Stoner pro tip

by DGO Staff

How to blend in at a Colorado dispensary

If you’re a first time buyer at a Colora-do dispensary, the process can be a little intimidating. Just know that you aren’t alone, and this guide will hopefully help make this process a little easier than my first time.

I will never forget the first time I bought a few grams at a dispensary in Boulder. I was in passing through on my way to Estes Park and thought I would jump at the opportunity to buy legal weed. As a product of being raised in Texas in the ’80s and ’90s, where weed was looked at no different than any drug, I was super skeptical and incredibly nervous. I remember seeing people get kicked out of headshops in Houston for simply saying the word “weed.”

So I gathered up the courage to walk in this dispensary in Boulder, and the second I walked in I felt like it was a trap. It looked too perfect. It was too organized. There were display cases surrounding me with everything I had imagined. Every girl working in there was almost too pretty. I felt like I was on an episode of COPS, mid-sting, and at any second I was risking the door getting knocked down — with me taken away.

Once I got over my initial shock, I made my way up to the counter and the girl behind the counter asked what I’m looking for. My super epic response? Well, I blurted out, “A few grams of whatever.”

The only problem is that I did so in what seemed like the softest whisper ever — so no one could hear me. She then proceeded to sell me what she claimed will “pretty much make my brain stop,” and I hide it in my pocket and then I’m out the door.

I then quickly made my way to my rental car, where I told my friend to pop the trunk as fast as they could as they stared at me like I was crazy. While slowly popping the trunk, they muttered, “You know thats legal, right? You dont have to hide it.”

But I felt like I did. After all, the childhood conditioning that warned me that weed was illegal and wrong and bad just wasn’t having any of it. I hid it in the trunk and made my way to Estes Park.

Things stopped being so dramatic from there, thank hell. After I got over my insane and irrational fear of getting popped, I had a great time and realized that I really over-thought my response to buying weed.

In other words? Don’t be me. It’s embarrassing. Let me try and make this a little smoother for you than it was for me on my first outing.

Do your research before you show up

Dispensaries can be very busy places, so having an idea of what you’re looking for prior to arriving will make your experience a lot smoother. Try to decide if you are looking for sativas, indicas, or hybrids, which will cut down on at least some of the pressure you feel in the situation. You can also check to see if the dispensary you plan on visiting has a website so you can see what they offer ahead of time. (Pro tip: They all do. Like, all of them.)

Bring your ID

No ID, no bueno. Make sure you show up with a valid photo ID — and that doesn’t mean a photocopy of your ID, or a picture of your ID, or having someone vouch for you, or proving that you’re old enough by the gray hairs on your head. It doesn’t matter. No ID, no entry.

Bringing an ID to a dispensary seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget it. You wouldn’t show up to a bar or to catch a flight without your ID, so why would you not bring it to a dispensary? You aren’t going to be placed on a list where you employer can check to see what you’ve been up to in the weed world. No ID, no dice.

Bring cold, hard cash

Remember that cannabis is legal at the state level, not the federal level. This means that some major banks and credit card companies might make it impossible to use plastic at the dispensary. And because of these issues, most dispensaries operate on a cash-only basis. Save yourself a trip back to the ATM and show up with cash in your pocket.

Leave your phone in the car

It may be tempting to take pictures inside the dispensary, especially if its your first time visiting. However, this is generally viewed as a no-no. It’s probably best to leave your phone in the car so you won’t be tempted. Also, just like no one likes the guy who whistles a tune to himself, no one wants to hear you talk on the phone inside. Don’t be that person.

Look but don’t touch

Please don’t put your hands on the buds when you are shown flower by the budtender. Not only is it gross, but weed is delicate. And when too many people touch the buds, they get destroyed, and that’s bad for the business. Touching the buds removes trichromes that should be intact for the end consumer. And remember, no one wants to buy buds that have been in countless strangers’ hands.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Budtenders are highly knowledgeable when it comes to the products they are selling. They have gone through extensive training on the products they sell, so any questions you might have can be easily answered by the budtender. You won’t be judged for asking questions, so you might as well ask and then get exactly what you are looking for.

Tip the budtender

You tip when you go to the bar or out to eat, right? So why not tip your bud-tender? They’re serving you delicious, amazing weed — and that’s just as good as food! You don’t have to tip them, of course, but you should, just as you would tip your bartender. They are providing a service and are trying to make your experience the best they can. Plus, if you overtip, you will likely be remembered — and they will be anxious to help you out in the future.

Don’t light up in the store…or outside of the store…or numerous other places.

You need to do your research and find out where you can legally partake of your new purchase. While I can’t answer exactly where that is, I know one thing for sure: It’s not inside the store or out in the parking lot. Be respectful and make sure you leave the shop’s property before you start debating when it’s time roll one up.

Hopefully, this list makes it a little less intimidating for the first time visitors. It can also be a good thing to send to your obnoxious friend who embarrasses you every time you head to the dispensary — they know who they are.


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