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Embarking on your first trip to a dispensary is certainly exciting, but it may come with some uncertainty on what to do — and a whole lot of questions. At The Travel Agency, we’re here to guide you through every step of the journey. From understanding different cultivars (AKA strains) and consumption methods to selecting the right products for your needs, our first-timer’s guide to the dispensary ensures that you’ll feel confident and empowered as you embark on this adventure.

Before you go to the dispensary: preparing for your visit

A little bit of prep beforehand ensures a smooth journey into the world of cannabis. Start by looking up the regulations around consuming cannabis and buying cannabis in New York City. This way, you know precisely how much you’re allowed to buy and where you’re allowed to try it all once you’ve bought it.

No matter where you’re shopping, you’ll need to bring a valid form of identification and cash or card for payment. If you’re visiting a medical dispensary, you’ll also need to make sure you have your medical card; however, if you’re heading to an adult-use location like The Travel Agency, you’ll just need your ID.

Before stepping foot into the dispensary, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the questions to consider include:

What is your experience level with cannabis?

What are you looking to get out of cannabis?

What consumption methods are you interested in?

What is your budget for cannabis products?

When and where are you planning to consume your cannabis products?

What to expect when you arrive

You can expect a very welcoming and professional environment when you arrive at a licensed legal dispensary. Before you walk into the main area, you’ll be greeted by a security guard who will check your ID and sign you in. From there, you’ll walk into the dispensary area. There, products, information, accessories, and kiosks for ordering are laid out in front of you, ready to explore.

You can choose your own adventure once inside. You may know exactly what you want, and you can head to a kiosk to place that order, then get in line to pay. But if you’re coming to a licensed dispensary for the first time — or the first time in a very, very long time — we recommend you talk with a budtender. They can help you whittle down the hundreds of available products to a few that are right to try.

Once you’ve made your decisions, you’ll proceed to the checkout area, where you may need to wait in line before finalizing your purchase. Remember that you won’t be fetching products off the shelves yourself; instead, the budtender will retrieve your chosen items from behind the counter and complete your transaction with you.

Navigating product selection

Navigating the array of products available at the dispensary can seem overwhelming at first but, with a bit of guidance, you’ll find the perfect products for you in no time. Here’s a brief overview of the different product types you might encounter at the dispensary:

Flower: This is ideal for traditionalists who love to roll their own, those who appreciate a good pre-roll, or for anyone who wants to experience near-immediate effects through smoking or vaping.

Vaporizers: Convenient and discreet, vapes are suitable for consumers looking for a smoke-free alternative. Remember, a little goes a long way with vape carts, so take them slow.

Edibles: From gummies to chocolates to beverages, edibles are perfect for those who prefer not to smoke and who want to enjoy a precisely dosed high.

Concentrates: These products are suitable for experienced consumers looking for potent, fast-acting effects. If you’re very new to cannabis products, you may want to try concentrates on your next visit.

Tinctures: Versatile and discreet, tinctures are perfect for consumers who want precise dosing and easy consumption. They work well alone or added to your beverage of choice.

If you’re not sure what to go for, remember that you don’t have to navigate the selection process alone. Take advantage of online reviews and seek guidance from a budtender, who can provide personalized recommendations based on your preferences and desired effects. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about potency, flavor profiles, and consumption methods to ensure you find the perfect products for your needs.

Dispensary FAQs

Where can I buy cannabis in NYC?

You can purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries throughout NYC. The NYS Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) keeps a current database of all licensed dispensaries in New York as a consumer resource. Remember, if a dispensary is not listed in the OCM database, it likely lacks proper licensing.

Do I need to be 21 to enter a dispensary?

Yes, you must be 21 years or older to enter a dispensary in NYC. Age verification is strictly enforced to comply with state laws, and you can expect to present your ID upon entry.

What is the sales tax on my cannabis products?

As of 2024, In New York, cannabis sales are subject to a 13% excise tax, with 9% allocated to the state and 4% to local taxes. You can expect this tax to be added to the price of any purchase you make.

Can I see cannabis flower before I purchase?

Customers in New York have the opportunity to explore cannabis products before making a purchase. Dispensaries often provide product display samples for customers to interact with, but you won’t be able to open an individual package for sale and inspect its contents.

Do I need a medical card for cannabis in NYC?

In New York, you do not need a medical card to purchase cannabis from adult-use dispensaries like The Travel Agency. However, a medical card is required if you intend to visit a medical dispensary.

How much cannabis can I purchase?

Adults aged 21 and older are legally permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrate, such as oil or vapes, for personal use.

Are there any discounts or loyalty programs?

While there are no discounts or loyalty programs, you can join The Travel Club, which offers priority access to new product releases, exclusive events, and more.

Can I consume cannabis on-site?

You can’t smoke your cannabis in the dispensary.

Can I get my products delivered?

The Travel Agency offers the convenience of cannabis product delivery straight to your doorstep. With our service, you can skip the trip to the dispensary and have your favorite products brought directly to you. Simply place your order online, and our delivery partners at Doobie will handle the rest.

After your purchase: responsible consumption

In New York, adults are permitted to smoke or vape cannabis flower wherever smoking tobacco is allowed, as long as it is within the legal boundaries set by local regulations. The big difference is cars; you can’t consume cannabis in any kind of vehicle, even if it’s safely parked.

It is legal to possess up to three ounces of cannabis. For more detailed information on the possession laws and regulations in New York, you can refer to the official resources provided by the state government.

While enjoying cannabis in New York, it’s essential to prioritize safety and comfort to ensure a positive experience. Here are some tips for consuming in a safe and comfortable space:

Start low and go slow: When trying any new product, begin with a small dose and gradually increase it to determine your tolerance levels.

Know your limits: Pay attention to how cannabis affects you personally and avoid overconsumption.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Choose a comfortable environment: Always consume in a safe and familiar setting where you feel relaxed and at ease.

Plan: Take the Subway or a taxi if you plan to go out. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been consuming cannabis.

Empower your cannabis journey with The Travel Agency

At The Travel Agency, we strive to provide a welcoming and informative experience that helps you feel empowered to make the best decisions for yourself. By offering guidance and a diverse product selection, we aim to make the cannabis journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Visit our online menu or stop by in person to see what’s in store.

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