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Your First Visit to a Cannabis Dispensary: Everything You Should Know

By February 7, 2019May 12th, 2022No Comments

The rise of adult-use marijuana retail stores in California has jump-started something of a cultural revolution. People who have just turned 21, middle-aged moms and dads and senior citizens alike are all coming to weed dispensaries in search of recreation, discomfort relief, or just out of curiosity.

This phenomenon opens up a lot of questions for new consumers: Where do I get the premier recreational marijuana near my location in Orange County? How old do I have to be to enter a shop? What are the top things to buy at a cannabis store? What states allow the sale of recreational marijuana?

Don’t worry—we’ve got these questions covered, and we’ll help you learn what to expect from your first visit to a weed shop.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Go Inside a Dispensary?

Only legal adults are allowed to enter a store that sells recreational cannabis in California. This means that you must be able to prove that you’re 21 years old or older, so bring your identification card or driver’s license.

Without a valid ID, you won’t be allowed to go inside a cannabis store or buy anything on the shelves.

One more thing—being 21 doesn’t mean that you can smoke weed anywhere in the county. California state laws limit marijuana usage to private residences, and some apartment buildings may also be smoke- and vape-free as part of your lease terms. Sadly, that also means that you’re not allowed to smoke while strolling through a park or down the open hiking trails near you. While this might be a little inconvenient, we all have to do our part for fire safety, and there are good reasons for these restrictions to be in place. And, let’s not forget, there’s always cannabis edibles.

In addition to your own property, there are certain public places that operate under special ordinances allowing tobacco and marijuana smoking on the premises, such as the Lowell Cafe up in West Hollywood (and a few others). These awesome cannabis lounges are purpose-made to enable you to relax and enjoy yourself in the company of your fellow cannabis enthusiasts.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Under 21?

You’re legally not allowed to be inside a marijuana dispensary in California unless you are at least 21 years of age and able to produce a valid ID. However, there are exceptions. If you’re at least 18 years old, you can still buy cannabis as long as you can show a medical recommendation.

This way, young adults who suffer from health conditions that require symptom relief, or athletes who need CBD-based products to aid their post-workout recovery can still buy the cannabis that fits their needs and lifestyles.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card?

No. Security within a dispensary is a very serious matter, so the moment you enter a cannabis store you will be asked to show some kind of identification. If you don’t have an ID, you will be asked to leave.

That being said, satisfying the ID requirement for entering a weed shop isn’t too difficult. Aside from your personal ID, Orange County dispensaries will also accept driver’s licenses. If you’re traveling from another country, cannabis stores accept passports as well. No matter where you’re visiting from, you’re always welcome at cannabis stores like People’s OC.

For added security, and to make sure you get the correct order, some stores may also ask you to show your ID once again at the point of sale. You won’t need to have a medical card to shop at any recreational marijuana stores.

You Will Need to Interact With a Budtender

As a customer at a marijuana dispensary, you will be interacting with a budtender throughout your buying experience. A budtender is another name for a weed store employee whose job it is to answer your questions, inform you about the different cannabis products available, and recommend something that will fit your needs and tastes. At People’s stores, we refer to these helpful folks as “guides” or “experts.”

While being able to get advice from knowledgeable product specialists is always helpful, this is not to say that you can’t make an informed decision without a budtender’s help. Dispensaries must supply the strain name, warnings, ingredients, contaminant testing, license number, batch number and potency levels for all marijuana products for sale in the store as part of their license requirements. When you buy cannabis from licensed cannabis stores, it means that everything in your bag has been tested for dangerous materials and fillers by independent laboratories—so always make sure you shop legal for your own health and safety.

Doing a Little Online Research Never Hurts

The internet contains a wealth of information on all sorts of topics, and weed is definitely one of them. In addition to helpful, informative posts from cannabis stores like People’s OC (ahem), you can also find helpful info from organizations like Weed for Good (which provides free medical marijuana and education to chronically or terminally ill patients). At the end of the day, however, nothing beats personal experience.

You’ll Probably Have to Wait a Bit

After entering a cannabis shop and providing your ID, you may be asked to take a seat and wait for the first free budtender to attend you. You’ll also likely have to wait for your turn at the counter to complete your purchase. This is standard industry practice, as regulations may compel weed stores to only serve one patron at a time. Luckily, as southern California’s largest independent cannabis store, People’s OC is able to serve multiple customers at once to get you through the line much faster.

If you end up having a few minutes to wait, there’s always something to do. As a newcomer to the wonderful world of marijuana dispensaries, you can use this time to look around. You can use the waiting period to acquaint yourself with the various products on display, ask questions and talk to your fellow weed enthusiasts. It’s always a good idea to take a break in the middle of your busy day to relax and make the most out of your shopping experience.

The Selection May Seem Overwhelming

More often than not, large marijuana dispensaries stock multiple strains of top-quality marijuana flower, a huge variety of edibles and concentrates, and a vast array of medicinal weed products. There are also many weed-smoking accessories to consider, such as grinders and bongs that will help you up your weed game.

Currently, California laws limit the amount of cannabis you can buy in one day to a single ounce of flower or up to 8 grams of concentrate. While one ounce of weed is enough for a few dozen joints, there are certain edibles like cannabis butter that come in large containers that can have more concentrate than the permitted 8 grams. Luckily, all of the edibles on our shelves will fit nicely into your allotted amount, with most containing around 100 mg of THC per package.

Don’t be in a rush to buy the first cannabis product that catches your eye. Carefully consider what’s available and how much you can buy, and plan the day’s shopping accordingly. After all, you can always return the next day and purchase more.

What’s the Finest Recreational Dispensary Near Me in Orange County?

Want to ensure that your first marijuana dispensary experience is as fun, educational and productive as it can be? Then pay a visit to People’s OC. We are proud to call ourselves the largest and best place to get recreational weed in Orange County. Our spacious premises and extensive offering of cannabis items is unparalleled in California.

It’s not just about our space, but our People. Our personable, experienced team of cannabis guides is eager to give you all the information and guidance you need. You can come by our store to see what we have in stock or acquaint yourself with our stock through our online catalog.

Drop by our store, or give us a call and order delivery at (714) 582-3446. We can’t wait to become your go-to marijuana shop in Orange County. See you soon!