How To Create a Consistent Customer Experience in Your Dispensary with Buck Dutton (Native Roots)

Episode Description

In this episode, I interview Buck Dutton, VP of Marketing at Native Roots about the importance of building a brand in the cannabis industry, and how to create an effective customer journey in the process.

Buck Dutton, a former Procter & Gamble executive, talks about the unique regulations of the cannabis industry, building a brand that reflect the lifestyle in your community and how to stand out in a competitive market.

We also discuss the importance of bud tender education, collaborations and promotions, and how to create an effective customer experience which keeps the promise of a consistent experience every time.


As Vice President of Marketing for Native Roots Cannabis Co., Buck Dutton develops, implements and oversees all marketing and media strategy, customer research, event sponsorships and internal branding for Colorado’s leading independent network of cannabis dispensaries. Among other things, Dutton develops long-range and seasonal omni-channel marketing strategies across all product lines and retail brands, and ensures all visual representations of Native Roots align with company values and purpose.

Dutton brings years of high-level corporate marketing experience to Native Roots, including leadership roles within a global Fortune 50 consumer products goods corporation. His specialties include crafting scalable strategies and processes to drive growth; centering brands on the consumer experience; prioritizing creative product innovation and launches; promotion strategy and pricing; visual merchandising; strategic planning; CRM and social media strategy; data analysis; sales management; and agency management.

Find out more about Native Roots at:

#CannabisIndustry #BrandBuilding #NativeRoots #CustomerExperience #BudTenderEducation #Collaborations #Promotions #CannabisRegulations #Lifestyle #Community #CompetitiveMarketing #BuckDutton #ConsistentExperience

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Episode Transcript

Tom Mulhern: Welcome back to the Kaya Cast podcast. I'm your host, Tom Mulhern, and today on the show I am sharing my interview with Buck Dutton. Dutton is the VP of marketing at the largest independent cannabis dispensary in Colorado. Now, we know Colorado's been at the game, the cannabis game for a while, and Native Roots has really built a brand that's super strong, super unique in an oversaturated market like.

Buck shares some of his insights into what has really helped Native Roots grow to become what they are today, this leading dispensary in their area. Part of that is in the thing that I, I, I kept thinking about this after he said this during the interview at MjBizCon, that building a brand means keeping a promise to your customers.

And at the end of the day, that is what is gonna make you a brand that is gonna continue to grow and scale like nothing else. If you're able to create a customer experience where you keep that promise to your customers every time they walk into your store, you'll be unstoppable.

So I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did with Buck Dutton.

Tom Mulhern: As Vice President of Marketing for Native Roots Cannabis Company, Buck Dutton develops implements and oversees all marketing and media strategy, customer research, event sponsorship, and internal branding for Colorado's leading independent network of cannabis dispensaries.

Among other things, Dutton develops long range. Seasonal omnichannel marketing strategies across all product lines and retail brands, and ensures all visual representation of Native Roots aligns with company values and purposes. Dutton brings years of high level corporate marketing experience to Native roots, centering brands on consumer experience, prioritizing creative product innovation launches, promotion strategy and pricing, visual merchandising, strategic planning, CRM and social media strategy, data analysis, sales management, agency management.

What don't you do?

Buck Dutton: I would like for you to walk in the room and announce me that way. Every time I come, every time, every time I come into a room, that's the announcement.

Tom Mulhern: I, I think that makes sense. Like, it, it makes sense that someone should, you should hire someone to do that. Perfect. You do a lot of stuff.

Buck Dutton: I do a lot of stuff. And I love it. Love staying busy.

Tom Mulhern: That's so good. So let's jump right in. Tell me a bit about your background. Mm-hmm. , you obviously have a, a lot of experience in marketing and then how you ended up in cannabis. Sure.

Buck Dutton: So to get started, I am from Georgia, so if my southern accent comes out, just bear with me.

There's no wine in here, so we should be good. But I am originally from Georgia moved to Miami in the early two thousands. Worked for Proctor and Gamble on the Art of Shaving brand based out of Miami. Had to go to Boston quite a bit and loved my time there. Loved the customer. It was a, a luxury men's grooming.

