While going to the dispensary may seem fun and exciting for you, for your budtender, it's still a job. Except, in the legal cannabis industry, this job is heavily regulated, closely monitored, and holds a high level of responsibility.
However, serving the public comes with its drawbacks. Just like any other retail or service industry position, budtenders have pet peeves when it comes to their clientele.
Whether it's your first trip to a dispensary or you go daily, there are a few rules of etiquette to follow when you enter a dispensary.
Budtender Pet Peeves: What NOT to Do
The legal cannabis industry is stringently regulated and monitored. Budtenders are the face of the industry, and therefore, they get the pleasure of dealing with all the nuances of the wide variety of cannabis consumer.
Here are a few suggestions of what not to do at the dispensary:
Don't complain about showing your ID.
Look, the advocates have fought for decades for our freedom to walk into a retail establishment to purchase marijuana. Showing a valid ID is part of the tradeoff to having legal access to quality cannabis. Budtenders don't care if you look like you're 18 or 81, showing a valid form of identification is the law. Don't complain about it, embrace it.
Don't ask to see ALL the weed jars.
Laws vary all from state to state, some weigh the flower in front of you, but some states require sealed pre-packaged containers. Your first trip to a dispensary lined with jars of bud is exciting, overwhelming, and can make you feel like a kid in a candy shop. Some establishments have dozens of different strains of cannabis. Please do not ask your budtender to open every jar, especially if they are busy. Other customers waiting in line will appreciate your respect for their time as well.
Don't completely forget basic hygiene rules.
Everyone should treat their dispensary like a restaurant. Just as you wouldn't want to eat a salad that forty other people had their fingers in, no one wants to smoke a bud that's been handled by a dozen filthy hands. Do not touch the bud.
Additionally, the dispensary is not your living room. Don't come in, kick your shoes off, and make yourself at home ? you're in a place of business where hygiene matters.
Don't ask for special treatment, freebies, or extra discounts.
As mentioned, the industry is heavily regulated, so regardless of how much you ask, your budtender isn't going to weigh in an extra gram or sell you an ounce for the price an eighth. Budtenders don't care if you're Willie Nelson himself, they have a legal obligation to follow the rules. Just remember, doing you a "special favor" could send your budtender to jail.
Absolutely feel free to ask about specials or deals, but don't tell them you know the owner, name drop that you're a member of Drake's entourage, or otherwise try to impress for special treatment. Also, remember they've already checked your ID, so don't say, "It's my birthday!" if it's not.
Don't hit on them.
In the early days of the industry, many budtenders were female to appeal to a mainly male clientele. Today, the industry is much more diverse. Regardless of how smokin' hot your budtender is, the dispensary is not a singles bar, and few people appreciate being ogled while working. Being flirtatious and hitting on your budtender in an attempt to get discounts or anything else is inappropriate. Respect professional boundaries, and let your budtender do his or her work.
Don't be smug.
Please don't try to outsmart your budtender. Just as you wouldn't want anyone coming to your place of work and telling you how to do your job, budtenders deserve the same respect. While you may be very knowledgeable, there's no need to compete for who knows the most.
Although the quality of budtenders certainly varies from shop to shop, most budtenders know the products they are selling inside and out. While you might know a thing or two about cannabis, budtenders understand the commercial products intimately. Share your knowledge respectfully.
Chances are good that your dispensary is a busy place. If you're hanging out, talking about your weekend adventures, or otherwise slowing down the flow, your budtender is likely irritated and so are the people. Even when there are no other customers in the shop, budtenders have several other responsibilities they should be doing rather than listening to you complain about your girlfriend.
Don't kill the messenger.
A good budtender follows the letter of the law for compliance and regulation. If your budtender denies your request, they are likely protecting themselves and you. Don't get angry with them for doing their job. A budtender without the integrity to follow compliance hurts the entire industry, so please don't ask them to "bend the rules, just this once," and then get angry when they say no.
The people who work in the service industry are incredibly diverse. Just as there are bad bartenders and great bartenders, bad waiters and great waiters, there are also bad budtenders and great budtenders. Regardless of how well they are doing their job, remember they're only human, and they deserve your respect.