4 Things to Expect When Visiting a Dispensary

Colorado residents can legally grow marijuana at home. But that small faction of people doesn’t account for the majority of the retail market. Most of the pot trade, for local and tourists alike, happens at your neighborhood dispensary.

If you’ve never visited a dispensary before, you may feel curious about what to expect. With recreational marijuana still a bit taboo for some, perhaps you’re struggling with the idea of visiting a dispensary for the first time.

Well, first of all, instead of fretting the experience. Embrace it. If you still feel a bit nervous, here are a few things to expect:

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A Dispensary is Not a Head Shop

Remember the old hippy-dippy head shops from back in the day? Some may expect the same type of shop, except they now sell marijuana alongside pipes and bongs.

But it’s not always the case.

In fact, visiting a dispensary in Denver may feature a very clean, sleek and professional design. And while you can certainly find shops in sketchy parts of town, you can also locate high-end dispensaries in strip malls across the street from your favorite restaurant.

No Smoking on Dispensary Premises


karing kind dispensary inside
Photo: Karing Kind Dispensary in Denver
Unlike a bar or cigar shop, you cannot use the product on-site.


Public consumption is banned, which means you aren’t allowed to smoke publically outdoors. And because marijuana falls under the same clean air restrictions as cigarettes, don’t try to smoke inside public buildings either.

Expect a Pot Version of the Brown Bag for Booze

Much like purchasing liquor, you’ll need to conceal the pot out of public view. But instead of the brown bag, the marijuana industry has its own way of concealing it.

You’ll receive the marijuana in a child-proof pill bottle, which may make you think of your local pharmacy. But instead of the clear bottles they use, expect a solid color bottle that keeps the weed out of plain sight.

Pick the Dispensary Budtender’s Brain

You read it right.

Budtender. Like the bartender of pot.

This person will answer your questions. They are a guide when visiting a dispensary for the right products. They receive training that fills their head with all things pot-related. If you have questions during your visit, look no further than the budtender.

They’re there to help every step of the way.

Are You Ready for Your Visit?

Now that you know the basics of what to expect, it’s time to visit your local shop. Really, you shouldn’t feel nervous. Visiting a dispensary is easy. Embrace the experience, dive right in. You’ll love it.