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Featured Budtender: Alex Omiotek

Alex Omiotek is a highly knowledgeable budtender and keyholder at Ronin Cannabis in Guelph. His cannabis journey started with self-acceptance.

“I got into the cannabis industry because cannabis is something I have recently learned to love and pride myself on, instead of feeling guilty for using. I’ve long used cannabis for many reasons, starting out purely as recreational exploration with friends and developing a deeper relationship with the various therapeutic elements of the plant.

“I have ADHD, so I find that cannabis helps me deal with a range of symptoms from helping me focus during the day to helping me turn off my racing mind at night. It’s also great for things like easing pain and bringing a sense of balance and tranquility during dreary winter months.

“As someone with ADHD identifying on the autism spectrum, I have never felt like I really belonged in any other job like I do cannabis. Anything other than ‘the normal way’ was a point of mockery to others, but in the cannabis scene, your creative quirks are your best ally.”

Job Highs

Budtenders are the people who make or break a transaction. Omiotek explains, “We as budtenders function as salespeople and tastemakers. I like that I have the power to help shape the future of the cannabis industry on a micro scale. When a customer submits their trust (and wallet) to you, it’s important to respect that and use your influence wisely. I like knowing that the education and recommendations I provide to customers will create a butterfly effect, which then increases sales for LPs. Budtenders decide which cannabis LPs succeed or fail.”

Customers Come First

Effective communication is the key to customer satisfaction. “The customer is always right—until they’re not—but you won’t know that unless you’re listening carefully,” says Omiotek. “The most essential part of satisfying a customer is hearing out their needs and then trying to brainstorm what products best fulfill those needs. Focus on building genuine friendships with every customer, and it’ll feel more like friends chatting every week than a business transaction.”

Nothing But Vibes

The vibe at Ronin is what sets them apart from other cannabis stores. “At Ronin, we like to keep it professional, friendly, and modern,” describes Omiotek.

We welcome everyone and make sure they feel at ease.

“We want customers to feel like they can come in being their authentic selves, yet we never drop the ball on providing top-tier, individualized service with the best quality products at the most reasonable price. Most importantly, we welcome everyone and make sure they feel at ease.”

Crystal Ball Gazing

What are Alex’s plans in the industry? “I hope to grow with Ronin Cannabis on the management side and soak up as much industry knowledge as possible to become a leading expert in Canada’s cannabis industry,” he says. “I’d also be interested in leaving the retail side altogether and joining an LP to provide them with my experience and skills in sales and marketing. I want to work for a company that produces high-quality products with high integrity.”

Follow Alex at @omiotaco on Instagram.

Tether was established in 2021 with the goal of creating a free community for budtenders across the country to come together. Tether events are a space for budtenders to network and learn from each other. Visit Tether https://tetherbuds.com

Photo courtesy of Alex Omiotek

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