Since legalization, I’ve gone to several dispensaries in the pursuit of specific strains and more affordable bud. As an autistic person, I’m not just weed shopping – I’m also screening the dispensary itself for a neurodivergent-friendly atmosphere. There are a handful of places that I prefer going to, and I’ve identified a few reasons why. To be completely honest, there aren’t many dispensaries I’ve been to that I dislike. To this day I have not had a negative dispensary experience because most budtenders are very relaxed and put out a positive energy that makes me feel safe regardless of how confusing the layout of the store is. Here are just a few things, aside from awesome budtenders, that make my favorite Missoula dispensaries my favorite. I’m talking about Flower, Greenhouse Farmacy, and Dancing Goat Gardens. If your favorite isn’t up here, there’s a good chance I haven’t been there yet.
Clear and Obvious Signage with Prices
Having very clear, obvious signage in a dispensary is a feature in most dispensaries, but some do this better than others. My favorite dispensaries have each menu item with price listed on signs or in menus so I don’t have to ask the budtender how much a gram is. Flower, one of the most affordable dispensaries in the area, is very small. Like, VERY small. This can be distressing, but they do have all of their items with prices listed along the counter. When I go there, I stand just to the right of the door and pick out what I want, tally it up, and go to the ATM which is located away from the line. They list the tax next to the base price, so there’s little guesswork. Sometimes if there’s a lot of people in there it’s difficult to figure out what I want without waiting to get to the front, but I tend to go when they’re not busy.
Dancing Goat Gardens is a newer dispensary for me, and I’ve only been there once. They have a wall of posters with the Leafly entries of all the strains they offer. You can walk up to this wall and read about the terpenes and effects of each strain before making a decision. They also have a “winner” strain that the people in the shop like best. There are also clear signs around with prices and sales that they have going on.
Menus to Peruse At My Leisure
I go back to Greenhouse Farmacy again and again, partially because of the quality and affordability of their product, but mostly because of the printed menus on the counter. All of their products are listed out in convenient binders placed around the store. I can walk in and start flipping through a menu with minimal interaction if I want. I usually choose to talk to the budtenders there though, because they are all awesome and I get on with them really well. I’ve even disclosed my autism and talked about this blog there, which I ordinarily wouldn’t do in a dispensary. The energy in there is just very comfortable and welcoming. Another thing that is very cool about Greenhouse is that they factor the tax into the price, so what you see is exactly what you pay. This enables me to figure out exactly what I’ll pay before I go to the ATM, and I can get a good idea of what I can get before I even place my order.
At Dancing Goat Gardens, you can place your order via a tablet. This is extremely convenient because I can scroll through their full menu, place items in my cart, and then visit the ATM without social interaction. I’ve only been there once, but the man I talked to there was pretty open and friendly, so I don’t mind talking there. However, if I wanted to I could walk right in and place an order without talking to anyone beyond a greeting. They have a table in the center of the shop with tablets docked around the edges. I scrolled through, checking various items and the prices, before settling on some Golden Goat (Yes, from my wishlist!) which I will be reviewing in June.
An unrelated cool thing about Dancing Goat Gardens is that they grow cannabis in house. On the way to the ATM, which is located down a longish hallway, there are windows where you can actually see the plants growing. Cannabis is becoming a bit of a special interest to me, so being able to actually look at their grow setup and see the plants that I will eventually grind up and vape is very cool.
I’ve encountered amazing budtenders in pretty much every dispensary I have ever been in, which includes dispensaries in Spokane, Seattle, and Missoula. Part of me wonders if they are so cool because part of the job is testing the products yourself. I’ve even encountered budtenders who, when I say I’m looking for strains that help with autism and ADHD, have told me that they are neurodivergent themselves. When this happens, and they tell me their favorite strain, I buy it – no questions asked. It has never steered me wrong before. I’ve encountered this in Washington with strains I haven’t reviewed here, and with Sour Krypt OG, which is one of the first strains I’ve reviewed.
One of the coolest budtender interactions I’ve had happened at Flower. A budtender I’ve worked with a few times was on shift that day, and my husband was picking up some stuff for himself. When we got to the front, the budtender turned to me and said that she remembered I liked energetic strains, and that she had one pre-roll left of a strain called Cat Treats, which she had taken off the menu because there was only one left. I didn’t write up a review of that one, but I did buy the pre-roll and it ended up liking it. It’s little things like that that make me feel like I’m part of a community when I go to a dispensary. I really can’t say enough about budtenders, in Missoula and elsewhere. It seems like a job you get because you really care about it and that results in making a socially awkward autistic person like me feel welcome.