House of Puff is changing how you shop at a cannabis dispensary

Your New Favorite Retail Therapy: How to Navigate a Cannabis Dispensary

  • Navigating a cannabis dispensary is a piece of cake if you know what you’re doing. 
  • This roadmap gives you all the tips and tricks you need to shop for cannabis like a pro. 
  • Discover the new era of cannabis retail that’s dawning at Etain’s White Plains, NY dispensary.  
  • 10-minute read

Level Up Your Shopping at a Cannabis Dispensary

Before legalization, buying cannabis meant calling your local “guy” and sifting through whatever limited supply he had. So, there often wasn’t the opportunity to consistently buy the exact product that delivered the right dosage and effects for you. One of the best things about legalization is the cannabis dispensary. The experience often starts out as just the pharmacy part of drug stores—a purely transactional experience with limited opportunity to browse. That’s especially true when cannabis is only legal for medical consumers. But, with recreational cannabis now legal in many US states, the shopping experience is getting a LOT more interesting.

The Benefits of Buying at a Cannabis Dispensary

We know that, even in legal markets, it’s generally still pretty easy to find a “guy” to buy from. And it’s usually cheaper. But we think the extra cost of buying at a cannabis dispensary is well worth it. When you buy legal cannabis, you can trust that it’s safe and that the potency is verified by mandatory lab testing.

Look But Don’t Touch

Like over-the-counter drugs, at many dispensaries, you can now check out the array of options and decide for yourself which ones you want to buy. However, like with prescription drugs, the dispensary staff still has to dole it out to you and you can only buy a limited amount during each visit. Plus, the display cases are often located at the cash registers. And, while the staff is there to answer questions and help you to figure out which product is right for you, that can feel like you’re being put on the spot. Especially if you’re new to cannabis, unsure of what you’re looking for, and/or at the front of a long line of eager patrons.

Finding Your Perfect Product

If you’ve ever walked into a dispensary and been overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Most times, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity to explore and learn about which product is right for you at your leisure. If possible, get the deets from your doctor ahead of time about the best options for you. That includes strains and consumption methods. For example, if you have breathing issues, you might not want to inhale. Unfortunately, though, with federal prohibition, a lot of doctors still aren’t terribly knowledgeable about cannabis. So, if you can’t find a doctor who can help you navigate your options, maximize your visit by planning ahead.

Dispensary Shy? In A Rush? Order Ahead For Convenience

If you want to give yourself extra time to browse, check out your cannabis dispensary’s website. Most dispensaries allow you to place your order ahead of time. Perusing their website from home can be far less stressful than having to make a quick decision in a busy dispensary. Most dispensaries have ordering kiosks now, too, where you can browse their inventory more thoroughly. Pro tip: if you order ahead online,all you have to do is run inside, pay, and grab your goods—AND there’s often a separate, shorter line just for pickups.

Delights At Your Doorstep

Or take convenience one step further with delivery.  Since legal dispensaries don’t allow on-site consumption, delivery allows you to enjoy your sesh even faster. As more and more dispensaries offer delivery, it’s never been easier to reach new highs with minimal effort. 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Because cannabis is a controlled substance, the dispensary experience often involves waiting in line with very little chance to browse. The dispensary staff—or “budtenders” as they’re often called—is there to answer questions and help you to figure out the products that are right for you. But often, by the time you get to the counter to place your order, you can feel rushed to make a decision. That’s not an ideal way to shop for anything, let alone cannabis. Discomfort in the dispensary discourages people from coming back again. So, we recommend going in armed with as much self-knowledge as possible about what you want. Here’s the questions to ask yourself before you head to the dispensary.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Head to a Cannabis Dispensary

1. What Effects Do You Want?

Before you make your way to the cannabis dispensary, think about what you want to get out of your sesh. Do you want to relax after work? Or get giggly for a movie? Are you looking to get in the mood for date night? Or do you just want some good old-fashioned euphoria? Whatever you’re looking for, no judgment here! When you know what you want the endgame to feel like, it’s much easier to find the right product for you.

2. Are There Any Specifics You Want to Treat?

Dig a little deeper into your intention. Do you need pain relief? Are you looking for a sleep aid? Do you need to relieve anxiety? Or, for you, it might be a combo of things. Maybe you want something that will both relieve joint pain and help you sleep more soundly. Depending on what (if any) therapeutic needs you have, there’ll be something at the dispensary with the right profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. And if you’re wondering what a terpene is, check out our video on how you can improve your high with them.

3. Do You Want Your High to be More Bodily or Mental?

Different strains can have very different effects on different people. Do you want your high to be more bodily or more mental? If you’re looking for physical pain relief, you’re going to want cannabis that you can feel in your body. But, if you’re consuming cannabis to make you less anxious at work, you’re probably going to want a more heady high. This is a very personal question. You might have to experiment a bit and see how you feel before you find what’s right for you. For instance, one of our team members uses cannabis for arthritis pain. After searching for the right product, she finally found the perfect one at her local dispensary that’s described as “body numbing”.

