What Makes a Good Cannabis Dispensary?

Medical cannabis dispensary
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During the 2020 election alone, the United States saw cannabis legalization in five states, with the number of people in favor of legalization being higher than ever before.

With this newfound legalization acceptance across the country, many states are going to be seeing an influx of marijuana dispensaries opening up in the area. But… how can you tell if it’s a good dispensary or not?


  • A comfortable, welcoming atmosphere is key to a quality cannabis shop.
  • A good dispensary will have friendly, knowledgeable budtenders who are willing to help.
  • Diverse product selection is another factor to consider when finding the right dispensary.
  • Finally, always ensure your chosen dispensary sells high-quality cannabis flower by checking appearance, smell, and potency.

Qualities of great cannabis dispensaries

Just like a grocery or department store, some cannabis dispensaries are simply better than others. To help you discover the best dispensary in your area, we’ve listed four factors that every customer should pay attention to when shopping for their cannabis.

Bottom line: a good cannabis dispensary should have a comfortable atmosphere, diverse products, and high quality cannabis flower.

Edible products at a cannabis dispensary shop

1. Atmosphere, Appearance

It may sound a bit shallow asking you to pay attention to a dispensary’s appearance, but this can be extremely helpful in determining a company’s priorities.

Many of the best, safest cannabis dispensaries can be found with a security guard sitting right out front, ensuring that everything outside of the dispensary is business as usual. Especially for women or the elderly, having some sort of security outside can do wonders for confidence and comfortability. 

Inside the dispensary, the atmosphere is everything.

  • Are the products laid out neatly and organized in a way that’s easy to understand?
  • Is the music blasting or is it at a nice, ambient level?
  • Do the budtenders look like they’re actively engaging with customers?

Asking yourself questions like these can help you quickly determine if you’re shopping in an atmosphere that works for you.

Always take a step back and evaluate if you feel comfortable in the space you’re in. If you find that the employees at your dispensary make you feel safe and listened to, that’s wonderful. Don’t force yourself to shop somewhere that makes you feel intimidated— there are plenty of calming, welcoming dispensaries out there that just want to help you out. 

2. Friendly, Knowledgeable Budtenders

Along with a welcoming atmosphere, a good marijuana dispensary is going to have friendly, knowledgeable budtenders that are always willing to help.

Unfortunately, it’s common to come across a dispensary where the budtenders are too stoned to help those who aren’t as familiar with cannabis as they are. Not only is this unhelpful, but it’s frustrating and discouraging, too.

Budtender at a cannabis shop

Your budtenders should offer to help you in any way they can, aiding in providing cannabis education of varying degrees. Whether you’re curious about certain strains, the differences between indicas and sativas, or a type of edible they have available, it’s important that those working can help you out. And, if they can’t, they should be willing to find someone who can. 

Because cannabis is such a complicated, fairly new subject to most, customers are bound to have questions and concerns. It should not be an issue for employees to help educate you about the plant they’re selling. A good dispensary will do everything they can to guarantee you’re confident about your products.

 3. High-Quality and Diverse Product Selection

When it comes to products, a trustworthy cannabis dispensary is going to have a nice selection to choose from. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go to the dispensary that sells the most products; rather, we mean that their product line should be both high-quality and diverse. 

Many great dispensaries offer different tier options for their products, allowing customers to save money or splurge on something a little higher quality when wanted. Having a range of prices, different options for cannabis extracts, and other products than just flower and some edibles are all signs of a well-run shop. After all, people’s tastes are just as unique as they are; why wouldn’t the product selection be, too?

When shopping at your local cannabis shop, always make sure they have the product selection that you need. Some retail shops will sell more edibles than concentrates, or more pre-rolls than cartridges. Take the time to find the shops with the product options that best appeal to you. 

4. Good Bud!

Finally, this may be a bit obvious, but a good cannabis store is also going to have good bud.

At first, it may not be easy to differentiate high-quality cannabis from low-quality cannabis, but it will become second-nature with just a little bit of experience. 

In general, top-tier cannabis flower is going to be both flavorful and pungent, offering unique aromas and tastes depending on the strain. The buds themselves should have a noticeable covering of trichomes, and they shouldn’t be so dry that they fall apart at first touch. 

Unfortunately, dispensaries can get away with selling bacteria-ridden bud, potentially filled with mold. When getting your cannabis, if the dispensary allows you to, always smell the flower first. It should be pungent without smelling rotten. If it doesn’t smell like anything, that’s a red flag, too. 

High-quality cannabis, in this day and age, isn’t hard to find. But, it does take just a little bit of digging around, first. Don’t fall for all the fancy bells and whistles in the store: if the flower (or other products) aren’t good, there’s no reason to shop there.

Bad cannabis dispensaries: what to avoid

So, just to recap, when looking for a good dispensary, you’ll want to avoid:

  • Unfriendly, unhelpful employees– they should always be willing to help
  • Uneducated shops– a good shop knows what it’s selling!
  • Dispensaries with very few products at very high prices (in most cases)
  • Dispensaries that don’t provide lab results for their products– you can’t trust a shop that’s not willing to back their products.
  • Dispensaries that sell contaminated products– this is just a big no.

Finding your perfect cannabis shop

Of course, the definition of a “perfect” dispensary is different for everyone. While some people might explicitly seek out dispensaries with online ordering or an extensive concentrate line, others might just want a place they feel happy and safe purchasing their cannabis in. 

Whether your state is medicinally legal or recreationally, we promise, your ideal dispensary is out there for you. You just have to start searching.