Why Budtender Training will be Crucial for Dispensaries in 2018
In 2017, legal cannabis sales are anticipated to reach $9.7 billion by the end of the year. 2018 predictions promise to be even higher. The industry is growing fast. But regardless of where your marijuana dispensary is located, you need to be prepared for the changes up ahead. The cannabis industry is rapidly evolving and it’s as turbulent as ever. Mitigating risk is vital to your dispensary’s longevity. Despite a growing trend towards legalization, cannabis still remains a schedule I substance on a federal level. Therefore, it’s crucial you and your team stay in compliance. Here’s why budtender training will be vital in 2018 and beyond.
Do Budtenders Really Need Training?
As cannabis training professionals, this is one of our most frequently asked questions – do dispensary workers need training? The short answer to that question is 100% YES. The long answer is multi-faceted. Budtenders, or medical marijuana dispensary agents, are not solely “salespeople”; they’re also assisting people who are battling very serious medical conditions. On top of this, budtenders are dealing with a federally prohibited substance that is highly susceptible to theft. Did we mention they’re also the frontline of a business? Needless to say, budtenders are vital to the success of any operation – dispensaries being no exception. Proper training is therefore crucial. A budtender’s position is too important to be left to chance.
As the Industry Grows, so Does the Competition
The rapid growth of the cannabis industry is exciting. There are marijuana jobs here for the taking! However, it’s also important to understand that with massive growth of these cannabis companies comes increased competition. Which brands will survive in the long haul? It’s anyone’s best guess at this point. But dispensaries that operate in compliance, stay flexible, and hire the right people will be at a big advantage. Budtenders are the first, and sometimes the only person; someone may interact with at a dispensary. The quality of that interaction is invaluable. One of the defining factors for dispensaries in the future will be their level of customer/patient service. Dispensaries who have friendly, professional, and knowledgeable employees will be a step above the rest.
Excellent Patient Care is Critical for Dispensaries
People from all walks of life visit dispensaries; budtenders must be prepared to assist them equally. This requires more than a passion for cannabis. While dispensaryemployees are certainly not expected to have the knowledge of a medical professional, they need to be able to assist patients. For example, a budtender should be able to:
- Explain what the endocannabinoid system is and how cannabis interacts with it
- Local, state, and federal cannabis regulations
- The difference between the different cannabinoids and terpenes that are on the labeled products
- The entourage effect
- Where a product was grown and/or processed
- How to use inventory and a state POS system
- Types of cannabis products (tinctures, edibles, concentrates, flower, topicals) and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- How dosing works for each of these products
- And much more!
In fact, this is just a fraction of what a dispensary agent needs to know. This is a lot of information to cover. Training ensures that employees are prepared to meet patient needs and fulfill all expected job roles.
Employees Should Be an Asset, Not a Liability
Are you confident your budtenders can make sure your dispensary stays compliant? Failure to adhere to regulations can have massive implications, including jail time if an infraction is severe enough, as recently seen in Colorado. Obviously, you want to avoid this. One of the most important steps you can take towards mitigating your risk is making sure your employees receive proper training. Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse. Investing in quality employee training is one of the wisest things any dispensary could be doing. It is not worth putting your entire operation at risk for an employee who is a liability more than an asset. Be proactive and make training a requirement at your cannabis business.
Stay Ahead of Industry Trends
Where will the cannabis industry be five years from now? Truthfully, no one knows for sure. However, we do know there is a growing movement towards professionalism and universal industry standards – training being one of them. While employee training is not currently a requirement for most state dispensaries, this isn’t likely to be the case in the future. Dispensaries that prioritize training today will be one step ahead of the game. At the very least, why wait until regulations force you to train your employees? The benefits far outweigh the risks.
Are you interested in professional medical marijuana job training? HempStaff is an industry leader in cannabis recruiting and dispensary training. Our team of specialists has trained over 3,600 dispensary agents nationwide in 18 states. All of our classes are offered in-person customized for that state, to optimize student benefit.