Local shops grow better budtenders

In a study published in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, researchers found many employees are recommending strains or products that exacerbate symptoms. There were 55 employees surveyed, only 30 received proper training.  

Employees were surveyed at dispensaries in Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine, according to Live Science. Some findings include employees recommending weed with high levels of THC  for people with anxiety issues, when high levels of THC can make anxiety worse.

Dispensary employees received customer service training 35 percent of the time, business training 26 percent of the time, medical training 20 percent and scientific training 13 percent of the time, according to the study.

The marijuana industry is still new, there is no standard for employee training. This leaves the dispensary owners responsible for educating new employees.

“Core brand values [are] going to determine whether bud tenders are educated or not,” said Joey Brabo, a Cannabis Liaison at Diego Pellicer in Seattle.

Brabo is a Cannabis Liaison at Diego Pellicer in Seattle, a well-reviewed cannabis retailer and said he received thorough training for his position.

“I feel our standard is quite higher,” Brabo said.

All Diego Pellicer employees are required to become a certified medical marijuana consultant. Certification requires that employees are trained in CPR and complete a 20-hour course through the Washington Department of Health. Being a medical marijuana consultant allows you to recommend products for medical and recreational users. Employees were also given training manuals to read through and had to complete homework to prove that knew how to read product labels correctly.

Another way Deigo Pellicer employees learned about products was through Vendor Days. Vendor Days are meet and greets where dispensary employees meet with producers and go over the details of their products. This is a great way to learn specific details that can be relayed to customers.

Brabo would like to see dispensary employees treated more like bartenders, meaning some level of certification is required to get a job as a budtender.