With adult-use consumers sometimes speaking to budtenders about medical matters, it is essential that we consider the duty of confidentiality expected from these non-medical professionals. Are there any obligations on a budtender’s part when it comes to protecting and respecting a consumer’s confidential medical information?
Despite the fact that budtenders do not have a doctor-patient confidentiality obligation, Massachusetts still enforces their right of privacy statute: “a person shall have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with [his/her/their] privacy”. That is to say everyone has the right to remain private and free from any kind of unwarranted intrusion. As such, it’s important that budtenders take extra care with any information shared by their customers regarding medical matters.
Budtenders should not share personal and/or private medical information with anyone outside the dispensary unless legally required to do so or authorized by the consumer in question. Additionally, they should be sure to ensure that any such information is kept secure and not shared with anyone else. If a consumer does discuss medical matters, budtenders should take the extra step to remind them about the importance of discretion and privacy, as well as ensure that any information is relayed or stored in a safe manner.
Not only do these measures protect consumers’ right to privacy, they also prevent any potential misuse or abuse of medical information. For the budtenders, it’s also important to note that they could be held liable for any accidental breaches of confidentiality. Therefore, respecting and protecting consumers’ confidential medical information is essential in order to maintain a safe and secure dispensary environment for all.
So, what should you do? It’s essential to consider every situation on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, it is likely not prudent to impart confidential customer information—for instance, if an individual suffering from depression requests your advice regarding cannabis strains that could help them cope with their condition, maintaining discretion would be the most advisable course of action.
The bottom line is that budtenders should do their best to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their customers. Respect the patient’s right to remain anonymous and keep the medical information they provide to you confidential. It’s important to tread lightly, listen carefully and offer advice that is in line with the customer’s needs.
When it comes down to it, respect for their customers is key for any successful budtender. By protecting customer privacy and confidentiality, you will help ensure that your customers feel safe and respected in your dispensary. Doing so will help build loyalty and trust between you and your customers, as well as maintain a positive reputation for your business. It’s a win-win situation!
By protecting customer privacy and confidentiality, you are demonstrating your commitment to responsible cannabis use, helping to ensure the safety of those who rely on your services. Doing so will help build loyalty and trust between you and your customers, as well as maintain a positive reputation for your business. It’s the right thing to do!
In an industry that is still growing and evolving, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest laws, regulations, and trends. As a budtender, it is your responsibility to be informed and up-to-date. By protecting the privacy of your customers and respecting their confidential medical information, you are doing the right thing for them, as well as for your business. So remember: Respect patient confidentiality! It’s essential that we do our part to protect the privacy and safety of our customers.
Want to know more? Then check out our upcoming Advanced RVT class on Privacy & Confidentiality. Stay safe out there. Cheers!