DRUGS

Yelpers Review Weed Businesses Just Like Brunch

In Colorado, where the legal weed business is booming, long waits, rude staff and other common complaints populate reviews

DRUGS
Illustration: Diana Quach
Apr 20, 2017 at 9:44 AM ET

It’s been more than three years since the first marijuana dispensary opened in Colorado, and it’s hard not to see the experiment in legal pot as a huge success.

Legal cannabis sales surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2016, and the industry is now consistently raking in more than $100 million per month, according to the Denver Post. The paper estimates tax revenue from marijuana sales in 2016 was $199 million, which goes toward school construction projects, public health, and law enforcement. Meanwhile, marijuana DUIs are down 33 percent from the first quarter of last year.

But with growth comes growing pains, and as marijuana dispensaries have multiplied across Colorado, inevitably a few unhappy customers have emerged. While Yelp reviews for marijuana dispensaries yield mostly giddy potheads still pinching themselves over the reality of legal weed, complaints also range from rude staff, long waits, and — worst of all — seeds and stems in the bud!

“The lady behind the counter seemed to be partaking in her business before she came to the counter and, after leaving the store and returning back to my place hours away, I found she had charged me a gram worth for only a half gram sativa two times over!!!” one reviewer claimed about The Giving Tree of Denver.

Staff that’s rude or aloof — or baked — is a common complaint. One gets the sense that some “bud-tenders” at marijuana dispensaries are the same Brooklyn coffee shop hipsters who think it’s beneath their dignity to explain the difference between a cappuccino and cortado.

“The girl with the long blonde hair made me very uncomfortable,” one review for “Dank” began. “She was condescending and made us feel like a burden or like we were stupid for not knowing a lot about the effects. The vibe straddled between snobby and trashy as we were one second being snubbed …”

In some dispensaries, you take a number and wait for the “bud-tender” to call you into a room in the back where they walk you through what they have, particularly for medicinal use. But just like a waiter who has too many tables at brunch, the staff sometimes make customers wait, which is the source of one of the most common complaints.

“I am very disappointed with this place, the quality of the product was pretty good but the wait time was ridiculous and as well as the prices,” said a review for Kind Love.

But in the end, a pot head just wants some good pot, so many of them leave happy despite bad service if they get the goods. Some don’t, however, and then the dispensary is in for a world of hurt on Yelp.

“I bought some Sour Tangie full of herme seeds, no wonder it was on special,” a review for Kind Love read. “Things like that show the intent to deceive.”