So you live in a state that has legal cannabis, but you aren’t sure where to begin. Don’t worry! By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to walk into a recreational cannabis shop with confidence and walk out with a bag of exciting cannabis products perfect for you.
Step 1: Find a Cannabis Dispensary Near You
Note: You must be age 21+ with valid identification to purchase cannabis in any state that’s legalized recreational adult-use cannabis.
While finding the perfect dispensary for you takes time and exploration, the very first step is to assess which shops are near you. Use Leafly’s store locator tool
for a bird’s eye view of stores nearby. Click to view their details at a glance, or dive into their full dispensary page to check out reviews, deals, and menus.
Don’t be afraid to explore a few different shops. Every shop has a unique staff, atmosphere, deals, and product selection. Consider scrolling through a few user-submitted reviews to get a feel for what customers liked (or didn’t like) about the shop. You can also take our word for it, and subscribe to Leafly’s newsletter where we drop recommendations for shops, strains
, and other products
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Once you’ve found a store you love, be sure to leave a review and follow it on Leafly. Maybe you appreciated how helpful the staff was, enjoyed the atmosphere, or found a product you know you’ll want to come back to. Whatever your positive experience looked like, it’s good to take note!
Step 2: Learn the Cannabis Basics
After you’ve selected a shop, you have one of two options as a first-time buyer:
- You can go in and trust that the budtender will make a good recommendation.
- Do a little research to get a better idea of which products may be better suited for you.
We recommend option two—if you take a look at your local store’s menu, you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the options available. Looking for bud? You’ve got dozens of unique strains to choose from. Trying to re-live that pot brownie experience of yesteryear? Great, what’s your desired potency? Wondering what a dab is? …We’ll get there
, but maybe not today.
Luckily, Leafly has an answer to almost every cannabis question you might have. Here are a few of the most common, along with a resource full of answers.
- What are all these weird new products and ways to consume cannabis?
- As a beginner to cannabis, what product should I start with?
- There are so many strains! Which should I start with?
- What does “indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” mean?
- How will THC and CBD affect me?
- I want to try edibles. What’s the right dose for a mellow experience?
You can certainly field these questions to a budtender, but when shops are bustling, you may feel pressure to make a decision too quickly. Familiarize yourself with the very basics, and you’ll undoubtedly have a more positive experience than if you were to go in unprepared.
Step 3: Choose and Pick Up Your Products
Now that you’re somewhat familiar with cannabis strains, dosing, and consumption methods, revisit the Leafly menu of your local dispensary. You can sort this menu by any desirable criteria such as:
- Flower (“I want to smoke or vaporize it!”)
- Concentrates (“I want to try these discreet vape pens
- Edibles (“I want something that’ll last longer!”)
- Pre-rolls (“Roll it for me, please!”)
- Other (“They make cannabis suppositories
, bath soaks
, and lube
Every strain and product delivers a unique experience, so be adventurous and try a few different types and brands until you find the products you absolutely love.
A few more nice-to-know tips before you go include how much cannabis you’re allowed to buy
in your state and in Canada
, where you’re allowed to consume it
, and what to do if you accidentally get a little too high