What Does A Budtender Do?

One of the most common interactions people have in a dispensary or cannabis retail establishment is with a budtender. These customer service and sales professionals engage with customers and deliver the cannabis products of their choosing, while also making sure that their concerns or needs are addressed. As marijuana becomes legal in more of the country, roles like the budtender are one that people will come to see as a mainstay in the industry. 

Read on to learn more about budtenders and what they do, as well as what it takes to become one.

What is a budtender?

Budtenders are your friendly neighborhood dispensary workers. But they’re not just salespeople that facilitate your marijuana purchases. Budtenders are trained to know all about the different products and strains available to both recreational and medical users so that they can help people get the best experience with the weed that they buy. 

Budtenders need to be personable and have an extensive knowledge of the products that they sell. They should also be able to handle customer service and keep managerial staff informed of anything that requires their attention. A budtender may also assist in the training of new employees.

What are the responsibilities of a budtender?

Budtenders wear many hats. Their job duties are pretty straightforward, however. They must verify IDs and legal purchase ages for those visiting the dispensary or cannabis store. They must also be able to deliver customer service as needed. 

The biggest responsibility of a budtender is to deliver the experience that customers expect when they visit the store. They will help guide customers in purchasing the best cannabis products based on their needs, as well as their own preferences and their budget. Since cannabis laws and regulations are ever-changing, ‘tenders must also be familiar with all laws, requirements, and compliance topics. 

Budtenders will need to be able to operate a cash register and computer system, including verifying medical marijuana cards for qualifying patients where it is relevant. They will be trained on how to process transactions, accept payments, and cash out customers that come into the store. On any given day, a budtender may be a professional expert, a customer service agent, and a cashier, so multitasking and good people skills are a must. 

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the qualifications for becoming a budtender.


Budtender qualifications

There are several different qualifications required of a budtender. To help you get an idea of what to expect, here are some common qualification requirements listed in budtender job postings:

  • In-depth knowledge of cannabis strains, products, and consumption methods
  • In-depth product knowledge for all items carried within the store
  • Customer service skills
  • Retail experience (preferred)
  • Valid ID or driver’s license
  • Able to pass a background check
  • Must possess a state cannabis worker license where applicable 

Some dispensaries also ask for people who have experience with computers and digital payment systems, too, but that’s the kind of stuff that can be taught. Most dispensaries and retail stores would rather have dedicated budtenders that know their weed before they know how to use a computer. 

How old to be a budtender?

Typically, budtenders must be at least 21 years of age in order to work in a dispensary or at a cannabis retail store. State laws outline the requirements but most of them in the U.S. that have legalized marijuana at the medical or recreational level will only hire people who are over 21 to work as budtenders. 

Those who aren’t quite 21 can work on studying cannabis or even consider working in related retail, such as at a smoke shop, to get some experience until they can join the dispensary team like they’ve always wanted to.

Do you need a license to be a budtender?

No, in most states and dispensaries, you don’t need any type of certification or license to do the job of a budtender. Most dispensaries prefer to rely on the expertise of the people they hire. You can, of course, seek out your own education on cannabis and the marijuana industry, as well as attend training programs and special schools that are dedicated to the study of cannabis, marijuana business, and other related areas.

Can you be a budtender with a felony?

Typically, most retail establishments will require you to be able to pass a background check. Therefore, you will not usually be able to get a job as a budtender if you have a felony on your record. The exception would be, of course, if the charge or your record has been expunged and is no longer appearing on a background screening report. 

Be sure to check with the dispensary that you consider working at to find out what their requirements are in regard to background checks and criminal screenings. Even if you can’t work in the retail side of things, you may be able to take on other roles within the cannabis industry. 

How much do budtenders make in Colorado?

Budtenders in Colorado will earn between $16 and $20 per hour, on average. Of course, this may vary depending on their level of seniority, their amount of time with the company, and any training or education that justifies them earning more. The average salary for budtenders annually ranges from $32,000 to $41,000, but can be lower or higher depending on the hours worked, the hourly pay, and other factors. 

Budtenders with more experience will typically earn more for their expertise. So will those who have previous experience as a budtender, as opposed to someone who is just starting in the industry. There are several factors that influence what budtenders earn, including the area of Colorado in which they work. 


How to apply to be a budtender

Applying to be a budtender is not a complicated process. You can look online to find budtender jobs in your area, either by searching Google or by looking on job sites like ZipRecruiter and Indeed.com. You can also visit your favorite local dispensary to see if they are hiring and fill out an application. 

Some stores will have you complete a standard application while others will prefer that you apply online or via a job site by sending your resume over. If they want a resume, make sure that you highlight customer service experience and retail work on yours. 

The application process will be a little different depending on where you are trying to get hired. Be sure to follow the steps outlined in the job posting and ask questions if you are uncertain about anything. Once you’ve completed the application, they will reach out to you if they are interested in giving you an interview for the job. 

If this is your first time applying for budtender jobs in Colorado, don’t worry. You can get hired with little to no experience as long as you are willing and eager to learn. 

For those who enjoy cannabis and want to work with the public to provide a great experience with various marijuana products, this could be the perfect job. It could even lead to roles in managerial positions or other areas of the dispensary, or you could just enjoy a career as a budtender for the foreseeable future. 

Interested in a career as a budtender? Verts Dispensary is always looking for enthusiasts and experts who want to share their knowledge and passion with the community. Stop in today or reach out to us online (HERE) to learn more. 

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