When choosing a dispensary, there are 10 things people should seriously consider. With so many shops to choose from, it helps to be informed about what differentiates these shops and how each one will help you on your cannabis journey.
While many of the dispensaries out there may boast about being the best or having the best selection, keep in mind that just because they say they’re the best, does not mean they are. Marketing agencies make a lot of money to make businesses look great.
The truth is that a good dispensary that has quality products and budtenders who know cannabis does not have to go out of the way to appear like the next best thing, its quality will shine like those trichomes on a nug.
Want to find a great dispensary? Here’s what to look for:
1. The Dispensary Is Legit
Make sure your dispensary is state licensed and compliant. Another way to tell if a dispensary is legit is by simply navigating to the business’s website and product menu. Is it easy to navigate through the menu to find what you’re looking for? Although many of these questions seem basic, you would be surprised at how many dispensaries are out there that do not keep up with updating product information.
If it is hard to find information about the company by navigating through their website, there is a good chance that you will get a similar feeling from shopping with them as well. The more information available, the better when choosing a dispensary.
You might be thinking you can get a better cheap product from a dispensary that doesn’t completely abide by state regulations but keep in mind that if they can’t afford to do things the right way they probably can’t afford to provide quality cannabis that is worth buying these days. There is a lot of good flower available, don’t sell yourself short by trying to get “deals” with shady companies.
As a savvy consumer, you may want to know who owns the dispensary. Is the shop part of the huge corporate chain or is it a locally owned and operated provisioning center and dispensary? You want to know if the owners are involved in the daily operations and what their background is in the cannabis market. Were they part of the medical marijuana movement in Michigan? Is this an opportunity to support a Michigan-based company owned by Michigananders who support the local economy and provide good-paying jobs to their employees?
2. The Quality of the Product: Award-Winning Cannabis Strains
How well does the dispensary curate its selection? Do they only stock certain types of products and brands? Are all of the products they carry of high quality?
One sure way to determine whether or not the dispensary has high-quality weed is if they have won awards for the strains that they carry. Certain strains such as Thunderstruck and Tropicana Cherry from FLWRpot are as good as they come.
Flower is the most popular cannabis product in Michigan, the way the dispensary sells flower speaks a lot about how much they know about the industry. Many chain dispensaries are stocking a lot of the same lower-quality and older products from massive corporate grows as pre-packaged marijuana. A lot of these products can be overpriced and will not give you the best experience.
If pre-packaged cannabis sits too long it can become dry and actually lose weight. Dispensaries should work with a wide range of cannabis companies from small growers to craft cannabis with large-scale, or craft-sized grows, to large grows. A variety of cannabis growers gives customers options at every price point. Typically, higher quality products come out of craft size because of their attention to each cannabis plant.
The best ways to determine the quality of the flower:
- Take a close look at the flower
- Get yourself a good whiff of the scent
- Ask your budtender about the grower
- Ask for product recommendations from your budtender
Sometimes you can see with your own eyes that the flower is high-quality just by the appearance of the hairs or trichomes. Trichomes are the best and stickiest part of the cannabis plant. Trichomes are the resin glands of the marijuana plant that contain THC, CBD, and other active cannabinoids and terpenoids. Basically, the good stuff. Most times you won’t even have to bring the nugget close to your nose to catch a good scent from it because you can smell it from a mile away!
Quality nugs have a dense weight to them and are sticky. If the pot looks dry and light, it is probably not the best quality.
Reputable dispensaries have budtenders and managers who know the product, have sampled a wide variety of products they carry, and have recommendations of what to buy to meet your needs.
Many dispensaries sell you only pre-packaged weed and have a sample jar for you to see. The problem with this method is the sample may not be an average representation of that specific batch of cannabis. This means the sample could potentially look nicer and smell better than what is available for purchase in pre-packaged form, causing the consumer to feel deceived or misled after taking the product home to try.
Ideally, when shopping for cannabis flower, you should be able to purchase deli-style, meaning it’s packaged fresh for you in front of you. When cannabis is stored together in larger marijuana-specific containers or C Vaults, it preserves the freshness, humidity, and terpene profiles, resulting in a higher quality product for the customer and better effects.
