An ombudsman is defined as “a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems.” We figure cannabis could use such a problem solver, and The Ombudsman is Green State’s advice and etiquette column. It’s written by Ngaio Bealum, who edited the West Coast Cannabis newspaper and is arguably the No. 2 weed comedian in America, behind Doug Benson. Bealum is a Sacramento-area father, a go-to host for cannabis events and a veteran world traveler. All of which make him a keen observer of human behavior and a reliable ambassador for grass. In this installment, Bealum tackles how to act inside a dispensary. …
Dear, Ombudsman, I am new to medical cannabis and a bit intimidated by going into a dispensary. I have a card. What do I do? Where do I go? What are the general rules and etiquette of visiting dispensaries? What should I expect? –New Here
Dear, New Here,
Visiting the local dispensary is easier than rolling a joint. This is what you do: Find a dispensary near you. Weedmaps and Leafly are good online resources. Bring your letter of recommendation and your California ID the door and walk on in! Since it’s your first time, they will ask you to fill out a few forms (don’t worry about it. Your private info is protected under the federal HIPAA laws), and some clubs will give you a short speech about rules and guidelines.
If the club is crowded, you may have to wait a few minutes before you get into the dispensary proper. Make sure to tell them it’s your first visit, because some dispensaries offer specials and freebies to new customers. Talk to your budtender about why you are using cannabis and they should be able to make a few good recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure about what will work best for you, get a gram or two of a few things and try them out. Also — ask your friends about which dispensaries they like best. Arguing about dispensaries is almost as much fun as arguing about who makes the best burrito. Have fun!