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Tips for training budtenders

published on April 24, 2021
by James Hammer

The cannabis industry is growing swiftly, and consumers are not the only ones with the opportunity to benefit from the cannabis sector. The ongoing legalization of cannabis in various states is opening the door for those wanting to get involved in the booming economy of the cannabis industry. On the retail side of things, budtending has led to a lot of new job opportunities in the industry.

As a dispensary owner, hiring new employees for your store is a process that a lot of people have issues with, and in this industry, where the budtender becomes the front face of a dispensary, finding the best people to join your dispensary is critical.

Budtenders hold a significant role in the dispensary business. That should be obvious since they are the ones doing the selling and communicating with the customers directly constantly. From the new beginners to the highly experienced cannabis enjoyer, your bartenders are the ones who need to attend to every person that walks into your dispensary.

To ensure that your existing budtenders and new employees are capable of dealing with customers and work as a perfect team, you need to ensure you are making training a top priority in your dispensary. Well-trained budtenders not only sell more products, but they guarantee the customers leave happy and satisfied with their purchase. That ensures that the customers continue to come back to purchase more goods from your dispensary and meet up with their new favorite budtenders.

To ensure your budtending staff offers some of the best services around, you are going to need to set up some proper training strategies. For this post, we are going to offer you some tips to improve your budtending training.


Ask questions and remain attentive

As a dispensary owner, you should already be aware that your business is always going to have varying customers walking into your store searching for different items. Some of them might be new and inexperienced with handling cannabis, while others could be some of the most experienced connoisseurs to grace your store. Your bartenders need to become aware of who the customers are and ask them questions so they can assist them with what they are searching for in your store.

.Your bartenders must ask the right questions. Doing so will allow them to get the ball rolling with new patients and consumers. However, it is also crucial that they tactfully ask these questions and remain sensitive to customer privacy.

Something simple as “is it for medicinal use or recreational use?”. There is a good chance the person may not know what they are looking for, so be prepared for those scenarios as well. If that does happen, you can lightly probe deeper with a question like, “ What types of symptoms are you looking to relieve?” or, “What kind of experience are you trying to achieve?”

On the medical side of things, you need to remember that your budtenders are not trying to diagnose, they are looking to recommend the best solution for the person’s symptoms. The idea here is to figure out what to guests to the consumer depending on their wants and needs. So you need to make sure your bartenders are attentive to the customer’s needs and ask the right question to figure out what they are searching for.

Although you need to train them to understand the customers with only a couple of questions, asking too many questions can make them feel overwhelmed.


Compassion is essential

The first thing you need to have your budtenders do is exercise compassion, especially when it comes to marijuana newcomers. Plenty of first time have never handled cannabis or even entered a dispensary before, so when they enter your store, the budtender needs to be patient with them and make them become at ease.

First-timers will be overwhelmed by the number of products they see on the menu and shelves in most cases and won’t have much of a clue where to start their journey into cannabis. That is when the customer service aspect comes into play. The customer should never feel as if they are being talked down by the budtender. So you need to make sure your budtenders understand how to make the customer feel comfortable, at ease and take them through the dispensary experience smoothly.


Instruct them on the importance of dosing

Proper dosing when it comes to one of your cannabis products cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to products like edibles. When a budtender sees someone trying out a new concentrate or edible product, they need to start a conversation about dosing. They need to help them read through the labels and show them exactly what they are ingesting, along with emphasizing the need to wait for the appropriate amount of time before consuming more of an edible product.


Knowledge over products

To best serve your customers and patients, it is critical that you trainer your budtenders to have a base knowledge of the products you have in stock and what they do. The budtender should be aware of the effects of the different products, what they do, and the appropriate dosage. This is especially important when it comes to dealing with first-timers. Your dispensary’s budtenders need to be able to help the customer out with what they are searching for depending on what they are consuming the product and how much they need to take.

The customers that walk in will usually have questions regarding various products at your dispensary, so you need to make sure your budtenders can answer every one of their questions. Even with the cannabis industry still growing and acceptable, not everyone is going to have the complete trust of the industry. But if your budtenders show that they know what they are doing and are knowledgeable about the product, the customer will develop trust with your dispensary and budtender. That will eventually lead to them developing loyalty for your dispensary and make them a repeating customer.

Edibles are an excellent example of this scenario. The growing interest in cannabis edibles has played a significant role in helping the cannabis industry grow, and if your dispensary offers an assortment of edibles, then people are going to ask questions about them. These are the types of questions bartenders need to be prepared to answer.


Thoughtfully selling products

Teach your budtenders not to aggressively sell your products. While your dispensary will involve upselling, and it is a crucial part of your dispensary, yet getting into the habit of selling people things they won’t use can hurt businesses in the long run. The budtenders should instead offer a wide assortment of suggestions depending on what the customer is searching for.

Once the customer is aware of what they are looking for, the bartender should then tell them about the advantages and effectiveness of the product. Customers will usually want someone to help them through with cannabis products and not just sell them to them, so keep that in mind when training your budtender. They need to become a helper since the final decision is ultimately up to the customer.


Avoid false information

Budtenders need to be trained on being critical with information surrounding cannabis since the language they use can be taken the wrong way. Budtenders should not be making claims about a product they cannot substantiate with evidence or research when working with medical patients.

For example, if they claim that one of the products can cure cancers, they are placing that customer and your dispensary at risk. You want to avoid this from happening. So you don’t get slapped with FDA or any other regulatory claim. Spreading false information will not only damage your dispensary reputation but also lead to it being closed down in the long run.


Identify your budtender’s weaknesses.

What areas do your budtenders excel best? What skills and knowledge do they already have at their disposal?

There is a good chance that your budtenders have a variety of experience, skills, and knowledge. Keep in mind that budtender training is not a one-size-fits-all. If you have not set up a formal training process that all of your budtenders need to go through, then everyone on your team will have different strengths and weaknesses that you need to take into consideration.

For instance, one of your bartenders could have a deep understanding of cannabis strains and genetics, while another is skilled at asking patients for questions to determine which products shall benefit them the most. However, there is a chance that both of these budtenders may not know how to properly close a sale and successfully suggest additional items that a customer could add to their sales. If they are incapable of doing so, then your dispensary could lose out on profit.

If something like this is the case, you have two budtenders that need to be trained in sales, with one of them needing help with people skills, while the other needs basic cannabis training.



Budtenders are the ones you rely on when it comes to ensuring your dispensary makes the sales it needs to remain in operation. Dispensary owners need to make sure their budtenders receive the training they need to meet the customer’s needs. Doing so will ensure your business runs smoothly and makes a healthy profit.