Get us in your inbox

Search
The Pottery
Photograph: Courtesy the PotteryThe Pottery

Everything you need to know about visiting a weed dispensary in L.A.

Buying cannabis in L.A. is as uncomplicated as picking up a six-pack. Here’s what you need to know before your trip to a weed dispensary.

Written by
Juliet Bennett Rylah
Advertising

In the state of California, cannabis has been legal for adults 21 and older since the start of 2018. If you’re curious but still haven’t taken a trip to your friendly, neighborhood pot shop, it may seem like a daunting task. But rest assured, most shops are extremely chill and any good dispensary’s budtenders should be prepared to answer all your questions. Here’s what you need to know before you go—and the best spots to shop in neighborhoods like Downtown L.A., Hollywood and more.

Who can buy it?

Anyone who is 21 or older and has a valid, unexpired, government-issued I.D. to prove it. You do not need to be a California resident to buy cannabis in California. If you’re visiting from another state or country, your driver’s license or passport will work.

What forms of cannabis are available?

Flower: The most common form of cannabis will be the dried flower buds from the plant. Flower can be smoked in a pipe, bong or rolled up in a joint. If you don’t know how to roll one yourself, dispensaries do sell pre-rolled joints.

Vaporizers: Vaporizers or vape pens are often small and discreet. Some are disposable, while others are rechargeable and allow for replaceable cannabis oil cartridges.

Edibles: Edibles come in many varieties, including cookies, candies, brownies, teas, juices and more. It takes longer for these to kick in, and it’s highly advised that newbies consume no more than 5 to 10 milligrams of THC at a time and wait at least two hours before consuming more.

Concentrates: Hash, shatter, rosin and wax are just a few types of cannabis concentrates. They’re more potent than the aforementioned forms and sometimes require specific equipment—like a dabbing rig—to use. Tinctures, which are typically taken sublingually, are a more newbie friendly concentrate.

Topicals: These include creams, lotions, balms, oils, bath bombs and more. Most of them are CBD only (as opposed to THC, CBD is non-intoxicating) and meant for pain relief, not to get you high.

If this is your first time buying cannabis, most budtenders suggest starting with flower or a vape pen. You can talk to your budtender about different strains—indicas, sativas, hybrids, etc.—and their effects to find what’s right for you, keeping in mind that cannabis affects everyone differently.

How much can one person buy at a time?

Adults can have up to 1 ounce of cannabis or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis at any given time. A single household, regardless of how many people are in it, can grow up to six plants at a time.

Where can I use it?

Cannabis consumption is not allowed in public and those who choose to disobey could face a fine. It is allowed in the privacy of your own home or apartment, provided your landlord doesn’t object, and at private, 420-friendly events or consumption lounges.

Are laws the same everywhere in California?

No. California municipalities can make their own cannabis laws, meaning some areas won’t have any dispensaries at all. Also, federal land is still subject to federal law, and cannabis is still federally illegal.

Where can I buy it?

You can buy cannabis at any licensed adult-use dispensary. (Those licensed for medical only will require you to have a valid medical cannabis card.) Many are cash-only, so stop off at an ATM beforehand. You can find detailed lists of dispensaries near you—plus reviews, updated menus, and current specials—on sites like Leafly and Weedmaps.

Our favorite weed dispensary picks for first-time buyers

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Studio City
  • price 2 of 4

This Valley shop is a friendly place for first-time buyers and advanced cannabis users alike. It’s located in a strip mall between a CrossFit gym and a wine and spirits shop and thus has ample parking, including complimentary valet. The lobby is bright and open, the budtenders are friendly and the selection is solid. Plus, the W.E.E.D.’s walls often double as a gallery space, allowing a glimpse at new work from local artists while you browse.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Mid City
  • price 2 of 4

The Pottery is so cute, you could take your grandparents there. The airy shop’s cannabis products are displayed in bright, waist-high cases and their amicable budtenders are there to help. In their black-and-white tiled “coffee corner,” they also stock candles, soaps, and other gift-worthy items. Though it’s worth the trip to browse, the Pottery also does delivery.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

A tidy shop located just off the 101 in Hollywood, the Kind Center has a neatly displayed, ample selection. Their knowledgeable staff is always happy to show first-timers and tourists around the shop’s wares. Check their website for daily deals and, should you become a regular, you can join the Kind Center’s free loyalty program.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Boyle Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Toluca Lake Collective (TLC) is run by cultivators the Jungle Boys, with everything grown, pressed and packaged in-house. This is a great shop for finding interesting, quality strains, with available selections clearly displayed on a digital screen. You can browse Jungle Boys’ apparel line here, too.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

Though one might prefer the feel of an independently run dispensary, publicly traded MedMen is one of the easiest dispensaries for a first-timer as it feels very much like a traditional store. Their storefront locations allow anyone feeling apprehensive to look right in and see patrons browsing the displays, while iPads provide all the pertinent information about every product. They also have multiple locations, including Downtown L.A., West Hollywood, Venice, Beverly Hills and near LAX.

Recommended

    More on Cannabis

      You may also like
        Advertising