How Much Do Budtenders Make? What You Should Know

You have probably heard outrageous stories about budtender’s pay.

A friend of a friend who makes $17 an hour plus tips. The lady at the dispensary who’s been there for 3 years, pulls in 6 figures, and gets comped tickets to all the music festivals she wants, and the dude at the cultivation center who gets a vehicle, gas pay, and a solid benefits package even though he doesn’t actually step foot into the grow but once a week.

These are great stories, but there are a lot of factors that affect a budtender’s pay. It’s because unlike other professions, budtenders rely on good faith that employers will pay fairly in an unregulated industry, which makes pay standardization difficult to outline.

The lowest I’ve heard is around $9 an hour, working part time shifts a week, at a very poor quality dispensary.  The highest I’ve heard, was $25 an hour at a busy metropolitan dispensary. However, there are many instances where that’s been exceeded, like when a budtender performs other duties outside the typical budtender role, such as managing the operations or marketing outreach.

On average, however, research seems to support that budtenders make between $12-20 an hour depending on their location and experience.

Glassdoor says:

Salaries for Budtenders vary by company. 

Hourly low: $10.00 an hour

Hourly high: $17.00 an hour

Budtender’s Life says: 

If you are looking to get into the industry as a Budtender: Please don’t let an employer low ball you with anything below $11hr. You are worth more as a human being and the profit margins are far to high to be working for such a little wage. Excellent advice. 

Yearly salary working full time 40hrs a week:  $21,120 – $26,880

Plus tips: $3,000 – $4,800

 

While this is more money than some industries pay, many of our applicants ask me how to ask for more pay for a budtender job or if they should look for another job. The average hourly wage is a great way to gauge. If you are a young person without any dependents, a $11 an hour budtender job might be sufficient. But if you have a family of four to feed, budtending might not be the right job for you.

-An acclaimed dispensary, like Harborside, which frequently is looked upon as a model of how others could operate might expect applicants to have budtender education.  These are the situations where you have good hourly pay, great benefits, and work extra hard in a busy, volume dispensary.

-A fast paced trendy dispensary with high turnover may provide an excellent jumping off point to obtain experience but will have lower pay. But a busy Friday might make pull in extra tips.

-Small boutique dispensaries, where there are only a handful of people on staff, may pay $17-22/hour, but might not allow budtender tipping.

-A budtender environment where the employer gives you outrageous pay, such as $30 an hour or more, to cover a special promotional event.

-A dispensary that requires that you pool your tips with other budtenders who work the counter. Some budtenders never see the tips as they are donated to charities of the dispensary’s choice.

Take a look at how much money you’re making versus the times you’re working a week.  A beginner budtender should average around $11-13 an hour plus tips.  If you’re making under $11 an hour, that’s a signal to take the experience and plan to find a better paying position. However, if you’re bringing in $15-20 an hour, you’re making above average budtender pay and should definitely consider your good luck!

Sources

Read the Glassdoor article:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/budtender-salary-SRCH_KO0,9.htm

Read the Budtender’s Life article:

http://www.budtenderslife.com/cannabis-news-resources/2015/12/16/budtender-salary-how-much-does-a-budtender-make

 

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