What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

If you’re just starting out on your cannabis journey you might be a little nervous, apprehensive or just confused about your first dispensary trip. 

Maybe you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, maybe you feel like you need help with the process or maybe you just want to know what your visit will be like.

Well, don’t worry, we have all the information that you’re going to need to make your first dispensary run go as smoothly as possible. 

What to Know Before You Get There

Before you head over to the dispensary of your choice there are a couple of things that you need to know. 

Here in Arizona, you must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis (18 if you have a medical card) and dispensaries will check your ID, regardless of how old or young you look. To make things run smoothly, make sure that you have a valid form of identification to take with you. 

If you have a medical card you should make sure you have that information as well.

Additionally, many dispensaries are cash only, so unless you are sure that the one you’re going to accepts cards, you should make sure that you have cash on you. Don’t worry, though, if you get there and realize that they don’t take card, like you thought or if you didn’t bring enough cash, there are almost alway ATM’s on site that you can use. 

We also recommend that you take a look at the dispensary’s menu ahead of time. Most places have a huge selection of products and it can get overwhelming if you’re looking at it for the first time in the lobby or on the sales floor.

Most dispensaries also list their prices online so you can get an idea of what it will cost before you get there. Also, when you’re tallying up your total and making sure you have the cash, don’t forget about taxes. 

In Arizona, if you are purchasing marijuana recreationally, you need to pay a 16% excise tax in addition to the state sales tax.

What to Expect When You Arrive

So you’ve done all of your research, you have all of the necessities and now you’ve made it to the dispensary, what next.

The first thing you’re going to encounter is some kind of security. The level of security is going to depend on the dispensary, but at the very least you will encounter a guard at the door. Don’t be alarmed, this is standard practice at almost every location that sells cannabis. 

You then go to check in, there will probably be a person at the front desk of some kind and they’re going to get you all checked in. This is where you’ll show your ID and/or Med card and they will verify the information. 

After check in there might be a wait, depending on how busy it is. If you do have to wait, that will be a perfect time to check out their menus, look through the website again or even take out cash from the ATM. The wait will vary, but typically you shouldn’t be waiting too long before you get called back.

When You Make Your Purchase

You will next get called back by one of the budtenders and from that point until the end of your transaction, they will be working with you to make sure that you are getting what you want. 

If you already know what you want then you can just let the budtender know and they’ll begin putting your order together. However, if you’re still a little unsure, this is the perfect time to ask questions and leverage your budtenders knowledge of the products. 

You can ask any questions about the products or see if they have any recommendations. You can also ask them if there are any deals running, most dispensaries have a “first time customer” deal but there may be others that you can take advantage of.

Once you’ve made your decision, all you have to do now is pay. They will take your payment and then they will pack your items in a sealed bag for you to take with you. 

At the end of your transaction, you might even want to throw a tip your budtenders way, if you feel like you had a good experience with them.

After You’re Done

You did it! You successfully navigated your first dispensary visit! As you’re leaving there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. 

Please don’t open or begin using your purchases until you are home. State law prohibits consumption on site, so just wait until you are in a private space before test driving all of your new goodies. 

However, once you are at home, please try what you bought! If it’s your first time trying cannabis or if you’re trying something new then it might be helpful to take note of how it’s affecting you. 

This will help to inform future purchases and allow you to really hone in on the products that are going to give your desired results.


Going to a dispensary should be a positive experience and now we hope that you’re feeling a little more prepared. 

If you’re looking for a dispensary to go to for your first time, might we humbly suggest NatureMed. We have a long list of products and deals along with knowledgeable and friendly budtenders. We would love to see you!

If you’re interested in checking us out, please feel free to peruse our menu as well as our specials page to see all the ways you can save!