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5 Tips for Training Cannabis Dispensary Staff

by Hasum | | 420 Smoke Shop Near Me | 0 Comments

Key Focus Areas

Training for your dispensary staff should focus on the important areas of your dispensary operations. These include:

  •    Compliance
  •    Technology
  •    Customer experience
  •    Sales technique
  •    Cannabis product knowledge

We’ll dive into each one below.

Regulatory Compliance

Cannabis is a highly regulated industry. Each state imposes its cannabis compliance regulations. Thus, your dispensary workers need to be aware of the compliance rules governing your state. 

This may mean accurate inventory reporting, labeling, cannabis tracking, and so on. Discrepancies in inventory reporting due to human error, for example, may lead to hefty fines or revocation of your dispensary license. 

Developing a set of standard operating procedures in line with compliance rules is important. For example, laying down a set process for how to properly handle and store cannabis consumables. Another procedure is installing cannabis tracking technology for inventory management reasons. These procedures can be contained in an employee handbook handed over to all your staff. 



A point-of-sale (POS) system is an integral piece of technology for any cannabis dispensary. It features a cash drawer to handle cash transactions and prints receipts to provide proof of purchase. It also has labels for effective seed-to-sale tracking. 

Your new employees need to learn how to use your dispensary POS system. The process can be lengthy if the POS has an interface that’s hard to navigate. Ideally, you should invest in POS software that’s intuitive and user-friendly. This will cut down the time required for new budtenders to become well-versed with the system.

The first step is teaching them the basic checkout procedure. Once they’ve mastered processing transactions, your staff can start to navigate more advanced features. These include marketing tools, vendor management, customer insights, and expenses. 

Customer Experience

Cannabis has been a victim of stigma and stereotypes for many years. Even with continued legalization, the majority of people don’t have the right information about this herb. 

Thus, your dispensary staff has the important task of righting that wrong. This involves enlightening customers on the supposed benefits of your dispensary product offerings. But some employees lack the temperament or patience to help such customers. For this reason, they must be trained on how to deal with all types of customers.

Compassion is a prerequisite for any budtender. This is especially when dealing with a first-time cannabis consumer. Many first-time customers don’t know about the different cannabis products available. More often than not, they don’t even know what they want and can easily feel confused by the variety of products on the dispensary menu and shelves. 

It is at this moment where customer service comes in handy. Your budtenders should be able to connect with clients on a personal level. Customers should not get the impression of aloofness from your dispensary budtender. Instead, they should feel appreciated and comfortable throughout the entire shopping experience.

Sales Methods

Selling is an art that can be taught and learned. When it comes to cannabis, your dispensary staff should learn a variety of sales techniques to use when dealing with customers. Remember, various customers are at different phases of the sales journey. For example, you may have one customer at the decision stage who is ready to make a purchase. Another one may be at the consideration stage and still weighing up different options. By learning different sales techniques, your employees can meet the specific needs of every prospective customer.

There are two long-established sales techniques:

  •    The hard sell 
  •    The soft sell

Dispensary employees who adopt the hard sell method, or a method of pressing customers to buy products, often come off as aggressive and pushy when making sales. Most customers don’t respond positively to this technique. 

The soft sell method, on the other hand, enjoys a positive response from most customers seeking to buy cannabis products. This often involves techniques such as encouraging bulk purchases and up-selling customers. Inexperienced customers who don’t know what to buy will need to be steered in the right direction. Ideally, train your budtenders to provide suggestions by listening to the needs of the customer.

Product Knowledge

Product Knowledge

Educating your staff on all your products is a recipe for success. A customer is more likely to buy a product if they are furnished with all the relevant information. The basic knowledge about cannabis is not sufficient for budtenders to know. Your budtenders should have the following information at their fingertips:

  •    All your dispensary’s product offerings
  •    The related effects after consuming each product
  •    The supposed benefits associated with each product
  •    How the original flower is grown
  •    The CBD or THC content of each product
  •    The differences between cannabis strains

Besides learning about every product on the menu, your dispensary employees should also be able to confidently and fluently articulate the product information to customers.

The Bottom Line

Should you use experienced employees to train your new staff, or should you have a renowned cannabis training provider come to your premises to deliver training? Bringing on board an established third-party training provider is an ideal option. This is because your employees will get the best and most current training. 

Regardless of your choice, your dispensary staff must get trained by trainers with the right expertise in the marijuana industry and sales marketing. As a dispensary owner, make sure the above-mentioned tips are incorporated into your employee training program. Ultimately, a knowledgeable staff translates to a profitable cannabis dispensary.

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