Dispensaries are popping up blocks like coffee shops and the competition is bound to benefit consumers. But what qualities should a good marijuana dispensary have?

Marijuana Dispensaries have often been described as the “candy-shop experience” when they first opened. With the current wave of legalization, stores are starting to pop up more rampantly and competition and novelty starting to wear off, dispensaries are starting to offer more and more than just the usual experience. What should you be looking for when choosing your very own happy place?

Good Vibes

Ambiance, environment, atmosphere.  That’s what the good vibes are all about. Everything from the dispensary’s interior design to its mood lighting and music shows planning, thought and a sense of purpose from the operators of the dispensary. Even the way the staff presents itself through their uniforms (or lack thereof) and the way they organize their stock should inform you of the care put into propping the place up. 

All of these need to blend as one for your comfort.  A chill environment is by no means easy to create and the dispensary that goes out of its way to do this for you is the first and most important thing you should be looking for in a quality establishment.


A good marijuana dispensary recognizes that their patrons come in all shapes and sizes and that their stock should also follow suit. Obviously people need to be able to “pick their poison” depending on their mood and if there’s one thing consumers want, it’s variety. Where would candy shops be if you couldn’t pick a pack of gummy bears alongside your jawbreakers and lollipops, right?

There’s so much variety out there and a dizzying amount of new products being developed every day. Strains, cultivars, brands, edibles, color, topicals – to be fair, we’re not exactly expecting every dispensary to be carrying every single type of these ever developed – what we’re saying is that a good dispensary knows their clientele well enough to be able to stock up on what makes most sense and carry the paraphernalia and accessories needed to make it convenient for their customers. 

Oh, you need raspberry rolling paper with that? Yeah we’ve got that, too!

And speaking of which, you also want to go to…

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Boston probably has hundreds -thousands- of bars, but Sam Malone only works in one of them and that’s the bar where everybody knows your name.  There’s also a reason why Homer only goes to Moe’s despite their long, colored history. That’s kind of the way you should be approaching this: a friendly, hospitable and well-trained staff goes a long way into making the experience a good one. 

Budtenders need to be, above all, knowledgeable. Not all weed is grown equal and a good budtender knows their supply well enough to be able to tell that – just like whiskey isn’t beer and isn’t rum. They should also know their clients well enough to be able to recommend what fits their mood and what kind of effect they’re looking for – and customers should always be comfortable to tell them that.  

It isn’t even just about “picking your poison”, a great budtender will be able to tell you how much to take, when to take it, how to take it and what to take it with to achieve best results!

Look for that place with your own Sam or Moe – it’ll make everything so much more satisfying.

The Price is Right!

There’s a reason why this isn’t the first thing on this list. Most people will usually forgo price for convenience and great service. But a good marijuana dispensary shouldn’t be looking to gouge their customers off weed prices.

Now we’re not saying they should be practically giving them away, either. Taxes on cannabis products are among the highest and they are running a business after all. But if they are extremely cheap, there is the chance that they were sourced from the black market and you really don’t want to be buying off those kinds of places. 

No, we what we’re saying is that they should be competitive with the rest of the market and offer value. There are many ways to do this including frequent “flier” privileges, discounts on older stock, bundle promotions, free tastes (where legally permitted, of course). All while ensuring that prices are at a relatively stable and consistent level.

Civic Mindedness

A hallmark of any good business should be its want to give back to the community. This goodwill is something the marijuana industry desperately needs and is recognized in the currently discussed MORE bill that seeks to allocate a portion of the taxes on cannabis to war-on-drug casualties.  Great businesses should feel that need to help the community that is responsible for its existence. Marijuana dispensaries could easily do this via seminars, cannabis-based cooking and alternative product livelihood classes, therapeutic hot-boxes, etc. All of which is sure to garner attention and generate positive buzz to set it apart from the rest of their competitors.

What else do you think a good marijuana dispensary should be? Looking to open your own marijuana dispensary, check this short guide out on licenses. Think you’ve got what it takes to be a budtender? That and other new jobs in the marijuana industry are popping up! Subscribe and register so we can get you up to speed on new trends in the business!