How to Prepare for Your First Trip to an Alabama Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Thousands of Alabamians will be stepping foot into a dispensary for their first time next year, with their medical marijuana card in-hand. If you are wondering what to expect, we’re here to help. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your first dispensary visit, but with a little bit of information, you will be prepared.
We’re here to arm you with a simple guide to help ease your mind before that first dispensary trip. With a little knowledge and planning, you’ll be ready to ask the questions you need to get the relief you seek. And hopefully, go home with something new and exciting in your shopping bag!
How to Find Your Local Dispensary
Now that medical marijuana is legal in the state, businesses are beginning to apply for licenses. As the government starts to award those licenses, we can expect the first cannabis dispensaries to open in Alabama sometime in 2023. Make sure to bookmark or regularly visit the Alabama Marijuana Card website, as we’ll have a directory of state dispensaries as they begin to open.
Don’t Leave Home Without Your Medical Marijuana Card
The only way to purchase cannabis at one of the soon-to-be dispensaries is to have an Alabama medical card. On your first trip to the dispensary, you’ll want to make sure you bring your card with you, along with your photo ID: You won’t be able to purchase marijuana without them. Cannabis is highly regulated by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, and these businesses will not risk their newly acquired license by selling medical marijuana to those who don’t have the proper documentation.
If you don’t have your card, we can help with that. Reserve an appointment to see if you qualify by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (833) 781-5633.
Bring Cash or Call Ahead
Judging by the way other states with medical marijuana programs operate, we can expect most Alabama dispensaries to only accept cash payment initially. If you find that you arrive at the dispensary without cash, you may still be okay. Many of them have an on-site ATM. Either way, if you are unsure of your dispensary’s accepted method of payment, it’s always a good idea to call ahead, and bring some cash just in case.
Expect to Have to Wait
Cannabis is brand new to Alabama, and when dispensaries open, there will be many eager residents who have been waiting a many years for relief. Since the demand is expected to be so high, plan to stand in line and wait to do your shopping, especially if the dispensary just opened. If you need something to keep you occupied while you’re in line, peruse our blog for all-sorts of helpful medical marijuana information and advice.
Be Prepared to Ask Questions
If you have questions about medical marijuana or cannabis products, have them ready. Dispensaries will have knowledgeable staff members on site, ready to help you. If you have a medical issue that you deal with and are concerned about how marijuana will affect your condition, or if you simply want to know the difference between products, this is the time to ask.
Remember - the staff at the dispensary WANT you to have a great cannabis experience. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by so many cannabis options. They will be happy to answer your questions. After all, they’re trained to do it!
Have a Cannabis Goal
Having a goal in mind as to what you want to get out of your experience with medical marijuana will help you and your budtender select the cannabis products that are right for you.
Before going to the dispensary, ask yourself exactly what you would like to get out of your cannabis experience. Would you like to increase focus, treat chronic pain issues, lessen anxiety, get more sleep, or something else? Cannabis can treat a wide range of medical conditions, so whether you are using it for something specific or simply using medical marijuana to enhance your overall wellbeing, let your budtender know!
Any previous experience you have had with marijuana - good or bad - is something to take into consideration. Mention how cannabis has affected you in the past when talking to your budtender. This will allow them to give you advice on how to find your ideal dosage level. It isn’t imperative for you to have a specific goal in mind, but it helps to have an idea of what you’d like to get out of your medical marijuana experience.
For example, if you are looking for better quality of sleep, your budtender may recommend an indica product. If you don’t want your medicine to make you sleepy, and maybe you want it to ease your anxiety, your budtender may recommend a sativa strain. It really just depends on your individual needs.
Do Some Online Browsing Before You Go
Does your dispensary have a website? If so, it’s worth taking the time to browse through their selection of products in advance. If something catches your eye, take note of it so you can ask a staff member about it when you arrive at the store.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the wide selection of medical marijuana products on dispensary shelves. Arriving with a game plan in which you have considered some products you may be interested in beforehand can help you narrow down your purchase options.
Put Away Your Phone
Be prepared to go phone-free once you are inside the dispensary. Most medical marijuana retail locations have a “no phone” policy. It’s standard dispensary etiquette. Once you are inside, put your phone away until you leave the store.
Tip Your Budtender
Tips are not required, however standard practice says you should leave a gratuity for your budtender. If you are just making a simple purchase, a few dollars is the norm. But, if your budtender goes above and beyond, answering your questions and recommending products, tip them more. Remember, your budtender is your guide on your cannabis journey. Be kind to them, and they’ll be kind to you.
Don’t Light Up in the Parking Lot.
We get it. You’re excited. You just purchased marijuana - legally! You can’t wait to get relief from these new cannabis products. However, you should resist the urge to consume cannabis in the dispensary parking lot.
Consuming cannabis from your car, on their property, could get the dispensary in legal trouble. If you are caught, you could find yourself having issues with the police and at the very least may find yourself banned from the dispensary. Wait until you get home or somewhere private before you enjoy your medicine.
Plan to Keep a Cannabis Journal
If you are new to cannabis, your journey has only just begun. You may need to do some experimenting to see how different dosage levels, strains, and products such as tinctures, edibles, and topicals can affect your body.
We recommend keeping a medical marijuana journal in which you will write down the date, time of day, type of product, and dosage that you consume. Then, keep track of how different cannabis products and dosages make you feel. This will help you determine the best way to incorporate medical marijuana into your life.
Be Ready Before Doors Open
You’ll want to be ready when dispensaries open their doors, so that you can experience the safe, natural relief that cannabis provides. In order to do so, you’ll need your Alabama medical marijuana card.
Reserve an evaluation online today with one of our compassionate cannabis doctors, and as soon as the rules for the state’s medical marijuana plan are finalized, our medical staff will be ready to help determine whether or not you qualify.
We’ll make an appointment for you just as soon as we’re cleared to, and you and your new doctor will discuss your conditions and whether you qualify for an Alabama Marijuana Card. And if you make your reservation online today, you’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Alabama Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-5633, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Alabama Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.