4. Are You Planning To Consume During Your Off Time or During Work?

If you want cannabis while you’re working and you need to be fully on your game, you might want to go with non-psychotropic cannabis. That’s cannabis without THC. So your cannabis of choice might have CBD, CBG, or other minor cannabinoids instead. If you’re seeking out pain relief, you can also go with a salve or some other topical formulation. But, if you’re consuming cannabis on your off hours, you might want a concentrate or high potency flower that takes you into the stratosphere. Regardless, your dispensary will have the product you need to do the trick.

5. How Strong a Dose Are You Looking For?

Do you just want to take the edge off? In that case, maybe a 3mg microdose or a one hitter of flower will do. Or do you need something much stronger? If so, your budtender might recommend something like a hash-infused pre-roll. This is the time to be completely honest with yourself and the cannabis dispensary staff.

6. How Fast Acting and How Long Lasting?

If you’re looking for something that will relax you in minutes after a long day, your budtender might recommend that you go with a vape or flower. That’s because inhalation gets cannabis into your bloodstream much more quickly than other ways of consuming it. On the other hand, you might want something that takes a little longer to kick in and lasts throughout the night to help keep you asleep. In that case, you might want to give edibles a whirl. Looking for a happy medium? Try a sublingual, like The Spritz. It hits much faster than an edible but you can dose much more precisely with it than with inhalation.

7. What’s Your Preferred Consumption Method?

Do you enjoy the ritual of rolling up a joint? Go for it. Or do you love flower but hate rolling? Treat yourself to some pre-rolls or a one hitter`. Or maybe you have kids and so you’re looking for complete discretion. That’s when sublinguals, like The Spritz, will be your new bestie. No smoke, no smell, no problem. Or, if you’re worried that the kids might get into your stash and want to make it clear that it’s medicine, opt for cannabis pills.

Etain just opened their first adult use cannabis dispensary in White Plains, NY

Buying From A Legal Cannabis Dispensary

Once you know what you’re looking for, you need to know where to look. That can be easier said than done. Especially if you’re in New York, where hoards of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries have made it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal shops. Why is it important to purchase your cannabis from a legal cannabis dispensary? Safety. All of the products sold at legal dispensaries are tested to ensure they meet the health and safety standards set by the state. Cannabis sold at unlicensed dispensaries often have unsafe levels of mold, heavy metals, and bacteria.

How to Find a Legal Cannabis Dispensary

Leafly is your best bet to find dispensaries near you. They’re like Google Maps for cannabis. You can find all the licensed dispensaries near you, and you can even order online from them. Leafly will also let you know which dispensaries are strictly for medical patients and which are licensed for recreational adult use.

What To Look For at a Legal Cannabis Dispensary

Once you’re at the dispensary, there’s a bunch of things you can look for to confirm it’s legit. First and foremost, the dispensary’s license will be prominently displayed in the window so you know for sure that it’s legal before you even go in. Legal dispensaries are also required to have someone check your ID to make sure you’re 21+. So, if they let you walk right in somewhere, you’ve stepped into an unlicensed shop. Licensed dispensaries also don’t take credit cards. So make sure you have cash or your debit card on you. There’s almost always an ATM inside if you need it. Or you can just use your debit card for a small fee.

Check Your Labels

Another thing to take note of is the product that’s being sold. Legal cannabis is subject to strict packaging regulations. In most states, all products must have a seal to show whether anyone has tampered with the product. Most states also require that labels include a 21+ symbol and a THC warning symbol as well as the detailed information about cannabinoid and THC content. Check out our video with The Travel Agency Dispensary where we go over everything you need to look for to know that a cannabis dispensary is legal.

A New Meaning to High-End

As cannabis retail moves more and more into the mainstream, shouldn’t your shopping experience reflect this evolution? We think so, and so does Etain. This women-founded retailer just opened a brand new dispensary in White Plains, NY. Their goal is to make cannabis shopping feel like any other elevated, high-end shopping experience—one that’s both familiar and unique every time you stop by. With an airy feel and plenty of opportunity for browsing, this new dispensary even includes a House of Puff shop-in-shop, in collaboration with Skyscraper Creative, that encourages you to wander, explore, and discover. So, it’s less like a simple pharmacy and more like enjoying your favorite department store.

Stop in and visit the House of Puff shop-in-shop at Etain's new cannabis dispensary

What’s a Shop-in-Shop?

You may not have heard the name before, but you’ve definitely seen a shop-in-shop. This format has become a mainstay of department stores for decades. It’s a setup in which individual brands have their own designated space in a larger retail store—like Ralph Lauren in Saks.

Shop-in-Shop to Your Heart’s Content

When it was introduced at New York’s famed Henri Bendel in the 1960s, the shop-in-shop concept revolutionized the retail experience. For decades, the shop-in-shop has allowed customers to have a more immersive shopping experience with their favorite brands. That’s why House of Puff partnered with Etain to put the first cannabis shop-in-shop in their new White Plains location. It combines the best of lifestyle shopping with accessible video education.

The Future of How You Buy Cannabis

House of Puff wants to change the way you buy cannabis. No more rushed decisions. No more guessing. You deserve the opportunity to browse, engage, and learn. Our new shop-in-shop revamps your cannabis dispensary experience and empowers you to shop with ease. So, come on in, take your time, and get to know your cannabis in a whole new way.

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