6 Tips to Help Budtenders Survive the 4/20 Rush

Industry6 Tips to Help Budtenders Survive the 4/20 RushJeremiah Wilhelm(Ryan Kang/AP)

For many, 4/20 is just another day in April, but for the cannabis community it is Black Friday, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day rolled into one massive joint, dipped in wax, and dusted with kief. Please imagine, if you will, what it’s like for the humble sales associates on the opposite side of the dispensary counter. Consider this: a holiday with the consumer traffic, spending power, and reckless abandon of three major holidays, not to mention the festivities, party buses, and all manner of cannabis-infused fanfare abound on this sacred stoner day.

From one budtender to another, here are my tips for surviving the cavalcade of customers headed your way soon. Steel your heart, bend your knees, and get ready for the cannabis sales crucible.

Eat a Good Breakfast and Pack a Lunch/Dinner

Sorry if I sound like your mom, but seriously, you are going to be on your feet for at least eight hours (likely more) and a hearty, well-balanced meal will equip you with the necessary sustenance to soldier through. Food is so important that I recommend packing an extra sandwich or snacks the night before to be doubly sure you’re set for a long day. Nothing kills a good sale quicker than a hangry budtender.

Manager Tip: Take care of your staff on this busy day by stocking up on snacks and beverages in your break room, or go the extra mile and cover lunch for your employees by ordering pizza, sandwiches, or other catered options.

Rely on CBD Vape Pens (When Appropriate)

Vape cartridges are an excellent way to have potency and discretion in a single package. I recommend strong CBD-dominant strains like ACDC and Remedy, or 1:1 CBD/THC strains to keep the heady buzz to a minimum while generally tempering stress and inflammation. CBD cartridges can also work well for headaches, which can naturally occur within the exuberant din caused by an increasing number of customers per square foot.

Budtender Tip: Don’t consume or become impaired while on the job. Make sure you follow your manager’s protocol; honestly, what your employer wants is for you to show up on your A-game, so obey company rules. Consider saving your vaping for after your shift so you can fully enjoy the relief your strain of choice can deliver.

Keep a Topical Nearby

Budtenders come in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of your stature, the likelihood is that you will be stocking and pulling products from multiple parts of the store repeatedly throughout the course of 4/20. This means reaching and bending and squatting and juking, which can be hard on even the most limber employee’s extremities. Topicals with high quantities of CBD can be indispensable when it comes to long days on your feet. Consider sharing one with your coworkers. A few applications can turn the volume way down on achy necks, elbows, and knees.

Budtender Tip: Turn your topical use into a recommendation! Put some of the product you’re using on display and give anecdotes to customers that it’s helping you stay on your feet and get through a long shift with little discomfort.

Remember to Hydrate

Many of you budtenders will be showing up at the crack of dawn to prepare displays, ready door-busters, and to simply start the coffee. STOP! Before you take that first life-giving sip of caffeine, hydrate! Coffee and soda are natural diuretics, which means they help circulate fluids out of your body, inevitably dehydrating you if you don’t replenish your fluids. Drink a tall glass of water before that coffee and your brain will function better. Double down on water throughout the day while enjoying your favorite cup of joe or sugary soda. This will ensure that you stay hydrated and give you a good excuse to take a five minute break every 45 minutes or so.

Budtender Tip: Take some time to stretch during your hydration breaks to shake out any tightness and to keep yourself strong and alert for the day ahead.

Snack It Up

Snacking will keep bellies full, blood sugar levels stable, and morale high as this consumerist holiday persists. I recommend food high in protein, like nuts, charcuterie plates (meat, cheese, crackers), protein bars, bite-sized sandwiches, or pizza. You might be thinking, “But Jeremiah, pizza is not a snack.” Shut up, and yes, it is.

Budtender Tip: Eat little meals throughout your shift vs. one big chow fest, which can result in a hard-hitting food coma that can make you feel sluggish and unmotivated.

Find Your People

Try and connect with the customers you’ve developed rapport with. These small, joyous interactions will remind you why you woke up so early or stayed so late, which will hopefully recharge a small amount of your personal battery. Help your coworkers create meaningful interactions by pulling products or tag-teaming a sale. This can also help sustain overall employee stamina throughout the day. As the saying goes, many hands make light work, and teamwork makes the dream work.

Manager Tip: Consider dispensing fun or humorous awards to your dispensary staff after the 4/20 rush is over. Things like “Best Attitude on 4/20” or “Most Helpful Budtender” paired with a coffee gift card or free pre-roll go a long way in keeping employee morale high and rewarding your staff for their hard work.

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