Stereotypes of the cannabis purchaser
Stereotypes of the cannabis purchaser

Are you a Grey Market Gary or a Newbie Nancy? The four types of cannabis customers

During my time as a budtender in Vancouver, I experienced all different types of cannabis customers. Over time, I noticed that some of the conversations started to repeat themselves.

This article will introduce you to some of the consumer stereotypes that I’ve encountered and how I recommend to my fellow cannabis consultants on how to serve these types of cannabis customers best.

Newbie Nancy – A not so Experienced Buyer

Nancy has never tried cannabis before, so she’s very curious about all the different goods your store offers. She’s mostly looking for CBD products that her friends recommended or simply convinced herself to try a joint and get stoned. 

That’s why Nancy’s most common quotes are, “my friends told me about the CBD and how it could help me sleep. Could you tell me more?”. Or, “I’ve never done it before, but I want to smoke marijuana to help me relax.”

As a budtender, it’s your responsibility to take care of Nancy’s needs and ensure that her first cannabis experience is as enjoyable as possible. If Nancy is up for the CBD, show her the tinctures and capsules, but let her know that a little bit of THC can be even more beneficial to help with her difficulties. 

If she’s open to getting high, ensure Nancy understands that she needs to start low and go slow with the products you recommend. The fundamentals to ease someone into THC are a starting dose of 2.5 mg of THC for ingestibles and two to three puffs for smokeables. 

The best recommendations for Nancy are either pure CBD products or at least a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD.

If Nancy has a good time and finds some relief through the products you recommended, she’ll likely become a regular customer who will continuously seek your advice when shopping for cannabis.

types of cannabis customers

Potency Pete – A Regular User

Potency Pete is quite the opposite of Nancy. Pete is a cannabis veteran who’s smoking daily and needs something with a high THC percentage to keep him going. Because he’s smoking so regularly, Pete doesn’t really care about the quality of his herbs as long as the weed is potent and fits into his budget. 

When shopping for cannabis, he will mostly approach you with, “give me whatever is the strongest,” or, “show me the THC percentage.”

Pete is usually the most straightforward customer to deal with. You don’t need to bother him with your explanation of terpenes and what’s the freshest right now. If the THC percentage doesn’t say +20%, he won’t care anyway. 

To deal with Pete, all you need to do is show him the THC percentages and prices so he can pick whatever is strong and fits into his budget. The easier you enable Pete to find his potent product, the more likely he’ll return to your store.

Grey Market Gary – A Hard to Please Type of Cannabis Customer

Gary is one of the rarest and most challenging customers to serve. He’s been part of the cannabis community for ages, long before weed was legal and mainstream. As an OG, Gary smoked various strains with various qualities while mostly paying even less than he does for 3.5 gs of average buds in your store.

Needless to say, Gary prefers the legacy days over the legal days and is very skeptical about government weed.

You will hear him saying things like, “I smoked weed before you were even born.” Or, “I’m only here because my buddy ran out of supply.”

Serving Gary is a balancing act because he wants great cannabis for a price that’s at least similar to what he used to pay back in the day. Don’t start by recommending the highly-priced AAA products because hearing these prices may make him leave the store right away.

Instead, ask Gary about the price range he’s aiming for and analyze the best product within this range.  If you try your best to find the right product and validate Gary’s concerns about the legal market, he will appreciate your efforts and, hopefully, come back to you once his buddy is out of supply again. 

Quality Quentin – A Sophisticated Type of Cannabis Customer

Quentin is the cannabis nerd amongst your customers who’s always down to try the most excellent of your new products. He knows a lot about weed and will try to show off his knowledge whenever he can. Therefore, the conversations with Quentin can be quite in-depth and long-lasting. 

Quentin is not a Pete. He doesn’t always need his weed to be super potent. 
What he cares about are nicely manufactured buds with a powerful aroma and smooth, flavourful smoke. 

“Can you show me something fresher than the stuff I bought the last time?” Or, “Does this one burn white?” are common questions you will get from this type of cannabis customer.

When dealing with Quentin, it’s essential that you either had a look at your products and roughly know what’s the best right now, or ideally even smoked something that you really enjoyed. 

If neither of those is the case, adhere to the Licensed Producers that are most renowned for producing great products, look through the packaging date to see what could be fresh, or simply ask one of your coworkers if they tried any new product they liked. 

Quentin is usually very patient and appreciates good service. Therefore, you can even take some time to go to the back and check on certain products. As long as he feels like you really care about selling him the best (and let him geek out about weed), he will know where to shop. 

Photo by Canva

Do some of these stereotypes sound similar to you? Do you see yourself as Nancy, Pete, Gary, or Quentin? Are there any other types of cannabis customers that we missed? 

Let us know in the comments or message us on Instagram @cannalifenet.