What is a Budtender in a Marijuana Dispensary?

Just like a bartender helps people have a good time at a bar, a budtender is a person who helps cannabis enthusiasts and medical marijuana patients pick the best strain of cannabis to meet their needs. Some people may think this is a job where you get to be high and talk to other stoners all day, but there’s so much more to being a budtender. You need to be thoroughly educated in cannabis; its medical uses, the effects, components, growing cycle, strains, delivery methods, and even the legalities of weed in your area. If you want to help people find the best medical marijuana products, then read on to learn more about being a budtender.

What is a budtender?

A budtender is the first person a customer sees when they walk into a medical marijuana dispensary. As such, budtenders have a powerful impact on the cannabis business. A good budtender is a guide for a new medical marijuana customer, but also a pharmacist, and a nurse to people who are suffering. The best medical marijuana sellers have to be super knowledgeable about all aspects of cannabis from strains to specific effects. Budtenders also advise their customers on the safest way to consume their cannabis products. As a budtender, you can really make a difference and give someone relief from pain and illness, not just a good time. You also have the unique opportunity to attract new customers to medical cannabis and grow your business.

What does a budtender really do?

The nitty gritty of the position is a little different than just standing behind a counter talking about weed all day. Sure, you need to focus on customer service and showing your cannabis knowledge, but you also have to handle the product respectfully because it is medicine. You also need to display product effectively, let customers smell or look at the product, and be able to demonstrate certain things like vaporizers. Like a bartender, you’ll also need to check IDs, advise your customers (especially tourists), and make sure the dispensary is following all local laws.

Do you need any training or certification to be a budtender?

Since the medical marijuana industry is so new and developing, there aren’t standards across the board for what cannabis professionals need to have to legally work in the US. To see what it takes to be a budtender in your state, you can either look online at medical marijuana dispensary laws or call dispensaries and ask. There may also be jobs you can do without a certification while you work towards one, so you can get your foot in the door while you’re getting legal. Even if you’re not legally required to get a medical marijuana seller’s certification, having a cannabis certification can show your future employers that you’re serious and help you be a more knowledgeable budtender.

Seven Habits of Successful Budtenders

1. Don’t get an attitude – Sure, as a budtender, you’re in one of the fastest growing, high-demand jobs out there, but at the end of the day, you’re still selling things. You need to be nice to everyone that walks in the door and show good customer service.

2. Be welcoming to newbies and recreational users – When a customer is new to buying medical marijuana, they can be very timid or have a lot of questions. A good budtender needs to make sure they have a great experience, so they’re not afraid to come back. Medical marijuana is a growing industry, so treat newbies well so you get a repeat customer.

3. Be knowledgeable and compassionate to medical marijuana patients – While some customers are looking for a good time, many people use medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of some pretty serious illnesses. For them, it’s not “weed,” it’s medicine. Often, cannabis is their last hope for relief. You need to treat these customers with respect and help them find the strain that will best help their symptoms.

4. Keep up a professional appearance – This goes back to the idea that a medical marijuana dispensary is a retail business. A budtender is kind of like a bartender in that they have to look responsible and be put together. If you look sloppy, you seem like you’re not taking it seriously. There’s also the stereotype of the dirty hippy stoner, and you don’t want to perpetuate that so that your job stays legal.

5. Handle the product correctly – As a budtender, you are handling people’s medicine, period. This means you need to wear gloves when you touch buds or use chopsticks so that you’re not putting your bare hands on the cannabis. Just like a food handler, you have to be sanitary and keep hair and other debris out of the buds as well.

6. Know your stuff – A lot of retail jobs require you to be knowledgeable about the products you sell, but none more than medical cannabis. You have to have a wide range of knowledge to make recommendations and to effectively sell medical cannabis products, so you need to know more about the effects of different strains beyond “it gets you really high.” This also means that you need to understand the legalities of marijuana in your area so you can keep your customers safe.

7. Remember that you really are a professional – A marijuana dispensary is a fun place to work, but you can’t get carried away in that atmosphere and think you’re too cool for school. The best bartenders (the ones that actually make money) don’t show up for work wasted every night, and the best budtenders don’t show up to work high, either. You also have to remember that the police are always looking at medical marijuana businesses, so you need to act professionally at all times.

As a medical marijuana professional, or budtender, your job is to knowledgeably present cannabis products to your customers in a safe way. To do that, you’re going to need packaging that will let the customers see the product but also protect it. The products at PotPackaging.com can help you be the best budtender you can be.

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