3. The Staff Knows Their Stuff
The dispensary staff must know about their products. Do I expect every staff to try every product? No, but many times you will run into a dispensary with employees who don’t seem like they really have much knowledge about cannabis at all. A solid budtender should be able to get an idea of what you are looking for and be able to make a handful of suggestions for products that are currently in stock.
The people selling you flower should be able to:
- Identify strains
- Explain what you see on the flower nugs (trichomes, hair, etc.)
- Provide the effects the strains have to offer
- Explain the differences between strains
- Understand every product that they are offering
- Know the price of every product
- Tell you about special product events, bundle deals, and discounts!
At the best dispensaries, you will meet budtenders that fully integrate cannabis into their lives and have a lot of personal experience with the products they are selling. They are able to help guide you through all of the choices and make sure you are leaving with the best quality product for the best value. If you did not care for a product previously purchased, the staff should be able to help consult you on choosing something else that will help achieve your desired results.
4. How Much They Charge
How much a shop charges is an indication of a good dispensary. When comparing prices across different businesses, some of the best dispensaries will be priced $1-2 under competitors in the area for products such as edibles, vape carts, topicals, drinks, and other unit-based products. For cannabis flower, the dispensary must have competitive lower-priced options, along with higher quality options for an affordable price, and everything in between. Basically, the dispensary should have good options that fit everyone’s budget.
Keep in mind that just because a shop sells its goods at high prices does not mean that the goods are any better. The managers of the facilities are in charge of the prices they mark their products at and in many cases they will charge more to make it seem as if they have a higher-quality product and then give deep discounts. Don’t be fooled!
Of course, if you run into a dispensary that offers their prices much lower than other places you may want to look a little deeper into the quality of their product and where they got it from.
Good dispensaries will have daily specials and a rewards or loyalty program set up so their customers can save more. Many shops have rewards set up as a per-visit or a spend-based point system. Customers can then redeem points on future purchases and save more money, bringing down the retail cost for the customer.
Some of the perks that a great dispensary might have to offer are:
- First-time customer discounts
- Everyday low and competitive prices
- Daily specials
- Discounts for veterans
- Discounts for new customers
- Discounts for senior citizens
- Discounts for college students
- Discounts for Tribal members
- A rewards program that offers deals, rewards, and other perks
The amount that a dispensary charges for its merchandise will reflect its willingness to appeal to its customers, yet will ensure they make enough to stay in business.
5. The Way They Treat Customers
A dispensary must treat its customers with care and respect. These customers trust that the staff will help them find the best product for their needs at an affordable price. By having the correct combination of educated staff and a diverse selection of products at all price points, you will feel appreciated and have an overall good experience. Over time, with consistent experiences, you will become confident in a dispensary that treats its customers well and will not have much reason to look somewhere else.
The budtenders, managers, and owners of a great dispensary will have:
- Great positive energy
- A good attitude with a willingness to help
- Patience and understanding
- An advanced understanding of cannabis
- Maintain a medical license and carry a variety of medical products as well as adult-use or recreational cannabis products
It also may not be easy for someone to physically come into the store due to a variety of reasons. A good dispensary will offer other options of shopping such as curbside pickup and free home delivery to make sure they can accommodate all of their customers’ needs or for ease and convenience.
6. The Variety of Payment Options
Traditionally, cannabis has been a cash-based product. However, as we move on with more government regulations, banking is becoming more widely accepted. Good dispensaries will find out ways to provide you with multiple payment options. Many dispensaries have ATMs on site and the best will accept both credit and debit cards.
Some of the more savvy dispensaries will offer electronic ways to pay such as:
- Credit card payment
- Debit card payment
- Onsite ATMs
The point is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to pay and have different payment options. The easier it is for customers to pay, the more likely they will be to come back and buy more.
If home delivery is something you are interested in, one other thing to consider is what types of payment options they accept for delivery orders. The best dispensaries will offer the ability to pay by either credit/debit card or cash on delivery.
7. What Other Customers Have to Say
When choosing a dispensary, being aware of what other customers have to say can be very helpful. One of the easiest ways to find out if a dispensary is legit, which should be a high priority when researching other types of businesses, would be to read through customer reviews on google, weedmaps.com, and leafly.com. Weedmaps and Leafly are two major platforms that cater to cannabis consumers to find dispensaries and, therefore, have a fairly large active user base that generates a lot of business reviews.
