Budtender Best Practices

Budtenders serve as a dispensary’s primary sales associates. Hiring dependable, knowledgeable budtenders can boost the reputation of your business. Marijuana dispensaries are becoming more competitive as the market continues to saturate, especially with recreational weed on the ballot in several US states in 2018.

The following are some budtender best practices that should be followed to ensure a solid reputation of your marijuana retailer.

Present Professionalism

As the marijuana industry continues to grow, budtenders have tried to move away from the stereotypical “stoner” or “pot head” persona, but rather connoisseurs of cannabis. Customers of your dispensary should be able to trust your budtenders as experts in the field. They will do so if your employees are able to demonstrate their knowledge and exemplify professionalism.

Knowledge is Key

New weed-infused products are being created all the time, and it’s imperative for your staff to stay informed on these new products. Have your employees sample different strains, edibles, vape cartridges, and other products sold in your dispensary.

Instruct your budtenders to become as knowledgeable as they can about the industry and the products they’re selling so they can speak eloquently about them.

Knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, the major cannabinoids, and how THC and CBD interact with the brain and body can help legitimize your budtenders as respected sources when interacting with new customers and patients.

Staying apprised of compliance regulations is especially important. Conventions and training workshops can help improve your budtender’s performance.

The Importance of Compliance

Fully understanding all the facets of cannabis compliance in terms of retail sales is of utmost importance. Purchase limits, ensuring each barcode is scanned, and utilizing proper exit packaging are just some aspects of necessary compliance.

Regular self-monitoring techniques will ensure that a budtender isn’t causing any discrepancies in sales or inventory numbers.

Fully Understand Dosing

Being able to advise a customer on the amount they should consume is an important aspect of a budtender’s job description. Unfortunately, not all consumers will read the dosage instructions, so having a conversation with customers concerning quantity will help inform them of exactly what they are ingesting.

Communicating Medical Uses

It is important for budtenders to be confident in their knowledge of the medical benefits of each product. Also important is not overstating the advantages of a product’s effects. The only claims that should be made should be able to be backed up with accurate research and evidence.

Ensure your budtenders are mindful of the language they use. Telling a customer a product “cures cancer” could not only be putting someone at risk, but your business could also be in trouble with a government authority for spreading misleading information.

Be Inquisitive Without Prying

If your budtender is dealing with a first-time customer, it’s a good idea to start simple. Have them ask questions like what kind of effect they’re seeking, or whether they prefer smoking or another method of ingestion. Typically, a more experienced customer will be able to communicate want they want but being able to offer the right products to less seasoned users is essential. Budtenders must listen carefully to customers to make recommendations based on what they choose to divulge.

Ensure your employees refrain from using a condescending tone and not to make assumptions about your dispensary’s clients. Just one negative experience with a rude budtender could cause them to never return.

Understand Upselling

Upselling is a great way to increase sales, but it’s important to practice restraint and not come off too aggressive or greedy. Some products offer additional add-ons that can be helpful in the consumption or storage of a product, so when the opportunity is right to logically suggest an additional product, budtenders should do so naturally and organically. Have your budtenders put themselves in the shoes of the customer, ensuring that their suggestion could truly be of use. This will increase customer’s trust in your employees.

Ambition is Admired

An admired quality in an employee is their drive, especially when that involves an ambition to continue to learn and grow. A quality budtender/employee will seek mentorship, ask questions, and work towards internal advancement – all while learning as much as they can about the industry and helping to grow your business.


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