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Monday July 7, 2014

By Nick Brown


Below is a guest article from Nick Brown offering some insight into your first visit to a recreational marijuana store.

Once you enter an adult use cannabis store, you’ll have to show a government issued ID to verify your age. Individuals must be 21 or older to enter recreational dispensaries. Colorado residents are allowed to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis, while non-residents (US citizens and international visitors) may purchase up to ¼ of an ounce.

After being ID’d, there is often a wait to enter the dispensary, so bring some reading material. Generally these waits are not too long, though it varies by time of day and the specific dispensary.

Once inside the actual dispensary, you’ll meet a "budtender" who is your personal sommelier of cannabis during your dispensary visit. He/She will explain the difference between the various types of cannabis (sativa, indica, and ruderalis); between edibles and concentrates, etc. The world of cannabis has evolved very quickly in Colorado; there are new products and novel methods of cannabis consumption that many people have not heard of. The budtender would be a good person to ask any questions you might have about cannabis, though be forewarned, budtenders can range from extremely knowledgeable to being barely comprehendible.

Most dispensaries operate on a cash only basis as the industry struggles to obtain access to the banking system. Some dispensaries however have found merchant accounts that will take debit cards; you’re best off calling ahead if you need to use a card. 

Best practices: While in the dispensary, be cognizant of the wait that you just dealt with and try to move through the dispensary at a reasonable pace. Touching cannabis without asking first is frowned upon. The law prohibits consumption within 100 feet of the facility, so please don’t light up outside. Also, in Denver, open consumption of cannabis in public results in a $50 fine and should be avoided.

Lastly, cannabis novices should be very cautious with THC-infused products such as edibles, as well as concentrates. These cannabis products can be extremely potent, and their psychoactive effects can vary significantly from smoking flower.  Seeking advice from the dispensary prior to trying these products is strongly recommended. 

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