One of the most coveted positions for marijuana industry newcomers is that of the budtender. There are several different sectors of the medical marijuana industry that are growing at an exponential rate. Now that cannabis is legal for recreational use in some states, many job opportunites will arise from this so call 'green rush.'
While many people think being a budtender is a dream job with obvious perks, this position is not as easy as it sounds. In this article, we'll discuss a few qualities budtenders must possess to be successful when working at a busy dispensary.
Customer service is the most important quality to have as budtender. While some customers may know exactly what they want, many will have just a general idea. A budtender should create a safe space for the customer to explore their options. They are willing and ready to make recommendations based on the patient's preferences. Nothing alienates a customer faster than a budtender who is smug or impatient.
Budtenders should be able to provide a brief uncomplicated explaination of the products and their effects. Many patients might be trying medical marijuana for the first time so simple descriptions of cannabis strains are extremely helpful. A budtender with a friendly demeanor who is an effective communicator is an asset to any dispensary.
Knowledge on the wide range of cannabis products is definitely a must have for any budtender. Niceties without knowledge will only slow down sales at a busy dispensary. Most budtenders are hired based on their knowledge of flower, concentrates, edibles, etc. It is crucial to at least understand the basics before becoming a budtender.
Knowing the difference between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid flower is only the beginning. Learning the POS system, weight increments, labeling, and intake can be overwhelming to a newcomer. However, there are training services that can teach potential budtenders about various products and dispensary operation. After all, customers expect the budtenders to be educated on every product for sale not just flower.
Another quality that is highly desirable in a good budtender it the ability to multi-task. During the course of a business day you might have potential vendors visiting in addition to a throng of patients. Knowing how to delegate staff is a learned quality that is imperative to smooth operation. Quickly directing vendors to the buyer while serving patients will be mutually beneficial.
You certainly don't want to try to serve too many customers at one time. However, being able to serve a patient eager to make a quick purchase while giving another time to consider options is a good idea. Multi-tasking requires a delicate balance of priorities, but a budtender who can master this skill is worth their weight in 'green.'
Dependable budtenders can be difficult to find. Unfortunately, the nature of the business doesn't necessarily lend itself to promptness. A dispensary that is left short-handed by a late or no-show budtender, can easily be bombarded my customers. This makes for a frustrating and time consuming customer experience but will also fluster your co-workers.
This is why being on-time and present is so important for budtenders. A budtender who can resist the temptation to try a new sample until after the shift is over is best. Great budtenders understand that being attentive also means more sales and tips.
Budtender etiquette not only refers to the handling of marijuana but how budtenders manage their sales room. Rarely will you see an experience budtender reach into a jar of Indica or Sativa with their bare hand. Often times budtenders use tongs or chopstick to handle flower, because they don't want to contaminate the batch.They understand flower is very delicate and want to maintain the integrity of plant. A seasoned budtender will also take the time to explain how to use product and the best way to medicate for first-time users.
Unfortunately, not every patient will know or respect the rules inside of a dispensary. It's important to know how to deal with these situations with assertiveness and diplomacy.
If a patient lights up inside the shop, asking them politely to stop will suffice. If they refuse involving security maybe the best option. Budtenders should always attempt to avoid confrontation and let security handle unruly patients.
Becoming a budtender requires passion, knowledge, and a service oriented attitude. Those who unerestimate the responsibility involved with this role will likely not succeed. However, if you can embody the skills listed above, you'll likely have a promising career in the marijuana industry.