Budtenders are the customer service professionals that work at a dispensary and help customers choose products.  Budtenders play a crucial role in the retail experience at the dispensary.  Their attitude, knowledge base and level of customer service can make or break a customer’s experience.  Dispensaries depend on their knowledge and expertise to educate consumers and sell them on the products that are right for them.  Customers depend on them to help them learn more about cannabis and guide them into products that best suited for their body chemistry.  Budtenders range in quality and it is important to know how to identify whether or not you are being helped by a good budtender or a bad one.  Below is our list of 4 signs that you have a great budtender.

1. You Feel Welcomed and Comfortable

Dispensaries range in design and experience.  Some look like head shops, some look like the Apple Store and some even have a medical clinic feel to them.  No matter what the dispensary you are visiting looks like, you should feel comfortable and welcome in the space.  Once you make your way to the counter, a great budtender will greet you and ask, “what brought you in today?”  This opening questions should create an open dialogue where the consumer feels comfortable in engaging the budtender and discussing their specific interest in cannabis.  Dispensaries should be a safe place for anyone to come and learn about cannabis and purchase cannabis products.

2. They Are Engaging and Ask You Clarifying Questions

A good budtender will be very engaging and will clarify the purpose of your visit so they can best serve you. A budtender should ask 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 is problematic. Is it falling asleep, or staying asleep? What types of consumption methods do you prefer, and what is your experience with cannabis?  This helps them identify the source of the problem so that they can help you identify the correct products for your body chemistry and ailment.

One of the biggest complaints from customers about the dispensary experience is when a budtender is rude, or condescending in regards to the customer’s knowledge of cannabis. Budtenders are there to help guide you into the right products and give you the knowledge you need to have a great experience. If you come across a budtender that is being rude or condescending try communicating to them that you are inexperienced and need a little guidance from them in order to understand the product lines.  If they continue to be rude or condescending, take your business to another shop.

3. They Are Familiar with the Strains and Products

A great budtender has invested time in teaching themselves about cannabis and the product lines they have at their dispensary.  A great dispensary will invest in the knowledge of their staff and will go to great lengths to make sure their staff has the right tools for the job. Many dispensaries partake in product training and budtender education to further the knowledge of their staff in order to better serve their customers.  A budtender’s role is to know their product lines inside and out, especially if it is produced in-house. A great budtender should be able to confidently describe a strain, its aroma, and effects.  As we explained in First Time Shopping at a Dispensary FAQ’s, you should be able to describe the desired effect you are looking to achieve, and your budtender should be able to point out the right products for you. If they look confused or give you vague answers feel free to ask for someone who can help you.

4. You Feel Confident at the End of Your Purchase

At the end of the purchase, you should always feel confident that your budtender recommended the right products. In addition, the budtender should have explained to you how to use them properly.  For example, as we mention in Five Things to Know Before Trying Edibles, your budtender should advise you to pair your edible with fatty food as well as how long the onset time will be before you experience the effects.  You should never leave feeling unsure of what you have purchased. 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 make you feel confident in what you have purchased.  If you leave feeling confident, acknowledged, and taken care of, continue to be a patron of that dispensary.  Building a relationship with the staff of your favorite dispensary will make each time you go there an even better experience.  Once the budtenders get to know you, they can confidently make product suggestions and get you into the right strains for your body chemistry. When going to the dispensary starts to feel like you’re going to visit some friends, you know you’ve built relationships with some great budtenders.

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 the budtender that is helping you doesn’t meet the standards we have laid out, feel free to take your business elsewhere.  On the other hand, if they do meet our standards, make sure to continue to support them.  We encourage you to support them through writing a review, on Google, Facebook or Yelp.  The acknowledgment of the dispensary and the budtender will help others know where to go to have a great dispensary experience.

Continue your education on how your cannabis use can change over time in our next blog, Changing Relationships with Cannabis

For a deeper dive into the cannabis plant, its various compounds and the industry that surrounds it, call and book your private educational experience with City Sessions today.  720-250-8828