A Call for Higher Budtender Standards

Budtender working with customers
Budtender displaying cannabis sample or his customers
(photo: Cannabis Reports)

I expect cannabis dispensaries to employ knowledgeable, energetic, customer-service savvy budtenders who’ll reciprocate my enthusiasm and fulfill my product needs and service expectations. I prize those exceptional budtenders who transform my dispensary visits into cannabis bonding sessions where I can learn the latest product and industry news and make thoughtful purchases.

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Smart Collective Brings the “A” Game

Smart Collective, 10745 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Smart Collective is a humble dispensary, located inconspicuously in the hallway of a single story Toluca Lake office building. Inside the nondescript suite a very clean and spare waiting room accommodates patients while a security guard processes paperwork. The dispensary interior is also clean and orderly and the store’s abundant wares are admirably organized and displayed there in a very limited amount of space.

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Wellness, Earth, Energy: The WEED Renewed

The WEED neon sign
The WEED (Project Cannabis) 11557 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (photo: Yelp)

A few days ago I returned to The WEED dispensary in Studio City for the first time in nearly a year and was very happy to see the store thriving in the new post-legalization reality. The WEED was the first cannabis storefront with which I had a long term relationship and served me well as a medical patient in the years prior to legalization. I took leave of The WEED last summer because the transition to legal/recreational regulatory sales initially was plagued by diminished supplies of legal, tested, safe products (particularly extracts) and because the taxes were high enough to price The WEED’s stock out of my budget. In other words, there was very little for me to choose from. It was an untenable predicament, but I didn’t blame The WEED. Simply put, it occurred to me that I might find lower prices in a lower-net-worth neighborhood closer to home.

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The Grass Looks Greener at Green Valley Collective

Green Valley Collective sign
Green Valley Collective on Magnolia Blvd., just south of Vineland, in NoHo, CA            (Photo: Leafly)

I have driven up and down Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood, CA, and passed Green Valley Collective for longer than the dispensary has been in  business. I would see it clearly almost every day yet never seriously consider patronizing it even though I was a medical marijuana patient in need of a reliable medical dispensary. I can’t account for this avoidance, for there is nothing about the dispensary at all uninviting or worrisome. In fact, in the years preceding medical marijuana legalization, an exotic and woefully under-patronized Jamaican restaurant called Coley’s occupied the spot, and I had dined there in the 1990s. In other words this was familiar territory, inside and out, and yet after six months of reviewing local dispensaries I hadn’t even perused their Weedmaps menu. Why? Continue reading “The Grass Looks Greener at Green Valley Collective”

Calm and Concentrates at Zen NoHo

Zen Noho says Relax

For this week’s field trip, I checked out a local, compliant dispensary called Zen NoHo pre-ICO. This was my first time shopping for meds at Zen NoHo and it was an impressive experience. Their customer service was excellent, the interior was clean, roomy and orderly, the inventory was just the right balance of quality and quantity, and the location is easily accessible. Continue reading “Calm and Concentrates at Zen NoHo”

Compassion, Cleanliness, Compliance: A Dispensary Story

Compassion Union ext
Compassion Union Dispensary, NoHo. Sleek, modern, earth-toned exterior & interior.

Compassion Union is an upscale, modern, professional cannabis dispensary in North Hollywood, California, selling recreational and medicinal marijuana and related products. While its exterior bears the ever-so-slight familiarity of a just built Starbucks cafe, it’s patient-centered inner sanctum is totally unique in that there are no display counters surrounding and separating customers from budtenders. All the products – vape pods and cartridges, edibles, tinctures, oils, concentrates, etc. – are displayed in cases along the walls of the room, while the flower strains sit in closed containers on a long table in the middle. Customers self-access the containers’ air hole covers to sample the different terpened aromas and gaze through the small, magnified portal to behold the dazzling crystalline trichomes. When customers have questions, there are budtenders standing by to assist and when closer inspection is required, they will happily pull display items from the shelves . As customers make their selections, budtenders gather the corresponding items from the back room and keep together near the register until the customer is ready to purchase. Continue reading “Compassion, Cleanliness, Compliance: A Dispensary Story”