There is something glorious about budtenders. They are the face of the company. They are seen as the cool kids of the cashier world. However, being a budtender involves more than selling weed. A good budtender needs to be attentive and organized as well as have excellent social skills. But, do you need to go to school to be a budtender?
Do you need to go to school to become a budtender?
There are plenty of schools and courses available for aspiring budtenders. Through these classes, you can learn the basics of cannabis and how to deal with difficult people, but customer care is one job that just gets better with practice.
If you’ve never worked in a dispensary or commercial cultivation before, don’t expect to walk into a dispensary job– even if you have taken a budtending class! A good budtender has extensive retail experience. If you’re looking to get your foot into the door of a dispensary, apply for a job as a budtender, receptionist, or trimmer. These entry-level positions will teach you the ins and outs of dispensary operations and state compliance.
Study often if you want to be a budtender in a dispensary
There are hundreds of strains in existence. Your job as a budtender is to learn them. Or at least the most popular ones. You also need to know about the categories of products available on the market.
Topicals, edibles, flower, concentrates– those are just a few of the most popular dispensary products. This is where a great cannabis class can benefit you, such as The Herbal Risings Principles & Standards of Cannabis Patient Care Workshop. If you work in a dispensary, you should already know the basics (if you don’t, have your manager give us a call). If you are new to the legal cannabis industry, you need to learn the product terminology.
This means learning the brands and product types offered as well as understanding the differences between them. For example, what makes a sugar wax different from a shatter (besides the color and texture). Or how is a blue dream sample smell different from a grandaddy purps? Impress both customers and management with your knowledge of the terpene aromas.
Expand your budtending knowledge
Once you are hired to work in a dispensary, keep researching! To perfect your product presentations, practice with a mirror. See how long it takes you to talk about your store’s menu. Your job depends on it. Never stop progressing. It stunts your career growth and hurts your company’s performance.
A good budtender listens and sees customers who visit the dispensary. Customers who are lonely. People who are angry, sick, anxious, and eager to buy from you. They are tired. They had a long day. And you are the middle man (or woman).
As a budtender, you must be a good listener– or at least be a really good faker. You have to be okay with listening to people’s problems and be able to show genuine empathy and concern. That is how you develop a connection with a customer. This is what keeps customers coming back to a dispensary. And this is what impresses management.
Speaking of management
Budtenders often have prior experience in management. Usually the lead budtender is the person closing up each night and responsible for closing the retail counters. They are also sometimes responsible for training staff and maintaining point-of-sale systems. Budtenders should know how to effectively deal with team problems or take care of customer concerns.
April is a contributor to Staff MMJ, Chief Technology Officer of Herbal Risings, and Communications Director for Arizona NORML. Her experience working as a dispensary inventory control specialist first sparked her interest in expanding cannabis acceptance and tolerance within families. She also serves as the voice for animals, and advocates for chronic pain, pelvic health, and women’s health issues.