Looking to start your cannabis career? Good news: that’s legal in some states now! Getting on the other side of the counter at a dispensary is an excellent way to get your foot in the door in the marijuana industry. With so many businesses popping up and money being thrown around, there are jobs out there to be had. Budtending is an excellent way to get a foot in the door and familiarize yourself with the day-to-day work needed to sell marijuana products. Here are some Tips to Becoming a Marijuana Budtender.
Let’s take a look at the basics of being a budtender and what you need to know before you jump into the job market.
What is a Budtender’s Job?
Much like a bartender, a budtender is responsible for knowing the various products available to customers behind the counter. That means you’ve got to know the details on different strains of bud and various edibles, keeping track of the hash selection, and figuring out what form of consumption might be prefered by the shopper. Combine that with a keen awareness of your state’s constantly changing compliance laws, some basic retail work and inventory management, you’ve got the essential responsibilities you’ll face day-to-day in a budtending position.
It’s also important to remember that not every weed business will operate the same way. We may be operating in some gray area and have to adhere to some odd restrictions, but that doesn’t mean weed shops and other businesses aren’t able to assign budtenders to different tasks, or have different responsibilities laid out for you when you’re on the job.
Budtender Skills, Badges, Certificates
Every state is going to have a different set of rules and hoops to jump through for those that want to work within the marijuana industry.
Some states, such as Colorado, require potential cannabis job-seekers to get a Colorado marijuana badge that will allow them to work hands-on with marijuana in a dispensary or a grow. After setting an appointment with the Marijuana Enforcement Division and going through a background check, you will earn one of three badges depending on what level of access into the industry you’re looking for. Higher levels of access cost more money to acquire and may be a little more paperwork to fill out. The cost of an entry level badge is relatively low at $75.
Compare that to the system that’s been set up in Nevada, and you’ve got two very different approaches to working in the industry. At the moment there is no more barrier to entry in a Nevada pot job than there is to any other place to work. No special licensing or badging process, no required training at all, although there are classes one can take to make them a more appealing candidate to dispensaries.
How Much Money Does a Budtender Make?
Budtenders work in retail, so it won’t be a lavish lifestyle by any means. But, thanks to the nature of the job being a much more specialized than your average Wal-Mart greeter, the hourly rates for budtenders are well above minimum wage. A common starting salary for a budtender will be around $12 an hour, but that’s before we get into tips.
Much like a bartender, the men and women behind the counter at the weed shop do rely on tips to some degree. Not every shop is going to allow tipping, although most do. This is where customer service experience is going to help you in your job hunt. Just because you haven’t worked in the industry before doesn’t mean your skills aren’t going to transfer over. If you can work hard, take direction, and know your weed, then you’re well on your way to being the favorite budtender in the neighborhood.
Choosing The Right Dispensary For You
As I mentioned before, every dispensary is going to have a slightly different approach to how they run their business. Your personality, schedule needs, and desired workload are just a few of the factors you’ll need to consider when figuring out where you want to budtend. Shop around a bit and try to make an impression on a few of the people you interact with in the dispensaries you visit. Drop off a resume and find out what their application process is like. Even in the weed industry, a big smile and a solid first impression go a long way towards getting you the job you want.