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Guides | 02.09.2023

5 Common Mistakes Every Budtender Should Avoid

These common mistakes happen at every dispensary. Here's what budtenders should avoid.

Budtending has its perks. For one thing, the discounts can be pretty generous. It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about cannabis than ever before. 

After all, you’re the middleman between the consumer and the product. This job requires extensive knowledge of your store’s product selection and which goods are ideal for a consumer’s specific situation. Although budtending sounds like a dream job, it’s no walk in the park. 

Like any other retail position, budtenders have to deal with short-tempered customers who need their weed stat. They must know their product selection like the back of their hand, which takes some time. And finally, they must provide accurate recommendations for customers, which also takes knowledge and time. 

We’ve covered tips on how to become the best budtender and tools every budtender should use. Today, we’re discussing the top five major mistakes that every budtender should avoid. Whether you’re new on the job or have become a familiar face to your dispensary’s customers, do yourself (and consumers) a favor by avoiding these common mistakes. 

Giving Brief Explanations

Cannabis users are curious. Our community was once curious enough to try weed to begin with, and we’re continuously on the hunt for products that promote our desired experiences. As a budtender, it’s your job to know which products promote certain effects. 

A prime example of what not to do comes from Reddit user Jac1nto, who wrote that his worst budtender experience was his first budtender experience. “When I asked her the difference between two strains, she just said, ‘they’re different.'” 

You don’t need to go on a long-winded explanation of why one product is different from another, but something a little better than “they’re different” is a great start.

Talking Too Much Or Providing False Information

That brings us to our next point. Budtenders shouldn’t give two-word answers, nor should they go into a nonsensical, anecdotal, long-winded story about how this particular pre-roll got them wildly baked.

Ideally, you want to find a happy medium. Still provide the details they need about a product without shoving tons of information down their throat, making them feel uneducated or even stupid for asking their question. We elaborate on that in our next mistake budtenders often make.

The most vital thing a budtender can do is provide accurate, truthful information about a product, even its downsides (if any). The last thing you want is for a customer to return in a fit because their experience was drastically different from what you explained. Research and experience go a long way.

Believing Everyone Knows What You Know

The legal industry blossomed right before our eyes, and new products, accessories, and ways to consume cannabis came with it.

Not everyone knows what full-spectrum means, and some of your customers will be beginners who don’t know the difference between THC and CBD or Indica and Sativa. They don’t know what you know, and it’s your job to answer any and all questions they have, no matter how straightforward they seem to you.

It’s also not your place to tell a customer what products they will like if you haven’t asked them how they want to feel, if they use cannabis medically or recreationally, and which consumption methods they’re most comfortable with. Know your customer first, then make recommendations based on their preferences and desired outcome.

Being Noticeably High On The Job

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Photo by Terrance Barksdale

It doesn’t do you or your dispensary any good when you’re high on the job. Unless you’re a daily user and people can’t tell the difference whether you’re stoned or sober, being high on the job isn’t ideal.

Budtenders need to be in the zone, ready to answer questions, and quick on their feet to grab a product from the back and run it to the floor. A staff that appears eager and ready to help a customer is far better than employees chatting in the back, leaning on the shelves, and waiting for a customer to approach them instead of making the first move.

Let’s be real. There’s also a sense of unprofessionalism that comes with being noticeably high on the job. At the end of the day, you’re not just representing the dispensary you work for and the industry but yourself too.

Not Knowing Your Customers

We’ve touched on the importance of knowing your customers, but this is way too often overlooked. We understand that you enjoy weed. After all, you’re working with it.

However, it’s essential to represent yourself professionally since you’re doing a job, the people require a service, and you’re there to fulfill it. Not everyone coming to your dispensary will be a stoner in their 20s looking for the most potent pre-roll you have.

A senior citizen with chronic pain doesn’t want to interact with a stoned budtender who often makes unreliable recommendations for their particular situation. Cannabis has a long list of reasons to use it, so being educated on these reasons is vital for a positive budtender experience.

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