How Do I Easily Find a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Near Me?

How Do I Easily Find a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Near Me?


Since the push to legalize medical cannabis began in earnest more than two decades ago, entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on it have had to jump through hoops to establish and maintain viable businesses. It has not been easy. Likewise, medical cannabis patients can struggle to find medical dispensaries close by.

You might be a patient who frequently asks yourself, “how do I easily find a medical cannabis dispensary near me?” You certainly would not be the first, nor will you be the last. And unfortunately, the answer to your question is not static. The ease at which a person finds a dispensary depends largely on state and local residency.

Regulated at the State Level

As most of us know by now, medical cannabis is regulated at the state level. We are inching ever closer to it being uniformly legal across the country. But, at least for now, there are still a small handful of states that do not allow medical cannabis.

Among those that do are a litany of laws and regulations governing nearly every aspect of cannabis production and distribution. Different regulations mean different rules for medical cannabis dispensaries at the state level. Some states even allow local municipalities to regulate dispensaries.

Dispensary Density Varies a Lot

In terms of “finding a dispensary near me”, one of the big challenges is density. And once again, things vary from one state to the next. A patient looking for a medical cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma would have no trouble at all. There are literally thousands of them. In fact, there are so many medical dispensaries in the Sooner State that the market has become saturated.

Utah is the exact opposite. Regulations in the Beehive State dictate that the state legislature has control over how many dispensary licenses will be issued. To date, only fifteen have been approved. All but one of the actual dispensaries are located in and around bigger cities.

Cedar City’s Zion Medicinal is the only rural medical cannabis dispensary in Utah. It serves medical cannabis patients who, until it opened, preferred to drive down into Nevada to get their medical cannabis. Doing so is illegal under state law. But when a patient is forced to choose between a 100-mile trip to Nevada and a 200-mile trip to Salt Lake City, the shorter trip will win.

Check With State Government

Patients living in states like Oklahoma have an easier time locating medical cannabis dispensaries just because there are so many of them. Nonetheless, nearly all of the states with legalized medical cannabis do regulate industry marketing. So patients still might not be able to find a dispensary as easily as a fast food restaurant.

One suggestion is to check with state government. Utah residents can visit the state’s official medical cannabis website and find complete directories for both medical providers and dispensaries. The dispensary directory provides business names, addresses, and operating hours.

There are also privately operated websites that might be helpful. Sites like The Cannigma offer a plethora of helpful information. Some of them have dispensary locators that visitors can use free of charge.

It’s a Mixed Bag

The bottom line in all of this is that finding a medical dispensary nearby is a mixed bag. As long as cannabis is regulated at the state level, there is room for regulating where dispensaries can set up shop. That means things will differ from one jurisdiction to the next. Do not let that bother you, though. If your state allows medical cannabis, appreciate the fact that you have access to it. Patients in other states do not.