What You’ll Learn:
In this guide to how to become a dispensary budtender, we’ll be talking about:
How to Become a Budtender in the Cannabis Industry
Have you ever thought about starting a career in the marijuana industry? It’s no secret that the world of cannabis is expanding by the minute, and the opportunity to forge your own professional path is ready for the taking.
Maybe you’re dreaming of spending your workdays at your favorite dispensary, or perhaps you have a clear vision of working your way up to a job as a cultivator, producer, or even a cannabis corporate leader. Whatever your cannabis career goals might be, a budtender job is an excellent place to begin. As a budtender, you can get your foot in the door, plus start learning about everything there is to know about marijuana: industry trends, strains, new products, customer service skills, and more.
We’re giving you the rundown on the role of budtenders, from the basic budtender job description to the skills and training you’ll need to get hired. With this guide, you’ll be ready to jump headfirst into an exciting industry and start searching for budtender jobs in your area.
How Do I Get a Job as a Budtender?
If you’ve ever bought medical marijuana or recreational cannabis, the odds are that you’ve interacted with at least a few budtenders. For both new and experienced consumers, budtenders are usually a great resource on all things cannabis: new strains and cannabis products, how to choose a consumption method, cannabis trends, and so much more.
As you can imagine, working at a dispensary can be a fantastic job for people with a passion for cannabis. But for budtenders, (again at Canna Provisions we call them “guides” as they are here to not tend bud but to guide you to where you are trying to go along your cannabis journey) it’s about more than just enjoying marijuana. It’s about serving customers as an expert in the industry, offering compassionate and helpful guidance, and making sure that the cannabis industry as a whole is positively represented.
Let’s take a closer look at how to get a job as a budtender and what you can expect when you’re working in the marijuana industry.
What does a budtender do?
As a budtender, you’re one of the “faces” of your dispensary; but the budtender role also goes far beyond that.
Here are some of the day-to-day tasks that budtenders are responsible for:
Being a product specialist
Dispensaries expect their staff to be walking cannabis dictionaries, prepared to answer customer questions accurately and share their knowledge in a helpful manner. Both medical marijuana patients and recreational customers rely on budtenders to be well-versed in topics like strains, product descriptions, cannabinoids, terpenes, how to consume cannabis, the science of cannabis, trends, and more.
Knowing the cannabis laws and regulations in their state
Even though the legalization of cannabis is steadily spreading across the US, each state (and many cities and counties) have their own unique laws regulating the sale and consumption of marijuana. Budtenders are responsible for conducting business in accordance with local regulations, particularly because failing to do so can have a huge impact on the business.
Staying on top of cannabis news, product releases, regulations, and other important changes in the industry
It’s easy to forget just how “young” the marijuana industry really is, but it’s still a world that’s being built as we speak. So much is changing on a daily basis, from the release of exciting research studies to shifts in governmental regulation. Budtenders are expected to be aware of the latest industry happenings, especially if they want to be a contributing member of their team.
One of the biggest benefits of working as a budtender is that every day is different: you can look forward to interacting with a diverse range of customers, meeting new people, and using your knowledge in many ways. Additionally, you can experience the fulfillment of working in a professional role that truly helps people improve their lives with products you believe in.
What do you need to become a budtender?
So, exactly what do you need to work at a dispensary in Massachusetts (where we’re located) or other parts of the United States? There are some basic characteristics and skills that you can expect just about every dispensary to be looking for, as well as some more specific budtender job requirements that will vary depending on the business and local regulations.
Here are some of the job requirements for budtenders that are common across the US:
You’ll be customers’ primary source of information about cannabis products, so it’s critical that you have a solid foundation of knowledge to work from. You can learn this from cannabis training courses, budtender certification, professional experience, or even “budtender school.”
If you’re searching for jobs in cannabis, you should have a working knowledge of:
- The science behind cannabis and different products/product types
- Cannabinoids and terpenes
- Strain genetics and characteristics
- Different methods of consumption
- Basic marijuana vocabulary
Retail or service industry experience
Retail experience isn’t necessarily always required, but it’s always helpful to have some service jobs on your resume. You’ll need to have excellent customer service skills, because customer satisfaction is key.
Good work ethic
Your dispensary manager might ask you to be a “Jack/Jill of all trades,” stepping up to do a wide variety of jobs. Be prepared to learn a lot and work hard, especially as the industry grows. You might work towards sales goals behind the dispensary counter one day, then help at trade shows or manage the business’s social media platforms another.
How much do budtenders get paid?
Understandably, plenty of prospective budtenders are interested in learning more about the average salary of a budtender. In fact, one of the most common questions we receive at Canna Provisions – from job candidates and everyday customers alike – is, “how much does a budtender make in Massachusetts?”
Like any other position, how much budtenders make depends on a few different factors. Where you’re working, your experience level, and your training can all play a part in how much you get paid as a budtender in a dispensary. However, keep in mind that it’s absolutely appropriate to ask about salary when you’re interviewing for a budtender position.
Find Your Dream Dispensary Jobs in Massachusetts
The cannabis industry is growing at a fast and furious rate, and medical marijuana and recreational dispensaries alike are flourishing. If you’re considering becoming a budtender, it could be an outstanding starting point for a lucrative and evolving career in cannabis. And for people that are already passionate about cannabis culture, working as a budtender can truly end up being a dream job.
At Canna Provisions, our recreational dispensaries in Holyoke and Lee are always on the lookout for great people to join our team. While budtender is the industry term most utilized, we have our expert guides to help people in their cannabis purchases! We’re dedicated to being a different kind of marijuana dispensary, one that elevates the guide position to a new level of professionalism. If working alongside a hard-working and fun-loving crew of cannabis enthusiasts sounds ideal, we’d love to hear from you.
Featured Image: SA Production/Shutterstock