How to Avoid Being a Sh*tty Customer When Buying Cannabis: California First Weekend Edition

With any luck, you avoided being a shitty customer on Day 1 of legal recreational cannabis sales in California, and came home with a nice little green prize to celebrate – the staff at CaC sure did.

In the last couple of days, we’ve dropped in on a few dispensaries in San Jose, and have updates to the “Don’t be shitty” list. Take a look:

Wait Times Will Depend on the City You’re in

NOTE: If you’re not sure where you can buy legal cannabis in your area, Leafly’s continuously updating their list of recreational cannabis stores.

Not every city began selling recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, and we’ve seen a couple of complaints about wait times in the first reviews of the New Year. San Francisco won’t allow legal cannabis sales until Jan. 6, so dispensaries in the South and East Bay may have extra foot traffic from the city tonight.

SF Folks: You don’t need a chair, but make sure your phone’s charged. Or, wild idea, bring something to read, as some dispensaries do not allow you to have your phone out while waiting or while at the counter (more on this later). Or, wilder idea, pass the time by chatting with fellow customers in line.

If you’re in San Jose, like the CaC staff, you’ll probably find that the wait times are MUCH better than they were on Day 1. Our experiences have ranged from less than 10 minutes to just under a  half hour (visits conducted between 2-6 pm Tuesday-Friday).

TIP: If your dispensary offers call ahead or online ordering, skip waiting in line altogether – some stores even offer closer parking for pickup orders.

Prices Have Gone Up, So Bring Enough Cash (and Then Bring a Little More)

The sale of recreational marijuana in California also means more taxes, because it’s California. In Berkeley, the sales tax is 26.75 percent. In San Jose, you’ll pay a total tax of 34.25 percent. Point is, you’re going to need a bigger wallet.

If a dispensary happens to take cards, consider it a bank error in your favor. Literally, as banks don’t want to do business with cannabis companies due to marijuana’s illegality at the federal level. But if you don’t believe us, take it from Leafly:

If you’re going to purchase from an adult-use cannabis store, bring cash. It’s best to assume that most stores cannot take credit cards or other non-cash forms of payment.

Leafly, California Goes Legal

There’s More to the Price Than Marijuana

Suffering from that sticker shock? Remember, you’re not just paying for cannabis (and egregious California taxes). You’re paying for a legitimate storefront with knowledgeable employees in a professional atmosphere. With set hours. And no more texting your guy and hoping to hear back that day. And that he’s on his way home now, another hour tops, he swears.

TIP: No really, tip your budtender if they have a jar.

You Need Your Driver’s License or Identification Card. No Excuses.

Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has officially rescinded the Obama-era Cole Memo, compliance with all state and local regulations is even more important than before.

You will not be permitted to enter a store or to purchase marijuana without a valid state-issued ID. Even if a dispensary is your Cheers and everyone knows your name, your ID must be physically scanned and validated before you can buy anything.

Remember Your Reusable Exit Bag

California’s new packaging rules require every cannabis purchase to be inside a child-resistant “exit bag” when leaving a store. If you have a reusable bag, remember to bring it – some dispensaries charge for bags, so you’ll save yourself a couple of dollars. Either way, reusing your bag keeps another one out of a landfill.

Please Still Be Nice to the Employees

Dispensaries around the state have had to hire on new employees in preparation for California’s demand for legal cannabis. If you find yourself at a counter with a new (or slightly stressed) budtender, be nice. These folks are having a long week, to say the least.

A single, pleasant, “Hi, how are you?” or a smile can make the difference on a busy day.

On the flip side, if you encounter a not-so-pleasant employee, keep in mind it’s not personal. Yes, good customer service involves smiling even when you don’t feel like it, but this is a “don’t be a shitty customer” post, not a “don’t be a shitty budtender” post.

NOTE: Keep your cell phone in your pocket once you’re at a counter. Photography is generally forbidden by the registers.

Final Words of Advice: First Weekend Edition

As we cruise into the first weekend of legal cannabis sales in California, we’ll leave you with this: bad moods are contagious. Don’t have one. Do smile and be polite. Do enjoy your experience buying legal marijuana, particularly if it’s your first time.

But most of all: don’t be shitty.

Have any other advice? Leave it in the comments.

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