After navigating to a review site, sort the list by the most recent reviews to get an idea of how the business is currently being perceived by the general public. If you are seeing a lot of 4-star and 5-star reviews, it may be indicative that the business is performing well in the public’s eye and making it a good choice to look at when choosing a dispensary.
After reading through these most recent reviews, the next thing to look for is any lower-star reviews. If there are a high number of 1-star and 2-star reviews, especially without an owner’s response, it may be a sign to steer clear of the spot. However, if the majority of the lower reviews have owner feedback provided (that is relevant to the review, sometimes owner responses are not very professional) with a proposed solution to the customer’s problem, it may make sense to look into them further.
8. The Location of the Place
The location can play a large factor in choosing a convenient dispensary. As you become more of a seasoned cannabis consumer, having a weed dispensary nearby will be very beneficial. Not only will you save on gas if you don’t order delivery, but you can get an idea of when the best time to visit would be.
Some benefits you could look for as for location can be:
- Close to home
- Close to work
- Free parking
- Near shopping centers
- Near public transportation
- A clean, safe neighborhood
A good dispensary must have at least a decent-sized parking lot and waiting area. The best dispensary will offer curbside service, ordering over the phone, and home delivery.
9. What Do They Have to Offer (edibles, prerolls, vape cartridges, concentrates, merchandise, and accessories)
A dispensary should carry a wide variety of products across all product categories. This includes products such as flower, edibles, concentrates, vape cartridges, drinks, topicals, paraphernalia, and accessories. Oh, and don’t forget about the merch!
One thing to look for when choosing a dispensary is that they carry multiple brands for each category and product type. That way you will have more than just one option and price point when shopping for a certain type of category. With hundreds of brands available for shops to retail, a good dispensary will offer multiple brands that fall into different price points to accommodate customers from different demographics for each product category they carry.
The different types of strains that they have can make all of the difference in the world. What is the point of buying from a dispensary if they sell bunk weed? Look for quality strains that are grown right such as:
- Tropicana Cherry
- Banana Macaroon
- M.A.C. #1
- Garlic Breath
- Dyno Candy
- Deep Fried Ice Cream
- Wild OG
- Grandpa’s Breath
- Michigan Cherries
- Space Runtz
- Strawberry Guava
If they sell a winning combination of smokable flower, edibles, tinctures, topicals, vape cartridges, concentrates, prerolls, CBD, bongs, pipes, papers, and other helpful products you might have found yourself a dispensary.
10. Where They Source Their Weed
When choosing a dispensary, another good thing to consider is where they get their product. In the industry today, there are many large-scale commercial-sized grows, smaller craft cannabis grows, and then everything in between. The price of the products coming from large-scale operations may be more affordable than products from other sized companies, but typically have a bit of a sacrifice when it comes to quality or harvest date. On the other hand, the quality of products coming from smaller craft cannabis grows is typically much higher than from large-scale cultivation, but since there is typically less quantity grown, the demand for the product drives the cost up.
Another option dispensaries have is to vertically integrate with their own cultivation facility. Through vertical integration, a dispensary can really tailor which strains it will grow to produce exactly what its customers are looking for based on the feedback provided by shoppers.
A great dispensary will have a combination of cannabis from all of these sources. Affordable options from large-scale and small grows, high-quality and cost-effective options through vertical integration, and exotic and other high-quality products from smaller craft cannabis grows.
What North Coast Joint Ventures Has to Offer
North Coast Joint Ventures is the type of dispensary that everybody wishes they had near them. Legitimate, knowledgeable, high-quality proprietary cannabis strains, and an extremely customer-oriented staff. Michigan owned. Michigan operated. No out of state, corporate chains here. Why would anybody settle for anything less?
Probably, the most important feature of a great dispensary is the quality of the flower that it has to offer its patrons. How many dispensaries have award-winning cannabis strains in their inventory let alone actually grow those strains? When you find the ones that do, you might want to keep them around because they are definitely doing something right.
In addition to having some of the best customer service around, North Coast offers a variety of great strains. Each strain has specific effects on the user. You deserve a strain that gives you the effects you want.
