The Business of Budtender Appreciation

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This last week, I had the privilege to attend Budtender Appreciation Night at GreenLabs in Denver; an event space and my coworking office space. If you are a budtender in Colorado and you show up with your state-issued badge, then you get free pizza, beer and music supported by local Marijuana product companies. Each sponsoring company had their own booth with information about their product.

I am naturally suspicious of a free lunch. Wandering around the party with my brain soaked in THC from that dab I took–I had just one question on repeat: Why? Why? Why? Why would these companies give away a bunch of free things to any budtender at all? And then it hit me.

If you’re an edible product manufacturer with your own Marijuana Infused Product (MIP) License from the state, you cannot sell your product directly to customers. It is illegal in Colorado to sell medicated chocolates straight out of the factory. You have to sell your product to a licensed dispensary which can legally sell it to customers through a budtender.

All of a sudden, it made perfect sense. Of course you would do everything you could to appreciate budtenders; they’re effectively your sales people! They’re the ones selling your product directly to customers. Since it’s such a new market, a lot of customers don’t know which brands they can trust to get them the high they want.

I got this a lot when I was a budtender. A customer walks in, takes a look, points and asks, “What about this one?” And that, that is the moment. That is the make or break moment for the product manufacturer. If the budtender says, “Oh that product? Can’t really trust it. One time I felt nothing. The next time I was too high to peek out from under the covers,” then the customer won’t buy it and they’ll spread the word of inconsistency. Bad for your company.

However, if the budtender says, “Oh that product? That product is the bomb; very consistent, the high hits me so smooth every time. It’s great for a concert, a hike or a pizza party.” Not only will the customer buy it, but they’ll tell their friends how great the product was. Good for your company.

As a budtender, I took care to try every product my shop had for sale, at least once. If you like it, it’s a lot easier to sell. If you make a marijuana infused product then it just makes good business sense to appreciate the budtenders selling your product. Budtenders are your quality control, sales team and product testers all wrapped into one. If anything, they could be appreciated even more.

So budtenders! Remember that you’re not a POS, you’re the POS. You’re not a piece of shit, you’re the legal point of sale for the whole industry! I’m sure that more budtender appreciation nights are in the works because it just makes business sense. If you want to get in on the first monthly budtender appreciation night, contact GreenLabs at so you can associate your brand with positive budtender experiences. If you have freedom, use it.

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