When it comes to the marijuana industry, a lot of the tricks of the trade come with experience. However, there are some elements a new budtender getting their feet wet must know. No, you are not required to memorize every single detail about every single strain, but there are important factors a budtender must have knowledge in to make it in this type of industry. Apart from the general knowledge most budtenders share, below are 7 important things to consider when training your new employees to work at your dispensary.
1. Require strict compliance
This should go without saying since it can easily shut your entire dispensary business down. Every employee must follow the proper rules and procedures including reporting, labeling, and inventory. Strict regulations will vary based on the state you are in, so make sure your budtenders are fully trained and well-informed to follow the legal statutes regarding the marijuana business.
2. Always check for ID
In a tightly regulated industry such as this, a slight mistake may cost major consequences. Although customers are expected to present proper identification as soon as they enter the store, it is still common for underage buyers to slip past security. To catch any missed underage buyers, budtenders should be trained to check ID again before ringing up anyone to ensure the buyer is of legal age. In-store signage and ID scanners make great reminders for customers and employees to double-check for proper identification.
3. Prioritize customer service
With so many dispensary options sprouting everywhere, competition can be a little stiff to stand out from the others. Customers typically find a store they like and stick to it quickly. Most customers come in looking for a specific experience, but just your products. Making sure your dispensary employees provide the best customer service experience is crucial to getting clientele coming back, as well as referring their friends. Learning the nuances of different customer expectations is an art. Some customers like to be left alone to browse, while others are curious to learn more about specific or new products. With experience, your budtenders will be able to gauge what to do in different situations.
4. Knowledgeable on all products in the store
Working in a dispensary requires proper product knowledge to help sell customers on smoke products and accessories. Customers tend to feel more comfortable buying from dispensaries who are knowledgeable, showing confidence in their products and care for the weed industry - pretty much a dispensary they can trust. It is good to have knowledgeable employees to help answer questions about different types of strains, edibles, concentrates, and accessories that your dispensary carries to help inform and educate your potential clients. Not everyone entering your store has had experience with cannabis. In fact, many people exploring dispensaries are completely newbies to the industry or haven’t consumed in a long time. It is important for your budtenders to be able to cover the basics to navigate newbies through your store - explain the differences between indica and sativa, educating the benefits of CBD, and suggest products for first-timers.
5. Suggest proper products for customers with medical concerns
Being able to properly match products with customers with medical conditions is considered an expert-level budtender. It is important to note that your dispensary employees are not legally able to make recommendations. Being employed in a cannabis retail store will gain you a lot of knowledge and experience over time to suggest the right strains to health condition, but understanding it beforehand will be able to give you an advantage.
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If you want your dispensary business to thrive in this ever-growing industry, it is important for your budtenders to understand some crucial information. Although much of it is learned through experience and time in the industry, it is critical to cover the basics including the topics discussed above to start off with. However, if you do not hire serious employees in a strictly regulated industry such as this, you may increase the risk of some big consequences, including losing your business license. Thoroughly train your budtenders on the laws and regulations in your state, educate them on your products, stress the importance of excellent customer service, learn how to match medical conditions with proper strains as an added bonus, and you’re already off to a great start. Good luck, and happy smoking!