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What To Consider When Visiting a Massachusetts Dispensary

Visiting a dispensary in Massachusetts?
Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Walking into a dispensary for the first time can be a daunting experience. After all, cannabis prohibition has prevented precisely the purchasing, possessing, and consumption of cannabis at the federal level for decades. Now, those that have spent years under prohibition can walk into a Massachusetts dispensary near them and walk out with an up to ounce of weed (28 grams).

If you’ve never visited a dispensary before and are wondering what the fuss is about, you’ll need to find a local recreational cannabis dispensary to serve your every weed need, helping you stock up on cannabis flower and other marijuana products. The good news is that after opening with only two locations throughout the state, there are now dozens of Massachusetts dispensaries where you can obtain marijuana products with nothing more than a valid ID — you don’t even need to live here!

In fact, many East Coast cannabis connoisseurs have been making the trek to various Massachusetts dispensary locations in search of the best dispensary in the state, or merely just a place to buy legal weed. The demand led to hundreds of millions in revenue for the few Massachusetts dispensaries that got in on the game early, but now there are many options throughout the state for buying legal weed, and that’s introduced somewhat of a challenge for recreational weed consumers — where do you start?

Beyond the question of which Massachusetts dispensary to go to, novices may also have questions about what they can buy, where they can consume it and how to manage those highs from weed that is now many times stronger than the weed from just a few decades ago. Before you make that trip to a Massachusetts dispensary near you, here are some things to keep in mind.

Before the Dispensary

Since just about every physical store — Massachusetts dispensaries notwithstanding — has a website these days, there’s a lot you can learn about your trip before you even make it. Some dispensaries may require booking an appointment before you show up, while others may list all the products they carry on their website, allowing you to get an idea of what they have before you arrive.

If you’d like to order ahead, you can do that, too. That can help you skip the line when you arrive, allowing you to pop in and walk out without much fuss. For some Massachusetts dispensaries, this can be a real time saver since many patrons are making the decision of what to buy as they reach the counter at the head of the line. To learn more about pre-ordering at Theory Wellness, you can check out our guide here.

That said, you don’t have to rigorously plan your trip, either. If you want to show up and wing it, you certainly can do so. The many “budtenders” on the premises are happy to help, and they often have lots of experience with products that you may only be encountering for the first time. Things like concentrates, edibles, and vapes aren’t quite like cannabis flower, and if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, you may want a heads up from someone more knowledgeable.

Think of it like alcohol. You certainly wouldn’t want to start taking shots before having an idea of how it will affect you, though many people do precisely this and end up sick. While you won’t end up sick, you may end up too high for your tastes, and knowing what you’re getting into can help you plan for a better, more satisfying experience.

It’s also important to note whether you’re looking at a recreational dispensary in Massachusetts or a medical marijuana dispensary. Some dispensaries and products are only available to medical marijuana patients, which requires a doctor’s approval and a medical marijuana card, and you may not be allowed into certain sections or the dispensary itself if it caters to the medical marijuana market. While some dispensaries do both, it’s better to call ahead if you have any questions.

Strains, Brands and Products

Theory Wellness Cannabis Dispensary

When you first arrive at a Massachusetts dispensary you’ll likely be asked for a valid ID. This can be a driver’s license, a passport, or another form of federal or state ID — they’re only checking to see if you’re of legal age to enter and purchase cannabis products. Once inside, you’ll likely be hit by the pungent smell of cannabis, as well as numerous brands, products, and strains that may decorate the glass cases or the walls.

If it all looks like Greek to you, you’re not alone. Only those with a high degree of familiarity with cannabis will be able to make sense of all the products on offer, though it only takes a quick conversation with a budtender for them to assess your needs and match you with the right product. Many products and strains have offbeat names such as OG Kush and Girl Scout Cookies, which only give a slight indication of the underlying taste, effects, or potency.

