Learn Brands And The OLCC Set To Begin Budtender Sampling Program In Oregon: Q&A
Learn Brands — the leader in online cannabis learning management systems — is already working with more than 300 brands in over 2,000 cannabis dispensaries across almost half of the states in the Nation.
And we’re not done yet.
In today’s blog, we’re proud to announce the upcoming start of a new budtender sampling program in coordination and compliance with the state of Oregon’s cannabis regulatory agency — the OLCC, and we’re going to answer some of the most important questions surrounding this new program.
In short, this program creates opportunities for trackable, compliant budtender sampling across the state in a way that will connect and educate budtenders, consumers, dispensaries, and cannabis brands like never before.
To learn more about the upcoming changes to budtender sampling in Oregon, read on. To learn more about how Learn Brands can empower your employees, customers, brand, or agency through dynamic, interactive online learning and a set of robust reporting tools, visit us online today.
What Is The OLCC?
Until midnight of August 1, 2021, The OLCC was the Oregon Liquor Control Commission responsible for liquor licensing, permitting, compliance, and the regulation and sale of alcohol throughout Oregon. However, on August 2nd, the OLCC became the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission in order to better reflect the role that agency was — and had been — playing in the licensing, permitting, compliance, regulation, and sale of cannabis throughout the state as well.
Since Oregon voters approved Measure 91 in November of 2014, the OLCC has developed and deployed administrative, financial, and support apparatuses for both arms of the Oregon cannabis industry - retail and medical, ensuring a standard to which all grow operations, all cannabis retailers and medical providers, and all customers will be held.
Like any other organization navigating and guiding a new, rapidly growing industry, the OLCC has always been hard at work adapting to changes in the industry and adopting measures put forth by the constituents and legislature of the state.
The new budtender sampling rewards program with Learn Brands offers a trackable, controllable way of getting cannabis samples into the hands of the people who are actively working on a daily basis to educate consumers and promote a healthy cannabis culture statewide along with many other benefits.
How Does The Budtender Sampling Rewards Program Work?
The key to creating a successful budtender sampling rewards program is bringing together stakeholders in a way that provides incentives while promoting education and maintaining compliance.
Learn Brands is able to accomplish this through the power of our online cannabis learning management system, overcoming the challenges and roadblocks that have existed until this point.
It all begins with the ability to remain compliant, ensuring that samples are only given to the right people, the right way, and in the right amounts.
Since every budtender on our platform is a verified employee of a licensed cannabis dispensary, and only cannabis industry workers and operators can join the platform, Learn Brands is able to create trackable, person by person — or rather, budtender by budtender — reporting on which employees have been provided with which samples.
This allows individual dispensaries to cross-reference our reporting with their own inventory reward distributions and verify that their reporting to METRC is accurate and compliant.
Budtenders log in, participate in brand-developed training for a specific product, and then, that product is distributed at a reduced cost to the budtender directly out of the dispensary’s inventory. This in-system sale is what allows for compliance tracking within METRC.
All inventory rewards are logged in Learn Brands’ and dispensaries can pull weekly or monthly reports on all distributed inventory rewards, allowing them to accurately and compliantly submit credit requests for the wholesale costs of the distributed rewards. All program participants, at all levels, have transparent access to the sampling distributions, locations, and quantities.
Why Does A Budtender Sampling Program Matter?
We’ve covered the importance of budtender sampling in a previous blog, but let’s review how those benefits show up in the specific case of budtender sampling within the State of Oregon.
Removing Barriers to Equitable Sampling and Compliant Tracking
One of the biggest challenges with budtender sampling is ensuring that there is equal, and compliant access to the cannabis products to be sampled. How do you make sure that all budtenders have equal access to brand-provided samples? For that matter, how do you guarantee that a sample actually makes it into the hands of a budtender, and not someone else?
These types of questions are a large part of what has suppressed sampling in Oregon since legalization. There were just too many variables and offramps for untrackable products to enter the market. But with everything being tracked through the combination of the store inventory and a system of verified, registered Learn Brands users, these challenges are no longer insurmountable.
Each individual sampling product comes directly off the shelf, is entered and tracked, and each budtender can only ever receive a single sample per reward preventing users from abusing the system.
Best of all, the Inventory rewards system through Learn Brands ensures that no matter which location an employee works at, what their schedule looks like, or what their financial situation looks like, everyone has equal access to the training and the sampling reward.
Advancing Cannabis Education
The ability to sample a budtender on a new product obviously promotes individual experience with the product that allows the budtender to provide personal testimony to consumers. But when you combine this with the requirement that budtenders participate in an engaging training or educational module to access the sample reward first, you take cannabis education to a whole new level — and that’s exactly what we are doing.
Creating a healthy, consumer-positive culture around and within the cannabis industry is an important goal and responsibility of everyone within that industry, and this program excels at creating both standardized education and the opportunity for individual experience and reflection on that education — a position from which budtenders can disseminate accurate and useful information to consumers and the public at-large.
Promoting New Cannabis Products
Our inventory sample rewards program also helps to invigorate the industry by empowering both existing and new cannabis brands to promote their products in a fair, compliant, and direct manner, providing the kind of competition that keeps a marketplace competitive and healthy while producing quality goods for consumers.
Creating a Better Consumer Experience
All three of the previous benefits point directly to focusing on the experience of a single group: consumers.
Without these people and the demand they generate, the cannabis industry isn’t a thing. By educating cannabis workers, promoting new products, and contributing to a thriving marketplace, Learn Brands and the OLCC are promoting an improved customer experience, top to bottom.
From better recommendations to more accurate cannabis education, our inventory sampling rewards program promotes a safer, healthier, and more personal experience for cannabis consumers.
Starting a Dialogue Between Brands and Budtenders
In order to continue to serve the end-user better, cannabis brands need to receive input from experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy sources. What better way to do this than to lean on the front-line force of budtenders who are engaging with customers all day, every day?
Through the Learn Brands platform, budtenders are able to provide feedback to participating cannabis brands based on their own experiences and from their engagements with customers, offering invaluable information for brands to gather market data and improve their products.
What Can Learn Brands Do For My Organization?
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