Come January 1, legal cannabis is coming to a store near you. Which means you can pop-in and try recreational marijuana. That said, there are a few things you should know.

1. Find a Friendly & Knowledgeable Budtender:

It may take some time before you’re completely comfortable with the new-found freedom of just walking into a store and purchasing legal cannabis. Fortunately, most cannabis dispensaries staff friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you. These kind folks are known as “budtenders” and function just as your local bartender would. They should be experts who can give recommendations on strains, products and anything else in the purchase journey. Most are friendly, but if they aren’t just go somewhere else, as your chances of finding another, friendlier budtender are quite high (no pun intended).

2. Take your time

When buying legal cannabis, take your time with the purchase process. You shouldn’t feel rushed and you should certainly ask questions about the cannabis that you will put in your body. Again, if you feel pressured, rushed or uncomfortable at all, simply go elsewhere.

3. Trust Your Senses

If you’re buying cannabis flower, be sure to examine it under the loupe (magnifying glass) that the budtender has. Trust your nose, if you like how it smells, you’ll like how it feels. 

If you see any of the following DO NOT buy it, as these are indicators of sub-optimal growing conditions and, as a result, a lower-quality product.

  1. Seed coats (small curved, shells of the seeds, which suggest hermaphroditism)
  2. Webs (spider-web like material that are evidence of spider mites)
  3. “Nanners” (which are banana-shaped pods that suggest stress)
  4. Discolored leaves (yellow or brown instead of green)
  5. Powdery mildew (this shows up as white areas on the leaves)

Also See: Cannabis Culture: What does legalization mean for you?