Budtender Training: Master the Art of Cannabis Retail

by Mary Briggs,

Invest in your dispensary’s most visible employees, and your customers will repay you many times over.

Most retail employees don’t receive any formal training before they are thrown onto the sales floor.

The lack of formal training makes a new employee’s first few weeks a sink-or-swim exercise in learning how to sell. Where some will succeed, others will fail, and it’s the retailer who ultimately pays for that failure.

Despite the fact that organizations with comprehensive training programs earn 218% more per-employee than businesses without formalized training, many cannabis retailers still under-commit to budtender training initiatives.

Employee turnover is an expensive challenge to overcome in retail, and it is especially difficult in the cannabis retail industry. Dispensary owners who have to constantly focus on replacing employees face serious compliance and profitability risks.

This is one of the reasons that the cannabis retail industry is facing an increasing talent shortage. Good budtenders are especially hard to find, and especially valuable since every single one of your dispensary sales is ringed up by one. They also play a critical role in ensuring your operations adhere to state regulations and compliance requirements.

Three Reasons to Implement Formal Budtender Training

Budtenders play too important a role in the health and success of your dispensary to not benefit from formal training. Comprehensive training creates cumulative benefits that impact almost every aspect of the dispensary’s day-to-day operations.

1. Greater Employee Engagement and Profitability

According to the Association for Talent Development, companies with comprehensive training programs enjoy 24% higher margins than those that don’t invest in training. This profit-boosting benefit has also shown itself to be resilient to economic uncertainty, making training a powerful vehicle for customer retention during economic downturns.

One of the main ways in which training achieves these results is by increasing employee engagement. Engaged employees do better jobs faster and more reliably than unmotivated ones. Training plays a pivotal role in increasing the sense of satisfaction your employees actually feel when doing their jobs every day.

Training shows employees that their employers are invested in their future. It improves their career opportunities and aligns their interests more tightly with the goals of the company. Better-trained employees are able to offer their employers more, creating a mutually beneficial relationship based on respect and empowerment.

2. Better Employee Retention

Attracting and retaining great talent is difficult in the cannabis industry, yet it is vital to the growth and stability of any cannabis enterprise. Budtenders generally want to do a good job while putting their passion to work in an exciting and thriving industry – and the best ones know how valuable their talents really are.

Training helps to cultivate the employer-employee relationship in a positive way, ensuring that top performers stay in the organization. Budtenders who feel like they are no longer being challenged by their job are far more likely to become complacent and start looking for opportunities than those who can look forward to long-term career growth with their employers.

In the cannabis industry, being able to respond tactfully to customer needs while understanding the economic and regulatory requirements of the budtender’s position is a key skill that is in high demand. Experience using industry-standard software represents a competitive advantage in an industry where mistakes can be incredibly costly to fix.

3. Reduced Compliance Risks

Cannabis is a highly regulated industry. The responsibility for knowing and adhering to strict (and frequently changing) rules often falls onto budtenders’ shoulders. As your primary customer-facing cashiers and resident product experts, they will typically be the ones actually performing compliance tasks.

Most dispensaries don’t have the time or resources to enact store-wide compliance audits on a daily basis. Instead, you have to run smaller-scale category audits on a daily basis and work to resolve discrepancies before they appear on the authorities’ radar. 

Incentivizing budtenders to obtain certifications in store management, inventory management, and compliance helps improve communication throughout the dispensary and keep discrepancies from occurring in the first place. Dispensaries that fail to emphasize the importance of compliance run the risk of answering to state authorities and even having their cannabis license revoked.

Introducing Greenbits University: Free Online Budtender Training for Cannabis Dispensaries

Until now, lack of availability has been one of the main obstacles preventing cannabis employers from implementing formal budtender training programs for their employees. In such a new industry, most dispensaries have been responding to opportunities in emerging markets as they come – sophisticated training solutions were simply out of reach.

Now, however, the cannabis industry is beginning to enjoy new opportunities for dispensary employees to gain expertise and valuable skills. Greenbits University is a first-of-its-kind online university for cannabis employees to develop their skills and stay up-to-date on the latest changes in statewide compliance.

At Green Bits, we understand how important compliance is for ensuring the long-term success of a cannabis dispensary. This is why we’ve made our comprehensive compliance knowledge available to new, experienced, and prospective Green Bits customers for free.

Dispensaries that sign up for Greenbits University receive free training for every team member through a centralized online platform. Our online program has already helped more than one thousand cannabis retail employees obtain certification and guidance for the most delicate tasks in the dispensary environment.

Sign Up for Green Bits University for Free

Comprehensive training has shown itself to be one of the secrets to success in the world of retail. Cannabis dispensaries are no different from other retail stores in this regard, but must also invest in budtender training to develop key compliance skills and learn how to resolve customer needs in a dynamic environment. Start training your budtenders today and make sure your dispensary business is well-positioned for a bright and profitable future. Sign up today and use promo code “SEPT2020” to enroll.