Viride's Favorite Dispensaries in Major Markets

With recreational marijuana passing in more states each year, the number of dispensaries continues to grow.

Some major cities have as many as ten dispensaries in a twenty-mile radius. One dispensary for every two miles gives consumers so many choices!

But, how are we supposed to know which cannabis shop to drop into? Who has the most knowledgeable budtenders? The biggest selected of flower or concentrates? The widest variety of smoking accessories or edibles? There are outlets like Leafly that provide lists for areas nearest the consumers, but did you know the major sites are paid for? That means the dispensary that pays top dollar gets top of the list in consumer searches. Fear not, loyal readers! I’ve taken the time to do my own research and reach out to fellow cannabis consumers to compile a list of the best dispensaries in major (rec legal) markets, so let’s get started, shall we?

Alaska:

Herbal Outfitters tagline alone would be enough for me to trek across the frozen tundra for a look around their shop. It’s known in Alaska as “The First Pot Shop on the Last Frontier”. Catchy, right? Their website isn’t quite as in-depth as others, but their budtenders are known for being friendly, patient and are well-informed on all their product. They take the time to answer questions and make sure that the consumer is comfortable with their purchase.

Arctic Herbery has a small storefront in Anchorage. Consumers here love the budtenders but aren’t huge fans of the size and layout of the shop. Their selection is limited. However, the quality of flower and concentrates they carry is top notch. Cannabis is more expensive here and the best deal found at Arctic Herbery is two-hundred dollars an ounce with varying strains. However, customers rave about the quality and are appreciative of the time the company takes to still hand-trim their product. They carry a limited, yet fantastically high-quality supply of accessories.

Green Degree, located in Wasilla, is “worth the drive” from Anchorage. They have a vast selection of high-quality flower with a nicer price tag than some of the other dispensaries in the state. They also offer a wide variety of pipes, dab rigs/torches, and even pre-loaded pipes. The glass they sell is hand-blown locally and beautifully decorated. Their budtenders are highly-trained, friendly and willing to answer as many questions as the consumer has no matter how busy they may be.

California:

Congratulations residents of San Diego! A Green Alternative is the first licensed delivery service in your city. For having very recently passed recreational adult use, dispensaries in California are ahead of some major markets that have been around for a few years. Yes, you do detect a note of jealousy. Weed delivered? Sign me up. Anyway, this dispensary was mentioned as the best place to go by several individuals in the Sunshine State. Their budtenders are genuinely invested in the overall experience and health of their consumers. The inventory is seemingly endless, and they take the time to carefully cultivate and test their cannabis before it is available to consumers. If you are in this city, take advantage of their delivery service at least once, for the experience. Anyone near San Diego should hop in their car and battle California traffic to get to this dispensary.

From the Earth in Santa Ana has an award-winning selection of premium cannabis. If you are into tinctures and concentrates, this is the place for you. They have one of the widest varieties of high-quality concentrates and if you know what you are looking for, product can be purchased online and picked up in store. This is a feature a lot of dispensaries have gone to, which is great for the busy consumer. However, it is worth the trip in to check out their well-organized store and talk to their educated and friendly budtenders.

Can’t talk California Cannabis without finding a good dispensary in it’s most notorious city. In the heart of the City of Angels, New Amsterdam Naturals is the place to be. Laws in California require registration and this dispensary has an average wait time of ten minutes. Once that is complete, the average wait to get through the door and into cannabis heaven is an amazing two minutes. It may seem like they rush their patrons through a never-ending revolving door, but that is certainly not the case. This dispensary is appropriately staffed to handle high volumes and their budtenders are well-trained and friendly. They can answer questions quickly and accurately making sure the consumer is completely satisfied with their purchase.

Colorado:

This is the best state to live and smoke! Yes, I’m biased. Colorful Colorado has tons of dispensaries and it was a pleasure hitting up those most recommended by my fellow consumers. As a consumer, it’s important to me that the dispensary has knowledgeable and friendly budtenders who aren’t looking to sell what’s been pushed by reps. Here’s the top three in Colorado.

