What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

What to expect on your first visit to a dispensary

If you’re thinking about visiting a Vancouver dispensary, you should definitely stop by, even if it’s just to browse.

The first thing to know is there isn’t just one reason a person visits a dispensary and there is no wrong way to feel about it.

If you build it, they will come

As you’ve seen, whether you are visiting from afar or live around the corner, there has been an influx of Vancouver dispensaries in the last few years. Since its medical and recreational legalization, they’ve been popping up everywhere. At this point, you’re more likely to find a dispensary than a gas station.

All joking aside, it’s been a wild ride. For the first time, people who illegally consumed cannabis were able to do so legally. And, for the first time, people who never took a second glance at cannabis, because it was illegal, were coming in and purchasing and smoking cannabis. And, everyone loved it! This is still true today.

Who is coming?

As shared above, there is no one “type” of person who is visiting our Vancouver dispensary. You couldn’t pigeonhole our guests if you tried. It’s actually quite wonderful. For maybe the first time, all races, ages (above 21), sexes, and people from significantly different socio and economic status are purchasing cannabis and its complementary accessories.

What’s the interaction like?

While it’s impossible to characterize our diverse clientele, let’s focus in on some of the first-timer personalities we see most commonly.

The Introvert

This is actually one of my favorite customers as this person has probably wanted to visit a Vancouver dispensary, but just hasn’t taken the plunge. This person is usually very quiet and often accompanied by a more experienced dispensary visitor.

This person feels, incorrectly or not, that they  know nothing about cannabis and feel so clueless, embarrassed, and/or ashamed that they don’t even know what to ask about their first visit. The only thing they sometimes know is that they (may) enjoy smoking THC-packed cannabis. And that is totally ok!

Cannabis, like a glass of wine, is too easily dismissed. There is a strain and consumption method that suits each person and it’s finding that perfect combination that is both a challenge and fun experiment.

When interacting with the introvert, we like to jump in and share our knowledge, without overwhelming the customer. This usually starts with some questions. If the focus is on cannabis strains, these are some things we usually ask:

  •      Are you looking for something particular?
  •      Do you prefer loose cannabis or are you looking for a pre-rolled joint?
  •      What kind of effect are you looking for?
  •      What type of high do you want?
  •      Are you looking for something with medicinal qualities?

Based on a person’s answers, we can easily direct him or her to the cannabis strain that best meets the desired effect, whether it’s a sativa, indica, or hybrid.

We want each person to have the desired experience they are looking for, if they have one in mind. Or, we can make excellent recommendations on the few things we do learn.

Often, our introvert first-timers become repeat customers. Yes, they love our product and that’s one of the reasons, but the main reason is our store aesthetics and top-notch customer service.  This person may have entered apprehensively, but often leave pleased, if not giddy.

The Questionnaire

This inquisitive first-time visitor is the one taking the lead to ask questions, and usually not just the basic ones. Regardless of whether they’ve done their research or are actually just nerds like us, our job is to inform.

While their questions are often very specific to what they are looking for, here are some generic favorites:

  • Do you have a sativa-dominant strain that will also help me focus?
  • Do you carry an indica strain that will calm my anxiety without causing me to fall asleep?
  • Which is your favorite strain because I’m looking for a new sativa that’s both fruity and energizing?
  • I read  . . . did you hear about this? What do you think?

This customer usually knows the type of effect they want, but are usually still looking for strain recommendations and we’re more than glad to help!

The I-know-what-I-want

Similar to The Questionnaire, this visitor comes in with a mission. However, this first-timer is even more specific. This person usually asks a question like, “I want OG Kush and which sativa pre-rolls do you have right now?” Likely, this person knew someone who purchased OG Kush and they liked the high. Great! You know what you like, but don’t be afraid to try something new!

The dilemma with The I-know-what-I-want is they know what they want. The great part is they are often genuinely interested in suggestions and really want to learn more. If they are set on OG Kush, that’s what they’ll get. But, we also might recommend a similar strain we have on hand, particularly if it’s in a pre-roll like they asked for.

There is no wrong way to be

When you visit a dispensary for the first time you may feel excited, giddy, anxious, nervous, apprehensive, accomplished, ashamed, embarrassed, empowered, or a number of any other emotions. All ways are the right way to feel. We embrace where you’re at and are glad you came to visit us for your initiation into the legal cannabis world. And we’re happy to meet you where you’re at, wherever that might be.

What to expect

Each Vancouver dispensary experience is personalized so there is no one specific experience you might have, but here is a generic peek into our facility.

