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What to Expect from Your First Visit to a NYC Cannabis Dispensary

What to Expect from Your First Visit to a NYC Cannabis Dispensary

Visiting a cannabis dispensary for the first time in New York is an exciting step toward becoming a marijuana customer. This will likely shape your consumer and buying habits from then on, so it’s essential to make your initial experience positive and educational.

One way to ensure you have a good time shopping for weed is to prepare before you enter the store. It’s important to remember that every dispensary is unique and thus has a different set of procedures or how they conduct their selling business. That said, there are a few common features that are regulations and legal measures that weed shops adhere to. These are your guide to understanding the culture of buying weed in person as a newbie.

Here’s what to expect from your first visit to a NYC cannabis dispensary.

Waiting In Line

Many cannabis shops operate on an individual customer service business model. This is not only for security reasons but to ensure each buyer receives the attention, advice, and the most suitable weed products they’re looking for. Due to this, you can expect to wait in line during your first dispensary visit once the store has reached its number of customer capacity buying at a time.

Depending on the store itself, when visiting a cannabis dispensary in New York you’ll either be asked to wait in a waiting lounge or room after you’re permitted in or join a single form line within the store until it’s your turn to shop. A budtender will then assist you in finding the weed that you want if you’re searching for something specific. Otherwise, you’ll get to browse around until you find a weed product you’re interested in.

Presenting Your ID

As part of state and industry regulations as well as legal proceedings, you will be asked to present your ID to a store manager or security personnel. This is done to verify whether you’re over the age of 21 and therefore are legally allowed to buy marijuana in the state of New York.

Also, a cannabis dispensary in New York City is only permitted to sell weed products to adults over 21, so they will conduct the necessary checks to keep their business in compliance with the law. The ID checks take place either before you enter the establishment. If you’re buying medical marijuana, you’ll also be asked for your medical cannabis card before you pay for your weed products.

Consulting With Budtenders

The expert staff at a dispensary is always on hand to help you as a customer in your marijuana shopping. They will accompany you throughout your buying journey so you can ask them questions about the various weed products. Furthermore, the budtenders can also recommend some cannabis products to you if you’re unsure of what to buy.

This advice depends on your budget and what effects you’re hoping to achieve from consuming weed. Attending to you on a personal basis is also necessary because most weed products are out of reach for customers. Dispensaries in New York are displayed in glass cabinets, and on shelves behind the counter. So you’ll need a staff member to get the weed product for you to check out and buy if you’re interested.

First-Time Buyer Discounts

As a token of their appreciation for you buying from their store for the first time, most cannabis dispensaries in New York City will offer you discounts for your first-time purchase. These deals are deducted when you pay at the counter and can reduce your total payment by 10-25%.

This is also a cost-effective initiative to cover the sales and state tax on your weed product payment. What’s more, if the New York dispensary runs a rewards program and you sign up for it, you can expect more deals and discounts and earn loyalty points on your next purchase. These can be redeemed for weed product rewards when you’ve accumulated enough to qualify.

Paying In Cash

While recreational marijuana is legal in the state of New York, it’s still not legalized at the federal level. Since credit cards are managed by financial bureaus and banks at the federal level, they can’t permit the use of these cards to buy marijuana. Therefore, you can expect to pay in cash for your weed products.

Many dispensaries have an in-store ATM if you forget to bring money or don’t have enough for your purchase and need to withdraw from your debit card. Keep in mind that these withdrawals come with a withdrawal fee. Furthermore, cannabis are taxed goods so bring extra cash that is more than the total sum of your purchase to cover the tax fee. A good first-time budget ranges between $50-$150 in cash.

Security Checks

Just like many high-value goods industries, cannabis businesses have security checks in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers and to prevent criminal activity. Therefore, you can expect a few security checks when entering a cannabis dispensary in New York City.

In some cases, some stores must perform security checks as part of regular procedures. However, you can be assured that the security measure won’t affect your buying experience. They include checking your ID again before you buy, making sure you don’t take photos, and a guard running a metal detection inspection as you come in.


Buyng weed at a cannabis dispensary in New York City for the first time will be a seamless and pleasant experience when you know what to expect. Firstly, be prepared for the legal proceedings and regulations to get through before the fun begins. Bring your ID and more than enough cash that you’re planning to spend.

Then, make sure you’re in no rush as you’ll wait in line to be served by a budtender. Next is where you can begin shopping around for weed products with the help of the staff. Finally, as you make your payment, you might be asked for your ID again just for assurance. If you choose to be a regular customer, sign up for rewards so you can get discounts on your next purchase. This is the easy initial buying process of buying from a cannabis dispensary.

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