If you're ready to start buying cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, we're sure you want to know how to avoid sketchy marijuana dispensaries. However, as laws surrounding cannabis relax across North America, so too have the rules that forced marijuana dispensaries to act as “shady operations” in the past. As cannabis becomes as common as craft beer, there's no denying that any sketchiness surrounding its sale is dissipating in favor of safety, a better choice of products, and more welcoming, customer-friendly atmospheres.
However, just because “sketchy” marijuana dispensaries are more the exception than the rule these days doesn't mean you shouldn't know what to look out for. Here we offer a few tips on how to avoid sketchy marijuana dispensaries when purchasing cannabis.
1. Avoid dispensaries in run-down areas of town. Sketchy dispensaries are usually found in areas with abandoned businesses, neglected roads, and large vagrant populations.
2. Be wary of businesses that display minimal signage. Sketchy dispensaries won't mind causing most people to overlook their business, while legitimate dispensaries won't have any issue advertising themselves or what they sell.
3. It's important not to judge a business solely on its outward appearance, but you generally want to avoid dispensaries where there is an obvious disregard for upkeep. Sketchy dispensaries aren't as concerned with maintaining an appealing or welcoming appearance like most retail stores, and some things to watch out for are boarded up or broken windows, damaged fences, and incomplete construction projects.
4. Avoid dispensaries where parking is hard to find or located far away from the building. Also, stay away from parking lots that have obviously been neglected for a long time.
5. Take the security measures taken by the dispensary into consideration. All legitimate cannabis dispensaries take steps to ensure the security of their products and customers, but the level or methods you see will give you some insight into the sketchiness of a particular business. Security guards wearing visible Kevlar vests with weapons in hand or roaming guard dogs outside the property sends a different message than the typically friendly on-staff officers and camera-based security systems of reputable dispensaries.