It was a great product, great customer, great people to work with. My time there was coming to an end. I knew we were transitioning the business. I knew my time was coming to an end, did not know what I wanted to do, and I got tagged in a LinkedIn post and it was with the Chief Sales Officer of a cannabis company in Colorado called Native Roots.

I had never heard of it. I didn't know anything. Well, I shouldn't say I didn't know anything about cannabis, but I didn't know anything about selling cannabis. Denise and I started talking. She's our uh, chief sales Officer where I got tagged. We started talking, sent her my resume and interviews, flew out, and three months later I was moving to Colorado.

Tom Mulhern: Before we jump into Native Roots and everything you've done there, what's been, you know, coming out of consumer products and Art of Shaving, I looked at that, it made me want to get like, fancy shaving stuff. But what's kind of been the most surprising thing about entering into cannabis? Like, you know, you're here at MJ Biz, the biggest cannabis convention in the world.

What surprised you about entering this field?

Buck Dutton: First of all, MJ biz is insane. Yeah. It is. This ballroom that we're in is so massive, and then to know that it's doing the exact same thing above us, A floor above. Yeah. Like, it's just mind boggling. Yeah. It's huge and it's, it's amazing that so many people have come together under one roof to talk about this plant.

So very excited to be here. But the thing that is the most surprising. I mean there's the funny, surprising, and then there's the negative. Surprising. The funny surprising is in my very first executive meeting, we were all sitting around the table and somebody asked the question, what's your favorite way to consume cannabis?

Yeah. And coming from Proctor and Gamble, I was like, what? What are you talking about ? We're gonna talk about how we smoke weed. Sitting around this conference table. So that was the funny, haha. But the thing that's been the most surprising is the regulations. Mm-hmm. , like, there are a lot of regulations around the cannabis industry. A lot of people want to classify us that we are in the same category as alcohol. And I would actually love to be regulated like alcohol.

But we're not, we're in a special area of the law.

Tom Mulhern: How did Native Roots kind of grow to be Colorado? Leading independent network of cannabis dispensaries. And what does that mean?

Buck Dutton: What it actually means to us is Native Roots has always been one of the largest in one of the first in Colorado.

We came online, I believe, in 2009. Rec was voted in in 2012. We began selling adult use in 2014. And through all of that, native Roots has been focused on one thing, and that is the customer journey. Mm-hmm. . And what, what is the journey that Tom wants to have when you come into the store? Like when you go home and experience our product, what is the journey you want to have?

And that's where our focus is, and that's how we've been able to grow from where we are. And when we say we're the largest independent We are the third largest in the state, but we are the largest that is privately owned. Our other two big competitors in the state are MSOs.

Tom Mulhern: Talk me through that customer journey, cuz that's so key to you guys of walking in to a Native Roots dispensary.

What mm-hmm. , what is that customer experience like that sets you apart?

Buck Dutton: We have two different models and so our older stores are, I hate to say this, but they're the pawn shop style. If you've been into a dispensary, you've probably been into a, a pawn shop style dispensary, especially if you've been in one of the originals in Colorado or one of the early states.

I was just in some dispensaries in Illinois and they look like Apple stores. Which is definitely not what they look like circa 2015. So we do have the pawn shop model, and then we also have, we have two stores that are more open design. I hate to say that they're the Apple layout, but there's nice wood and lighting and, and they're beautiful.

But the budtender is exactly the same in each location. They're there to help the customer whether you're looking at beautiful visuals or one of our original stores. It's the budtender experience and the education that the budtender has that is going to give you the same experience no matter where you are when you're in Native Roots.

Tom Mulhern: Now looking at marketing, how have you kind of developed some of the marketing and media strategies around Native Roots?

Cuz I know we work in a challenging field to do any sort of marketing. So what are some ways you've developed those strategies?

Buck Dutton: So, I have to say that our best friend in the office is our legal team. We have a team of attorneys that work with us and compliance officers and they make sure that we are always staying on the up and up.

Send them an email, crazy idea, Hey, I wanna start advertising on a podcast. I send it to them, they get back to me in a couple weeks and they say, this is what you can, and this is what you cannot do. Oh, okay. And so I rely on them to really say what doors we can walk through, what doors we can't. Social media is extremely challenging right now.

