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Green Room Diaries: How To Run A Dispensary

by Stoned Cold Sativa Awesome

With roughly 1,895,381 dispensaries located in Portland and the surrounding areas, it can be tough to separate the good, the dank and the bammer. Here are some tips for running the type of dispensary that I’d feel comfortable patronizing (and I buy top-shelf shit).

Good Product Doesn’t Require A Sales Pitch

While touring the various dispensaries scattered throughout the Salem area, I noticed a trend: if a budtender gives you a long, drawnout sales pitch (especially when dealing with top-shelf strains), chances are, you’re gonna end up with a plastic container of hay. For one, good weed doesn’t need a pitch. While at The Holistic Choice in Salem, I noticed a sizable selection of strains. Upon asking the clerk if he had any recommendations, the dude simply turned around, grabbed a jar, opened it up and held it under my nose—homeboy didn’t say a word. My response was immediate.

"How much for medical?" I asked.

"Twelve," dude replied. "But for medical it’s ten."

Bam. I was sold.

Compare this to Dispensary Shall Remain Nameless Resources, located in Corvallis. All of their strains appeared to be the same off- brown color as the good chair that grandpa always asks to use, but sure enough, the budtender was quick with the sales draw.

"Hey, are you looking for a hybrid? Sativa? Something for anxiety? Pain? Energy? You’ll want to check out these three. The first one comes from Such And Such Farms and this has been flying off the shelf."

I didn’t ask, but thanks. I was then shown a small sample of odorless, dense B-nugs.

"Not what you’re looking for? Here, take a look at something very similar, but with a different name."

This process continued, until I was eventually pitched the only strain in the house that looked like it wasn’t grown on accident. The price tag? Twenty-four bucks a gram. With the medical discount.

Budtenders Should Be Experts On More Than Flower

The problem with the sales pitch people, is that they’re not knowledgeable in their own products. The problem with the folks at the honest dispensaries, is that they’re not gonna bullshit you. For these reasons, medibles are the equivalent of female orgasms, in terms of finding out exactly how they work. If you don’t believe me, ask any budtender (shifty or otherwise) about the Gummy Bear Dabs or Choc-OLit Ice Cream. Instead of a Steven King book’s worth of hyperbole and back story regarding the strain’s origin and supposed THC percentage (this is also spotty, as there is very little consistency between the top nugs that growers drop off at the testing plants and the rest of the batch) that you get with flower pitches, if you ask a budtender how much of the chocolate bar it takes to get high, they respond with, "Umm, just eat some and if you’re not high a half hour later, eat more." Again, this is exactly how the female orgasm works—and, this is also why I prefer dispensaries that employ at least a handful of lesbians. I know it’s not P.C. to point this out, but butch women make the best dispensary owners and employees. I have no idea why, but hell...I also don’t know why Dixie Chicks sound so good when I’m high, either.

Location Is Everything

Green Cross, another Salem-area chain, is either extremely lucky or in-the-know when it comes to real estate. Their south location shares a building with a burger shack—arguably one of the best in town. For the Libertarian folk, a gun store is located no less than fifty feet across the parking lot. Taking care of groceries? A WinCo, Goodwill and bank are on the other side of the street. The north location is nestled between a porn store and a head shop, with a KFC across the street. Now, compare this to, say, the dispensaries that are located on hard-to-access roads, next to cop shops or crammed in between a coffee cart and a pawn shop, on a highway-speed road with two parking spaces (one of which is reserved for the handicapped). I don’t care if it’s commerce— I’m still buying weed. Make it relaxing and realize your customers aren’t usually in a hurry to get anywhere else. And, if they are...

It’s A Dispensary, Not A Starbucks Or A Trap House

The one thing that I, as a purchaser of legal weed, cannot stand, is the "Umm...uhh...let’s see..." that the lady with the "service dog" in the Grateful Dead shirt and last week’s overalls keeps repeating for minutes on end, before telling the dude at the register that she’ll be back next time, because she forgot cash. "Oh, you have an ATM? Hold on then," Matilda The Hippie will say, before digging through her purse and trying every card she can. Meanwhile, the line of working, professional stoners gets longer and longer. If you find yourself working at the weed store and this happens, try the following tactic: tell Matilda that you will take care of her in a second, but you’re gonna check in with the fifty people waiting behind her, first.

On a similar tip, try not to run your dispensary like it’s the weed spot on the corner. It’s one thing for over-hyped sales pitches and corporate- style customer service, but it’s a whole different scenario to walk in and see a few guys burnt out of their skulls, playing Xbox and talking about strippers. Yes, this is exactly what you’re gonna encounter if you come visit me at my apartment—but, I’m not trying to front as a dispensary. If and when I were to, umm... hypothetically sell weed, it’s from a brown paper bag, for cash, with an exchange done over a pizza and a discussion about which clubs are still hiring minors. Anyone who has a state-sanctioned license to slang herb better get their shit together. Yes, it’s acceptable to play Tech N9ne for your customers, but it’s unacceptable to show up high on molly, with a hand full of your mixtapes, ready for another day of Playstation and freestyle battles.

What are your experiences with dispensaries? What could you do with or without, moving forward into this fantastic world of legal weed? Shoot us a comment on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/XoticMag) when this article pops up.