January 2, 2019

How to Provide Customer Education in Your Cannabis Dispensary

Ryan Lalonde profile image
Ryan Lalonde

With cannabis legalization in Canada, there’s been a recent influx of consumers entering the market who lack Cannabis 101 education. These might range from customers who’ve never tried cannabis before, haven’t used in a long time, or currently use but have never been taught cannabis basics.

Cannabis retailers and dispensaries are tasked with bringing these customers up-to-speed on a variety of things, including:

  • THC & CBD Information
  • Consumption Options
  • Cannabinoid & Terpene Knowledge
  • Differences between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains
  • Cannabis Effects

And much more…

Educating your customers has a variety of benefits for both the customer and your store. Knowledgeable customers are more likely to choose products that are a good fit for them, resulting in an enjoyable experience, which will more likely bring them back to the store again. Educating your customers also allows them to shop independently, taking the onus off staff to engage in repetitive customer service tasks. And perhaps most importantly, education will also be a driving force behind eliminating the stigma around cannabis.

The benefits are clear, so here are a few things to consider when offering Cannabis 101 and cannabis education in your store:

1. Compliance. Compliance. Compliance.

It should come as no surprise to someone who’s successfully opened a licensed cannabis store that compliance is always the #1 concern. Cannabis retailers must maintain compliance for anything they offer in their stores. When thinking about cannabis education, that means there should be nothing of a medical nature, nothing pertaining to lifestyle, nothing promoting cannabis product effects, and more. Whenever in doubt, consult your provincial or federal regulatory body for clarification. You’ve made it this far, so don’t put yourself at risk now!

2. Privacy

Customer privacy is a hot topic in cannabis recently, and for good reason – after all, it did just become legal after 95 years of prohibition. This has led to customers often feeling uncomfortable discussing things like their personal cannabis use, and an uncomfortable customer may never return to your store. Having several customer service options, such as offering both hands-on/face-to-face engagements and private/self-serve process, are critical.

For customers who value their privacy, individualized and self-paced options are best, and should be offered in areas where they have enough personal space – no one likes having their shoulder looked over.

3. Easy to Understand

“Tetrahydrocannabinol”, “Terpenes”, “Endocannabinoid Systems”… for users who are unfamiliar with cannabis, much of the language around it can be intimidating. This goes for information about the plant itself, and also how our bodies process cannabis. To help customers, it’s best to put things in basic terms that have been broken down to their foundations. For example, no one is going to understand much about trichomes if they haven’t first learned about cannabinoids and terpenes. Always start with the basics, and build from there.

4. Easy for Staff

You can have the World’s greatest cannabis education system, but if it’s difficult for your staff to actually provide to customers, no one is going to use it. It all starts with a rigorous training program to ensure your staff members know at least the basics (ideally intermediate and advanced knowledge thereafter) then providing them with easy-to-use tools to service customers. The best tools are highly visual with not too much text, and allow for interactive & hands-on learning – leave the textbooks at home.

5. Learning Should be FUN

Your kindergarten teacher was right – learning should be fun! It would be a shame to put lots of work into building an education program just to discover that customers find it boring and tedious. There are a number of ways to liven up any education system, such as making it interactive, self-paced, and tailored to the specific customer. A customer who enjoys their in-store experience will come back again and again.

How We Can Help

Buddi offers tablet-based, in-store customer education and Cannabis 101 solutions that are compliant with federal and provincial regulation.\ \ To learn more, book your free demo today at, or email