Medicine Man in Aurora has the greatest budtenders. The shop is small, and lines can be long, but it is worth the drive and the wait to get to this place. Behind the counter is a broad selection of edibles and concentrates. The budtenders can answer any question thrown their way and if they don’t know the answer, they make it a point to find someone who can. If Aurora is too far out, they recently opened a third location in Thornton, conveniently located off I-25. Both the Aurora and Denver locations are a hop, skip and jump away from Denver International Airport. If you are coming in for vacation, make one of those your first stop.

Outside the city to the north a bit there is a fabulous place called Doc’s Apothecary. It started as a medical dispensary and when recreational use passed, they were able to expand into that market as well. Their budtenders have been there a long time and are extremely well-rounded when it comes to cannabis, edibles and the accessories offered. The shop is small and if you are trying to get to it during rush hour, it might be a bit frustrating. Again, this place is absolutely worth the small hassle to get into and find a place to park. One of the best perks Doc’s has is their rewards program. It’s simple to sign up and consumers earn reward points to use toward future purchases.

If you are a little further south, The Herb Shoppe in Colorado Springs is outstanding. Like Doc’s, they started out as a medical dispensary in 2010 and were open for recreational sales after the law passed in 2014. Their budtenders are super friendly, always smiling and make a genuine connection with their customers. Their flower selection varies, but they do carry top-shelf cannabis products. They have a wide variety of edibles and extracts, which are sure to satisfy the needs of any consumer who walks through their doors.

Maine:

This is a tricky state. Recreational adult use is legal in Maine, but consumers are required to have a medical marijuana card even to make recreational purchases. The law basically protects consumers and allows them to have up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Obtaining a medical card can be done through state specified doctors. While recreational pot is legal, Maine still is only able to operate medical dispensaries. They are hoping to have adult use dispensaries open this year. If you live in Maine, their well-established medical dispensaries are amazing.

Maine Relief employs great staff who are kind and caring to all who walk through their doors. Their website has a wealth of information including how to become a medical patient in Maine. This is helpful for adults who’d like to be able to legally purchase cannabis while they wait on recreational use dispensaries. People who’ve frequented this shop rave about the quality and the people. There are several who’ve said they will drive two hours to get to Maine Releaf.

Sticky Diamond in Rome, Maine is another consumer favorite. The quality of their product is outstanding without excessive price gouges. They believe in holistic healing and their staff are comprised of highly-trained and compassionate individuals there to ensure their customers get the best cannabis for their needs. They are open seven days a week and probably most importantly, they deliver a full hour from their dispensary. When in Rome (Maine) do as the Mainers do and check out Sticky Diamond, LLC.

Massachusetts:

It seems delays on the semi-conservative east coast is common. Massachusetts residents voted for legalization of adult use cannabis in 2016. A little over a year later and the state has yet to see the doors open on its first recreational dispensary. Medical, with patient card, is legal in the state. Currently, there are no dates set for adult use store fronts unfortunately.

The medical dispensaries that are the highest rated in the state include Theory Wellness in Bridgewater and CLINIC Alternative Medicines in Northampton.

Nevada:

Oh, how happy we were to hear the city that never sleeps legalized recreational marijuana. Odd that it took a state with legal gambling in gas stations, and prostitution on the outskirts this long, but we’re excited nonetheless. Smoking outdoors is still illegal, but that didn’t stop people from sparking up blunts on the jam-packed Las Vegas Strip. It was insane to see people be so bold. If it doesn’t interfere with legislation, who are we to judge, right?

First on the list is Nevada Made. This dispensary comes highly recommended from an industry expert. The pot shop prides itself on making sure its consumers are provided with the highest quality cannabis available. The entire state has the strictest guidelines in terms of chemical testing and Nevada Made goes above and beyond carefully cultivating and extensively testing their product. Their budtenders are exceedingly trained in both medical and recreational cannabis, leaving the consumer comfortable knowing their health is in good hands.

