Today marks the 22nd day we in Michigan have been under a government-ordered quarantine. Regardless of your views on quarantine actions being taken across the world, it is safe to say that we have all been impacted in one way or another. Some inconveniences were apparent right away, some I have started to notice more as the days go by. Either way, I have a new level of gratitude for the people and things that I may have taken for granted, or not shown proper appreciation for in the past. This can be said for many areas of my life, including cannabis.
I have been a medical Marijuana user for many years. Going to the dispensary to get medication has been something I welcome. Checking out the new strains of flower and looking through the concentrates and edibles make me feel like a kid in a candy store. Before the quarantine I would visit a dispensary 2 – 3 times a week even if I didn’t really “need” to. It is part of my normal routine that I truly enjoy. Fortunately, in Michigan, medical marijuana sales continue with one seemingly small change. All orders are either for delivery or curbside pickup, no in-store visits/purchases. With extensive online menus available for almost every dispensary this didn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal, but slowly I realized IT IS!
Everything I need as far as my medication is concerned is still readily available. I can browse the online menu, look at beautiful pictures of frosty buds, and read detailed descriptions of the products. I can place an order and have my medicine within a couple of hours at the most. Essentially, I am still able to make the exact purchases I was before COVID-19, but it doesn’t feel the same, I don’t enjoy these purchases at all. I decided to reflect a bit on this during my morning smoke break. I came up with “The 3 Things I Miss Most About Purchasing Pot During COVID-19”.
#3. The third thing I miss most about my trips to the dispensary is the other customers. I am a pretty outgoing person much of the time. I will strike up a conversation with just about anyone and regularly do while sitting in the lobby waiting for my turn. I have met some great people and got some great strain tips as well. I wouldn’t have thought these interactions are as important to me as they are, but I really miss meeting fellow cannabis enthusiasts.
#2. The next item I miss was the most obvious to me from the beginning, I honestly thought it was the most important at first. But it settled in at number 2. I miss seeing and smelling marijuana in person. It’s one thing to see a picture and read a description of a flower. It is totally different to see a bud and smell the terpenes in person. This is driving me crazy. Dank Tourist was started to share the best of cannabis and leisure with the community. Pretty hard to do that when we don’t get to smell the flowers.
#1. Finally, the thing I miss the most. The Budtenders! I have always appreciated and valued interactions with good budtenders. I relied heavily on their guidance and education when I first began using cannabis medically. I still count on the budtender to tell me about new strains, new products, local growers, and upcoming events. Their role in my level of customer satisfaction is just as important, if not slightly more so than product quality. You can sell the best product in the world, but if I don’t want to talk to your budtender, I won’t be a return customer. If you have a product that meets my needs but may not be the best available, and I have a great experience dealing with a professional and knowledgeable budtender, you will likely be one of my favorite dispensaries and see me often.
Show appreciation to your favorite budtenders! It is easy to get cannabis; it isn’t always easy to get cannabis that makes you feel the way you want. Guiding new and experienced users through the thousands of products available proficiently takes immense knowledge and commitment to the customer and their wellbeing. I miss seeing my favorite budtenders during this challenging time. I can’t wait for the quarantines/lockdowns to be over so I can see them again. Hats off to the budtenders, we miss you!