The First-timers Guide to Visiting a Colorado Dispensary
Visiting dispensaries in Colorado for the first time might feel uncomfortable or scary for new consumers, but it shouldn’t.
First-time customers and canna-friendly tourists are often nervous before their first Denver dispensary experience. And that’s understandable. For the better part of a century, cannabis consumers were stigmatized at best and jailed at worst.
We forgive anyone old enough to recall America’s War on Drugs for feeling weary before their first Colorado dispensary visit.
But, since legalization, the cannabis industry (Lightshade included) has taken steps to de-stigmatize and normalize marijuana; we want to give every person access to this historically misunderstood plant. And everything we do, from retail interior design to education and corporate social responsibility, is centered on normalization.
With this in mind, our team put together the first-timers guide to visiting a Colorado dispensary.
We want you to feel prepared before you shop at a Colorado dispensary near you (don’t worry, it’s not scary).
One detail we want you to know before your first Denver dispensary visit.
Not all dispensaries are the same. And while it’s legal for adults over the age of 21 to purchase (and possess) recreational cannabis in Colorado, many dispensaries offer only medical marijuana. If you don’t have a Colorado medical marijuana card, you can’t purchase from a medical-only dispensary. It’s that simple.
And not every dispensary carries the same products. Before you step foot in a Denver (or Aurora, or Federal Heights) dispensary, peruse online menus and make sure the dispensary offers recreational cannabis.
Congratulations, you’ve arrived.
You brought your state ID, right? If you didn’t, you’re out of luck – let’s assume you did.
The Denver dispensary experience varies. Some Colorado dispensaries offer both medical and recreational cannabis and have a separate entry door for each. In these dispensaries, you’ll want to make sure you go through the appropriate entry. Lightshade doesn’t have different entrances – the experience is similar for both medical and recreational customers.
Many dispensaries greet you with a person behind glass. And others, like ours, greet customers with a smiling face seated at the front desk. Our front desk associate gathers your ID while you relax in our lobby until a budtender guides the rest of your experience.
New customers are often overwhelmed by the range of products available post-legalization. And when you enter the Lightshade bud-bay (the area where you purchase weed), what you see behind glass is a tiny fraction of what’s available. The majority of our products, including edibles, tinctures, concentrates, and raw flower, are stored out of reach.
It’s the budtender’s job to guide your dispensary visit. Colorado dispensary budtenders are cannabis sommelier’s – they are passionate, and recommend products based on your ideal experience.
Many first-time dispensary visitors aren’t familiar with cannabis vernacular and are taken aback by the variety of products, terminology, and range of effects. Budtenders are there to simplify things. Trained to listen, understand, and interpret your needs, they customize product selections for a beautiful cannabis experience.
Making the purchase.
Most dispensaries only accept cash, including Lightshade. But, our Colorado dispensaries, like many across the state, offer ATMs. Still, it’s best to bring cash with you – more than you think you’ll need. There’s bound to be something on the shelf you’ll want to include at checkout (we’ve got great merchandise – just sayin’). Our team suggests that you peruse the online product menus to get a sense of available inventory and prices before your first Lightshade dispensary visit.
Also, Lightshade works closely with vendors to get the best deals in our Denver and Aurora dispensaries, as well as our Federal Heights Colorado dispensary. Sign-up to receive email blasts or bookmark our sales and specials page. The deals change weekly.
Where and when to consume.
Resist the urge to consume your newly purchased Colorado cannabis products as soon as you walk out the door. Consuming cannabis in public is forbidden in Colorado – and driving while high has extreme legal consequences (much like alcohol), and puts you and the rest of Colorado’s drivers at risk.
If you’re a tourist (or renter), we suggest that you make sure cannabis consumption is allowed on premises before you spark a joint, burn a bowl or vape. Hotels, Air BnB’s and apartments have different rules – don’t get yourself kicked out.
We wrote this blog to make sure your first Colorado dispensary visit is comfortable and fun. But don’t hesitate to reach out or pick up the phone with questions. We are here to help!