This week, Liz Wald, C-Suite Executive and Board Director at Good Earth Organic Soil paints us a picture of her experience visiting a few different dispensaries for the first time. While the environments varied from clinical to chill—and from Colorado to New York—the one constant was the incredibly knowledgeable budtenders. Give it a listen to find out which dispensary setting she favored.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 women in the U.S. have access to legal cannabis? This series is dedicated to women sharing their stories and empowering you in your own experiences buying cannabis.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:07):
Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast demystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. This whole series is dedicated to women sharing their stories because buying your own weed can feel a little overwhelming, and doesn’t having a friend along always make you feel better? The women in this series have been so generous to share their stories with us. Some were psyched, some were scared, some were in shock and everyone had questions. I hope hearing how they did it helps you feel more confident when you’re ready to go shopping for cannabis. We would love to hear your story. Send us a voice memo with your three to five minute story to firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s email@example.com.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:59):
Liz Wald is a C-suite executive and board director of Good Earth Organic Soil. She tells us about going to three different dispensaries in two legal states, so it’s a great one to listen to if you’re curious about what the experience is like in a brand new market and in a more mature market. In her case, she visited a dispensary in Colorado, which was the first state in the US to legalize cannabis in 2014. Then she visited two different stores in her home state of New York, where cannabis became legal in 2021.
Liz Wald (01:37):
I remember the first time I walked into a dispensary. It was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where cannabis is legal for both adult use and medical purposes. I walked in and two things really struck me. First of all, I couldn’t believe the variety of products available. It was a few years ago and I just had no idea that you could get so many different form factors and flavors and dosages. It was just really amazing. I’m not much of a smoker, so I skipped the flower and vape section and really went over to the edibles and the topicals and the like. The second thing that really amazed me was the depth of knowledge of the folks who worked there. These people were not only super knowledgeable, but they really were interested in helping you find what you wanted for the specific purpose that you wanted it for.
Liz Wald (02:29):
Whether it was a gummy to have a good time, or it was something for inflammation in my knee or to sleep better, something like that, they had different ideas, and they also recommended different kinds of products, both from their own experiences and from what other customers had told them. I just thought, wow, this is really impressive. These folks are super knowledgeable. They really care about their customers. This isn’t a store where you feel like there’s a bunch of stoners working there. It was a very positive experience. It was also quite interesting because you had to go in one door and out another door, and you had to use a special bag, and all these things that made it feel very different from buying alcohol or something like that, and seemingly unnecessary given that it is fully legal in the state.
Liz Wald (03:20):
Contrast that with my experience of buying cannabis in New York. I live in New York, and I decided to go through the process of getting a medical card, which is actually pretty easy. I did it all online. I had a 10-minute conversation with a licensed physician. We talked a little bit about the knee issues, or sleep, or what have you, and they issued me the card, and I got it in the mail a couple of days later, and it was a pretty inexpensive process, I think I spent a hundred dollars total, and had the card. I decided to go in and visit a couple of the different medical dispensaries in New York. They all varied. MedMen being, at the time, the most dispensary like, and the least clinical.
Liz Wald (04:05):
Then some other dispensaries that I went to, Etain, for example, which was a very pleasant experience, kind of like walking into an Etsy shop. The vibe was very chill, and the people there were extremely knowledgeable again. You have a one-on-one consultation with a doctor, but it didn’t feel intrusive or too clinical, but it did feel enough that you really felt like you were getting a product that was really going to work for you. There was no flower available for sale in New York at that time, and those laws are changing as is adult use, but then it was really just topicals and tablets. It was very different than going into a dispensary in Colorado.
Liz Wald (04:50):
Then I went to one more in New York and that dispensary was very clinical. It was like walking into a physical therapy office. You check in in the front. Everyone’s wearing a white coat. You fill out a form. The entrance to get in, you have to show your ID and go through like an internal chamber, and then be let in, and then finally have your appointment. It was a lot of hoops to jump through, but you certainly didn’t feel you were there to buy a product that you were going to have fun or anything like that. It was very, very medical focused. I think in some ways, for people brand new to cannabis that’s a little bit of a comfort zone, but I really do appreciate the places that are a little bit more relaxed with the high level of knowledge.
Liz Wald (05:33):
I think as the industry continues to develop, we’re going to see more of that. We’re going to have super knowledgeable bud tenders, and we’re going to have just an increasing number of products that work for all different kinds of occasions and reasons. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all develops here in New York.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:56):
Thanks for listening to this episode of How to Do the Pot. If you’d like to share your story about the first time you bought legal weed, please send a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org or DMS @dothepot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. That’s also where you can sign up for How to Do the Pot’s newsletter, which comes out every other Friday. If you like How to Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps more people find the show. Thank you to our producers, Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do the Pot.