Ask a Budtender: Cannabis Shopping on Vacation

July 5, 2022 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Ask a Budtender: Cannabis Shopping on Vacation

Question: I’m going on vacation for the first time since the pandemic.  Our plan is to take a road trip to a cannabis-friendly state like Colorado or Illinois where there are several dispensaries to choose from. We’re a little nervous since we’ve never been to a dispensary before. Do you have any tips for cannabis shopping on vacation? 

Cannabis Coach Haley’s Answer: Ooh how fun!  I love that you’re setting out on a road trip with a cannabis destination in sight–that’s a very 2022 thing to do.  Many folks are taking a cannabis-friendly vacation this summer. I’d be glad to give you some pointers for dispensary shopping on vacation!

Plan Ahead

Do you have a specific dispensary in mind?  You mentioned that you’re going to be driving to either Colorado or Illinois as part of your road trip. I always suggest using Veriheal’s Dispensary Finder to pick out dispensaries if you’re not familiar with the area.  You can plug in any City or zip code with their finder tool, and then if you click on a specific dispensary, you’ll be taken to a page that shows the dispensary’s hours, their reviews, and even a map to get there!

Cannabis Shopping on Vacation: Bring Your MMJ Card With You

Are you a medical cannabis patient in your state?  If you plan on traveling to another cannabis-friendly state, bring your medical cannabis card with you! I always suggest bringing your medical cannabis card on vacation because you may qualify for special deals at the dispensary, even though you’re an out-of-state customer.

There are some states, for example Michigan, that are considered “reciprocal states.” This means that they’ll honor your medical cannabis card even if you’re from another state.  For example, I have my Illinois medical cannabis card and reside here in Illinois. My Illinois medical cannabis card allows me to purchase cannabis at a lower price here, get special bulk discounts, and avoid some of the taxes associated with buying cannabis from a dispensary.

The cool thing is, I can bring my Illinois MMJ card to Michigan, and they’ll treat me like one of their very own medical cannabis patients!  I’ll qualify for lower prices and have the same menu options that medical patients have.  Not every cannabis-friendly state operates this way though, so I’d suggest checking out this article for more information.

Cannabis Shopping on Vacation: Bring a Valid ID and Cash

Once you arrive at the dispensary, you’ll want to have a valid Driver’s License or ID on you, as well as cash for your purchase.  Some dispensaries do have an ATM on site, but keep in mind that here in the United States, most dispensaries operate as a cash-only business.  It’s smart to have your cash ready before you even get to the dispensary!  

I suggest bringing around $100-$200 so you can comfortably stock up. Every state has different caps on cannabis, but if you’re concerned you’re buying too much at one time, just ask your budtender, and they’ll give you more info on how much you can buy in one trip.

Try to enjoy your experience! Budtenders are well accustomed to assisting out-of-state customers who are new to cannabis, so don’t feel embarrassed if you have questions.  

Shopping at a Dispensary For the First Time? Here are 3 Tips

Buy Just Enough For Your Vacation

This last tip is one that many people overlook, but I want to tell you because it could save you from going to jail.  Buy just enough cannabis for your vacation.  Don’t travel back with cannabis through areas where cannabis is not legal.  

Many folks make a classic mistake of buying cannabis in a place like Colorado, then they drive back home and drive through several states where cannabis is not legal, like Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana etc.  Keep in mind that just because you bought cannabis in a legal state, you are NOT protected when you bring that product through areas where cannabis is illegal.  

Each state you drive through must be cannabis-friendly and allow cannabis products.  If not, you run the risk of getting fined and possibly detained for traveling through that area with cannabis products. I’d love to bring some cannabis souvenirs home, but I don’t suggest bringing any cannabis home from your trip. We purchase just enough to enjoy while on vacation and consume it in 420-friendly areas, and then we leave any extra behind when its time to go home. Be safe!  

I also definitely do not recommend flying with cannabis.  Remember that the federal government does not allow cannabis on any airlines, regardless of whether being in carry-on bags, checked luggage, or cargo.  To learn more specifics, check out this article What You Need to Know About Flying With Cannabis.

Hope you enjoy your trip!  Don’t let my tips scare you, I just want you to be informed and feel confident on your vacation. Get out there and explore the big new world of dispensary shopping. I hope you have a very memorable and safe roadtrip.

Post Your Comments

Adam Steinberg says:

July 9, 2022 at 9:17 am

Recently had my stash confiscated & turned over to the PoPo, when I mistakenly brought it to my hospital admission. Despite showing my MJ card & ID, DHMC still turned almost everything over to the police – very confusing at the time, as they claimed they didn’t know where it went.