Instagram is, I feel like somebody at Instagram is sitting there with the block button, just itching, just like there's another one. So we're, we're being really careful with our social media. at the moment. But we do a lot of email communication. We do text communication. We have our social channels, obviously and then we do print advertising, digital space.

We're trying to get into that a little bit more. That one is really tricky. And just try to talk to our consumer where they are. We've recently taken on a lot of event sponsorships and that has been a really big win for us. So it

Tom Mulhern: sounds like you're kind of developing a, an omnichannel marketing strategy.

So there's the digital, there's the in-store. What does that look like for you guys?

Buck Dutton: It is difficult for the online experience to replicate the in-store experience cuz there are so many things that we can and we cannot do. I was actually in a session yesterday and one of the recommendations was to rebuild your website and remove all mention of cannabis, marijuana and dispensary from your language.

And I turned to our vice president of it who was sitting next to me, and he looked at me and he said, I'm throwing up in my mouth. Like, you're not doing that.

Tom Mulhern: What was the rationale behind that?

Buck Dutton: So that Google would crawl your website better and not think that you are a cannabis dispensary.

It's a great idea. Yeah. Don't get me wrong. It is a great idea. It's just not something that is very feasible for someone like us.

Our website was designed to be a cannabis selling platform, and at the end of the day, we are not a cannabis company. We are a retail company that happens to sell cannabis. Yeah. So we are trying to make the shopping experience online so much more robust. And so much more full of education.

Buck Dutton: Because that's what consumers are really wanting. I got very frustrated. I had bought a product from one of our own stores and couldn't find it on the website to learn about it and it was a nightmare. And I was like, if I'm having this situation, so are our customers and we've gotta fix that.

Tom Mulhern: Interesting. So you're, you're, that's, that's a pretty big shift, like in thinking. Say, say that again.

Buck Dutton: We're not a cannabis company. We're a retail company that happens to sell cannabis.

Tom Mulhern: So what does that translate into, into your marketing, your business practices?

Buck Dutton: Just meeting the customer where they are. We all know how to shop for what we like. There is that consumer that wants to come in and look around. If you're in a pawn shop model type dispensary, you can't do that. You walk up to a counter and you can only talk to that one person and see what's in the case and that's it.

And that's not how anybody shops for anything unless you're at a butcher counter. But that's not how people shop anymore. And so we're trying to meet the consumer where they are in their shopping experience.

Tom Mulhern: So what are some of your kind of breakthroughs that you've done to meet the consumer where they're at, create that normalization of that shopping experience?

Buck Dutton: I would say that our dispensary design we tested out a new design right as the pandemic was starting. So we had two stores that opened in 2020. Not the best time, May of 2020 at that. And they're beautiful stores.

But they give you that I can wonder around, walk and explore and learn about products on my own. There's a lot of education on the walls and poster and digital format. You can pick up product packaging, of course. There is no product on the sales floor if you are trying to rob us. Which happens quite frequently.

People get joints filled with oregano all day long. But that's what you keep out on the Yeah. Yeah. We either have empty packaging or our joints are filled with oregano. Okay. On the sales floor. Simply because everything has to be locked up at night and we have to take everything out of the case.

And it's just easier if we, if we. But you would be surprised at how many times people will drive their car through the front door and then smash open the cases and take all of the display joints. It happens about once every two months.

Tom Mulhern: Maybe they're like a pizza company that they just need oregano.

Maybe. Maybe, yeah. We start putting some crush red pepper out there too.

So now you guys are in such a legacy market like Colorado, it's been around forever. What are some ways that dispensaries can stand out in those markets that have been around for a long time? I mean, obvious. Hopefully they've built brand names over that time, but what are some ways that you guys stand out and other dispensaries can stand out?

Buck Dutton: It's funny that and we are a, an established market compared to the rest of the country, but it is still an emerging industry and it is so new and there's so much we don't know. But Colorado it is, it's easy to stand out if you can connect with your customer. Mm-hmm. , because Colorado is, is all about the Colorado lifestyle.

You. America's favorite playground. Yeah. You know, you've got the mountains skiing, et cetera. When you can attach your brand or see how your brand fits into that Colorado lifestyle, that's what helps you stand out.

