“Budtender” says AGLC’s restrictions on selling cannabis are too heavy

A Lloydminster budtender is saying that AGLC’s point of sale policies are too restricting and potentially hurting cannabis sales.

Rayce Vaughan works at Plant Life in Lloydminster and says that AGLC’s guidelines limit the amount of information you can tell customers and that fuels the black market.

“The AGLC is so restricting that it’s hard to tell the customers why to buy over going to the black market,” said Vaughan.

He says cannabis workers can tell customers about the concentration of sativa and indica in each strain, but cannot describe the potential effects or his personal experiences with the product. Nor can customers smell or touch it before a purchase.

This lack of information that retail cannabis workers can tell customers is having an effect, Vaughan says.

“I’d like to tell customers to smoke it with someone else, someone you’re comfortable with, but I can’t give them information.

“They might as well replace me with an iPad, which they’re looking into because of liability reasons. Why have someone with experience and information when you can just tick an iPad and they click five questions and they know what they’re going to get?”

When cannabis stock was low across the province, he said there was plenty of people fine going back to their weed dealer.

“The amount of times I’ve heard ‘I’m gonna go to my dealer again,’ is ridiculous. Obviously, the AGLC does not care about giving customers access to the black market. There have been no big takedowns of dealers. I know quite a few dealers in Lloyd…they are doing fine,” said Vaughan.

The AGLC says they do not allow cannabis workers to comment on potential health effects because they are likely not qualified.

“While we understand that some individuals use cannabis for various health related issues, consultation of use should always be discussed with a medical professional. Retail cannabis store staff likely would not have the expertise to address how using cannabis may affect current health conditions or interact with other medications an individual may be taking,” said a spokesperson for the AGLC.

The AGLC goes on to say that retail workers can clarify what certain strains are inclined to do.

“For example, indica strains are likely to provide a sense of deep body relaxation; while sativa strains are likely to provide a more energizing experience.

“But for a retail worker to suggest that a particular product will alleviate a consumer’s sleep issues or lethargy is not permitted, as there may other variables that may impact or implicate a consumer’s well-being.”

A budtender that breaks these guidelines faces serious consequences.

If a retail cannabis worker or licensed shop does is caught giving too much information they could face penalties of a warning, a $1000 fine, and the business would be penalized as well.

“They’ve thought it through to the point where it’s limiting. I don’t understand why they want it to be so limiting,” said Vaughan.

“Dealers have the ability to show the product. I promise you’d get better service from a dealer.”