The opening of recreational cannabis dispensaries in Canada is history in the making, but it’s not a perfect model yet. The tight regulations around advertising across the country have made it difficult for legal dispensaries to provide much information about their stores and what to expect. Taking your first trip in can be both exhilarating and terrifying.
Cannabis has been legal for almost a year now, so most local consumers have become accustom to the process, but for those who have never been before, here are 5 things to expect when visiting a Canadian recreational cannabis dispensary for the first time:
You may need to wait in line.
Depending which province you are in, you may end up stuck in a long line. Due to government regulations some large cities like Toronto and Vancouver have only a handful of licensed stores for massive populations. If possible, try and avoid peak hours when locals are likely to be making purchases – like directly after work or on weekend afternoons.
You will need to bring ID.
Canada’s newly legal dispensaries are under tight scrutiny and regulation by the government and are doing everything they can to adhere to all rules. Number one of which means ID’ing all customers. Whether you are 19 or 49, make sure you bring proper identification to avoid being turned away at the door. Your passport or government issued ID is always your best bet.
You will interact with a ‘Budtender’.
As a customer at a cannabis dispensary, you will be interacting with a budtender during your experience. This person is there to (try) and answer any question you have and help you find exactly what you’re looking for. That being said, there are legal limits to what these staff members can and cannot say. They cannot give any kind of medical advice whatsoever and as such must use their language carefully. Remember to be respectful and kind to all staff.
You cannot buy more than 30 grams.
A Canadian dispensary cannot sell you more than 30 grams of cannabis as this is the legal limit you may publicly possess. If you wish to purchase more you will need to return another day.
You will need to stash your purchase in the trunk if you’re driving.
You must comply with Canadian law by carrying your cannabis purchases sealed and out of reach while you are driving.
Additionally, never drive after or while consuming cannabis as this too is against the law. Cannabis products containing THC will produce impairment in motor skills, cognition and decision-making abilities.