In general, though, you’ll likely have to make a decision as to whether you want more heady effects or a more relaxed sensation in the body. These common descriptive qualities match with the two main types of cannabis: indicas and sativas. Indicas, also commonly known as “in-da-couch,” are calming strains that can be ideal for resting or just before bedtime. On the other hand, sativas provide more of an energizing and uplifting high, though it can also cause some to feel anxious or paranoid.

Many strains are hybrids that combine qualities from both indicas and sativas, yielding a relaxing high that still allows you to keep your head in the game. That said, different strains and effects are hardly an exact science, and it’s often up to the individual along with their budtender to identify the right products and strains for their needs — similar to how one may discover their favorite alcoholic drink.

For those that aren’t interested in the “stoned” effect of THC, which is the component of cannabis that makes people feel high, there are also CBD products that provide many of the medicinal effects of cannabis without feeling like your day is getting away from you. Some CBD strains may also include a matching 1:1 ratio of THC, allowing consumers to get equal parts CBD to THC for maximum medicinal benefit.

Different Cannabis Product Types

Theory Wellness Cannabis Dispensary

Once you’ve decided on what you’re looking for from your cannabis, there are still additional decisions to be made before you can leave a Massachusetts dispensary and head home. Aside from cannabis flower, which is made up of the sticky buds from the marijuana plant after leaves and other organic matter have been trimmed away, there are many other product types on offer.

For those that don’t have the paraphernalia to smoke cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints or vape pens give you everything you need to spark up at a moment’s notice, though keep in mind that you can’t smoke anywhere in public according to Massachusetts recreational cannabis laws. Edibles and pills are also available if you’d rather eat your cannabis than smoke it, though it takes much longer for the effects to hit — on the order of hours instead of minutes — making it all too easy to consume too much as you wait for the effects to kick in.

There are also tinctures, which allow you to absorb THC into the bloodstream under the tongue or to cook with, though experts will often reach for the dabs, wax, and shatter — ultra-high potency cannabis concentrates that require specialized dab rigs to partake. There’s no right or wrong product; it’s all based on your experience and what you’re looking for.

Save Some Time

If you want to beat the lines and save some time on your trip to a Massachusetts dispensary, you may want to order ahead. Many dispensaries get rather busy on the weekends or on a Friday, and you can show up and be in and out in just minutes if you order online or over the phone. Some dispensaries may even deliver products directly to your home, negating the need to go anywhere.

But if you’d rather head in and make your selection in person, you can certainly do so. If you can, try to make your trip during the week or earlier in the morning — the longest waits are typically on Friday evenings or Saturdays, though it’s not to say that it’ll take you longer than 10-15 minutes. Those hours-long wait times are largely a thing of the past as more Massachusetts dispensary locations open to the public.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a valid ID on you — no exceptions, even if you clearly look over the age of 21. You’ll also need to bring cash or a debit card, as all dispensaries won’t accept credit cards. You’ll also need about 20 percent more cash than the stated prices since there’s a 17 percent tax for the state and a 3 percent tax for local governments. Certain cashless transactions and ATMs on site may also charge you additional fees, so keep that in mind or obtain your cash elsewhere before showing up.

If you’re looking for a Massachusetts dispensary, Theory Wellness has three locations across the state: a recreational and medical dispensary in Great Barrington, a recreational and medical dispensary in Chicopee and a medical-only dispensary in Bridgewater. Both medical patients and recreational customers can also take advantage of our delivery services. Theory provides recreational cannabis delivery in Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and medical cannabis delivery in Eastern Massachusetts, including Boston and Bridgewater. We hope to see you soon!

Theory Wellness Great Barrington

About Theory Wellness

Theory Wellness is a vertically integrated dispensary with a deep passion for cannabis and the role it plays in improving people’s lives. We focus on small-batch cultivation of premium genetics sourced from select breeders around the world. We use high-efficiency growing techniques that help the plant reach its full potential in bud structure, terpene profile, and bag appeal. In addition, our lab is filled with an eclectic group of passionate scientists. We produce our products using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and are constantly exploring new methods to develop our products.

Please Consume Responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of Edible Marijuana Products may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.