Flower to help you sleep
If you’re old enough to be on this website, odds are that you have experienced times when it was difficult to fall asleep. Whatever the reason, whether it is stress, excitement, or just too much caffeine, we have all had those nights where sleep seemed like it was impossible.
- Tossing and turning
- In and out of the fridge
- Stuck on social media
The good news is that there are some pretty powerful strains that help a person to wind down and get relaxed enough to doze off and get a good night’s rest. We already mentioned our award-winning Thunderstruck strain above, but did we mention Grandpa’s Breath, Garlic Breath, Dyno Candy, or Deep Fried Ice Cream?
What these strains have in common is that they deliver a relaxed, calm effect that is perfect for quieting even the busiest of minds and allowing sleep to take hold and stay strong.
Flower to unleash your freak
Let’s face it, some of us can use a little inspiration in the bedroom so we can drop inhibitions and get into that freak mode. Whatever the reason for this makes no difference. There are some really good weed strains that release the inner freak and allow people to enjoy sex as if they were born to be natural freaky creatures.
Some of the best strains to enjoy for sexual encounters are the award-winning Tropicana Cherry, the Citradelic Sunset strain, Banana Macaroon, M.A.C.#1, Strawberry Guava, Michigan Cherries, and, of course, Dyno Candy.
Since every person is unique and may experience the effects of weed differently there are many different strains to choose from, however, all of the strains mentioned above are high-quality, powerful creations that will leave you feeling like a million bucks.
Flower to relieve your anxiety
If you are one of the millions of other people in the country that suffers from anxiety, don’t be ashamed about it. Elevated anxiety levels and anxiety attacks all types of people regardless of race, gender, size, or background. What’s good about cannabis is that it is a natural, herbal remedy that provides relief from anxiety.
A strain that we haven’t mentioned yet that is believed to have anxiety-reducing properties is Space Runtz. Of course, there are plenty of other strains that are recommended for anxiety relief such as Thunderstruck, Grandpa’s Breath, Garlic Breath, Deep Fried Ice Cream, and Michigan Cherries. Whatever flavor matches your groove best is the one that will be just right for your needs.
Some of these strains that were bred to produce effects such as calmness, relaxation, and stress relief are great for taking the mind out of an anxious state and allowing it to calm down and get a good rest.
Flower to help you be creative
It has been said throughout the centuries that art comes from a place deep inside of a person that connects with the higher planes of existence and allows the inner spirit to be led by the outer spirit in a way that transforms mediocre into extraordinary.
Maybe these magnificent strains of flower are just what a person needs to let go of all of the outside influences that would normally get in the way of superb concentration and allow themselves to fully connect to the divine. Maybe it’s just that it’s good weed.
Strains such as Mimosa, Citradelic Sunset, Rainmaker, Banana Macaroon, M.A.C#1, Garlic Breath, Strawberry Guava, Michigan Cherries, and Dyno Candy are known to be great strains that help artists create their best works. It’s no coincidence that many of these strains are mentioned above for being good for sex. What better places to unleash your full creativity potential than in the bedroom and when you are creating art?
Flower for all types of effects
Good strains can offer several different effects that are inexplicably enjoyable. Some of the more common ones that were not mentioned above are:
- Ability to focus better
- Relief from pain
- Inspiration for exercise
- Relaxation/relief from stress
- Increased appetite
- Feeling high
- Intensify music
- Being immersed in movie watching
Although cannabis has been a part of human history for thousands of years, the way that it works for different people is still a mystery. However, there are plenty of people out there that do not mind trying out every kind of strain that is available and seeing how it makes them feel. A great dispensary will provide its customers with a wide variety of interesting and potent strains that have the potential to allow the user to feel a plethora of different effects.
The Bottom Line
Choose a dispensary that offers great products and makes you feel like you are appreciated. There is no reason to settle for a place of business that does not live up to your expectations or fulfill your needs. Shop around until you find the right place if you have to. However, you do not have to look any further because we are the best choice you could make when it comes to top-notch, high-quality weed.
We have three different locations so far:
- Sault Ste. Marie
If you are 21 and older OR 18 with a state-issued medical marijuana card, you are welcome to any of our locations in Adrian, Ann Arbor, or Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.
Hope to see you soon.