How to Create a 420 Staffing Plan: 8 Steps for Success

A.W. Naves
March 11, 2024

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the excitement around 420, the unofficial holiday for cannabis enthusiasts. Flowhub reports that April 20, 2023, resulted in two times the normal dispensary sales of any other Thursday in the industry’s history. The 2024 holiday is shaping up to be even more lucrative for cannabis dispensaries. You will want to focus much of your energy on bundling products, discounts, and other incentives — but you will also need to make a solid staffing plan for tackling this year’s 420 rush.

In this guide, we’ll be going over 420 staffing plan basics, along with the steps you can take to create one. 

What is a Staffing Plan?

A staffing plan is simply the arrangements you make to ensure your business is staffed with the right people to meet customer demand. A staffing plan should include data-driven decisions, a thorough training plan, and ensuring your business is well-staffed while staying compliant. 

When preparing your 420 staffing plan, you should ensure that the employees you schedule for the 420 rush are reliable, available, and adequately trained to handle the increased traffic of this peak sales period. Ample staffing will help you to maximize profits on what is shaping up to be a very profitable sales day.

Why is a Staffing Plan Important for the 420 Rush?

A well-executed 420 staffing plan is crucial for cannabis dispensaries that want to take advantage of the anticipated increase in customer sales. Having a solid staffing plan in place can come with the following benefits for your dispensary:

  • It provides your customers with prompt and high-quality service.
  • A 420 staffing plan helps manage the increased workload for employees.
  • A staffing plan maximizes sales by having enough staff to serve customers efficiently.
  • It ensures compliance with regulations, such as age verification and product handling.

A busy dispensary on 420 that's prepared with a solid staffing plan.

8 Steps to Develop a 420 Staffing Plan

These eight steps will help you develop a quality staff schedule that will get you through the 420 rush seamlessly while boosting your profits.

1. Forecast 420 Sales and Customer Demand

Get prepared for the 420 rush by analyzing sales data from previous years. Look at the increase in customer traffic, popular products, and peak hours of business. Use this data to forecast your expected increase in sales and customer demand for the upcoming holiday. This will help you determine the additional staff needed to handle the increased workload.

2. Assess Current Workforce

Review your current staff levels, skills, and availability. Identify employees who have the flexibility to take on additional shifts or responsibilities during the 420 rush. Consider conducting a skills assessment to determine if any skill gaps need to be addressed through training or hiring additional staff. Here are some areas you might need to address:

  • Product Knowledge: Do employees fully understand different cannabis products and their effects? Are they up to speed on industry trends and changes?
  • Regulatory Compliance: Do employees know and follow all of the legal requirements applicable to your dispensary? 
  • Inventory Management: Can employees properly handle inventory and organize stock?
  • Customer Service Skills: Have you trained your employees on how to speak with customers and address their concerns properly? Are they respectful and inclusive?
  • Security Measures: Are staff trained on handling cash safely and preventing theft?
  • Health and Safety: Ensure that employees know how to handle products while following all health and safety protocols. Employees should also be familiar with contingency plans in the case of any emergencies. 
  • Tech Knowledge: Can employees operate all equipment necessary to complete their job such as POS systems and card readers?

3. Determine Staffing Needs for 420

Based on your sales forecast and assessment of the current workforce, calculate the additional staff required for each position. Consider peak hours, customer flow, and product popularity. Ensure that you have enough staff to handle the increase in demand while maintaining high customer service standards and compliance with regulations. If you have multiple dispensary locations, consider moving some of your top-performing employees to the busiest location during the week of the 420 holiday.

4. Hire Temporary Staff if Needed

If your data shows that your current workforce won’t be able to handle the 420 rush, consider hiring additional temporary or seasonal workers. Ensure temporary staff are trained on compliance procedures, product knowledge, and customer service expectations to ensure a seamless customer experience.

A dispensary manager is interviewing a woman for a temporary budtender position.

5. Develop a Training Program

Based on the identified skill gaps, create a training program for existing staff to enhance their skills and knowledge. The more knowledgeable your staff is, the more likely they are to make the sale considering that 94% of dispensary employees provide cannabis advice to customers. 

The training program should focus on areas such as product knowledge, customer service techniques, age verification procedures, and compliance with regulations. Cover the following areas in your training:

  • Dispensary Protocols: Each dispensary sets its own way of doing things. Train your employees on how you expect all aspects of their job to be completed so there are no misunderstandings or mistakes.
  • Products: Employees need to be knowledgeable about every product you sell. Consider developing a catalog of all products with pertinent information as a guide to study or fall back on. Allow employees to sample the products to give them first-hand knowledge of the effects.
  • POS Systems: Invest in a straightforward point-of-sale system and train employees on how to use it properly so there are no hiccups when closing a sale or compliance failures.
  • Sales Techniques: Train your employees on how to discuss products with customers and recommend what they need based on the information gathered. Customers prefer buying products from someone who they feel understands their wants or needs and meets them to their satisfaction. More importantly, they will keep coming back.

Download our free 420 training checklist here!

A banner ad to download 6 420 checklists, which includes a budtender training checklist.

6. Schedule Your Staff

Create a staffing schedule based on employee availability, peak business hours, and ensuring you avoid employee burnout. Share the schedule with employees as far in advance as possible so they are well-prepared for their shifts.  Maintaining compliance with local labor laws that dictate overtime restrictions and breaks can also be especially tricky during a busy time like 420. Scheduling software can save you time and money and keep you on the right side of the law. KayaPush automated dispensary scheduling software is designed with compliance in mind and will flag any issues.

7. Monitor Performance Leading Up to 420

The 420 holiday falls on a Saturday in 2024. So, dispensary owners will begin to see a steady rise in demand during the week preceding the big day. You should closely monitor employee performance during the month of April, and especially once the increased sales activity begins, to ensure that all staff are meeting expectations. Provide feedback and additional training, if necessary, to address any performance issues before the holiday begins.

8. Adjust Your 420 Staffing Plan as Needed

Be prepared to adjust your staffing plan based on real-time demand and feedback from employees regarding how they are managing the added influx of customers and increased sales. Flexibility and adaptability are key to guaranteeing that you have the right staff in place to handle the 420 rush effectively.

A dispensary manager reviewing sales data on his iPad to adjust his 420 staffing plan.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your dispensary is well-prepared to handle the 420 rush and reap the benefits of added sales.

Final Thoughts on Creating a 420 Staffing Plan

Having a well-staffed dispensary is crucial for making the most of this year’s holiday. By forecasting demand, assessing the current workforce, and implementing targeted training programs, you can be certain that your dispensary has the right people in place to meet the challenge.

Remember, KayaPush is here to help you with your dispensary’s people management needs. Book a demo today to learn more about how we can support your business during the 420 rush and beyond.

A banner ad to download 6 420 checklists to improve dispensary staffing success.

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March 2024


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