When you are first getting started on your marijuana journey, medical or otherwise, you will need to rely on a budtender to help you make decisions about the pot you purchase. Seasoned smokers may not require as much help as newbies, but everyone should make an effort to find a tender who is ganja wise enough to offer the best advice about strains to try, the various products available and their effects. A good budtender should also be able to make recommendations based on what you want as far as both products and accessories go.
Knowledge of Product
The very minimum to expect from a budtender is general knowledge of his or her product. Any budtender worth his or her salt is going to be able to rattle off not only the types of bud they carry, but also what each bud is known for, its aroma and flavor profile and if it’s something that their customers are looking for. They need to know about other products in their shops, too, like edibles and concentrates.
He or she should know enough to answer most of your questions without too much strain, but also be able to know how to find the answers to your more difficult questions if they don’t know the answers already, whether it is directing you to a place where you can find the information you require or contacting the person with the answers you need themselves.
Knowledge of the Law
Any budtender you visit needs to be well versed in the law. If he or she does not ask for an ID when you enter the shop (if his or her staff has not already), you already know that something is off. If you try to purchase more pot than is legally acceptable, even if you think it’s a perk, if he or she allows it, you may want to search for your product elsewhere. You want a tender who will help you stay out of trouble by staying on the legal side of marijuana use. The last thing you need is a budtender who is going to land you in hot water.
A Good Listener
Like any good pharmacist, a budtender should be an excellent listener. You should be able to tell the person not only about the kind of medical symptoms you may have in order to locate the proper strain to fit your needs, but also the kind of high you are looking for in order to select the proper bud, tincture, beverage or other product. If you tell your budtender that you are brand new to the ganja train, he or she should not recommend a product to you that contains more than 10mg of THC. If he or she sends you straight to a strong strain without any thought, he or she may not be the best budtender for you.
Sarah Clements of Karmaceuticals in Denver, Colorado is a winner of the award for Best Budtender at the Cannabis Business Awards. She knows what you need to know in order to be the best at what she does, and her approach is based on a compassionate caregiver model. She says, “Number one, you have to remember that you are a caregiver. My job is to take care.” Not all budtenders take this approach, particularly since some states do allow recreational use of marijuana, but all should definitely care about their customers.
A tip from budtenders across the board is to never judge a tender by his or her cover. Don’t assume that a friendly, fresh face is the best budtender just because he or she makes you feel welcome. Do your homework before you settle with your permanent budtender.