"Hi! My name is Kristin or Cloud as most people call me. I am a 37 year old single mom of a 12 year old girl, cannabis patient, advocate, and budtender.
I am diagnosed with PTSD, GAD, Panic disorder, ADHD, and OCD. Most of these stem from the loss of my 8 month old son years ago. I knew all of these disorders were weighing me down and diminishing my quality of life.
Though it wasn’t until MD legalized Medical Cannabis, did I also realize the abundance of strong pharmaceuticals I had been given, were really what was holding back any progress..."
I saved every medicinal cannabis label and took notes, bought texts, and researched terpenes. I was consumed by learning as much as I could, at first to find what would work just right for me, that was 18 months ago and I haven’t stopped since.
It is honestly a miracle drug that gives me hope for so very many people to get natural, clean, effective relief for their ailments. Two years ago, I took over 15 pills throughout the day; I am down to just my blood pressure medicine! I love to educate people on the medical benefits of the entire Cannabis plant. I truly believe it is the safest, most naturally effective medication today and I love always learning as we discover new wonders about this plant.
Find my personal journeys on Instagram @cannacloudmd
Also check out @mmcpatients for everything MD Medical Cannabis related!
I read an article on Best Budtender practices a while back and began to reflect on the topic quite a bit. Concern grew as I learned more and more dispensaries in our area were not properly training or educating their staff. This is hugely concerning to me, especially being a patient as well.
This is not a retail or “sales” position, we are dealing with people's health and quality of life, and should be treated with the utmost responsibility. I set out to get as many real life patients (making sure to cover multiple ailments, demographics, backgrounds, ages, geographic area) to answer two simple questions-
A total of 73 responses were submitted. It was so very intriguing and exciting to hear straight from so many patients! I wish could share all of the responses with you, but after reviewing all submissions, I quickly noticed a trend. I tallied up the answers, to come up with a list of the TOP answers as to what people are looking for in a budtender, and here’s what we got!
MMCC Patients Favorite Budtender Traits;
1. KNOWLEDGE - (34.5% of responses answered this way)
This stuck out like a sore thumb to me, and was quite frankly, very concerning. @peacelovepaintdmv said "I like people who are knowledgeable about the different strains and what they are good for. I look for products that have specific benefits for me because of my anxiety and depression"
Best Budtender Practices ...we hear from our local patients!
@nigh.functioning.autism writes, "I have rarely had a bad experience. But I love the knowledgeable budtenders the most. Those with experience in all strains. I know we are all different, but I like when I can ask about a strain, and get a perfect description.” @meds_guide states, “Knowledge is everything. the budtender OR team of budtenders should collectively be able to help ANY patient.”
2. Kindness, warmth, welcoming, friendly, smiles
These answers themselves made me smile! @pixiskd writes: "They are kind, caring, know what they are talking about....." @medi_quinn added: "Take pride in your job, no matter what it is..." @wickedluv42 wrote: "I love the people because they become friends of yours."
3. PATIENCE and understanding from your budtender.
4. Being able to find a budtender with similar ailments and (again) vast knowledge on what will help me, the patient get the relief I am seeking.
Now, for the top complaints and to no surprise, the most common answer was...
1. Lack of knowledge - Number one answer (Since we touched on that, let’s move on to some other popular responses;
2. Product pushing @purple_sqerll said:”Some budtenders really try hard to upsell you on a product, which is difficult when you are with a budget. They get a discount, which is great but we do not always. I have to watch my money being so sick. I cannot stock up on everything every time I got to a dispensary, but that is how some act." @funshine_dabber writes: “I'm not trying to be sold on anything. I'm trying to medicate most effectively for my body. I like when budtenders will ask what I'm in today for, and genuinely listen to my response. It’s a MEDICAL market, budtenders need to be emphatic and knowledgeable.”
3. Being misinformed
I've witnessed this first hand and it concerned me very much.. Any time a patient advisor is not positive of the answer a patient asks them, they need to find out before guessing. This can very easily cause a person to purchase medication that won’t help them. The most beautiful thing about this legalization is the constant development, research, and new studies being conducted that there is always more to learn!
None of us ever know everything and THAT IS OK. I agree with these responses, and industry workers need to always be about patients over pride.
@thebud_blog wrote: "lack of knowledge or misguided information. ....I love to know what exactly is going into my body and who it will affect it.” @plstolpete writes: "Be honest, patient, and knowledgeable. If the budtender has never tried it, then just say so.”
4. Intoxicated Budtender
This I find absolutely shameful! Yet more than one person responded with this or a similar answer. I feel so lucky everyday to even be a part of this movement, to witness the truly amazing things this plant has done for people is so exciting. It saddens me that any patient had to have an experience such as that.
It is my hope that there will one day soon be requirements ACROSS THE BOARD for all budtenders as far as classes and education prior to beginning the job. I’m aware of many places that DO operate this way. Hopefully those that do not, will follow suit. Perhaps, in some small way putting this topic out there even just for further discussion may help it get the recognition it needs. I know MANY, including myself who make it a point to constantly research and learn new developments. I also learn from every patient I meet.
As I believe every budtender should. In a State like Maryland, where medicinal only is legal, we as budtenders must take our jobs extremely seriously. We want this movement to continue, progress, and expand! It is the budtenders responsibility to provide the best care possible, the most accurate information, and keep up to date with developments. Only armed with that knowledge, can we give each patient the expertise they deserve.
Data/quotes pulled from the Instagram poll on @mmcpatients with permission.
******PLEASE FOLLOW @mmcpatients and @cannacloudmd on IG for more!
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