Health & Fitness

What is a Marijuana Dispensary? A Simple Guide

There are 11 states in the U.S. that have fully legalized the recreational use and medicinal use of marijuana. Most states have some form of decriminalization on the books, inching towards the complete legalization of marijuana usage.

If you’re in a state where marijuana is legal, you can purchase pot-based products at a marijuana dispensary.You may have heard about marijuana dispensaries and don’t know what they are or how they work. It can be intimidating to walk in and try to buy pot, even if it’s legal.

What is a marijuana dispensary? Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Marijuana Dispensary?

The term dispensary goes back hundreds of years. In the United States, dispensaries were used to treat patients in Philadelphia in the late 1700s.

These dispensaries also served as pharmacies, dispensing of medicine and vaccines to needy patients in the area.

Marijuana dispensaries serve a similar purpose, though they dispense marijuana products instead of pharmaceuticals.

The Types of Dispensaries

You’re going to find a few different types of dispensaries for marijuana. Dispensaries can cater to recreational users, medicinal users, or both.

Each type will have a different vibe to it. They also have different legal and tax requirements, which is why you’re most likely to see shops that cater to one audience or the other.

For example, a medical marijuana establishment needs to see proper documentation, such as your medical marijuana license or doctor’s prescription. The exact documentation that’s required will depend on the state’s laws.

Medical dispensaries have to maintain privacy laws, so you’ll see a waiting room and a private area where you’ll consult with a budtender. The budtender is the person who knows what different strains of marijuana can do and help you get the products you need.

Recreational establishments are much more open and relaxed. Think of it like a pub compared to a doctor’s office. The budtender will be behind the counter and can guide you towards the best bud and products for your enjoyment.

What to Expect When You Visit a Dispensary

Dispensaries really aren’t intimidating, but there are things that you should know before you visit one for the first time.

You should do your research online and check out sites like to find out what kind of products they have before you pay them a visit.

You should be aware that you’re not going to be able to pay for your products with a credit or debit card at most dispensaries.

Dispensaries have a hard time getting approved for bank accounts because they distribute drugs that are still federally illegal. Dispensaries that operate in states where marijuana is legal are cash-only.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or explain what you’re looking for. Budtenders are often very friendly and helpful. They love helping people find what they need.

Visit a Marijuana Dispensary

What is a marijuana dispensary? It’s simply a store where you can purchase marijuana products, from edibles to buds. There are many types of dispensaries, so make sure you do your research before you visit one.

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