Guest Post by Kristi Etter
When describing my job to my guests in the store, my friends, or anyone really, I can’t help but think of the scene in Pineapple Express when Dale Denton (Seth Rogan), says to his pot dealer, Sol (James Franco) “You have the easiest job on earth, you smoke weed all day.” But, being a cannabis advisor in the legal industry, is nothing like being a dealer in the black market. I don’t get to sit around, smoke weed, and watch re-runs of old sit-coms like Sol. Contrary to belief, there’s a lot more work behind the scenes than most realize. We have a retail business to run, state compliance laws to uphold, and decades of misconception to reverse.
Yesterday, I worked a full day, from open to close, so I thought I’d take a few notes and walk you through a typical shift as a Cannabis Advisor at Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique.
Our doors open at 9:00 a.m., so like any retail business, we arrive early to get the store ready for the day. The tasks are fairly typical for a small, retail shop. We set up the registers, make sure we have bags, pens, labels, and everything necessary to complete a sale efficiently. We turn on the displays, we zero the scales, and restock containers. Unlike most retail businesses, however, all of our products are put behind lock and key each night, and the entire store has to be set back up each morning.
The real fun begins once the store is open. At Lucy Sky, we have an “Early Bird Special” providing our early rising guests a 15% discount (10% on Med) for shopping before 10:00 a.m.; and it is common for us to see several guests during that first hour. Since we are both, medical and recreational, our demographic is very diverse. Yesterday, I had the entire spectrum. My first guest of the day was elderly medical patient who shops to relieve pain and insomnia; and later in the day, I served a young girl who had just turned 21 the day before and was making her first legal recreational cannabis purchase.
Throughout the day we have various types of people come into the shop.
The “When in Rome…” folks. I absolutely LOVE hosting tourists in our shop. They ask the best questions and have the most fun. Most are truly appreciative of their new found freedom to buy and consume something that has been forbidden to them for too long. I often applaud people on making their first legal cannabis purchase. Be proud, you are helping to change perceptions! It is also my responsibility to make sure they are educated about their products before they leave. We take the time to explain what to expect. The last thing I want is for one of my guests to have a bad experience on cannabis, and never come visit us again, so I try to give the best advice I can with each of our products. We don’t rush our guests at the expense of their education.
Being located in Washington Park, on Mississippi and Gaylord, we are in a historic, and affluent, neighborhood in Denver; and we see people from all walks of life. Spend a little time in the lobby at Lucy Sky and you will quickly learn the old stigmas about people who smoke marijuana are as far from the truth as Aesop’s fables. Blending with the neighborhood’s historic feel, we offer a warm, inviting boutique to bring you an authentic apothecary-style shopping experience. Locals are more than just guests at Lucy Sky, they are our family.
We often have guests stop in that have no interest in buying products at all, but they are simply curious what a legal cannabis dispensary looks like and what kinds of products we sell. I see these folks as my opportunity to change someone’s perception. I tell them my husband’s story about how cannabis saved his life and ultimately our marriage. I encourage them to ask questions and let them take their time despite knowing they aren’t going to purchase anything. I often compare our industry to the wine industry or the microbrew industry. I want these folks to spread the word that cannabis dispensaries aren’t scary and people that use these products aren’t the lazy, unkempt, image they have been force fed by the media.
Med patients vary from first time guests just checking out what we carry to Extended Plant Count patients, or EPC’s, who are able to purchase much higher limits of products, some are allowed to purchase up to 8 oz. a day. One thing is consistent with most medical patients, though… they are well educated. Most know exactly what they want and they know how the products work.
In between helping our guests, there are usually many tasks to do around the shop.
- “Compliance” – Staying compliant is priority number one. We have to make sure our systems and paperwork for each patient is kept up to date. Our containers have to be properly labeled. Our inventory must be correct.
- “De-shaking the jars” – This means sifting each strain of cannabis to separate the buds from the crumbs and kief that fall to the bottom of the display jars. We sell the shake and popcorn nugs for a discounted price.
- “Rolling joints” – Lucy Sky sells pre-rolled joints, so some of the shake is used to make these. We use Raw cones to pack joints, this is a easier way to make joints quickly and we all participate in preparing joints for the shop.
- “Updating Weedmaps” – Weedmaps.com is a website directory for marijuana dispensaries. We have our menu for both sides of the store, Medical and Recreational, listed here and it is updated on a daily basis.
- “Training” – Staying educated in the industry is vital. Compliance laws are changing all the time, and new products are coming out all the time. Staying on top of the constantly changing industry is a priority for everyone in our shop.
Then at the end of the day, we have yet another round of tasks to complete. Cleaning the store, counting the cash, shutting off displays, and putting away everything we put out that morning. We take pride in the work that we do, we understand that we are pioneers in a growing movement, and we work hard to see our guests leave happier than they were when we met them.
Your cannabis advisor, or budtender, works hard to give you a positive, enjoyable experience, whether you’re a tourist, a local, a curious George, or medical patient. I encourage you to stop by Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique today for a beautiful, warm cannabis shopping experience.
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