The question I get asked most is, “What do i need to be a budtender?” It’s very hard to come up with an answer for that because there is no direct one. Some people get into it by knowing someone who owns it or works there, some are long time patients who come in to volunteer and some are growers, who become friends and trust worthy over time… And then there are the students of schools like Trichome Institute (one of the best budtender school) who have been taught by veteran budtenders and marijuana dispensary owners the foundation to begin volunteering. Will going to a school like that get you the job? No, a lot is based on you. If working as a budtender is your dream, follow the next tips to get it:
How To Get A Job As A Budtender
- Before you apply: Don’t be high. If you need to be medicated because you are in pain or extremely anxious, go right ahead- it is your right as a patient and you won’t be judged. But it could be refreshing if you show up, bright eyed!!
- Know the plant: Grow a plant if you can, grab a grow book and educate yourself on the basics of marijuana, even if you think you know them already….start over. Ask grower friends questions, don’t be afraid! Keep in mind, many patients are there for a mini-consult with you and you have to be ready for any question.. If that makes you uncomfortable then you may not be ready to be hands on, just quite yet. The minute you are unsure about a product, that can come across to the patient as negative and they can lose faith in the medicine you are advising them on. They need to feel positive with what they are paying for is going to work. Be honest, be clear.
- Sample: Sampling is important because not many edibles are dosed like ‘regular’ medicine. Some use “XXX” to explain the dosing and some use numbers, for example, “200x” would be less potent than the “1000x”. When a patient comes in they want to know what it’s going to make them feel like. Of course every person is different but if you have at least sampled it, you can give them your experience with it and usually it’s quite comparable. Not all patients can smoke, so you will have to try things you normally wouldn’t do you can give them an honest review of the product.
- Testing: Lab Testing is the norm in dispensaries now, so what’s great about this is that it really breaks down strains for you and patients. They can see the percentage of THC or CBD as well as possible effects and that can truly guide them to the experience they are in need of- it truly takes the guessing out that we had in the 90s where every strains recommended was based of the budtenders experience with no solid proof.
- Go to Conventions: There are over 100 marijuana events a year… They happen all over the United States and Europe! Of course some are are based around selling products, mostly the innovative items. There are also competitions for the best strains. Some conventions are purely educational and great for the activists out there. Some of the most popular ones would be the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup , Kush Expo Hempfest and the National Marijuana Business Conference and Expo to name a few.
- Be flexible: In this industry things can change over night and your position can change! Learn all the of the jobs from front desk to trimming,weighing out, quality control and more so that you can express your versatility through working in different departments. Staffs at dispensaries are kept small, so you may have to do everything on your own, so be a self-starter, don’t wait.
- Be compassionate: Rule #1 and it must be obeyed. The patients are there seeking medicine to aid their ailments and improve their quality of life. In some cases it is recreational use depending on your location, however that doesn’t mean the compassionate side is gone. In these economic hard times we must not take advantage of our patients or clients.
- Keep it confidential: Patients lives and information are private, you are not to share their names when sharing their cannabis life-saving story with anyone…at least , not without their permission. We meet so many incredible people in this line of work and their stories are so touching and when some of them pass away or they get better…you cannot help but want to talk about them but remember to keep their names, jobs and other private info to yourself. This is a sensitive issue and many people don’t tell people if they are sick, some don’t tell anyone they smoke cannabis, for jobs, for sake of their children- for whatever reason it isn’t our business to share.