5 Tools For Every Colorado Marijuana Industry Worker

colorado marijuana industry

Every so often, an experience finds a place in your mind where it can sit and comfortably adjust the world you are viewing. These are the epiphanous experiences, the “ah-ha!” moments, and instances of genuine fascination. The experience can last hours, days, months, or years, and it is because experiences can be rewarding that experiences are sought outside of basic survival.

As a marijuana consumer, legalization brought with it a familiar feeling wrapped up in a new experience. Being able to purchase weed legally was only a sideshow to the true dispensary experience, where choice and options can easily overwhelm even the most canna-minded.

From a consumer perspective, there are 5 tools every worker in the Colorado marijuana industry should be using to help the medical cardholder or customer find the product that will provide them with best experience.

Obtain an Occupational License

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The most obvious of the tools for the job is the one required by the state: the Occupational MED License. In Colorado, occupational badges are necessary to work within a dispensary. It doesn’t matter if they are medical only, recreational only, or both. Currently, there are two options for licensure:

Support Employee: A support employee is defined as someone NOT in a role to make operational decisions. The basic budtender, therefore, fits this category. $75.00

Key Employee: A key employee is an employee that is in a role to make operational decisions that can impact the overall business. Key employees do not hold stake in ownership. $250.00

In order to apply for a license, you must go in person to one of the various MED offices around the state with a filled out application (available here) and submit the application, any fee associated with the license type. Again, this is a tool every worker in the Colorado marijuana industry should be using.

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Create and Use a Strain Guide

As the curator of the sales transaction, the strain guide is the visual element to your guiding words. While many people may be able to talk in-depth regarding the size, smell, density, etc, of particular strain, a large portion of marijuana consumers have yet to develop, or are just beginning to develop, a working understanding of how plant genetics influence the body and mind. The ability for a customer to see the name of a strain or product, interact with the product (scent, visual), and hear what you have to say about it creates a trifecta of information through which a sort of experiential foreshadowing can occur.

Chart, scale, and measure effects

In my experience as a cheesemonger, people often showed more enthusiasm when you could put the flavor into words. Same goes for cannabis. As humans, we build the backbone of new experience with associations to memories. When you have the words like  “relaxing”, or “soothing” displayed visually next to a product you’ve just described, the double association can help influence a customer choice more than a voice alone can. Charts listing various cannabinoids by spectrum of effects streamlines this process, giving us audio-visual animals something to look at while we are being talked to.

Hands on/ Hands off Product Knowledge

Knowledge is likely the most valuable tool Colorado marijuana industry workers should be using. Every medical cardholder and customer should be able to reasonably expect the budtender to know the products the store carries. While working in the industry isn’t a guarantee you consume cannabis, having first-hand knowledge of the products that are available does give you a head-start. In addition, being able to knowledgeably work someone through the different nuances of each strain or cannabinoid, the smells and flavors of terpenes contained within, and the legal situation regarding purchasing, packaging, and possession limits basically takes you to the checkout each time, all the customer had to do was walk through the door.


The fifth and final tool that every worker in the Colorado marijuana industry should be using is the same thing that, as the saying goes, killed the cat. Curiosity is genuine interest in something, and it follows that something genuine is honest and, well, I honestly love weed.

You see, to be curious and to be passionately curious are two different things. For someone looking to break into the wonderful world of Colorado marijuana, you’ll have to be both. And the best thing about honest, genuine curiosity? It is complimented by excitement, focus, and intrigue, three criteria for something that inspires passion. Do you know what people respond to? Genuine excitement, particularly when paired with good information and an honest experience, creating relationships over just sales (but plenty of those, too).

Following your curiosity in a growth industry can lead the marijuana industry to some of the best innovations. I mean, 10 years ago the term “dab” wasn’t a solid stake in the marijuana lexicon and cannabis was recreational in a total of zero states.I know it seems like cannabis has had a long run with the human species, but the role in modern society has hitherto been absent such a legal function.

As things change, 10, 20 years down the road, just by being curious, you could have forged a career, helping thousands of people (and smoking thousands of blunts) along the way.

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