Knowing what to expect when you visit a dispensary can feel downright overwhelming. Terpenes? The endocannabinoid system? Sometimes it can feel like you need to speak a second language just to fit in. Thankfully, that’s why budtenders like Randi Mizer — a longtime staffer at The Source+ in Reno, Nevada — exist. As someone who knows just how important it is for canna-curious customers to feel empowered to ask questions, Mizer wants to help every potential dispensary customer feel ready to take that all-important first step. Whether discussing how achieving a mental and physical state of “chill” through cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all proposition or sharing her favorite products to recommend, Mizer’s expertise and empathy made her the perfect choice for our first “Ask a Budtender” installment.
Also be sure to check out our “Best of the Best” giveaway at www.thesourcenvdeals.com! The April 420 contest features live rosin carts, flower, tinctures, and live rosin concentrates from our friends at CAMP.
This article is sponsored by The Source+ and authored by Bhang Digital.
How did you find your way into the legalized cannabis industry?
Just by being curious about it. I come from a state where recreational cannabis isn’t legal, so when I moved to Nevada, it immediately caught my attention. I started visiting dispensaries and also started researching anything and everything about cannabis. The Source + is actually the first dispensary that hired me!
A lot of customers may feel they are unprepared for the experience of going to visit a dispensary and speaking with a budtender for the first time. What advice or tips would you give to readers who may feel this way?
Readers should definitely peruse our website, Leafly, Weedmaps, Dutchie, I Heart Jane or Google before going to a dispensary. Most websites have FAQs about store policies and answers about medical vs. recreational. This gives new customers a good idea of what they can expect when entering the store, what products are available, and if there’s a rewards program that earns points with purchases (The Source+ has an amazing rewards program!)
How important is education and staying up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of cannabis, whether you’re a budtender or a consumer?
Extremely important! There is research with cannabis happening all over the world, which means new information comes out quite often. If you’re really into it, you can set Google alerts for any new cannabis news that comes out. If not, I always suggest people look up Curt Robbins, he comes out with amazing and comprehensive articles on cannabinoids and terpenes and has been my main reference. Marijuana Moment is another great site to check out for all cannabis news!
What are some of the products you tend to recommend to those who are novice cannabis consumers or especially skittish about the prospect of getting “too stoned” or having an adverse reaction?
Firstly, as a budtender I cannot recommend products to customers because I am not a medical professional. However, I can make suggestions to people based off of their consumption preference(s). As for novice cannabis users, I usually suggest trying low THC strains or a CBD dominant strain. Too much THC can be very overwhelming to new consumers. Starting out with a lower dose and working your way up is a good rule of thumb, no matter your consumption method. If you find you’re having an overwhelming or uncomfortable experience: remain calm, drink water, and relax. Remember: your high will not last forever. And please, take edibles in moderation if you are a new or novice user.
Thinking back on the many customers you’ve helped in your time as a budtender, can you share a few stories that illustrate the relationships customers form with budtenders and how those relationships can evolve and grow over time?
I have formed several relationships with my customers. One of my customers prefers our store to all other dispensaries across the states he travels to, simply because of the friendly conversations we have and the “vibrant” atmosphere we provide. I have another customer that has made his visit to our dispensary a part of his weekly routine. I’ve watched him go from grabbing a quick top-shelf eighth to him giving me his review of a strain he recently purchased along with his review of Godzilla vs. Kong (2021). We both agreed it was fantastic, by the way! Honestly though, one of the things I love most about cannabis is how it brings all different kinds of people together. Whether you use it for pain relief, sleep problems, epilepsy, or even just to unwind after you get off of work, there is a strain/product for everyone of legal age!
When customers come in and ask for something to help them “chill,” what are some of the things you usually recommend? On a related note, what are the different kinds of “chill” people can experience with cannabis? Does that tie into certain terpenes and cannabinoids?
This is a tough question because every single cannabis consumer will have a slightly different experience with whatever they consume. If someone simply asks about “chill” effects from products, I would ask more specific questions, such as what they normally go for, flavors they like, and if they are comfortable with options that are not flower. There are many factors that contribute to feeling “chill” other than THC, including terpenes and cannabinoids. Some of the more popular and sought-out terpenes are myrcene and terpinolene. We as budtenders can’t guarantee 100% what a consumer will enjoy the most, but if we ask the right questions and get to know them, we can make good assessments that lead to building a loyal customer base, because we put a lot of time into educating ourselves.
Trust is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to being a budtender. Customers may trust you with their personal medical information and you in turn are being entrusted to help them find products that will benefit them the most. Can you talk about trust as an element of being budtender and also what wonderful things can often result from said trust being formed?
Trust begins before the consumer even enters our store for the first time. With cannabis going mainstream, more and more people see it on the news and feel empowered to come to dispensaries asking questions. The Source+ provides in-depth training to ensure we are able to help anyone and everyone to the best of our ability. As a result, we develop great relationships with our people and have a whole bunch of regulars as a result of the trust we have earned with them!
Trust with brands and the products you purchase is also critical. Why is CAMP one such brand that you’ve put your trust in?
Trusting a brand, regardless of industry, can be difficult. CAMP is a brand that takes care of their consumers. They prove it by making Nevada’s first solventless products, because they care about what their consumers are putting into their bodies. Not only do they grow amazing cannabis, but they currently make rosins, rosin cartridges, and rosin disposables. They come in three “tiers” to help support a variety of smokers. These “tiers” are flower rosin (novice), ice water hash rosin (intermediate), and live rosin (experienced). Fun fact: CAMP makes pre-roll tubes made from hemp plastics as well! All in all, CAMP proves that you do not need harsh chemicals to produce quality cannabis products. Being able to trust a cannabis brand is a big deal, because these brands are making or growing products that people rely on for a plethora of reasons. Knowing you’re getting quality product every time is key.
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