Pity the budtender: the question that annoys them most

Published on January 7, 2022 by David Wylie

There’s nothing more eye-roll inducing to budtenders than when customers ask about THC potency.

And, apparently, it happens a lot.

It’s the most asked—and by far the most annoying—query from customers, say Canadian frontline cannabis store employees in a new survey by research firm, Brightfield Group.

To budtenders, customers are a double-edged sword, they say.

“While many budtenders cited the relationships they’ve built with their customers as their favourite things about their stores, difficult customers are one of the biggest pain points for budtenders,” says the report, which is a sample of the full 66-page document.

Budtenders are influencers in the cannabis space

It concludes that budtenders have a major influence over customers, with 73% of customers buying recommended products.

Budtenders, themselves, tend to gravitate toward smaller, craft brands.

“Budtenders recognize that all brands are not the same and most are willing to go out of their way to find certain brands,” says Brightfield. “Budtenders most value cannabis companies that are known for treating employees well, are authentic, and have a legacy of quality.”

Budtenders say they’d be more likely to recommend certain brands if they had access to free sample products, training about the brand, or swag, it says.

Brightfield surveyed more than 400 budtenders across Canada across more than 113 different stores from Oct. 25-Nov. 16, 2021.

More findings from Brightfield Group

On cannabis regulations:

“Budtenders think the edible dosage cap should be changed, along with the cap on flower quantity. They think they’d be able to do their jobs better if shoppers (and they) were allowed to see/smell products before buying them.”

On Canadian Brands:

“Budtenders’ biggest issues with cannabis brands are low quality and inconsistent products; excessive packaging and dry/not fresh bud were also frequently mentioned.”

On why they chose budtending:

“Passion for cannabis is the driving force for the majority of budtenders.”

On what sets a brand apart:

“Terpene profiles and price are most important to budtenders in determining whether to purchase a new product, while effectiveness and taste/smell are most important when determining whether to purchase again.”

On learning about products:

“Many budtenders use sampling to learn about new products; these samples are purchased for them by brand reps, themselves, or other coworkers.”

Click here to read the report