
• There may be a line, or you may be called to go in after you show I.D. If there are physical lines, make sure you’re in the right place. You can get left behind if you don’t know where to be.
• Medical patients are served first in most places. The state requires it, but that’s not the case everywhere.
• Do what your mother always told you before going into a store: “Don’t touch anything!” Look, smell and admire, but don’t touch.
• Bring your I.D. If you have a medical patient card from out-of-state, you need an I.D. from that state or a U.S. Passport.
• No phones allowed inside the dispensary, but they are permitted in the waiting room.
• No smoking any weed on the premises, not even to try it out in your car. No vape pens, either. Nevada isn’t the Netherlands.