Designating A Dispensary: Important Factors to Consider
Many states with medical marijuana programs require patients to designate a single dispensary from which they can obtain marijuana products. Since most of these states also have a minimum waiting period for patients to change designated dispensaries, it is important for patients to do their research beforehand.
In states like Arizona, we have the luxury to visit any of the state’s dispensaries and learn what each has to offer. Through that process, patients are able to narrow down their preferences on multiple factors: location, variety of product line, staff knowledge, hours, comfort level with staff, and quality of product line. For patients who have to designate a dispensary, researching those qualities in a dispensary is a must to avoid the headache of changing dispensary designation:
Location of your medical marijuana dispensary can be more complex than it sounds. Sure, it’s easy to go with the location closest to you for convenience, but if their hours or their product line do not meet the needs, it may not turn out to be so convenient. Other things to consider with location are how often you will need to visit. If you anticipate only purchasing small quantities at a time than closer is probably better, but if you plan to stock up on your month’s supply, than a slightly longer trip for the best medicine may be worth it. Think beyond the closest to where you live and consider dispensaries nearby your work or along routes that you often take for errands.
Variety of Product Line
Variety of flower and non-flower can become a major factor after the first few months. After settling in initially with the standard flower, patients may find that they are interested in edibles, tinctures or other products for convenience or discreetness. Others may find they have a high tolerance and may want to consider concentrates. Knowing that your designated dispensary carries a wide variety of product allows patients to explore those options.
Staff Knowledge and Comfort Level
Medical marijuana patients tend to have a lot of questions and as the industry itself grows there are always new pieces of information developing. Patients should make sure they feel comfortable talking to the staff at the dispensary and feel that the staff is knowledgeable and can meet needs down the road for additional information. Many dispensaries in states where designation of dispensaries is required, offer consultations so patients can somewhat interview the potential designated dispensary. We highly recommend taking advantage of those consultation appointments.
Dispensary hours can become a big issue. If a dispensary is only open during times or days where the patient has other commitments it makes the dispensary visit harder. Be sure to review their hours and know the most likely days and times you’ll be visiting to get your medical marijuana.
Quality of Product
Last but not least is the quality of product that dispensary offers. Many dispensaries purchase product from different cultivators and somewhere allowed cultivate themselves. Where and how cannabis is cultivated matter and it also matters how the cannabis is stored and handled by the dispensary. These things can impact the quality of the cannabis and infused products. Pre-designation, it’s obviously hard to know about the quality first hand, but reading reviews online is the next best option.
Overall, we’re not a big fan of the requirement to designate a single dispensary as it is somewhat limiting to patients, but hopefully these tips will help the many patients in states where designation is required, to find that right dispensary. Patients can utilize the resources and reviews for dispensaries in their state. Below is a quick list of dispensaries in states that require designation:
Washington, DC Dispensaries
New Jersey Dispensaries
Rhode Island Dispensaries