As of 2018, 29 states have already legalized marijuana for medicinal use with 9 of those legalizing it for both medicinal and recreational use. The results: Well, the results are nothing short of a growing industry that will be in a hot pursuit of professionally qualified employees to capitalize on what is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Now, one of the most sought-after jobs in this mammoth industry is the budtender job. If you’re a weed aficionado or perhaps you’re aspiring to become a professional budtender, I think this is the perfect time to make your move. But before you even move on, what exactly is a budtending job and how do you gain the necessary experience to become one?
What is a budtender job?
The first point of contact for any cannabis buyer the minute he/she steps in a dispensary is the budtender. These professional men and women are the real portrait representing what legal marijuana business is all about.
Derived from the phrase “bartender”, these professional cannabis experts are not only passionate about weeds but are extremely knowledgeable about this exciting industry offering customers genuine and exceptional customer service whenever you need it.
Although this role might sound simple, a budtender must be passionate, talkative, elegant and knowledgeable enough to offer customers expert advice on dosage and marijuana consumption. As a matter of fact, to be considered for this position, you need to have attended a budtending school or completed a budtender online course.
If you’re intent on becoming a successful budtender, you need to learn about budtender responsibilities. Although your role will differ depending on the store and location you’re working from, there are those responsibilities you’ll expect to find in almost every dispensary. The first obvious role of any budtender is customer service as you’re expected to work behind the counter for the longest time.
Given that the demographics of cannabis usage is growing, budtenders are expected to be fully knowledgeable about the industry to be able to provide detailed guidance to marijuana users. You’re required to facilitate the sale of marijuana strains to customers as well as offer dosage advice depending on a customer’s needs.
In addition to that, budtenders are responsible for weighing flowers, packaging cannabis strains, filling and rolling pre-roll joints, cleaning and tidying the workplace as well as cleaning the display layout to make it look exceptional.
Budtender job requirements and qualifications
Securing a budtender job is not as easy as it may sound especially when you consider how fast this industry is growing. With the legalization of cannabis in most states in the U.S. and Canada, competition for the budtending positions has intensified dramatically. Due to this reason, if you’re willing to get a position as a budtender, you must meet the required qualifications required by most dispensaries.
1. Budtender certification, education and training
Although education is not an imperative requirement, it is actually an added advantage keeping in mind that budtenders should be fully knowledgeable in their line of work. Since it doesn’t hurt to have some higher learning, a successful budtender should have at least a high school diploma, pursue a budtender’s certification program offered online or in various educational institutions, and finally undergo a cannabis retail specialist program to get enough training on how to handle your clients.
2. In-depth knowledge of cannabis and state legislation
Second, from certification, training and education, the next must-have requirement every budtender must meet is having an in-depth knowledge of cannabis products and state legislation. Now, apart from just keeping the dispensary clean and well organized, a budtender should be able to offer expert advice to cannabis users about the available stains, vaporizers, concentrates, topical, edibles and anything else revolving around the cannabis bubble.
3. Customer service
A budtending job goes hand-in-hand with customer care and sales experience. Just like a barista or a bartender, a budtender is portrayed as the true face of the industry meaning he or she should have the necessary experience in meeting customers/patients demands.
To be a successful budtender, you need to have credible listening and storytelling skills, especially when dealing with new cannabis users. Based on your own experience, you should be able to offer advice to customers on which type of cannabis strains, topical or concentrates are perfect depending on customer demands.
Salary and benefits
Budtender jobs are considered to be the best especially for those people with knowledge and passion in the industry. Since most budtenders are also cannabis users/patients, taking this job is one way of shore-casing your “canna-enthusiasm” to the entire marijuana or “Ganja” fraternity.
Now, when it comes to salaries and benefits, budtenders are paid at an hourly rate depending on the level of experience, job position and the state where the dispensary is located. According to Cannabis Training University, the average hourly rate of a budtender ranges from $12 to $15 an hour which translates to about $31,000 to $42,000 a year. In the case of supervisors and managers, the rate is obviously expected to rise to up to $150,000 a year.
Although this is one of the most sought-after jobs in the cannabis industry, this job doesn’t go without any drawbacks. First, just like any customer service position out there, serving a huge amount of customers on a daily basis while still dealing with rude/tough customers might seem to be overwhelming to some employees.
Secondly, depending on the size and location of the dispensary, some budtenders might face a period of extreme busyness and daily rushes from work to your home and back again. In addition to that, some dispensaries might force their employees to work for long hours during busy days (though with bonuses) something which may leave you extremely exhausted.
Finally, budtenders sometimes face stigma in their line of duty from rude customers or even supervisors who may be trying to strip off their credibility. However, as a professional budtender, all you need to do is feel confident in your position and handle your customers with extreme professionalism.
Finally, if your dream job is to become a budtender, then I believe this post has offered you the necessary information that will help you make the necessary adjustments before applying for a vacancy.
Just to offer some tips, let me mention that to become a successful budtender, you need to be fully informed. Although there are cannabis online courses, some of the ways you can sharpen your knowledge in this new industry include:
- Signing up for expert cannabis websites, newsletters and blogs.
- Read cannabis books written by professional authors in this industry.
- Attending marijuana conferences.
- Being part of social media platforms that specialize in cannabis.