For many of us, cannabis helps us keep our cool. A bad day at work never seems so acute after a nice joint or a couple of gummies; a hit of the vape pen soothes the anxieties of our societal climate. But, inevitably, there come the times we let our bad impulses get the best of us.
As new states get their markets up and running, budtenders now help more folks than ever—millions of them—with ample opportunities for noob mistakes and bad behavior from shoppers.
We’ve heard pet peeves from budtenders around the country, so we’ve put together this handy list of shopping tips for anyone who might be in danger of being “that guy.” You know, the one who messes up the flow for everyone else by being a total dumbass. Don’t be that guy.
Bring a valid, government-issued ID
Every cannabis dispensary will check your ID—all of them. Make sure yours is valid, and have it ready to show to any employee who asks.
Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, passport, passport card, military ID card, and permanent resident card.
And no need to get paranoid about it. Lisa Black, budtender and training and education coordinator at INSA Cannabis in Massachusetts says, “Please don’t hassle us for having to check your ID more than once—we’re following regulations.”
Research the shop before you go
Know (a little) before you go. With thousands of dispensaries across the country, not all of them will meet your needs and wants. Check your local dispensary listing, browse the menu, and focus on a few options that intrigue you.
Your budtender will be able to guide you from there. Cannabis activist Lo Nunez, a dispensary supervisor at Treehouse in Santa Cruz County, CA, says, “Know what effect you’re looking for. Don’t just say ‘I want edibles.’ We need to know how you want to feel in order to help you.”
Also, don’t show up so high that you’re completely paralyzed by the menu options.
Listen to the professionals
Nobody likes a backseat budtender. Even if you feel like you know it all, keep an open mind and listen to your budtender.
“Please don’t condescend to us. We’re trying to help people,” says comedian Tema Sall, a budtender at Los Angeles dispensary The Higher Path. “We don’t want to be disrespected. There’s always something new to be learned. Be open to hearing new things and learning more.”
Don’t ask your budtender how to break the law
It seems obvious, but don’t do this. Lo says people often ask her how to take weed on a plane, or if it’s OK to mail it to themselves in other states.
“If you asked me on the street as my friend, then maybe my answers would be different, but at work, it puts me in an awkward position, because if I were to offer advice, the dispensary could be fined,” said Lo.
Legal cannabis has innumerable regulations with staunch legal parameters; dispensary workers must follow the law to the letter. Don’t be a jerk and ask them how to get around it.
And for the record, it’s against the law to take cannabis on a plane or mail it.
And plenty of it. Banking as a cannabis business comes with a lot of legal hurdles and many cannot take cards.
Get your cash before you arrive at the dispensary to avoid steep ATM fees. Don’t haggle over price or ask for freebies—your budtender can’t make deals or give away free weed. Tema recommends checking out the dispensary listing for daily deals before you shop.
“For edibles, we have 10% off on Tuesdays,” she says. On Fridays, you can get a $1 joint at The Higher Path with your purchase.
Respect the store and the neighborhood
Stay off your phone in the store. Don’t text or call your bud, or take pictures inside—you could be violating both employee and customer privacy. When you leave, don’t light up on the property. Lo says that’s a rookie mistake:
“Beginner consumers often don’t realize how strictly regulated our business has to be for us to operate.”
Don’t litter, and park legally. Don’t give the neighbors a reason to complain about the business. Don’t be that guy.