Why the “cannabis dispensary near me” might not be the best choice for you

Published Jul 10, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / A Melnyk

If you live in a legal region and are a cannabis enthusiast than you have likely already gone to our dear old friend Google to type in cannabis store near me. If you have, then you probably also noticed that there are a few select dispensaries close by, and that very few of them sell marijuana online. This is because every single cannabis dispensary is entirely different from the next, and this discrepancy results in a variety of different experiences that may be possible when you decide to walk through the doors to purchase for yourself. There is not yet any type of gold standard, and with only a select few marijuana products on the shelves, it is essential that you go to the right one for you. So, what is that exactly? How do you ultimately tell which one is going to provide you with the best experience possible?

Things to look for in a cannabis dispensary

Before you settle on which “cannabis store near me” to visit, you will want to do a little bit of research to find out if the journey is even worth making. Here are the top five qualities that you should look for when choosing a cannabis dispensary.

  1. Knowledgeable budtenders
    Whether you are looking for the perfect marijuana strain to take hiking or wanting to soothe a specific symptom, a well-educated budtender can make a world of difference. Since each type of cannabis provides very different effects, smells, tastes, and strength, it can help especially brand-new consumers to know what to expect from their purchase. Unfortunately, many of these stores are not equipped with staff on hand that genuinely know this relevant information, which can lead to unknowing consumers making the wrong choices. This often results in a negative experience, that can tarnish your entire opinion of marijuana use, so it’s an excellent idea to find a cannabis dispensary that offers this service explicitly.

  2. High-quality products
    Every cannabis dispensary should be completely honest about where their products come from, and that includes who grows, cultivates, and processes it in preparation for sale. If this information is not openly displayed or provided, then there is a good chance that it is not from a legal or tested source. That means that everything from the promised THC content, to the weight, can be completely wrong, so be sure to choose a weed store that offers transparency.

  3. Recreational or medical based
    Recreational consumers can benefit from pretty much any type of cannabis with THC, but medical patients might require a more specialized strain to provide the therapeutic relief they seek. This often means cannabis strains that offer high amounts of both THC and or CBD, which are not favored by recreational consumers, and therefore rarely offered by recreationally focused cannabis dispensaries.

  4. Deals
    It doesn’t matter if you are a regular user, or a daily one, savings in this time of high living costs are always much appreciated. Find a cannabis dispensary that offers discounts for either member, or bulk purchases, and in the end, you will be glad to have saved some of that hard-earned cash.

  5. Variety
    The average cannabis dispensary in Ontario carries approximately 5-7 strains, which doesn’t leave much to choose from, especially if you are looking for a particular type. For this reason, it is a good idea to find one that offers more, or at the very least, has a rotation of various products on the shelf. Often, those that also sell marijuana online will have the most to choose from, and one that has over 8 strains on hand at any given time is considered to have a pretty decent selection.

How to find this information



Pick up the phone and ask! Most employees and managers will be more than happy to share this kind of info with you.


If you prefer to head right in yourself, then be sure to bring a list of the questions offered here, so that you remember to ask them when you get there.

Online reviews

Online reviews are an excellent place to get a sneak peek of what to expect from a cannabis dispensary. Right now, Google is the most reliable source with the most extensive database from real live customers that are just like you.

Check out the website

If your local cannabis dispensary doesn’t have a website, don’t be alarmed. Since it is such a new industry, many excellent players have not had either the time or money to get established that way yet. However, those that do offer an interactive online site often include most of the information that you could ever want or need about the business, and its products.

Communities and municipalities in Ontario that opted out of having retail cannabis stores


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