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Thoughts on Budtenders

Updated: May 30, 2023

Brought to you by the Higher Learning LV Cannabis for Anxiety seminar.

 

Thoughts on Budtenders

Welcome to our new Gooey Rabinski Series, where we showcase an ongoing collection of fresh articles from the veteran cannabis writer of the same name. For a rundown of what this is all about, see our article Higher Learning LV Launches Gooey Rabinski Series.

A budtender in Portland, Oregon uses wooden tongs to fish cannabis buds from a large clear glass jar.
How do budtenders help customers?

Thoughts on budtenders. I recently learned that about half, or 55 percent, of consumers at licensed legal marijuana dispensaries in Canada are influenced by budtender recommendations and advice. This was via one of my favorite Twitter accounts, Bethany Gomez from Brightfield Group, an exciting new cannabis-focused market data firm.


Budtender Sales Influence is Significant

According to this data, budtenders have a significant influence on the purchase decisions made by patients and lifestyle consumers in licensed dispensaries. By extension, this data emphasized the importance of budtender training.


Budtenders who lack training are less likely to provide customers with a satisfactory experience, plain and simple.

Budtenders who lack training are less likely to provide customers with a satisfactory experience, plain and simple. With such an important role in the overall sales revenue of any commercial dispensary, many of my colleagues comment on their surprise that cannabis companies do not investment more in dispensary technician training and education.


My theory is that most dispensary managers or their corporate bosses are merely unaware of the monumental return on investment associated with budtender training. Higher Learning LV recently published an article that revealed that a $240 investment in a course produces a whopping 1,200 percent increase in annual sales for every budtender trained!

A budtender hands a container of cannabis loose-leaf flowers to a customer across a glass counter
Budtender training influences sales revenues

$2,400 Investment Yields $300,000 ROI

Thus, a $2,400 investment in enrolling 10 budtenders in this course would produce a $300,000 increase in sales volume over a one-year period. And the great part; this increase doesn't go away after the first year (although budtender training is an ongoing project).


Recently, I witnessed an ugly comment on Twitter. I commented on a Bethany Gomez post about the influence of Canadian budtenders cited above, to which an account responded, "God help us if these cashiers are influencing anyone." This type of close-minded and overly stereotypical (not to mention negative) attitude is not uncommon among cannabis consumers and industry professionals regarding dispensary staff. Unfortunately, it is also flagrantly incorrect.


A $2,400 investment in enrolling 10 budtenders in this course would produce a $300,000 increase in sales volume over a one-year period.

After 20 years in the cannabis industry, I've teamed up with Higher Learning LV to help improve this situation. I'll be making regular contributions to the Cannabis Industry Issues series and the Gooey Rabinski Series about budtenders, the current retail landscape in legal cannabis, and how to improve the retail experience for all via the application of budtender training, education, and other resources.


Join me and Higher Learning LV as we fight the forces of ignorance and focus on the premium on-demand training of all industry professionals, including budtenders and other dispensary staff.


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