4 min read

5 Changes Budtenders Can Expect from Recreational Marijuana

December 27, 2017

Cannabis retailers are bound to feel some growing pains as recreational marijuana takes effect. The key to mitigating these challenges is preparing dispensary budtenders and staff for what to expect in the days to come. One thing is certain, there will be a lot of questions and even more customers.

To alleviate the stress of the impending green rush, we’ve compiled a list of changes dispensary budtenders will be dealing with on a daily basis.

Long Lines

Yes, the increase in traffic will definitely create long lines, especially if your cannabis retailer is well established within the community. How staff chooses to deal with the increase in traffic will determine the level of customer satisfaction. Dispensary budtenders will need to stay poised and patient to keep customers happy while serving them efficiently.

Some marijuana retailers have chosen to use a digital customer queue that allows clientele to sign-in and monitor when they will be served on a digital display. This method gives customers the option of relaxing or browsing while they wait but may be more effective once traffic normalizes.

Hiring additional budtenders will be critical in the first few weeks of adult-use cannabis legalization. Of course more dispensary budtenders will also mean investing in more marijuana POS registers. Using a reliable POS software that can streamline operations will be a godsend at the onset. Budtenders will appreciate a POS interface that is easy to use and capable of handling a spike in sales.

Customer Classifications

Many large cannabis retailers will be serving both medical and recreational customers. Dispensary budtenders will need to know and understand the different classifications of customers. There are three basic groups: 18+ with medical marijuana ID, 18+ with physician recommendation, and 21+ with state issued ID.

Each of the categories will have fluctuating sales limits and tax rates so having an easy way to identify which category a customer belongs to is necessary. A smart dispensary POS system will keep each customers classification on file and apply the correct tax percentages or sales limits at checkout. This automation will allow budtenders to service every customer without delays or untimely calculations.

Prepackaged Flower

One change that dispensary budtenders will enjoy is prepackaged flower. According to the new cannabis regulations, all marijuana must be packaged and labelled by the distributor. Cannabis retailers are not allowed to change the packaging or print their own labels. This will eliminate the costs associated with packaging and labelling and allow budtenders to quickly serve customers.

Checkout will be a breeze as budtenders will simply grab the prepackaged flower and ring it up using the barcode scanner. Weighing the flower has always been a time consuming process but under the new regulations this won’t be necessary. Hopefully eliminating this step at checkout will help expedite the increased number of customers.

Customer Purchase Limits

As mentioned above, there are different subsections of cannabis customers and each of these will have different purchase limits. The new cannabis regulations stipulate that adult-use customers will only be allowed to purchase 28.5 grams of non-concentrated marijuana, 8 grams of concentrate, and 6 immature plants in one day.

Medical marijuana patients are allowed to purchase 8 ounces of marijuana unless a qualified physician recommends a different amount. Fortunately, budtenders using an industry specific POS software will receive alerts when a customer reaches or exceeds the daily purchase limits. This will prevent any compliance violations and help budtenders service customers.

No Recreational Freebies

The long standing tradition of providing cannabis freebies to new customers will be coming to an end. Recreational cannabis retailers will not be allowed to give away free marijuana products to adult-use customers. The good news is this only applies to recreational clientele. Medical patients can be given free marijuana provided that they have a valid medical card, the cannabis is lab tested and traced, and is applied toward the daily limit.

Although the majority of medical marijuana dispensaries have provided opaque exit packaging in the past, new regulations mandate this as part of compliance. Making this procedure a standard practice for budtenders will ensure you business avoids costly fines.

While it may be easy to estimate the effects recreational marijuana will have on cannabis retailers, the reality could bring unforeseen challenges. Installing a dispensary POS software that can manage all facets of your commercial cannabis business will give you the tools you need to overcome any obstacle.