Tom Mulhern: And you guys have done that with your website. I know you're saying you're kind of rebranding and re reframing your marketing, but like you really have done that. Mm-hmm. where you, you feel like a Colorado brand, even your social media posts. All of that feels so local.

Buck Dutton: That's how it feels working there too.

Yeah. If I have to say, it feels like you're working in a family business. Sometimes you don't always get along with your dad, but at the end of the day, you're family and you stick together.

Tom Mulhern: That's right. Now you're, you're actually speaking here at MjBizcon, correct? I am, yes. And you're speaking on brands.

Collaborations, collaborations. Tell me a bit about how brands can collaborate with dispensaries and what does that look like?

Buck Dutton: We do it quite well. We don't always get it right, you know, we get it wrong sometimes too, and I think that's a big piece that people need to remember is that not every collaboration, not everything you set out to do is gonna be successful. Yeah. You have to be ready and. To fail. And I know that's hard to hear, especially in a down market, but you do, you have to be prepared to fail.

But the whole point of collaborations between brands and dispensaries is really about driving that consumer traffic into your dispensary store. Our bud tenders are so educated that if we can get you in the door, we can find the product that's right for you. Mm-hmm. , we've gotta find creative ways to get you to come and see us.

We just recently partnered with Veritas Fine Cannabis. They're a flower grower in Colorado. They're amazing people to work with. I love their product. They grow amazing flower. We make amazing cartridges, so it was almost a match made in heaven, if you will. Yeah. We got their flash frozen flower, processed it into cartridges, and now we're doing a drop of Veritas and Native Roots live resin carts. We do it about once a quarter.

Tom Mulhern: It's kind of like in micro breweries when like two breweries work together. Correct, yes. And create something so much better. Have there been other brands that you've kind of partnered with and,

Buck Dutton: There have been, we've been, it's, it's funny that you bring up breweries because we've actually partnered with a couple of breweries to release limited edition cartridges that are flavored, like they're seasonal flavors. So Cool. We did one with left-hand brewery in I think they're in Longmont. Yeah, they're, I was about to say Boulder. They're in Longmont. We did one, they had a pineapple ale last summer, so we did a, I had that one actually. we did a pineapple beer or a pineapple vape to go along with it.

And then this past May, we did one down in Colorado Springs where they were doing a mango beer. And so we released a mango vape. And it was great brand overlap.

Tom Mulhern: Well, and again, that goes back to that like local, because Colorado is all about micro breweries. And so it's so cool to hear you guys partnering, not just with other cannabis brands, but going outside of that because your consumer, they're drinking left hand beer.

Buck Dutton: I think a lot of people like to assume that there's the alcohol consumer and there's the cannabis consumer. But it's like a 60% crossover. Totally. And so meeting that customer again, where they are. We even set up a popup. We had a popup little tent set up at Longmont and we were educating people on cannabis.

We weren't selling. But you buy your pineapple beer, come learn about the pineapple terpenes that we use in our vape cartridge. And there's a store down the street.

Tom Mulhern: Interesting. And I mean, even the, like you're saying, that crossover. Clients, like there's different times that you want alcohol and there's different times you want to consume cannabis.

Mm-hmm. So giving people the options and the opportunity to kind of have different experiences. Is such a creative marketing.

Buck Dutton: Oh yeah. And it's a lot of fun. It's, it's a lot of fun when, when a brewery calls you and said, would you mind coming down and tasting these eight beers and see which one you like?

It's like, hell yeah, I will. Yeah. I

Tom Mulhern: just have to bring my whole marketing team, you

Buck Dutton: know, I don't wanna leave them. We're bringing people and of course, you know, they, I just slip in, you know, if you need anything that you need us to test, yeah, we'd be more than happy to do so.

Tom Mulhern: What are some of the other products that you guys create at Native Roots?

Buck Dutton: Our number one product that we produce is flower. Okay. So we have about a 200,000 square foot grow facility in Denver. It is, an amazing facility. We have a great flower product and we just rebranded all of our flower this summer. So we have three different tiers. We have our gold label, which is our primo handpicked hand. I mean, it's basically our head grow. Love it and love on it and do on it, and it's amazing.

