Ten things you should never say to a Budtender

Published Mar 12, 2019 11:40 a.m. ET

The marijuana scene is relatively new and fresh since we are still within the earliest days of legalization. With so many Canadians not having access to legal cannabis dispensaries and only able to purchase through approved websites like OCS, the majority of people are going to have no idea what to do or say when the time comes and they are walking through the doors and meeting their very first budtender while making an in person purchase. So far, we have covered some of the questions that you should ask your budtender, but we truly feel that it is just as important to know what not to say or do during this type of interaction. Respecting those who fill these cannabis jobs is essential to receiving good quality service and advice. Welcome to the top ten things that you should never say to your budtender including why they are a faux pas in the industry.

1. No bartering

The number one rule when you walk into a dispensary is to treat it just as you would with any other kind of business. You wouldn’t visit your local Walmart and expect to negotiate their grocery prices, and dispensaries are precisely the same. On a very rare occasion you may be lucky and get in touch with an owner or boss that offers you deals, but you should never expect a budtender to put his or her job on the line to save you some money. Expect to pay the prices that are listed that way any offers of discounts are a happy surprise.

2. Illegal recommendations

Those filling current cannabis jobs have a frequent complaint that is mainly related to marijuana tourism. If you are coming from another region that doesn’t allow legal marijuana use or possession than don’t ask for recommendations on how to make it across the border or hide your stash from the local authorities. Budtenders will only ever recommend safe and legal methods of travel and may even report you for implying such things to them. If you are set on going places that you shouldn’t with your bud, then that’s on you.

3. Personal purchases only

A lot of people don’t realize that there are strict regulations that may interfere with you making a marijuana purchase if it isn’t for yourself. Alcohol is also granted this sort of protection if the vendor believes that the product may be for someone who is underage. If you are picking up some marijuana for a friend, it’s best not to let the budtender know as they may feel like they must deny you a sale because of it and no one wants that.

4. Do not ask to be served faster

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be sitting around waiting for hours or that if you walk into a seemingly unattended establishment that you shouldn’t go looking for someone. What it does mean is that you should display the same patient demeanor that you would in any other store setting. Most dispensaries work on a first come first served basis, so if someone else is taking a little while to decide on what they want you may have to wait. Please be respectful of the budtenders workplace process and remain patient in the queue as you would in any other store.

5. No pick-up lines

Heading to your local dispensary can be an excellent way to run into and meet others with similar interests. However, you should never ask for personal or private information from your budtender. According to those working in current legal dispensaries in California, one of the most significant complaints is customers being a little too friendly making them feel uncomfortable and pressured. Most people don’t want to be asked out at work by a stranger, so it’s best to keep the conversation polite, cordial, and business focused.

6. Don’t ever shop without ID

All controlled substance purchases require some form of proof of identification if you look under a certain age. It’s nothing personal, and not everyone is great at guessing random individuals ages in an instant. If you get to the point of making a purchase and are asked to show your identification than do so with a smile. If you don’t have ID on you than go get it. You should never try to pressure a budtender into selling you marijuana without it as it is their job that is put at risk and your responsibility to provide it.

7. Do not ask if you can consume cannabis products on business property

Most areas have different rules and regulations surrounding the consumption of cannabis and or smoking in public and on private property. So far there are no legal indoor smoking venues in Canada, and most public spaces require a certain distance of meters from any doors. Don’t ask to try out something inside of a store, and unless you find yourself in an establishment that offers consumption on some level, it is always safest to wait until you get home to enjoy your purchase. Budtenders will rarely have any kind of permission to allow the use of sold products anywhere on or near the property.

8. Insulting products

Every dispensary is going to carry different kinds of cannabis products which will vary significantly from one to the next. Trying to degrade the budtender by insulting the products verbally is just plain rude. They merely work there and likely have nothing to do with choosing which products or weed strains are carried. If you have real concerns than consider bringing them to the manager, but if you aren’t happy with what you see to choose from than simply not making any purchase is the mature thing to do.

9. No splitting up product

Most dispensaries are going to want you to buy as many different products as possible, but when it comes to weed a lot of people assume that mixing and matching should be an option. Most budtenders are instructed to follow a strict fee list which is broken down by individual weed strains. If you see that there is a deal on let say, an ounce of Lemon Haze but you would also like to try a couple of quarters of Romulan do not ask if you can combine the two. Even if the bulk price is the same, most dispensaries will not allow this option so don’t expect it. Much like different brands of cigarettes, each product is sold separately.

10. Other dispensary recommendations

Another common mistake that new dispensary visitors often make is asking a budtender for recommendations that go outside of the establishment they work in. If you become friends with one, then they may choose to share that kind of knowledge with you, but budtenders generally shun this practice and will sometimes even face repercussions for sending a potential customer elsewhere. Be sure to keep any questions you may have specific to the location that you are visiting instead.

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