What New Budtenders Should Know: Advice from a Longtime Colorado Stoner | Westword

Any Advice for a New Budtender?

Be ready for a lot of indica and sativa talk.
Cartoon stoner smokes a joint
Share this:
Dear Stoner: I just got hired at a dispensary! Any tips, suggestions or things to look out for? I'm pretty knowledgeable about cannabis, but I've never had to give advice before.
Thirsty Traveler

Dear Thirsty Traveler: Congratulations! Always be careful about the amount of advice you give to cannabis users, because the reasons people walk into a dispensary vary widely. Most of us are in there to get high, sure, but a large portion of cannabis shoppers are attempting forms of self-medication, too, especially as more medical dispensaries close. Given pot's legal status, it's best to never fully dive in on health recommendations, and arm any anecdotal guidance with disclaimers. Be patient and take your time with curious customers, too, but also cognizant of whether a line starts forming.
We've also heard of undercover shoppers from the Marijuana Enforcement Division and Denver Health attempting underage purchases and asking questions for dispensary audits, so don't let someone push you into dumb choices or tough questions about topics like cannabis use during pregnancy. It's okay to tell someone "no" or "I don't know," and stick to the product details.

As far as your daily interactions go, be ready for a lot of indica and sativa talk, annoying questions about potency and bargain hunters, as well as plenty of snooty connoisseurs if carry quality brands. There are several helpful resources online that can provide specific experiences and stories, such as the Colorado Badged Network, a Facebook group for registered Colorado cannabis workers, as well as r/COents, a popular Reddit group for Colorado cannabis enthusiasts and industry workers. Those types of groups and social networks are full of savvy customers and seasoned dispensary employees who have seen just about everything cannabis shoppers will throw at you. At the very least, it's nice to have peers to relate with as you deal with the highs and lows of commercial cannabis.

Send questions to [email protected].
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.