When you open the door, you’ll be asked for your ID before you even see anything. This is required by law, as you must be at least 21 years old to visit a dispensary in Washington.

There is no wrong way to imagine a dispensary and each one has its own flare, but we like to think ours is welcoming. One of our friendly bud tenders will greet you as you enter, and you will enter into a room filled will carefully organized glass cases featuring everything from cannabis to pipes, bongs, edibles, and storage devices.

We organize our cannabis strains to the right and the majority of our store features colorful, intricate hand-blown glass, most by local artists.

Our store is professional, but casual. Our products speak for themselves and we’re known for our stellar customer service, ready and willing to assist the novice and veteran consumer alike.

 

Cannaversary Celebration

House of Grass anniversary, cannaversary, vancouver dispensary

It’s Our Birthday, but You Get the Presents!

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since Mary Jane’s House of Grass opened our doors in the little brick building on Mill Plain. It’s our birthday and we want to celebrate with all the people who made it happen.

Join us for our first Cannaversary celebration event! If you’re familiar with our dispensary in Vancouver, you know that we throw a killer party. This one promises to be the best yet. As if cannabis wasn’t entertaining enough, we’re providing some fantastic entertainment to go along with our amazing deals.

What’s the Deal?

  • $3.00  1 gram Joints all day!*

  • 20% Off Legal Beverages, and FREE uninfused samples 1-5PM

  • 15% Off Concentrates all day!**

  • Buy-One-Get-One 20% Off Eighths!

  • Green Ghost extracts 3g for $100!*

  • Green Vault extracts 5g for $100!*

  • 30% Off Select edibles products

  • 35% Off Eclipse Vapes

  • Buy-One-Get-One Half Off Cleaners

Entertainment

  • Live Reggae music provided by Co-Lo-So
  • Vendor Samples (uninfused, of course)
  • Live Glassblowing demonstrations by our local glass artists

Entertainment kicks off at 1PM, but the deals last all day, or until they sell out.

*Selected strains. While supplies last.

**Exclusions may apply. Excludes RSO.

Is Cannabis the Next Frontier for Women Entrepreneurs?

women entrepreneurs cannabis industry legalization

There seems to be an emerging trend in this predominantly male industry – women leaders. When Washington’s I-502 was voted on in November 2012, it was the women aged 35-55 who pushed the majority to success. “As a woman, and a mother, this statistic piqued my interest,” says one of our owning partners. What changed?

One can only surmise that it was a shift in the thinking of this particular group of women, mothers in particular, that pushed that change in law. Campaigns aimed at that soccer-mom age group focused on reducing youth access through a regulated system. It was the knowledge that allowing an unregulated black market to exist was more dangerous to our children than a well-regulated system with plenty of checks and balances. After all, drug dealers don’t check ID.

It was also the language in the law that designates significant tax dollars to the funding of schools and education programs. When voters can finally see a large increase in school funding without an increase in property taxes, they notice.

“For me,” says Mary Jane’s House of Grass owning partner, Amy, “it was a big leap from ‘Yes I support legalization’ to ‘Yes I’ll open a pot shop.’ I’ve always supported legalization. I think it’s a much better and safer alternative to synthetic prescription drugs and could possibly hold the cure to many of today’s plaguing diseases. But making the leap to actually putting my stamp on a place where people can come and buy it openly was scary.”

It was a big leap from ‘Yes I support legalization’ to ‘Yes I’ll open a pot shop’.

Amy cites several reasons for the fear including fear of what friends, family, and community might think, and she admits being surprised by several of their reactions, both positive and negative. “It’s never easy being a pioneer,” she says, “but it’s always exciting. There have been so many obstacles – things we never even thought would be obstacles. But it’s a bold new world, a brand new industry emerging from a world of prohibition. How many times does that happen in your life? Never? It’s incredibly exciting to think of the possibilities.”

Women are not only being emboldened by the new legalization, “they are also gentrifying and gentling pot’s testosterone-laden image,” according to the Denver Post. The face of the industry has always been predominantly white and male. “The industry is long overdue for a feminine touch,” says Amy. In this new marketplace, pot shops need to adapt to a new emerging market of middle-aged women. When you enter shops like Mary Jane’s, you will see plenty of female faces. Women have dominated retail for years and marijuana is no different.

Mary Jane’s House of Grass sees women like Amy as a great potential market. “Women in my age group,” says Amy, “are prescribed more anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications than any other demographic in America. Wouldn’t it be great to offer them something completely natural, without the side effects of synthetic drugs? I want to foster the open-minded approach to cannabis, answer the tough questions, and quell their hesitations.”

