Canna-businesses are thriving in Colorado, and purchasing marijuana for recreational use has never been easier, but where should you go to get the best bud? Stoned Media Group was fortunate enough to be able to tour of of the LivWell Dispensaries in Denver, and the experience was wonderful. Upon arriving, we entered the lobby that was so clean and bright it reminded me of a doctor’s office. Once we signed all the right papers and showed our IDs we were ushered into the recreational side of the dispensary. Walking in, the first thing you notice were all the helpful staff just waiting to assist you with your purchases. It was like walking into the promised land for cannabis users, everything was shiny and glowing, the budtenders were smiling, and it was as if the lights were twinkling down on us.
Everything in the display cases were so neatly organized and labeled, finding what you need is easy. The budtenders were quick to answer any and all questions, and quite a few were asked. To get the required knowledge needed to be a budtender at Livwell, the prospective employees are put through rigorous schooling to learn everything they need to know. The in-house school teaches them everything you can imagine, from the breakdown of specific strains and how edibles are made, to how to pair the right cannabis product to customers based on their needs.
Something specific to LivWell was the Leafs by Snoop brand of cannabis products they offer. They actually grow, produce and carry all of Snoop’s brand’s products, ranging from wonderfully fragrant flower to delicious edibles. A stand out from this lineup for our team was the dark chocolate bar with almonds. We sat down with a couple of employees later in the day and they told us how hands-on Snoop is with Leafs, and how much detail and care was put into the decision making process. It’s obvious that in addition to creating a wonderful and consistent product, they’re selling a lifestyle and everything is meticulously branded, down to the top notch packaging that you definitely won’t want to toss out.
Out of all the different marijuana products LivWell offers, flower is the most popular, coming in at 80% of all sales. They offer a wide variety of strains with 8 different one pers shelf, and they have everything separated by quality and strain. This enables guests to choose based on their budget and the type of high they prefer. They also carry some unique bud as well, such as 303 Kush, their most popular house strain only found at LivWell.
We were fortunate to sit down with Rachel, one of LivWell’s managers. She was able to shed some light on what it’s like to work in a dispensary and what a customer can expect for their first time.
First thing is first, if you’ve never been in a dispensary, you need to know to bring a valid government issued photo ID. If you’re seeking medical grade marijuana, you will obviously need your medical card as well. In order to purchase recreational bud you need to be 21 years or older. The rules are also different for out of state customers compared to residents. Out of state recreational users are only allowed to purchase 7 grams per visit, whereas residents of Colorado can purchase up to 28 grams per visit, recreationally. As far as Rachel’s personal experience, she sees out of state customers the most. Some people come to Colorado adventure, and some travel to experience the cannabis industry for themselves. Those that have moved to Colorado for the emerging marijuana businesses are lovingly referred to as cannabis refugees.
Rachel says the best part about this is the reactions you get from people where seeing marijuana sold like this for the first time. “Out-of-state customers who never thought they would see this in their lifetime. This is just brand new to them, it’s exciting, to just check out flower straight out of the jar! That is not something that a lot of people get to see.”
Being a budtender is a great responsibility. You are the first person customers talk to and rely on for their information about cannabis. Rachel emphasized the vast amount of knowledge they obtain during training and she shared some tidbits with us as well. As far as edibles go, the state recommended dose is 10 mg. If you’d like to increase your dosage she suggested do so every 1-2 hours. In fact, she pointed out that it is always better to eat less than to eat more. It’s always a good idea to not over do it.
When talking concentrates, Rachel was able to tell us more about what to look for and expect. Higher THC levels means you require a lower dose, for example, flower has about 15%-20% potency levels whereas concentrates have 70%-90%. Generally, the customer is looking for the scent and the smell of the concentrates, the stronger the terpenes the stronger the smell and taste.
Rachel loves working at LivWell. She especially enjoys the huge emphasis on knowledge that this dispensary puts onto their employees and the benefit this provides to the customer. In order to work in the industry, you must get your badge. After that, you just start applying and Rachel’s best advice is to build yourself up with a lot of knowledge.
“The best part of being a budtender [and] working in the industry is being able to give that knowledge to people looking for it,” Rachel said. “That’s why they are here a lot of the time. Everyone is extremely passionate about this. I haven’t really met an employee that isn’t passionate about this. It brings in a lot of love.”
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