It’s a busy time in the world of cannabis. There are even statistics to back that up. If you’re lucky enough to live in a legal or medical state that has also declared cannabis essential, then by all means, get out there and shop. Just don’t be a jerk, and don’t break any of these golden rules. Here are five simple ways to support your budtender and still get the green goodies you so desperately want.
Follow the Rules
Above all, if there is a rule in place right now, it’s there for the safety of customers and budtenders. Respect the rules, even if they’re a bit of a pain.
“If you’re purchasing cannabis, follow all social distancing protocols put forth by the dispensary,” explained Emma Chasen, cannabis educator and industry consultant at Eminent Consulting. “ If they prefer you to order online, order online. If they prefer you to engage in curbside pickup, do that. According to a recent survey I conducted of over 70 budtenders working across the nation during COVID-19, over 90 percent of them felt concerned about their health, so please be respectful, and maintain protocols to keep you and your budtenders safe.”
Tip, Tip, Tip
Money is the other universal green we can all get behind, so don’t be stingy. If you can afford to buy weed, you can afford to throw in a little bit extra for the tip.
“The majority of budtenders surveyed are still not receiving any hazard pay or additional benefits while working during this time,” added Chasen. “That means the majority are only making an average of $13 an hour to make sure you get your medicine, so please, give a little extra if you have it. Finally, any emotional support you can give is always appreciated. Gift them food (safely of course) and be kind.”
“Be kind” truly is the golden rule. Even if you mess up and stand five feet from someone instead of six, or your 420 week celebrations took a toll on you and you can’t remember the name of the strain you want, all will be forgiven if you’re sweet and understanding instead of impatient and nasty.
“The rules are changing every day, and your budtenders are constantly having to change and adapt to continue sales while also trying to ensure the customer is happy,” explained Nolan Stuckenschneider, a Colorado budtender. “Some items may be out of stock due to companies being closed, lack of resources, and so many things out of your budtender’s control. Understand that your budtender is doing everything possible to get you what you need and want while also trying to keep the customers and themselves safe.
Be Ready to Compromise
When and if you do learn that your favorite dispensary has run out of the prerolls, edibles, or vape cartridges you’ve been pining for, be ready with a second choice to keep things safe, speedy, and compliant.
“Be ready; have a general idea of what you want to buy, and be flexible with alternatives in case something is out of stock,” Stuckenschneider added.
Save the Browsing for Later
We’ve all seen the tourist or the too-stoned customer looking at every, single thing. Browsing and comparison shopping can be fun and tempting, and we’re all on a budget. But now isn’t the time. Regulations and common courtesy dictate that you come in, make your purchases, and move on.
“Most shops are one person in the store at a time,” Stuckenschneider said. “This means sales are significantly slower, and the number of people they can help is much lower. Be respectful of those waiting behind you, and be ready. Also, be prepared with proper ID, and if it’s expired or broken, don’t be surprised if you get turned away.”