It’s no surprise that women are now dominating the fields of edibles and topicals. It’s also not just coincidence that those products are the ones that most appeal to women. Many women interested in the plant’s properties want the plant extracts for more practical uses, like trouble sleeping, anxiety, depression and anti-aging applications. Until now, products like these were largely unavailable to the general public.

Amy predicts that consumers can expect to see advertising campaigns aimed more at women in the near future, calling it ‘the softer side of pot’. The industry has a lot of growing to do (no pun intended) and women present a large part of that market – on both the entrepreneur and consumer sides.

“Most of my career I’ve been in fields dominated by men, so this one is no different. And the few women I’ve met in this field have been very supportive and welcoming. We’ve got to stick together.”
Organizations like Women Grow, a national, women only organization aimed at fostering relationships through networking and support, are cropping up to serve this growing demographic. Will cannabis be a bold new frontier for women entrepreneurs? We’re betting on it.

12 Deals of Christmas

12 deals of Christmas, sale, cannabis, tree, flower, bud, marijuana, candy cane, dank, seasonal, holiday

Looking for some sweet gifts at even sweeter prices? Here’s some outstanding deals to make gift giving for the cannabis consumers on your list even easier. Better hurry, these deals are too hot to last!

40% OFF These Items Dec 12-24th

  • All Phoenix Flower
  • All Spot Edibles
  • All Jefferson County Cannibis PreRolls
  • All Smokey Point Flower
  • All Craft Elixirs Edibles and Mixers (excludes cartridges)
  • Zoots Brand
    • ZootBites – Caramel Brownie 2 Pack
    • ZootBlast – 30mg Single
    • Zoots 2pk Kookie Dough

30% OFF These Items Dec 12-24th

  • All Fireline Flower
  • All X-tracted Concentrates
  • All Kai-Dro Hash and Keif
  • Chongs Choice Grollia Glue .5g Cartridges
  • Green Ghost Concentrates
    • 1g Honeycomb Blue Hawaiian
    • 1g Tangerine Dream
    • 1g Wax Blue Hawaiian
    • 1g Wax Girl Scout Cookie
    • 3.5g Blue Hawaiian (flower)
  • Willie’s Reserve Brand
    • 1/8 Can DJ Andy WR
    • 1g DJ Andy
    • 1g Fruit Punch
    • Pre-Rolls Aloha, Bubba Kush, Dirty Girl and Green Crack

25% OFF Any Glass Item over $200 Dec 12-24th

And don’t forget, EVERY Tuesday is Fat Tuesday! 15% OFF All 7g and larger flower packages.

Sunshine is Doing it Right

Sunshine Farms Washington, Vancouver

Sunshine Farms is an indoor grow discreetly located in an industrial section of Vancouver. You’d never know what was happening in the building until you step into the lobby and get a massive nose full of terpenes. It’s that beautiful, unmistakable scent of sweet cannabis flowering away. The deep breaths and luxurious sighs of my fellow tourists as we stepped into the facility was a sure sign that we’d found the right place.

The people of Sunshine Farms are exceptional. The growers have over 120 years combined experience and it shows in the beautiful happy plants they grow. Everyone there is friendly and happy. Of course, we all work in the weed industry, so what is there to be sad about. Right?

sunshine farms cannabis vancouver growers

One of the first things we noticed was that this grow was exceptionally clean. No debris, no spills, no vegetation on the floor. It’s very important to keep your grow spotless. No place for little nasties to lay in wait to ambush your crop.

The first room we visited was the clone room. The mother plants standing tall and proud with their little clones aeroponically rooting in the back corner. After the clones have sufficiently happy roots they are moved into a coconut bark mulch, where they appear to thrive. These are some seriously happy plants. Nothing compared to my dismal home herb garden. I’m surprised they even let me in this place. They must not know about my brown thumb. Anyway…

From the clone room we moved to the veg room where little clones go to grow up. It’s like, college for clones. They are trained carefully and lovingly pruned back to support only the best colas, as well as to help keep vegetation from allowing bugs to hide.sunshine farms cannabis vancouver mother plants

Pest control is always important to us. We look at pest control methods very carefully to make sure there are no chemicals used and no residuals left on the final product. Not all companies test for residual pesticide, so we keep an eye out for you. I’m happy to report that Sunshine uses no chemical pesticides, only natural pest control methods here. That’s a win for everyone.

