4 Signs You Have a Great Budtender

As of 2018, there are 9 states and Washington DC that have legalized Adult Use cannabis. Since Colorado was the first state to do so, our market has been flooded with dispensaries which in turn has created many jobs, a majority of which were on the retail side with what we call Budtenders. Like a Bartender just a little closer to sales associate in their role. Since this industry is still so new, there isn’t necessarily a degree that is required, just a Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) badge which means that the state has done a background check and approved an individual to work with cannabis.

There are some programs like the Trichome Institute where one can learn about cannabis and gain a broader understanding of the plant. The majority of Budtenders out there do not have this type of education, and that doesn’t mean they are bad at their jobs. Experience is the great teacher and many have gained their knowledge by working in this industry for years.

For your reference, whether you are new to it all or have shopped around, here are 4 signs that you have a great budtender:

1. You feel welcomed and comfortable

There are many kinds of dispensaries, some that are modeled after head shops, Apple stores, or even medical offices. Regardless of the store that you walk into, you should feel comfortable in the space and welcomed by the staff. The person at the door, whether it be a receptionist or a guard, they should make you feel welcomed. Once you get up to the counter, a good budtender will see if you have been into the shop before and if not, give you a lay of the land as every store has different strains and products available on their shelves.

Dispensaries should be a safe place for anyone to come learn and purchase cannabis products. With zoning laws as they are (at least here in Colorado), many shops have been forced to open up in some odd areas. Regardless of how it looks outside, the shop itself should feel pleasant and inviting inside. You never know which one will be a hidden gem. If you are looking in the Denver area, we HIGHLY recommend visiting one of our Partners, and we guarantee that you will have an educated and enjoyable experience.

2. They are engaging and ask you clarifying questions

When you get to the counter, a good budtender will be very engaged with their rapport and will clarify what the purpose of your visit is so that they can best serve you. A budtender should be asking you more questions than you ask them! If you come into a shop looking for aid with sleep, a good budtender will ask you what it is about sleep that you need aid in? is it falling asleep? or staying asleep? what type of consumption do you prefer? what is your experience with cannabis? etcetera. This helps them identify the source of the problem so that they can get you into the right products for your body chemistry, your ailment, and can guide you into the most effective ways to achieve your goal.

One of the biggest peeves across the board for customers is when a budtender is curt, rude, and condescending especially in regards to the customer’s knowledge of cannabis. Their job is to help guide you into the right product and give you the knowledge and tools for you to have your best experience. If you come across this behavior, try killing it with kindness and tell them you need a little guidance with their expertise. This should shake them up if they are in a funk, and if they continue to be rude, ask for another budtender, or take your business elsewhere.

3. They are familiar with the strains and products

A budtender’s role is to know their products inside and out, especially if it is produced in-house like flower or concentrates. They should be able to confidently describe a strain and its effects. If they are constantly saying “that’s fire” to every strain, chances are they don’t really know much about it and are just trying to sell something. Many dispensary brands know the value of a knowledgeable and friendly staff and go to great lengths to make sure their staff has the right tools for the job. Whether it be in-house training, educational meetings, or sampling products out for their staff to try.

As we explained in First Time Shopping FAQ’s, you should be able to describe a desired effect and your budtender should be able to point out the right products for you. If they look confused or give you vague answers, first try asking it another way. If that doesn’t do the trick, feel free to leave.

4. You feel confident at the end of your purchase

At the end of the transaction, you should always feel confident that you got into the right products and know how to use them properly. You should never leave feeling unsure of what you had purchased (unless you shopped in a fit of happiness and in that bliss walked out without remembering what exactly you had bought, and yes that does happen all the time). If you have any lingering questions or hesitations, don’t be afraid to voice them. A great budtender will take the time to ease those fears and boost your confidence in your decision.

When one feels confident, acknowledged, and taken care of, they tend to come back again and again. That is part of the reason why all of our Partners have such large local followings! If you are uncertain about a product, you can always wait on it and come back, unless it is a small batch or seasonal item, chances are it will still be there when you return. Use that time to do a little research, going to the company’s website is always a great starting point or check out sites like Leafly or Weedmaps that have consumer reviews on these products and strains so you can cross-reference the information the budtender gave you to make sure it is the right fit.

Remember, walking into a dispensary does not mean that you are obligated to purchase!!! Make sure that you feel comfortable, engaged, educated, and confident before you make a final decision. If your budtender gives you any attitude or lip, then it solidifies that you made the right choice and they are doing a disservice to their industry. Word of mouth is a powerful thing in cannabis, if you feel like a shop has outstanding service, make sure to tell your friends. Because friends don’t let friends smoke bad bud!!

Looking to have someone guide you through your first dispensary experience??

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Keep an eye out for our next blog, Five Things to Know About Cannabis Tours!