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June 09, 2020

Things You Should NOT Do When Shopping at Cannabis Dispensary

Whether it’s your first time shopping, or you’re a seasoned cannabis connoisseur, marijuana regulations are always changing and evolving and it’s hard to know which ones apply to you as a consumer.

On top of that, many dispensaries have their own company policies that are not necessarily required by law, so it is hard to keep track of what not to do while shopping for cannabis. We’ve put together a list of the top dispensary “no nos” to help you avoid unknowingly making a mistake that could get you banned from a dispensary near you.

Please note that the article refers to the state of Colorado and that rules may change. 

Security Concerns

Any dispensary’s first priority is the safety of their consumers, employees, and product, so be sure to respect all security protocols while shopping at your local dispensary. Not doing so may result in you not being able to shop at your favorite dispensary anymore.

Leave the weapons at home. Even if you have a concealed carry permit, most dispensaries have a blanket ban on all weapons and a concealed carry permit does not exempt you from that rule. Be sure to not bring in any large bags, backpacks, or suitcases inside either. Many dispensaries follow these common sense rules in order to prevent theft and keep their cannabis products secure.


Suspicious activity such as asking about camera locations, taking pictures of security cameras, or casing the outside of the building will also draw immediate attention to you. In order to avoid heightened scrutiny, it is wise to avoid doing so.


Every licensed dispensary takes great pains to ensure they are in full compliance with all local and state rules and regulations, for they know if they don’t, they may be at risk of losing their state and local marijuana licenses and going out of business. The most infamous example of this happening in Colorado was the Sweet Leaf looping case.

So what exactly is “looping”? It’s when a customer shops in multiple transactions or between multiple locations to buy more product than the allowed daily limit prescribed by the state. In Colorado, that is one ounce a day at recreational dispensaries. Loopers make multiple purchases totaling over one ounce to avoid this rule.
Since the possession limit in Colorado is also one ounce of cannabis, it’s best to avoid looping to not be caught breaking multiple laws at once and risking getting banned from a dispensary you frequent and possibly have a run in with the police.

On-Site Consumption

Many states ban any type of on-site cannabis consumption at dispensaries. In Colorado, both employees and customers are not allowed to consume cannabis inside the dispensary or anywhere else on-site, including the parking lot (and their cars parked there) according to state law.

A customer who makes a purchase, and instantly lights up a joint inside the store or takes their edible out of the packaging and starts snacking on it, may face an instant ban from a dispensary or else a final warning at the very least.

Alcohol consumption and open containers of alcohol are also not allowed inside of dispensaries in Colorado. You should be prepared to leave it outside or bring it in unopened if you can’t avoid bringing alcohol to a dispensary.


Many dispensaries also have rules against food, beverages, and illegal drugs being allowed on the sales floor. Be courteous to your budtenders and avoid bringing in prohibited items along with you on your cannabis shopping experience or it may be cut short.

Transport & Resale

It’s also good to keep in mind that when you purchase cannabis flower or products, you cannot take purchased products outside the state you bought them in. Because marijuana remains federally illegal in the U.S., that means it cannot cross state lines since states are only able to regulate it on a state-by-state basis. If you come to shop at any of our Silver Stem Fine Cannabis locations, plan ahead to enjoy your purchase in-state.

Lastly, be aware that you may not purchase and re-sell marijuana and marijuana products, especially to people under 21. Only licensed retailers are allowed to sell cannabis and cannabis products, so if you want to share, you can only gift it to other adults over 21. It’s illegal for anyone under 21 to buy, have, or use marijuana or marijuana products in Colorado.

To Sum Up

As you can see, many dispensary rules, regulations, and policies truly are just common sense. Licensed cannabis dispensaries take the privilege of being able to operate very seriously and do their best to comply with the strictest compliance regulations and you can help them stay open and ensure you get the best cannabis shopping experience possible by following these simple rules.

Written by Lindsay Aronson, Director of Licensing & Compliance for Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

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