And it drops occasionally and it sells out almost instantly. Our onyx labels are everyday house flower. It's amazing, amazing product. And our green label is for the budget friendly. It comes in a little bit of a bigger package. You get a half ounce instead of a, an eighth. And still really good, really good flower.

Tom Mulhern: So some of the branding with that, you've created demand with, I mean, obviously there's a higher quality product. Is that an intentional marketing?

Buck Dutton: It's a little intentional. Yeah. It, it's a little bit of both. So we know that our customer loves a high-end flower experience or that there's a section of our customer that likes that high-end flower experience.

And then there's the people that wanna just come in and buy as much weed as they possibly can for as little money as they have. Yeah. And we like to serve both of those clients. But where we end up seeing most of our customers net out is in the mid level our onyx. Which is our eights. It's just a really good everyday flower.

Tom Mulhern: That's interesting cuz it's, it is going back to that brewery, like there's those like really high end beers that you get in like the big bottle. Mm-hmm. , that's like Traps, monk, and you, you know, and, and then there's like some more micro brewery and then there's Coors. Like you can, you can whatever.

If you're going camping, you're floating down the river. Like there's different, different. Products for different needs,

Buck Dutton: so, right. Yeah. I always say it's funny that you turn to beer. I love that. I'm gonna have to remember that one. I always say it's kind of like, vodka. You've got your gray goose and this is your gold label.

You're drinking a dirty martini, something. You want something really nice. This is your gold label. Smooth, special occasion. Your onyx is your everyday, your Tito's, your absolute. Yeah. And then when you wanna make a punch, you get the green label. That's right.

Tom Mulhern: That's right. So looking. Marketing, going back to marketing mm-hmm.

what are some of the biggest roadblocks that you're running into, like, and, and that other dispensaries are kind of running into as they're trying to get their brand out there or trying to build their brand?

Buck Dutton: It's hard because there are so many regulations around cannabis advertising and getting your name out there.

And just the way that we are regulated we sponsored the Denver Pride this past summer. And it was really sad because, you know, there were two alcohol brands that were there that were doing activations in the park. They were giving out swag, they sponsored the parade, they were on television for the parade, et cetera.

And we were the first cannabis brand to be at Denver Pride. And we were required to be in a tent that had four, four walls. So our tent was completely like blocked off. So you couldn't see anything inside. We had to ID people before they came into the tent and all we were doing was educating on cannabis.

We were not selling, we were not giving product away. Nothing along those lines. We couldn't be in the parade. And it was just, it was very sad because a lot of people look at us like we are, like, we are alcohol, but we're not being treated like alcohol.

No. We're being treated worse.

Tom Mulhern: How do you think we can move that pendulum to change, to drop that stigma?

Buck Dutton: My answer to this is my answer to a lot of questions in cannabis. But it comes and it boils down to education. Mm. We are on the right path of destigmatizing cannabis usage, but we have a long way to go.

In my opinion, it's not changing fast enough. And the regulations are really hurting us in the, tax d epartment 280e and the way that we are taxed and the way that we don't get to write things off like a normal company does. And people think that we're raking in money handover fist. Yeah. And it's like most dispensaries are barely staying afloat.

Tom Mulhern: You guys have built an amazing brand and you have the resources. Amazing marketing department. What about those smaller, independent mom and pop shops? How can they kind of develop a brand without having.

A, a huge team to be able to do that. Like do you have some tips for how they can do that?

Buck Dutton: A lot of people assume that building a brand is getting your logo and your letterhead and putting your name on the door, and that's not how you build a brand. Like your brand is what your promise is to your customer.

So I think making sure that you have your clear, what are, why are we here? And it's not to sell weed. Yeah. But why, why are you here? Why are you starting this business? What is the promise that you're making to your consumer when they walk into the door. That's how you build your brand and making sure that you can achieve that brand loyalty.

And in my opinion, brand loyalty starts at the bud tender level.

Tom Mulhern: And that doesn't take a huge, you know, multi-million dollar investment and like, you know, this huge marketing budget that could, that could be like in a small town that can

Buck Dutton: be mom, pop, mom and pop grassroots effort. Yeah, absolutely.

