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  • Hammond Lewis

How to Shop at Dispensaries for the First Time

With the medical marijuana program being relatively new in West Virginia, thousands of new patients are registering for medical cannabis certifications and shopping at dispensaries for the first time.

For many new patients, shopping at a dispensary can be an incredibly exciting experience, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming too. With all the different product choices, strains, potencies, and prices, it can sometimes be a little difficult for newcomers to navigate the space.

There are some helpful tips and tricks to shopping at dispensaries. In this article, we’ll give you a game plan for visiting a dispensary for the first time, how to make the most out of your trip, and how to plan for the best experience when you’re shopping at a West Virginia dispensary!

Preparing for Your First Trip to the Dispensary

Know Your Goals!

Before you hop in your car and head to the nearest dispensary, you’ll want to check a few things off the list.

You should probably get a little comfortable with the terminology at dispensaries, so you make sure you get the products that will help your conditions the best.

And if you haven’t already made a medical marijuana treatment plan, now is the perfect time.

Having a thorough medical marijuana treatment plan will give you a comprehensive understanding of what your symptoms are, how cannabis can help your symptoms, and what you can expect to happen along the way with your treatment.

Planning Your First Trip to the Dispensary

Once you’ve got a handle on the lingo and a good grasp of what you’re going for, you’re ready to find a good dispensary.

There are several dispensaries open in West Virginia, and you can shop at any dispensary you like!

You may want to find the closest dispensary to you, but keep in mind that individual stores have their own inventory, discounts, and sometimes even their own prices, though they’re usually comparable to nearby dispensaries.

Many (though, not all) dispensaries offer discounts on your first purchase! Call the dispensary before you make the trip out there to see if they offer any new patient discounts and take advantage of any offers!

Be sure to bring your medical marijuana certification and Driver’s License, as you’ll need both to legally shop at a West Virginia dispensary!

How to Shop at a West Virginia Dispensary for the First Time

Cash is King

Though many dispensaries use point-of-sale systems that will allow debit card purchases, it’s important to note that some dispensaries may not accept debit cards, and most dispensaries don’t accept credit cards at all.

It’s not a bad idea to call and ask what type of payment methods the dispensary accepts before you drive out there. Cash should always work, and it’s probably the preferred payment choice because it’s universally accepted.

If you don’t have any cash on you, there are usually ATMs at dispensary locations, but you may have to pay a fee for a withdrawal at a dispensary ATM.

Credit cards are often prohibited in the cannabis industry altogether because of the federal laws against marijuana, though many states are working to change their finance laws to make it easier for banks and loan companies to work within the cannabis industry.

Be Ready to Sign Some Papers

When you arrive at a dispensary for the first time, you’ll need to knock out a few things before they let you into the bud room to start purchasing your cannabis.

There’s usually a waiting room with a receptionist who will take your medical marijuana card and give you some paperwork to fill out.

Usually only consisting of a few pages, the forms will probably have you fill out simple information such as your Driver’s License number, date of birth, and medical marijuana certification number.

Once you’ve signed your documents and the receptionist gets your paperwork in the system, you’ll likely hang out for a few minutes in the waiting room before your name is called to the bud room. There, you’ll be able to browse all the different products and start making your purchases.

Shopping at a West Virginia Dispensary for the First Time – The Bud Room

The Bud Room of a Dispensary is Where the Magic Happens!

Once you’ve made it past the gatekeeper and your name is called to enter the bud room, you’ll enter the space where you can browse all the products, examine different strains of cannabis, and make your purchases.

Every dispensary has different policies about examining cannabis, so be sure to ask if there are any special rules in handling, smelling, or viewing the products. Some dispensaries will show you products without opening them, while others may let you open and smell jars yourself.

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are often required, and many dispensaries may have stricter policies on handling cannabis products in the bud room, so be sure to ask before you handle products.

There will likely be menus, viewing samples, and different cases for you to see the products that the dispensary carries. You’ll be free to browse around and look for the products that will work best for your symptoms.

Talk to Your Budtender, They Have All the Info & Deals!

Your best resource at the dispensary will be your budtender, the person that will work with you on an individual basis throughout your purchases.

Your budtender will be the most knowledgeable about inventory and what products are working for other patients with your symptoms, so you’ll want to talk to them about what your symptoms are and how you’re looking to treat them.

Your budtender can also help you identify products you might not immediately think of, and they’ll know what products are on sale and what discounts are available, so be sure to ask!

Finalizing Your Purchase and Leaving the Dispensary

Your budtender will collect all the products you’ve chosen and check you out once you’ve finished deciding on your products.

Most dispensaries will put your products in a bag along with your receipt. Make sure you keep it all together when you’re traveling from the dispensary with cannabis products.

Keep in mind that in West Virginia you can possess up to a month’s supply of cannabis products, and if you max out your limit at one dispensary you won’t be able to purchase more cannabis at another dispensary until your limit is reset, so be sure to stay aware of how much cannabis you are purchasing.

With all your products and receipts in tow, you’re ready for the best part, bringing your cannabis home and enjoying it!

Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia

Patients who have registered for a medical marijuana certification in West Virginia can legally purchase a month’s supply of cannabis from dispensaries. Having a medical marijuana certification is the only way to legally possess cannabis products in West Virginia, and applying for a medical marijuana certification is easy!

Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!

Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve

wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.

Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for

our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.


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