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Cannabis dispensary jobs are more available today than ever before.

The cannabis industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Several states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use just this year, and it’s only May. With legalization comes a brand new industry, with a completely different infrastructure, and a unique product at its core.

One of the most popular and essential jobs of any cannabis industry is that of the cannabis dispensary budtender. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think of the name literally. Tenders of bud, or cannabis products.

Cannabis Dispensary Jobs

This article is going to focus on the budtender dispensary jobs specifically, but there are other dispensary jobs outside of budtending.

You can also become a grower for a dispensary and manage a dispensary, among other opportunities. Remember that if you are in a medical marijuana state, you will need some type of certification and medical licensing prior to applying for dispensary jobs to even be considered in most cases.

When it comes to budtending specifically, we have some tips for being prepared for the job, and doing the job better once you’re hired.

Budtender Tips

The first thing to know about budtending dispensary jobs, is that being a recreational budtender and medical budtender are two different things. As a recreational budtender, you can think of yourself as a sommelier of cannabis. As a medical budtender, you are helping patients with potentially serious health conditions find the right medicine for them.

It can be hard to take this difference seriously as in most cases, other than different regulatory requirements, medical and recreational cannabis is identical. However, while there is still a separation between the two, there is also a difference in experience required.

Know Your Cannabis

To save us all from more redundancies, apply the following advice to a more extreme extent for medical cannabis dispensary jobs. The most important being to know your shit.

Any inexperienced wine drinker will find it more difficult to tell the difference between a red wine from Northern California, and a red wine from Georgia. But an experienced wine drinker or sommelier can notice the intricate differences in smells, flavors and even effects that different wines have.

Cannabis is no different. Even more so, compared to wine, cannabis has been more genetically modified and tampered with by humans than wine ever has, despite wine’s higher popularity throughout history. This means there’s a good chance that the dispensary you’re applying to could have more than a dozen different cannabis strains on their shelves, if not more, all with unique profiles.

Know Your Terpenes and Cannabinoids

A table of the most common terpenes found in cannabis and their effects. Photo by Pot Guide.

The smells, flavors and effects of each cannabis strain are different, and knowing these differences will help you get the best product in the customer’s hand. Now, we all know what they say about assuming, but it’s pretty safe to assume that if you’re applying to work at a cannabis dispensary, you probably consume cannabis yourself.

What I’m saying is, you have experience consuming cannabis to the point you think you can suggest to other people the best strains for them. But it’s another level of dedication to consistently pay attention to the cannabis you are consuming and noting its terpene profile, and how it affects you. To be an effective budtender, you need a similar understanding of the cannabis you are selling.

When it comes to cannabinoids, you will have some customers that just want the highest THC content possible. More experienced consumers may want something with more CBD, or even CBG and CBN among other cannabinoids. Depending on your state, there might be labels already on the cannabis that tells you its cannabinoid content, but in a lot of cases there won’t be. If this labelling isn’t a requirement in your market, you most likely don’t need to worry about it as much.

Go Above and Beyond for Your Customers

As mentioned above, a lot of new cannabis consumers will come into a cannabis dispensary and look for whatever strain has the highest THC content because it’s the only cannabinoid they know. For most of our lives we have been led to believe that THC is everything, but as an experienced budtender and cannabis connoisseur, you know that’s not the case.

Think about that one time you had a waiter at a restaurant that just blew you away. They were polite, knew the menu like the back of their hand, and helped your whole table decide on what to order just by having a conversation. That waiter helped guide you to your own decision, with some suggestions (based on his assumed experience) to get you there. Budtending is no different.

You should never just be standing there waiting for the customer decide on what they want, especially if you can tell they aren’t sure. Ask if they like specific smells, flavors and effects. Through your knowledge, guide your customers to an educated decision, that you can both feel confident in.

Not only does this make the customer more likely to come back to the dispensary, it makes you more likely to excel in your position. With experience, knowledge and commitment, you can excel in a budtending job at any cannabis dispensary. After some time working in a dispensary, you could eventually decide that you want to transition into the grow.

We’ll dive into getting those dispensary grow jobs in the next article.

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