With the legalization of cannabis in Massachusetts, dispensaries have now opened across the state to serve recreational users. While convenient and efficient, visiting a dispensary is a different experience than stopping by your local liquor store. Just as with alcohol, you must be at least 21 years of age. However, in a dispensary, proof of age will be required to enter the facility and upon purcasing. Here is what you can expect.
Display of Products
When you walk in, you will notice a significant difference between a liquor store and any of the Massachusetts dispensary locations. Rather than being displayed on shelves, your purchases will be displayed in glass cases, similar to a jewelry store. Knowledgeable budtenders retrieve your desired products from a stock room. They can also make recommendations and provide useful information about any of the products on the market. Anything from the effects of various strains of cannabis to recommended dosages and potential side effects. It’s almost like going to the pharmacy in this regard.
What Products Are Available
With the maturing east coast market, there are some Massachusetts dispensaries that have several locations already established and offering supreme product offerings. Cannabis is available in several forms, flower, concentrates, and so on. The majority of dispensaries also sell bowls, bongs, and rolling papers. Pre-rolled joints and edibles such as gummies and candy bars are also available. Cannabis concentrates are available for use in vape pens or as drops. There are various strains of cannabis available, each with a different level of potency and effect on the user. There are restrictions on how much of a product can be purchased in a single visit. The limit for packaged cannabis is one ounce, which is the same as the maximum amount you are legally permitted to possess in public. Cannabis-infused products, such as edibles, are restricted to a maximum of five grams per purchase.
There are also restrictions on the amount of THC, the chemical in cannabis that causes intoxication, per serving. For edibles, each serving is limited to a maximum of 5 milligrams of THC. A package of edibles can contain up to 100 milligrams in 20 individual servings of 5 milligrams each. Beginners should start with a single 5-milligram serving at a time. It can take up to two hours to feel the effects, and taking more servings before the initial dose kicks in can be difficult. It’s best to start slowly and figure out your tolerances.
Completing Your Purchase
At the register you will need to show proof of age, again. Dispensaries can only take cash, although most allow for debit card use. Why? Well, as cannabis is still prohibited by the federal government, banks prefer not to be involved in funding purchases; so you can’t use a credit card. Take care when transporting your products home. Just as with alcohol, it is illegal to drive with an open container of cannabis in your car as is driving under the influence. Use the same care you would when bringing home a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer.
Now that cannabis is legal in Massachusetts, residents can purchase their favorite products in a dispensary. Knowing what to expect before you get there, will make the experience easier.