If you were to go into your local coffee shop, you’d be served by a barista. If you happened to stumble into your local bar, a bartender would be there to serve you. In the Cannabis Industry, when you walk up to the counter of a Dispensary a “budtender” is there to greet and assist you.
Budtending is one of the fastest growing jobs in the Cannabis Industry and those employed have the responsibility of greeting customers/patients and assisting them in figuring out the best strain or form of consumption for their symptoms/needs. This means that the Budtender must ask the appropriate questions to understand what they should be recommending for the client/patient:
Do they want to be active after smoking or snuggle up on their couch and watch a movie? Are they taking it to relieve any sort of symptom? How often does the individual consume Cannabis?
These are the sort of questions that Budtenders need to ask so that they’re able to recommend the correct form of Cannabis. So what would happen if they don’t do their due diligence?
Imagine if a patient came in and wanted help with relaxation as they suffer from anxiety, which affects over 40 million individuals in the United States according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). In this situation, an Indica strain could help alleviate this stress but the budtender accidentally provides them with a Sativa strain. Because of this, the patient ended up having severe anxiety to the point where they needed to go to the hospital. That patient has the right to come back to that Dispensary and sue them because of the Budtender’s mistake, which ended up causing the patient to have unwanted side effects.
Or imagine a diabetic walked into a recreational store and asked the budtender for sugar-free edibles. However, the budtender doesn’t realize the difference in the edible packaging and gives the diabetic customer the wrong edibles, which ends up spiking their blood pressure and giving them unwanted health effects. Again, this customer has the right to come back to this Dispensary to sue them for their budtender providing the wrong product, which caused adverse effects of what they wanted.
With this Industry being so new, it is only a matter of time until lawsuits from patients and customers begin coming out against Dispensaries due to their Budtenders being untrained and not providing the appropriate medicine/products. You are already starting to see the inexperience of Budtenders becoming an issue.
Leafly, who is the world’s largest cannabis information resource (according to their website), took a poll of their audience to find out what people liked the least about Budtenders. The biggest complaint about Budtenders was “They lack knowledge about the Products they carry (or they simply don’t care)” and a review that they pulled said “mainly the lack of knowledge. When you ask if they have 710 specials, and none of them even knew what 710 was. Ask about sugar-free edibles, and some budtenders give you the dumbest look.” This only reinforces the need to make sure that those employees who have the responsibility as a Budtender are educated and understand the product’s that they are recommending inside and out.
Because of this, Dispensary’s need to be cautious of who they assign as Budtenders and ensure that they know their products and the questions that need to be asked to their customers to ensure that they are providing the highest quality service to meet the needs of their clients/patients. This could mean only allowing employees who get a Budtending Certification to be budtenders or making them pass their own type of test but Dispensaries need to be aware that what their Budtenders recommend could end in a lawsuit if they aren’t careful.
Reach out today, and we can make sure that if this happens to you that you have the correct coverage in place to protect your business. Don’t let one wrong recommendation end up in court!
Want to read Max Meade’s previous article? Click here.