What to Expect on Your First Dispensary Visit

Medical marijuana has shown growth in many states in recent years. Over 60 percent of Americans favor legalizing and 31 states have implemented a medical marijuana program. At Keystone Shops, we see many different types of patients. Some may be parents. Others are grandparents and seniors seeking its medical benefits. Countless medical patients are successful, working adults who are seeking relief in the form of a medically valid plant.

For first time patients, walking into a dispensary may feel like a daunting task. Information about strains, products, and forms can be overwhelming and tough to navigate. To help you feel more comfortable at our store, here is a guide of what to expect when buying medical marijuana at Keystone Shops.

When entering a dispensary, you’ll probably notice security guards. Don’t be alarmed! This is perfectly normal safety measure for dispensaries. You’ll need your license for your first visit and your medical marijuana card. After your first visit, you’ll only need your medical marijuana card. There may be some patient intake information for you to fill out. You’ll be asked if you would like a medical consultation. A medical consultation is an opportunity to sit and discuss any questions with a medical professional. This service is always available and free of cost.

Buying cannabis is a little different than other retail stores. Regulations in Pennsylvania require that dispensary technicians only serve one customer at a time. You may have to wait for a technician to become available, similar to a doctor’s office.  

Choosing products can easily be the most overwhelming part of a visit for a first-time patient. There are many choices in both forms and products, and trying to make heads or tails of a menu may seem like biting off more than you can chew. The most helpful thing you can do is ask questions. For each sale, you’ll be paired with a trained and knowledgeable dispensary technician. These technicians can help guide you to the right product, with some help from you.

Helpful things a patient can do is to explain what effects they are looking for. Pain relief is a common goal for patients, so try to get more specific. What type of pain do you feel? Is it constant? Is it made worse by certain things? Giving your technician information helps them to find the right strain for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or advice.

Some questions every first-time patient should consider are these:

How much do you consume? Are you experience or new? Knowing your experience levels helps a technician find the correct beginning dose.

What kind of psychoactivity are you looking for? THC is great for pain, but some patients may not want the psychoactive effects of THC and opt for a less psychoactive option, CBD products.

How long do you want the effects to last? Certain products last longer than others. If you want a shorter experience, vaping may be beneficial. If you want 8 hour relief, a capsule or homemade edible may be the better option.

In Pennsylvania, the law requires all medical marijuana products to be grown within state boundaries. Regulations require that all products are sold in sealed, tamper-resistant packaging. Unfortunately, this means that no products can be opened or consumed inside the dispensary.

Dispensaries are cash-only. Come prepared to make your first visit even easier. Keystone Shops can also accept debit cards using a cashless ATM. There is a $3 ATM fee.

Prices for products can vary, so check the menu before you stop in to get an idea of ranges.

You’ll notice that your receipt is stapled to the bag. This is to close your bag and keep it compliant with PA regulations.  

Be proud! You made your first medical marijuana purchase! Although this process can seem daunting and even intimating sometimes, we are here to help make sure every part of your visit goes smoothly. After a handful of visits, shopping for medical cannabis is as natural as a trip to the grocery store.

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