The flower room was remarkable. Several strains were already showing impressive colas even though they are nearly two weeks from harvest. They’re developing some very interesting strains, like one that tested at about 4% THC and 17.6% CBD. You’ll see it on our shelves as soon as it’s ready.

sunshine farms cannabis flowering vancouver     sunshine farms chernobyl cannabis trimmed bud

Trimming and packaging were under way as we wrapped up the tour. Worker bees were diligently hand trimming some really gorgeous looking buds. Nice, large, dense nugs that looked and smelled amazing. I can’t wait for them to arrive in the store! I’ll bet you can’t either.

Overall, Sunshine has a great grow operation. Clean and well kept, and met our high vetting standards. Which is why you can now find Sunshine Farms on our shelves. Come in and get hooked up with one of their delicious strains today!

Pic-or-Treat?

We’ve added something fun for Halloween at Mary Jane’s House of Grass. We’re calling it Pic-or-Treat. Here’s the deal. Come in, find some fun props, take a selfie, post that selfie and tag us or check in, and you’ll get a treat. It’s simple and fun. We encourage silliness and spontaneity. Take several. We don’t mind.

Here’s a little teaser to get you started. Nyssa, Autumn and Amy got into the spirit and took a few fun shots.

Mary Jane's House of Grass Halloween selfie station, pic-or-treat, trick-or-treat, candy, photo booth, props

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Fat Tuesdays at Mary Jane’s

Fat Tuesday sale, Mary Jane's House of Grass

Introducing Fat Tuesdays at Mary Jane’s House of Grass!

We’re very excited to be kicking off this weekly deal. Every Tuesday you can enjoy any pre-packaged cannabis flower in packages of 7 grams or more, up to one ounce, for 15% off.

Quantities limited. While supplies last. Not valid with any other offer.

July 4th Blowout Sale!

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Burn it up and feel the fireworks this weekend at Mary Jane’s House of Grass’s big Independence Day Blowout Sale. Whether you’re heading into the woods for some respite, to the Blues and Brews Festival on the Waterfront, or to your neighborhood 4th of July Bar-B-Que, we’ve got your cannabis lifestyle supplies on sale. Drop in for these, and other in-store only deals.

25offFarms

25% off select farms. All bud from Heritage Farms, Monkey Grass Farms*, Sunshine Co-Op, Honu Farm*, and Walden Farms.

*Cannabis flower only. Does not include joints, edibles, or any other product from this producer.

30offSpot

30% Off SPOT brand cannabis infused soft cookies and brownies, and SPOT Brownie Bites or Cookie Bites.

journeyman

Journeyman Cookies $4.95 each. Buy any three Journeyman Cookies for $12.95. Limit 9 cookies per customer.

 

See our Menu for current pricing and other recreational marijuana products.

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New Addition – Swifts Chocolates

 

We’re pleased as punch to introduce you to a new member of the House of Grass family of cannabis products, Swifts Chocolates. These truffles are TO. DIE. FOR. No joke. Not only are they a discreet way to enjoy cannabis, they are of the absolute highest quality ingredients and the taste tells all. They are delectable.

Greenlabs – the makers of this delightful line of decadent dreaminess – use natural ingredients in their truffles. Real apples in the Apple Crisp, silky white chocolate and real cookie crumbles in the Cookies and Cream, and try the Butterscotch, coated with something magical that makes it look like copper, and taste like it was plucked from my dreams. Greenlabs boasts handcrafted, vegan, gluten free, all natural and low calorie treats. If these are low calorie, then sign me up for a few cases!

Don’t take our word for it, DOPE magazine just reviewed the Apple Crisp Truffle. Read what they had to say about it. I think they liked it, too. 😉

The New Symbol of Recreational Marijuana

web_symbolofrecSome years ago the world of medical marijuana adopted a green cross as their universal symbol. It was a great way to easily spot a dispensary. A large green cross, like the ever-familiar and welcoming Red Cross we all know, but green. It made it easy to advertise as well as easy to recognize. It has since become the beacon to MMJ users.

With recreational marijuana being a bold new frontier, it lacks a universal symbol to beckon to recreational users. We simply haven’t had the time in the marketplace yet to build that recognition. Recreational cannabis needs a symbol, similar to the cross, simple in design and easy to spot at a quick glance. Oh, and it needs to be green.

In Washington State, medical will soon merge with recreational with the passing of House Bill 5052 in 2015. That adds to the urgency of the need for a new symbol, because as a recreational retail establishment, we’re still not allowed by law to use the cross. That may change, but we don’t know.

In the limiting world of I-502 signage, we have to get creative. So here is the symbol that could help our new Washington I-502 stores combat that problem. It’s the green asterisk (*). Simple. Bold. Easy to spot from the road as you’re searching for the new pot shop in your area.

So keep an eye out for this symbol. It will lead you to good things.