Tom Mulhern: Keeping that promise to your customers that.

Buck Dutton: That that's your foundation and where you take it from there, it's, you know, it's up to you how you wanna build it out and building it out and scaling. It obviously does take funds, but just making sure that you have your foundation set. What is it that you're promising your customer.

Tom Mulhern: Now if, if they want to like, develop the brand even further?

What are some, what are some ways that you could see maybe, maybe a larger than just like a small organization to start working to develop a brand like. maybe one day, like it'll get as big as Native roots, but like what are some steps? Keeping those promises, but what else?

Buck Dutton: There's so much data out there to tell you what customers are looking for when they shop.

But the number one thing that people always say, the reason that they shop in a dispensary, I think it's something like 51% of consumers say that they go to a dispensary because of the location. And you know, there's a marketing team can't. I mean, we can help choose the location in the beginning, but if it's a bad location, then there's not a marketing plan in the world that's gonna save it, not, not at this juncture, not when you've got five dispensaries.

You're gonna pass as you turn around to come back to mine.

Tom Mulhern: There's so many different options of where someone can buy cannabis products. Mm-hmm. now, especially like in Oh yeah. Canada and Colorado. And so you have to stand out by Right. Creating that, creating that experience. And, and I, I want to go back to what you guys have done.

What are some creative ways that you, as Native Roots have created a, an enhanced customer experience?

Buck Dutton: It's education, education, education. And we, we've actually just launched our advanced sales trading for bud tenders because it's not just knowing the product information, it goes beyond that. What questions do you need to be asking your consumer? Get at what they're, why are they buying cannabis in the first place?

You know, a lot of people walk in and say, I want to get high. But a lot of people are coming in for real health issues and while we don't give medical advice, and I'm not advocating that we give medical advice knowing which products to suggest for that customer based on what their needs are, is super important.

I hate, hate when I go into a dispensary and the budtender tells me what their favorite product is because your system, your cannabinoid system is very different from mine and what you might think is the most amazing product in the world might give me the worst trip of my life. And then I've lost all credibility in my bud tender.

So I cannot stand when somebody says, well, my favorite product is, fill in the blank.

Tom Mulhern: Going, going back to marketing you mentioned email marketing. Mm-hmm. So how have you guys found email marketing to be an effective marketing strategy? Because obviously you can say pretty much anything you want if, as long as you're staying compliant with in email marketing practices, but like how have you guys used that to get your brand out there?

Buck Dutton: We are actually overhauling our email marketing as we speak. Okay. It's been very promotional based in the past and there's so much more we could be talking about in email. So we've actually gone, when I first started, we sent two emails a month, went on the first and went on the 15th to talk about the deals, promotions, and what you could save.

Since then, we've expanded to about eight emails. Two of them are still the promotional because people do really look for that, what's on sale this month? But the other six are really talking about the brand, brand experiences, bud tender experiences education on new products, education on current products.

Just because we've had something for five years, does it mean that everyone that walks in knows about it. So it's resurfacing that and making sure the consumer stays educated. And we've been very successful with our email marketing because we have it tied to loyalty points. So if you want to come in and shop with us and get a dollar or get a point for every dollar you spend, I'm gonna need some information from you.

And that's how we track it. And we have great conversion from our email campaigns.

Tom Mulhern: Do you have other ways that you're kind of educating. Other than the bud tenders, like through digital, whether it's videos or you know, on your website or different ways to

Buck Dutton: Yeah, we're, We're, we've been experimenting with the video reels all of that stuff.

But, you know, the Instagram is a, so is a sore topic at the moment. I was very excited you said that this would be on YouTube because we've been talking about launching our YouTube channel. We have our, you know, we have a basic YouTube page. But we want to see is this, you know, the next place where we go and we talk to consumers because there's so much we could do.

We're actually, for Thanksgiving, we're launching our Thanksgiving campaign. Okay. Where we're actually teaching people how to cook with using infused products and infused ingredients. Because we get a lot of customers through our emails that say , I can buy a cookie, but what if I wanna make my own?

How do I do that?

Tom Mulhern: That's interesting. So give me, I mean, I don't know if you have a sneak peek of the recipe, but like, what are some recipes that people can do? Like, do you, do you know,

Buck Dutton: I saw some of them. There's one actually already live on our Instagram page if you want to check it out. It's my recipe.

