How to Break Up with Your Dispensary

Cannabis Dispensary Sign
Joshua Rainey Photography/

It’s easy to fall in love and it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you’re falling out of love, especially when it comes to your favorite dispensary. Times change, and if you’ve been with the same dispensary since legalization, odds are, you haven’t experienced everything your city has to offer. Don’t feel bad about shopping around. Weed understands. Weed will always be there for you. Here’s how to break up with your dispensary.

Is It Time?

The cool thing about all of the legal and medical states is that there are dispensaries pretty much everywhere, and you have a seemingly endless list of pot shops to visit. Life is way too short to spend time with a dispensary you’re not happy with. The first thing you need to do is evaluate your current dispensary. If you’ve already suggested some changes, there’s not much else you can do, especially if they’re going unheeded. I’m not saying you should be rude, because about 95% of the time, the budtenders have very little to do with the way the dispensary is run and you shouldn’t take your frustration out on them. Here are some signs that you need to break up with your dispensary:

  1. The quality slowly on the decline for quite some time now.
  2. For some reason, it seems like the prices are going up for products you’ve been buying since the shop opened.
  3. The member-only deals are kind of lame compared to the other dispensary deals you’ve seen recently.
  4. The staff has been changing often and the store doesn’t feel the same. The new budtenders aren’t on a first name basis with you like they used to be.
  5. You’ve been to other pot shops recently and had a much better experience overall.


Before getting into the meat of the process of switching your caregiver, it’s important to understand what’s happening around you. Some people don’t fully understand what the process of becoming a member is, or how to switch their memberships, so here is a short, sweet, and to the point summary of the primary care centers and how you use them.

A primary center is a dispensary that you have chosen to grow your medical marijuana plants. Every patient s allowed 6 plants, but there are cases where you can get a higher plant count. In exchange for growing these plants, these dispensaries offer some sort of benefit, incentive or discount. These dispensaries will call you a ‘member’ when you choose them as your primary care center. The incentives they provide are usually called member deals or member specials.

When you become a member at a dispensary, most people are concerned about being able to grow their own weed. The Colorado law states that when you name a center as your primary caregiver, they’re growing your plant count supplementally for you. That just means that if your crop fails for whatever reason or you’re not growing at all, the dispensary you chose can still supply product to you. You can still grow your own plants at home and shop at a dispensary.

You’re also allowed to change your primary caregiver once every 30 days, so if you sign over to a new dispensary, realize the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, and decide you want to pick a new dispensary, you’ll be able to in exactly 30 days. You can also keep the same caregiver for an extended period of time if you’re happy with the benefits you’re receiving and the service you experience is ultra-positive. Sticking to one dispensary for years won’t be an issue, though, because you can also still buy weed at other dispensaries. However, if you choose a new dispensary, the new one will have some paperwork for you to fill out to change your primary care center. You will also have to call your old dispensary and have them terminate your membership. It’s actually a pretty painless process.

The Breakup

How-to’s work best when they come from personal experiences. The fact is that I recently renewed my red card and decided that I was going to change where I originally had my membership. I wasn’t too pleased with their products and their customer service, but more importantly, the member incentives were pretty crappy compared to ultra cheap ounces I could purchase at a dispensary a few blocks north. After management and staff changed several times I just didn’t feel like I was welcome there either. So for all of this, I was ready to make the switch.

Lucky for us wonderful Colorado residents, we can change our caregivers and medical dispensary memberships once per month. So I got to spend some weeks shopping around before I was ready to make the switch. I shopped at several medical dispensaries in the Springs. All of which had several first-time patient deals to make you feel welcome. Some even had deals for the first 5 times you visit, which is awesome. After shopping for a while I fell in love with a medical shop that had been tucked away for many years, but very close to my house. The quality of this place was absolutely stunning. They had sample jars so you could check out the weed, but they sell everything in pre-packaged quarters so that everything stays incredibly fresh. Aside from that, the members only specials beat my old dispensary by far, and the staff is knowledgeable, warm and inviting. The product is second to none, and by the second time I visited, they knew me by my first name.

Here’s where it got a little tricky, though: I still had to break up with my old dispensary before signing over to the new one. Some dispensaries just have you call the old dispensary and have them terminate your membership, but other dispensaries will have you fill out a Change of Patient Records form, which must be signed and notarized and returned to the state. The law is that you can only have membership status with one dispensary at a time, so in order for you to apply for a new one, you’ll still need to call and terminate your ties with your old dispensary. The phone call can be awkward but stick to your guns. It’s just a formality, after all, and it’s just business as usual. Lucky for me, I was able to fill out the personal information section and the section allowing me to change the medical dispensary I was signed up for, and the new dispensary took care of everything else. They even let me enjoy my first member incentive for filling the form out. It really is a quick process, and pretty painless. All the technical stuff will be taken care of by the dispensary you’re choosing to be your dispensary caregiver.

Overall, I’m incredibly satisfied with my new dispensary. I don’t think I could’ve made a better choice because it has everything I need. So if you’re not 110% happy with your current dispensary, breaking up with the dispensary in question is always ALWAYS an option. If your current dispensary isn’t offering you the member incentives you deserve, make the switch. My new dispensary has a member appreciation day twice a month and for every dollar I spend, I get a point which converts to pot discounts and freebies.