How many times have you walked into a dispensary and asked a budtender for some strain advice only to find that they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about? If it’s happened even once, that’s once too many. After all- you wouldn’t let a doctor get away with prescribing you a hammer for migraine problems, would you?
The same principle applies to the cannabis industry’s most customer-oriented position, the men and women with all of the face time and (hopefully) all of the knowledge: the budtender.
Patients will spend nearly all of their time inside a dispensary interacting with just one person, which is why budtenders need to take their position of trust seriously. Every single person can react differently to certain strains, consumption methods, and quantities of THC. This is why it’s important to understand the consumer’s experience and what they’re looking to get out of their highs.
A blunt above the rest
The best budtenders are not only passionate about their roles, but also the products. To become an expert as a sole point-of-purchase professional, budtenders must be intimately knowledgeable in three key areas:
Know your products
In the marijuana industry, everything starts from seed and grows from there- both literally and figuratively. If you want to be at the top of your game (and you should be) in order to help your customers find the right strain for their individual tastes, you should be able to recite your top-sellers, their genetics (parent strains), and characteristics unique to those specific strains without skipping a beat.
Know your customer
Unless you are truly sick in the head or just severely inexperienced, you definitely wouldn’t want to recommend a 30% THC strain like White 99 to somebody who has never smoked weed before. The same applies to pushing a weak 12% THC strain to somebody who smokes dabs all day, every day. In either case, you’re going to end up with a disappointed customer that could easily take their future business to the next dispensary down the line.
Great budtenders take a few minutes to talk to the customer and get a good grasp on what their level of experience is and what they want to get out of their next purchase. It’s your job to ensure that they walk away with the right product for the right occasion.
Stay on top of an ever-changing industry
The legal marijuana industry is so new to the world that it is evolving and changing at a record-setting pace. As a budtender, you are expected to know what the “hot” products and processes are and how they apply to your job as the quintessential advice-giver.
Browse sites like Instagram and read up on industry highlights on social media to see what’s coming down the pipeline. Stay up to date on cannabis news and you’re guaranteed to give your customers solid advice and keep them coming back to you for more.
This post was originally published on April 20, 2017, it was updated on October 5, 2017.