Human capital is vital for the success of a cannabis dispensary. Those employees who work at the forefront of the operation need to create a positive narrative for the store. Frontline staff at a dispensary play an essential role in the way consumers will rate the organization.
To that end, the dispensary needs to hire competent budtenders who will make the customer’s shopping experience a positive one. A lot of consumers are more affected by service than they are by price. That means they’re willing to pay a little bit more for better treatment from staff.
With that in mind, dispensary owners and managers must be very selective about the staff they hire to work as budtenders. There are several qualities they should look for in the candidates they interview.
Keeping these qualities in mind will help them make the right hiring decisions.
Here are some of the qualities experienced dispensary owners and managers believe are essential for a good budtender:
1. An desire to be part of the industry
The cannabis industry is complex. There are many products and just as many regulations. These can be learned through training and development. What cannot be determined, however, is a desire to work in the industry.
A good budtender must want to work in a dispensary. He/she needs to believe in the work they’re doing.
This kind of passion inspires a budtender to make a customer’s shopping experience a good one. A budtender who is committed to his/her job and servicing customers’ needs within the industry is what a dispensary needs.
A good budtender cannot be ambivalent about the industry and be there for the sole purpose of a paycheck.
2. An understanding of the legal issues surrounding the cannabis industry
A budtender should have some understanding of the legal framework around the use of cannabis before being hired. Through research or by being a user, there must be evidence they know the basics. It shows an interest in the job and demonstrates a desire to learn more.
Such people are lifelong learners. They are always open to new knowledge and new skills. These are easy to train as they are receptive.
Once hired, budtenders need intensive training regarding the rules, regulations, and laws that govern the sale of cannabis in a dispensary. Training on the different products and their use is essential.
It allows the budtender to enter an educational conversation with the user. He/she is expected to give customers sound advice. It’s these qualities that bring customers back. Building a base of loyal customers is essential for the success of any dispensary.
3. Candidates should be a fit with the existing team
There’s nothing worse than tension in any retail setting. Customers pick it up as soon as they walk into the establishment. It makes for an unpleasant shopping experience. A dispensary owner or manager doesn’t have a crystal ball, so they can’t see into the future.
As far as possible, though, they should estimate the personality of the candidate to see if they’ll complement the team. This is no easy task since the interview setting doesn’t necessarily show an accurate reflection of someone’s personality.
People with plenty of hiring experience can generally read a person with ease. It’s vital that hiring is done with a panel of interviewers if the dispensary owner or manager is inexperienced.
A group of interviewers may gain different perspectives and perceptions during an interview. They can discuss the potential for the candidate to fit into the team.
4. A candidate needs to demonstrate honesty and integrity
Any retail employee needs to be trustworthy. In a cannabis dispensary, this is even more important. It’s a cash business which opens up the possibility of theft.
Cannabis sales are also regulated. There are specific conditions under which cannabis may be sold. A budtender who deliberately ignores these regulations can subject the dispensary to fines or even closure.
Where possible, a reference letter speaking about the integrity of an employee is an advantage. Regardless of this fact, all new budtenders need to be monitored closely when they start. Most dispensaries have systems in place to avoid theft and illegal sales.
Budtenders who prove they can adhere to the requirements of a dispensary owner and manager show that they are worthy of trust.
5. A good budtender must have people skills
A budtender can be passionate about the industry, a good fit for the team, knowledgeable about cannabis, and trustworthy. If he/she lacks people skills, the qualities mentioned above won’t help. A budtender must be the type of person who interacts easily with people.
Like any store, the people who shop at a dispensary are very different. A budtender with people skills can read the person who enters the store. This helps them adapt their approach to best suit the customer.
In doing so, they guarantee an excellent shopping experience and a sale. An employer can hone people skills. However, they are hard to teach from scratch. A person with few people skills may be a fantastic administrator. They won’t succeed in a frontline job like being a budtender.
6. Budtenders must be dedicated and hardworking
A dispensary is similar to any store. There are busy days and slow days. On a slow day, a good budtender finds something to keep him/herself busy. It could be cleaning the store or tidying up the displays.
Volunteering to help with paperwork is another way a budtender can show his/her willingness to support the dispensary. This shows their dedication to the operation and a determination to learn more. Budtenders like these have the potential for advancement in an organization.
Budtenders should be willing to step in when a member of the team is sick and take on additional shifts where possible. Those budtenders who always have an excuse for not being able to help are not going to endear themselves to a dispensary owner or manager.
The choice when hiring a budtender is one that requires a thorough interview. Questions should be set up in such a way that they give a clear picture of the candidate. Interview questions should be structured around those qualities you want to see in your budtenders.