Purchasing cannabis for recreational and medical purposes has never been safer, easier or more convenient than it is today. Due to this simple fact and rapid boom within cannabis tourism, countless Las Vegas residents and visitors from all over the world will step into a Las Vegas marijuana dispensary for the first time this year. As a first-time dispensary visitor it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the cannabis products on the shelves. Navigating a dispensary for the first time will be significantly easier once you have done some research, come prepared and are aware of some of the dispensary “dos and don’ts.” For brand new cannabis shoppers, this simple guide below will assist you to have an ideal dispensary experience for your first time and every time.

Choose a Dispensary

The first step for a first-timer is choosing the right dispensary. Before entering the very first dispensary you see, think about what is important to you as a new cannabis consumer, what you might be looking for and how you plan to consume. For those new to this experience, it can be intimidating staring at 20 or more varieties of flower, concentrates and edibles in a dispensary.

Do some research before shopping by getting familiar with the varieties of cannabis products and consumption methods right for you. To narrow down your dispensary search, try checking out the dispensary’s menu online for pricing and availability, reading the good and bad reviews from previous customers and viewing any photos or videos that may give a virtual tour of that dispensary. In any case, there is a dispensary for everyone at any level of experience.

Come Prepared

Just like any club or bar in the United States, visiting a Las Vegas marijuana dispensary has conditions for adults over the age of 21 who wish to enter a dispensary and purchase cannabis products to use recreationally or medically. If shopping recreationally, security will check for a valid, government-issued photo ID, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card or a passport. If shopping with a medical marijuana card or prescription, make sure the paperwork and medical card is up to date and accurate.

Most cannabis dispensaries accept cash only because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Some dispensaries have found loopholes that allow them to take credit or debit cards or they may have an ATM machine located inside for their customers. Either way, come prepared with cash in hand or call ahead to check what payment methods are accepted.

When you arrive at the dispensary, you will get paired up with a budtender. This person is responsible for walking you through the entire purchasing process. KeyToCannabis.com recommends thinking through the following questions so that you can be prepared with answers before speaking to a budtender: what are you looking for, how do you usually consume, do you want to get “high” in the traditional sense, how do you want to feel, what do you want to do afterwards, how long do you want to be high, do you have any concerns and do you have any health issues that could effect your experience? The budtender knows the products on the shelf, but they need your guidance to recommend a good match so don’t be shy and be prepared to ask and answer questions.

Dispensary “Dos and Don’ts”

Whether you are a first-timer or old-timer it is important and polite to have proper dispensary etiquette. PotGuide.com discusses some of these dispensary “dos and don’ts” to help ensure you have an excellent experience and make the most of your visit.

Don’t Be a Potency Snob

THC content is just one of the many factors that produces the qualities of a high. Feel free to mention if you are seeking something potent, but don’t simply assume that numbers are everything.

Don’t Be Rude

The public perception is often that budtenders are, as PotGuide.com describes, “dismissive, perma-stoned and half-aware” but in reality, budtenders carry in-depth product knowledge on an average of 50 or more rotating cannabis products along with a multitude of laws and regulations. Rudeness can be a quick ticket to bad suggestions and worse service.

Do Make Yourself Comfortable

The more comfortable and open you are, the better your visit and experience will be.

Don’t Go Beyond Your Limits

If a budtender has advised staying away from something as being too strong or works against a certain health condition, you should probably follow their advice. Budtenders have the experience, and want you to have a good time so it is important to listen to their expertise when it comes to dosing or potency.

Don’t Talk About Plans for Illicit Activity

According to this strict guideline by PotGuide.com, “every single dispensary in every state is under continual surveillance. It’s part of the regulatory guidelines. So, next time you think about nonchalantly asking for help committing a felony, please pause and reconsider before speaking up, and forcing the budtender to intervene. They can and will refuse a sale; it’s part of the job. And it really ruins their day, so just don’t.”

Do Tip

If the budtender gave the service you wanted, show your appreciation in the tip jar. A good guide to follow is one to two dollars for small purchases, and five dollars or more for bigger buys. Good customer service in a dispensary means the budtender was being attentive to your needs, efficient and informative about their products and offering helpful advice when asked.

Don’t Linger

As a security feature, strict regulations enforced on a state level only allow dispensaries to service small volumes of people at once. If you are done with your purchase, it is a big help to budtenders, and other cannabis customers waiting to make a purchase if you are on your way in a timely manner.