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Canada Cannabis Compliance: 5 Budtending Changes After Legalization

Canada Dispensary Laws On June 19, 2018, the House of Common passed Bill C45, the Cannabis Act, and Canada became the second nation to legalize cannabis nationwide. As we move into a new legal framework, the retail model as we know it, especially in Vancouver, BC will begin to change.

It is essential for your budtenders to be aware of the proposed changes for legal dispensaries. Some commonly known facts are that the age of a budtender should be 19 and they should not sell recreational cannabis to anyone under the age of 18. However, each province can override some of the proposed ages. For example, every province and territory has recommended the minimum age of 19, except for Alberta and Quebec where the proposed minimum legal age is 18.

So, now that you have determined that your budtending staff and your customers are not minors. Here are 5 post legalization changes that your budtending team must make to remain compliant.

1. Give Medical Advice to Customers

Budtenders are not allowed to give any medical advice whatsoever. No matter how tempting it may be, or how much your team may want to help someone, it is against the law. Most trained budtenders know that they are not qualified to diagnose anyone. But the new legislation takes things one step further, so you and your team must be mindful of how to service clients in the new legal system.

2. Touch the Product

There will be no more need for gloves, or handling tools, i.e., chopsticks. After the implementation of Bill C45, your budtenders nor the customer, will be allowed to touch the product directly. The days of big glass jars loaded full of premium flowers, displayed in glass showcases and then brought to the client for them to view and smell, will be over. Now all cannabis flower will come pre-packaged, weight-determined, sealed with clear, concise labeling.

3. Weigh and Dispense Product Deli-Style

All cannabis products will be supplied to dispensaries from licensed producers and will come in pre-packaged form. Similar to above, there will be no need to continue with the deli-style weighing and dispensing. Although the additional packaging is not great for the environment, it does ensure quality control of the product once it has left the LP and entered the dispensing system. Now, you no longer have to train your budtenders on how to use a scale properly or spend time maintaining your scales for accuracy.

4. Sell Dabs or Concentrates

Unfortunately, budtenders will not be permitted to sell dabs or concentrates. Those highly sought after and popular products will be considered “Prohibited Sales” and will not available in legally operating dispensaries. Likewise, edibles and topicals are also illegal and won’t be available in the legal marketplace. One hopes that after legalization, amendments will be made to the Cannabis Act to allow for the regulation of these products.

5. Sell More than 30 Grams Per Day 

Budtenders are prohibited from selling more than 30 grams of non-medical cannabis total, even if a client has a medical prescription for a higher amount. This is a tricky one where your team may have to do a little math, especially if the client is buying dried flowers and permitted oils. If a client wants to purchase their monthly supply of CBD oil, your team won’t be able to upsell them an ounce of their favorite flower. That client would have to come back another day. Make sure your budtenders know and understand the new cannabis transaction limits.

As a dispensary owner, you can’t rely upon budtender training in the present system to transfer directly to the new rules and regulations. It is best to make sure your team is up to speed on all of the legal changes so that they can best serve your clients with confidence and care.

Are you looking to advance your team's skills ahead of the new legal landscape? CannaReps has an upcoming Recreational Retail Training Course June 26- 27, 2018 where your sales team can update their skills and learn the new roles, and responsibilities for ethical and compliant dispensing in a legal cannabis retail operation.


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