How to be a Great Budtender: 6 Ways to be More Effective

Budtenders, cannasseurs, sales associates. No matter what you call them, they are the front line of your dispensary tasked with being the first impression for your customers. If you want to know how to be a great budtender, we break down the 6 things to need to know.

Effective budtenders need to be knowledgeable, professional, and welcoming to be effective at handling a high volume of dispensary customers each day. A great budtender has the propensity to drive sales and retain valuable business through excellent customer service. In this article, we’ll go over 6 ways budtenders can be more effective.


1. Knows Your Products

So, what makes a good budtender? According to Joseph P of Tropicanna Dispensary in Santa Ana, CA, passion is foundational.

“When you are passionate about your work and know your products, you have more to talk about with customers. This helps you build that relationship.”

Customers trust you to help them find the right product that fits their needs. The most helpful thing you can do for them is to know the ins and outs of your dispensary products. Develop a passion for cannabis by listening to customers’ experiences, needs, and stories. Make sure you’re giving them accurate recommendations and tips to personalize their experience. Test your products to learn more about them and their effects. Keep track of which type of product does what. This will help you provide excellent customer service and build profitable relationships with customers.


Budtender offers different strains at dispensary
Photo courtesty of Cassara Guru (via Getty Images)

2. Build a Relationship with Your Customers

When Joseph left the military, he decided to try out cannabis products for the first time. He recalls a feeling of unease he had when entering a dispensary: “I think with all dispensaries, a lot of customers come in with a feeling of uncomfortableness or unease. So I try to take that away by relating with people and making them feel comfortable. Asking how their day is going or teaching them about our products. If they feel at ease, they’ll come back.”

According to, your dispensary sells to an existing customer 60-70% of the time. Returning customers are vital to the success of your dispensary since they see the value of coming back. This could be because they got a great deal, your dispensary sells a particular product, or they had a great experience with a budtender.

Prioritize recognizing who returns to your dispensary. Show enthusiasm for their return business. Learn their names, spark up a conversation, and find out their interest. Thank them for coming back and, if possible, incentivize them to return. Returning customers are the lifeline of your dispensary. Make sure you know how to cultivate a lasting relationship with them.

3. Be Compliant

Cannabis compliance is absolutely crucial for any successful dispensary. Budtenders must manage inventory, customer data, and records, packaging and labeling, report taxes, and learn new regulations on a revolving basis. Coach yourself on legal protocols, safety rules, employee rights, and how to read and react to different forms of I.D. Create a cannabis compliance plan that checks all of the above and enforces your dispensaries’ legal right to operate. 

Every dispensary benefits from budtenders who are dedicated to cannabis compliance since they bear such a great responsibility. Being a compliant budtender means you are accountable, reliable, and trustworthy.

4. An Effective Budtender is Organized

Maintain a clean and well-organized working area that maximizes your ability to sell. Work together with your managers and other budtenders to design a fresh dispensary layout that feels welcoming. Dedicate an area to showcase your top brands. Design a space for a certain promotion your dispensary is running. Have a section for a particular type of product, such as edibles, flower, vapes, and merchandise.

Additionally, make sure you’re keeping your individual workspace clear of any clutter. Keep your register tidy and free of any mess, old receipts, loose change, or pen caps. Know where your products are and what you have, using Blaze POS dispensary software. Customers subtly appreciate a clean dispensary and an organized budtender. Every customer-facing area of your dispensary should create a great experience and invite a second visit.


Organized dispensary
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

5. Create an Experience for Their Customers

Don’t just sell cannabis – sell the experience. Take yourself through the customer experience. Find out why they’re shopping with you today. Each visit to a dispensary is valuable time out of the day for every customer. Make this time worth it by improving the overall customer experience for each different kind of customer.

Every dispensary customer is different, however. Some may want to get in and out. Others want to learn more about cannabis, try something new or want a deal. As a budtender, get to know different customer profiles and needs so that you can execute the experience. How would you cater to each type of customer listed above? The more time you spend with customers, the quicker you’ll know what type of experience they want.

Be patient, be proactive, and be proud of the dispensary you work for. Exemplify your brand while providing excellent customer service. These are all things that don’t show up on graphs or visual data sheets but are certainly some of the most important to being a successful budtender.

6 An Effective Budtender Upsells

Upselling isn’t just about getting the customer to spend more dollars. Instead, it provides a great way to increase customer engagement, communicate deals they didn’t know about, and create trust between the customer and budtender.

It works best when you’re being helpful. If a customer is buying a single pre-roll, but the deal is buy one, get one half-off, inform them about the deal. You’re not only upselling for a higher profit margin, but you’re helping out the customer as well. Find out where your upselling pitch can benefit customers the most. Make it a goal to find a better deal for every customer so that you never miss an opportunity to upsell.



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