How to Get a Job as a Budtender

Budtenders are professional cannabis experts. They are the customer’s main point of contact in a dispensary and the person who fields questions about each product prior to purchase. The three most important attributes of budtenders are:

  • Highly knowledgeable about the products
  • Passionate about marijuana
  • Genuinely enjoy providing a good customer experience

Addressing those attributes are critical prior to applying to a budtender position. Lets take a closer look at what each one means.

1. Be Highly Knowledgeable About the Products

First and foremost, you need to get a budtender’s license. This not only shows that you know what you’re talking about, but more importantly, it’s a required prerequisite for the job.

Additionally, you will want to educate yourself on all the aspects of the industry. Remember, that customers are looking to you to answer all their questions and you will be viewed as an expert in their eyes. Some things you can do to acquire the knowledge you need:

  • Sign up for as many weed industry blogs, newsletters, websites, and mailing lists as possible. There is no such thing as too much information.
  • Read books by respected industry authors such as Jorge Cervantes, Julie Holland, Ed Rosenthal, etc.
  • Look for cannabis books on recommended reading lists in universities
  • Attend important industry conferences
  • Network on popular cannabis social media platforms

2. Be Passionate About Marijuana (In a Professional Way)

This one is important, because ‘passionate’ can be interpreted as ‘stoner’. And while you may enjoy marijuana recreationally, it is still important to maintain professionalism. Furthermore, the legal marijuana industry is still under a lot of scrutiny, so cannabis companies are very aware of their public image. Find a way to demonstrate your expertise without coming off as someone who just likes to get high.

My advice in this area is to channel your inner doctor. Think of marijuana as medicine and keep a ‘clinical’ demeanor. Let your passion for the product shine through when you’re expressing how much it can help people and how beneficial it can be when used responsibly.

Maintaining professionalism applies to your cover letter or introduction email too. Look at how the company you’re interviewing for talks about cannabis and use those same words and phrases. Avoid using slang terms and always use proper grammar. When in doubt, err on the side of being too formal. When you come in for your in person interview, then you can show off a little more of your personality.

3. Enjoy Providing a Good Customer Experience

At the end of the day, this job is about being an ambassador for the company so you need to be a people person. For nearly everyone who enters the dispensary, the budtender is the only person with whom any meaningful amount of time is spent. Use that time to make connections with customers and make them feel good about the interaction they had with you. Sample the goods so you can have your own experiences with each one and use those experiences to relate to your customers. Shared experiences bring people closer together and as an added bonus, you get to try the products!

Once you feel like you’re ready to apply, utilize one of the many cannabis job boards (like CannaInsiders!) to find a job near you.



Photo by snakegirl productions on / CC BY-NC