The first time walking into a recreational/adult-use dispensary is an experience that most people never forget. Seeing shelves of a retail store packed with cannabis is a sight that many people have been waiting a lifetime to see. The experience of shopping at a dispensary is unique as well. The budtenders are there to help answer your questions and teach you about the various products they sell. You can tell your budtender what type of high you are looking for, or what type of experience you are wanting to have and they can help guide you into products that are right for you. Shopping at dispensaries is a great time, but it can also be a little overwhelming your first time. To help you feel confident walking up to the dispensary counter we have put together this list of frequently asked questions to review before you make your first legal cannabis purchase.
*Please note, this article was written specifically for the Colorado recreational/adult-use market. Many of the now legal states (11) have adopted these same rules, but there are subtle differences in each market in the United States. Before shopping in a new state, review the local laws and regulations, or defer to the budtender with specific questions.
How old do I have to be to legally purchase cannabis in Colorado?
Any adult over the age of 21 can purchase cannabis with a valid government-issued ID or Passport. Unfortunately, an expired ID or out-of-state paperwork will not be accepted at any dispensary in Colorado by law. Medical patients can be 18 years old but must be a legal resident of Colorado.
Can I use a medical marijuana card from another state?
Unfortunately, Colorado is not a reciprocal state so medical marijuana cards from other states cannot legally be accepted here. If you are 21, you can still purchase from a recreational dispensary.
*There are some states that offer reciprocity. Be sure to check the local laws before assuming you can use your medical marijuana card.
How much cannabis am I allowed to purchase?
Adult Use: As a legal adult, you can purchase up to an ounce at a time with a limit of 1 oz, or 28 grams, in your possession. However, there are a few equivalencies to keep in mind: 800mgs of edibles = 8 grams of concentrates = 1 oz of flower.
Medical: With a medical card you are allocated a minimum of 6 plants and are allowed to purchase up to 2 oz (56 grams) per day. The equivalencies for medical products are a little different, as 1 gram of flower = 1000mg of edibles = 1 gram of concentrates. There is no limit to the amount of THC there is per package of edibles on the medical side.
To learn more, check out The Differences Between Medical and Adult Use Cannabis
What is available for me to purchase?
As we mentioned in Exploring Cannabis Products, there is a wide variety of products on the market for you to choose from. There are infused foods and drinks, concentrated oils (dabs), vape pens, lotions and other topical products, bath soaks, accessories and more! There are new products being brought to market all the time, so there is sure to be something out there that is just right for you!
Is there cannabis that makes you sleepy or energetic?
As we explained in A Little Lesson on Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids, there are different varieties of cannabis that each have different attributes and effects. Sativas we associate with more uplifting, cerebral and focused effects, while indicas will provide more relaxed and sedated effects. Most products on the market will be considered hybrids, or blends of sativa and indica, for a more balanced effect.
What if I don’t want to get “high”?
As we mentioned in THC & CBD: A Symbotic Relationship, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound of cannabis that is beneficial for pain relief, inflammation, anxiety, epilepsy, and more. It comes in a variety of forms, including flower, oil (vaporizers), edibles, and topical products. You will find a variety of ratioed product lines that offer relief without intoxication. The more CBD you have to THC, the less intoxication you will experience.
Can I touch the bud?
Most shops are going to be like a bakery, the smells are free, but you can’t touch the goods unless you buy them. Dispensaries almost always have a display jar out for you to see and smell the herb before you make your purchase.
Can I sample the product in the shop?
Unfortunately, no consumption is currently allowed on the premises of a dispensary, so you are not able to sample the products before you make your purchase. This may change in the near future as there is legislation that is being worked out in our capitol regarding social and public consumption.
Where can I consume?
Cannabis can only be consumed on private property with the owner’s permission, meaning most hotels are not cannabis friendly and you cannot consume in public. There are places like Tetra Lounge where you can pay a membership to get access to their smoking club. Govenor Jared Polis just signed the legislation into law that deals with public consumption and the creation of cannabis consumption spaces. We hope that in the upcoming year (2020) we will start to see more of these lounges, coffee shops, and yoga studios open their doors to cannabis consumption.
Can I bring anything out of state?
Legally you cannot bring any cannabis products from Colorado out of the state of Colorado. Since cannabis is still federally illegal, it is illegal for it to cross the state lines. That means even in states like Oregon and Washington, that are both legal and border each other, no product can cross between the two states.
Continue your education on how to have a postitive experience when shopping at a dispensary in our next blog, Four Signs You Have a Great Budtender
For a deeper dive into the cannabis plant, its various compounds and the industry that surrounds it, call and book your private educational experience with City Sessions today. 720-250-8828