Being a successful budtender doesn’t come easy. Yes, there are some bad or  mediocre budtenders working at cannabis dispensaries and adult-use stores, but there are also many budtenders who are helpful, compassionate, and make the process of legally procuring cannabis products a comfortable and positive experience.

We asked Leafly followers to weigh in on the good budtender behaviors that they really appreciate:

Habits of a good budtender via Leafly Twitter

The feedback we collected takes a closer look at the traits of a good budtender as identified by cannabis consumers who have regularly visited dispensaries. Some of these habits are clear and simple notions of effective customer service, but they make a world of difference when it comes to the overall customer or patient experience.

Below are four traits successful budtenders embody.

1. They Know the Product Well and Handle it Respectfully

Handles and knows product well

People like @hydef appreciate it when budtenders know what they’re talking about:

“[I like it when] the budtenders are friendly, knowledgeable, and don’t rush you.”

Successful budtenders know the store’s inventory and can speak to the different nuances within each product and strain. When showing the bud or product to customers, budtenders are clean and avoid touching product with bare hands. The combination of product knowledge and proper handling delivers an interactive customer experience without distraction.

2. They Create Relationships with Their Customers and Patients

Creates relationships with customers

Despite the constant influx of patients and customers throughout the day, good budtenders remember their regulars and are able to suggest new products based on their previous purchases. Twitter user @bumblebeenie agrees, saying:

“[It’s great when] they remember you & try to get to know you well enough to recommend thins they think you’d like.”

Everyone likes to feel special once in a while, especially at their local establishment (think of all the times the bartenders from Cheers exclaimed “Norm!” whenever the character entered the bar). That said, it’s okay if you can’t remember everyone who visits your location. Just go out of your way to have a positive interaction with your visitors and work to understand why they walked through the door so you can make recommendations based on their needs.

Remember, relationship building is the first step to cultivating a memorable experience for your customers that leaves them coming back for more and recommending your store to their friends.

3. They’re Passionate About Cannabis and its Surrounding Culture

Passionate about cannabis and its culture

Not every customer or patient bleeds green, but many do seek a sense of culture and passion in the stores or dispensaries they frequent. Budtenders have the ability to deliver this element of culture and passion, making a customer’s purchase more of an experience than an exchange.

Leafly fan @Nuggjarz has been impressed with a dispensary for staffing helpful, passionate budtenders:

“Each time I visit I’m impressed by the service and knowledge of the budtenders. The range of people working is nice because each tender has a different source of knowledge to draw from. I like to ask questions and these folks know what they’re talking about!”

Good budtenders know industry influencers, important cannabis holidays and events, and a solid amount of background information about cannabis to create that positive interaction with their patrons. Their passion and industry savviness helps position them as a credible resource for cannabis information.

4. They Tailor Their Service to All Levels of Experience

Tailors service to all levels of experience

Each customer has a unique relationship and experience with cannabis. Tailoring explanations to an individual’s level of familiarity with cannabis sets the great budtenders apart from the rest of the crew.

CosiestAmoeba noticed when a budtender went above and beyond to help the visitor feel comfortable during his/her first visit:

“First time in today. My budtender was super awesome and friendly. She helped me find just the flower I needed at my price point. The shop has a great vibe to it. I’ll definitely be back!”

Some stores and dispensaries default to basic explanations that work for some customers but leave others seeking more information. Don’t treat all your visitors the same because they’re not. Some may just want “any indica available” while others may expect a product that can deliver specific effects or flavors. The best budtenders leave first-time consumers and veterans feeling the same way: happy, heard, and taken care of.


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