It's for a lemon cake. I use lemon infused or I use infused butter to make lemon cake. And then I. My favorite Contessa. She has a great lemon curd recipe, and it's just a great a great dish. We have a chef chef royalty Yeah. Who's going to be working with us, and he's developing a cannabis infused gravy recipe.

Oh man. I'm very much looking forward to trying that one out.

Tom Mulhern: What is one tip that you would have for a dispensary to grow their business?

Like your, your nugget of truth that you. You, you've kind of shared it a couple times.

Buck Dutton: Yeah. I kind of shared it, but I can simplify it. What's the promise to your customer and make sure your bud tender is as trained and educated as possible? Yeah, those two things. And I think that will set you up for success.

Tom Mulhern: What's the coolest thing that you've seen here at MJ Bizcon?

Buck Dutton: I was telling our publicist earlier this morning, I was like, it's so fun to walk through the halls and see all these giant machines that people have created and designed for cannabis and to see them all running and moving.

Yeah. And I am not in the operations department. I'm not in the production space. So I think that that is fascinat. But the best thing that I've seen at MjBizcon is the camaraderie with the people. I was the first person to a happy hour or second person to a happy hour, and I didn't know anyone who was gonna be there yesterday.

And within five minutes I had 10 new best friends. Yeah. And it's just, it's a great place to be.

Tom Mulhern: It's a community like did you, now, not to throw disparity, but like, did you feel that in other industries that you had worked in? No, no,

Buck Dutton: no. This, this industry is very different. It's very special. It's hard. It's not always easy, but it's a lot of fun.

Tom Mulhern: It feels like everyone is working together for the common good because we really are. It's like we're working together. We have this amazing product, this plant that we all believe in. Yeah. And even if we like, like I'm kind of similar, I unintentionally end it up in cannabis, like, okay. Yeah. I was like, oh, here we are, you know?

And now I'm passionate about this plant. And these businesses. And so I think there is this like comradery ship of like, let's do this together. So

Buck Dutton: Oh yeah. And everyone is here for the same goal. Yeah. And that, it's just an amazing feeling when you walk around and you see how passionate people are.

The sessions that I've attended, people are just, they're, it's just great to be here. Yeah.

Tom Mulhern: So how can people connect with you and Native Roots and, yeah. Everything.

Buck Dutton: Visit our website. And if you can't find it, we have multiple, or hopefully you can find it. Multiple email addresses on our website, you can reach out. CS is one customer service at Native Roots and marketing at Native roots.

Tom Mulhern: Buck, it's been great talking with you and really hearing about what you guys are doing. I, I love the fact that budtender education is so important to you and I am Yeah. That's, that's what's, that's what's grown your company and I, I wish you guys all the best for continued growth in the years ahead. Yeah.

Buck Dutton: Excellent. Thank you so much for having me. And thank you to MJ Biz Con for having us all out here. And it was great to meet you and talk to you.

Tom Mulhern: I really appreciate everything that Buck had to share in our conversation. And I kept thinking about how he said that at the end of the day, Native Roots isn't a just a cannabis company. They're a retail company that sells cannabis. And I know that kind of is the same thing, but positioning themselves as

a retail company. So putting those standard operating procedures in place, building a strong team, training your bud tenders, you know, having that company culture that regular retail stores have has helped them to sell cannabis even better. And so again, I want to thank Buck and the whole crew over at Native Roots for sharing they're unique insights that they have used to grow their business. You know, If I'm ever in Colorado, I hope I get the chance to get that customer experience and see if they're fulfilling their promise. Cuz I have a pretty good feeling they are. I also want to thank everyone who's been listening to the podcast.

You know, in the past couple, uh, weeks, we've really seen a lot of new, new listeners and a lot of new people checking out the podcast, and we appreciate everyone who is listening and continue to share this with your friends. We've got a lot of really exciting things coming from kaya Push and Kaya Cast in the coming year, and we can't wait to share those with you.

So subscribe, share with your friends and review. Also follow us on social media because we've got lots of clips, lots of great tips for you as dispensary owners.

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