Your First Time in a Dispensary: What to Know

Inside the Dispensary Exit 243 store

Many people going to a dispensary for the first time feel a bit out of their element – maybe even a little apprehensive. But there’s no reason to worry. The cannabis experts at Dispensary Exit 243 in Idaho Springs, CO, have guided thousands of medical and recreational consumers through their first transactions. It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of our profession.


We do, however, feel that people who know what to expect find the experience far more enjoyable. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a basic overview – a summary intended to help you feel more confident in your decision to explore the many positive attributes of high-quality cannabis.


Understanding the Colorado Dispensary System

The Colorado dispensary system accommodates medical and recreational cannabis consumers. Approved medical use patients 18+ have higher purchasing and possession limits, access to more potent products, and lower tax rates. Before your first time in a medical marijuana dispensary, however, you’ll need to apply for a Colorado “Red Card.”


Colorado residents (and visitors) buying cannabis for personal use must be at least 21 years old to purchase or possess marijuana from a recreational dispensary. All Colorado dispensaries use a point-of-sale (POS) system that integrates with our state seed-to-sale tracking and monitoring platform to ensure regulatory compliance. Surveillance cameras are positioned at all entrances, exits, and cash registers for added safety, security, and accountability.


Navigating Your First Dispensary Experience

What is the first-time dispensary experience like? Actually, it’s a lot easier than you might expect. Everyone entering a Colorado dispensary needs to present a valid form of ID – a state-issued driver’s license or identification card, passport, military ID, or Native American tribe card. After signing in, you’ll likely be asked to wait for the next available staff member – your cannabis expert and dispensary guide.


There’s no reason to keep your status as a first-time visitor to yourself. Most dispensary professionals welcome the opportunity to educate consumers and make personalized recommendations. Feel free to ask questions about consumption methods, strains, potencies, and overall effects. Don’t be shy. Exploration is an essential part of the adventure.


You can also count on your dispensary staff member to help you navigate Colorado’s purchasing limits – the equivalent of one ounce of flower (28 grams) for personal use. Before finalizing your purchasing decisions, ask if the price you see is the price you pay. Some dispensaries have all applicable taxes factored into their prices; others do not.


Tips for Making the Most of Your First Visit

Shopping in a dispensary is a bit different than browsing department store shelves. Dispensary products are secured in well-lit, locked cases overseen by staff. Of course, your guide will allow you to compare the aromas of various strains and explain their most likely effects. Sampling, however, is not an option.


Although all Colorado dispensaries abide by the same rules and regulations, their ability to create a relaxed, inclusive environment can vary. Less experienced shoppers often find they get more from their first visit by keeping the following tips in mind.


Compare Dispensary Reviews

Dispensary reviews and customer comments can tell you a lot. As a person contemplating shopping for the first time at a dispensary, pay close attention to posts submitted by other less experienced visitors. The best dispensaries are staffed by professionals dedicated to consumer education.  


Shop During Non-Peak Hours

Going to a dispensary for the first time during non-peak hours translates to shorter wait times and more room to explore. Your cannabis guide will have plenty of time to answer your questions and address your concerns. In other words, you can count on a more relaxed, informative shopping experience.  


Ask for Feedback and Guidance

Colorado dispensaries offer an impressive number of products. There are, however, significant differences in their onset times and how hard they can hit. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback and guidance. First-time cannabis consumers are generally advised to start low and go slow.


Consider Your Payment Options

Due to federal regulations, most banks and major credit card companies won’t approve dispensary transactions. Although many dispensaries have on-premises ATMs to work around the issue, having cash on hand ensures you won’t be stuck paying an out-of-network surcharge for withdrawing funds.

Dispensary Exit 243 sign

You Can Count on Top-Notch Service & Expert Guidance at Dispensary Exit 243

Many people visiting a dispensary for the first time feel a bit out of their element. But there’s no reason to let that keep you from exploring your options. When you visit Dispensary Exit 243 on I-70, you can count on top-notch service and guidance from cannabis experts who enjoy sharing product knowledge, explaining the finer points of each consumption method, and making personalized recommendations.

If you have questions about going to a dispensary for the first time that we haven’t covered, call 303 – 292 – 6902 or submit a contact form. We’re open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. You can also connect with us on Facebook and  Instagram.

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