Silver State Relief started out as a medical dispensary. When recreational laws passed, they carried their quality of care and knowledge over and now service both sides of the industry. Testing is huge in Nevada and this dispensary is one that is proud to say that their cannabis is tested by an independent company to ensure the quality of their product. They also offer an everyday ten-percent discount to veterans and seniors. They also offer weekly specials and delivery.

Another dispensary that consumers rave about is Pisos. The hours of operation alone are perfect for anyone visiting Vegas. A dispensary that’s open until 1am? Yes please! This is a fantastic dispensary with some of the friendliest budtenders. They promptly greet newcomers and make sure their customers know exactly what they are getting. Quality of service, kind bud and great budtenders make Pisos the place to check out while in town.

Oregon:

People in Oregon are crazy about Kaleafa. Like a lot of dispensaries, they first opened as medical, and with the passage of Measure 91 in 2015, Kaleafa broadened its horizons and began selling recreational cannabis in October that year. They are known for having friendly and experienced budtenders who spend as much time with their medical patients as they do recreational consumers. They offer premium cannabis products from flower to edibles and are expanding into other locations in Oregon. This dispensary was the most recommended by consumers in Oregon. If you find yourself in the Beaver State, make it a point to stop in and see the amazing staff at this dispensary.

In Portland, Budlandia gets rave reviews. Who wouldn’t want to check out a dispensary in Portland with a hilariously similar name to the television comedy Portlandia on IFC? People praise the budtenders for their warm, welcoming and professional demeanor. Consumers have said that the bottom shelf cannabis is often better than the top shelf bud found at other dispensaries, with an even better price tag. Residents often go out of their way to pick up premium buds at this dispensary.

Last, but certainly not least on the list of Oregon dispensaries is Diem in Salem. The dispensary opens early (7am Pacific Time), which is perfect for those who work an overnight shift and need a pick me up on their way home. It’s also great for people who might not have the time, or the patience, to stop on their way home from work in the middle of rush hour. They always offer amazing deals on their best buds and the staff is friendly. Another thing people love about this shop is how understanding budtenders are. Short on cash? They are happy to weight out enough to cover what you have in your wallet. The shop is said to be one of the cleanest consumers have visited and Diem has loads of loyal customers who come back over and over for the experience and quality cannabis.

Washington:

The last recreational legal state on our list proved difficult. There are so many great dispensaries that residents and tourists love, it was hard to narrow it down to just three.

Buddy’s in Washington was mentioned numerous times. Their budtenders are loved by customers and the cannabis they sell is grown by conscientious cannabis farmers who want to provide quality product for their consumers. The place is a bit off the beaten path, but once found is a lot like discovering a pot of cannabis gold at the end of a psychedelic rainbow. Once inside, the customer is greeted with smiles and live music. Buddy’s also has a pretty wicked loyalty program, so if you live or visit often, make sure to sign up for it.

Next up is World of Weed. The name alone makes me think of a cannabis type candy store with levels upon levels of sticky herb anxiously awaiting consumption. Newbies to consuming cannabis particularly love how the budtenders never make them feel as though their questions are lame. They are happy to show all the shop has to offer and guide the consumer in the right direction. The dispensary has fabulous hours of operation (open until 11:45 pm), fantastic prices and an outstanding selection of premium cannabis. Their selection is known as being “untraditional” and is locally grown. World of Weed was the number one dispensary in Washington for ten out of twelve months of 2016, according to Leafly.

In the heart of Seattle, one can find the best bud at Have a Heart. This dispensary is known to be incredibly busy, but consumers love how quickly they can get their product. Speed of service doesn’t affect the quality and care the budtenders provide to their customers, however. They don’t often advertise their specials, so make sure to ask what they have on sale when you visit. Their selection of edibles is said to be one of the best in the west. Make sure to hit the ATM before you visit. This is a cash-only dispensary.