What Does it Take?
Like any industry, the cannabusiness is largely about who you know. Especially since hiring managers are looking for individuals with credibility, it helps establish trust if they know a bit about you before you start working. With that said, there are absolutely opportunities to secure a budtender job without having a relationship with someone in the industry. When you secure an interview for a dispensary, make sure to come prepared! The list below represents the 5 “skills” you should make sure to highlight once you sit down with the hiring manager.
#1. You Can Show Up to Work Sober
This might be a tricky one for some folks. Even though you’re applying to work in a pot shop, keep in mind that most dispensaries do not allow workers to use cannabis products during work, unless you are a medical cardholder. Even in those cases, workers still cannot be intoxicated.
When you show up for your interview, it’s probably best to let your manager see that you are able to operate without being stoned.
#2. You are Knowledgeable and Passionate about Cannabis
It comes as no surprise that most dispensary hiring managers are looking for budtenders who possess a background in the marijuana industry or at very least, an in-depth knowledge of cannabis. Budtenders are responsible for suggesting products to patients and customers based on their specific needs–this requires a well-rounded knowledge of strain differences, edibles, concentrates, consumption methods and more.
Be sure to highlight any legal marijuana industry experience you have. Even if you personally cultivated, harvested, trimmed and cured four of your own plants, this is valid experience that dispensary managers may appreciate.
When it comes to having experience in the underground marijuana industry, it’s likely this is not something you want to say, have in writing on an application. Budtenders should truly be passionate about cannabis and believe in it, as they interact with dedicated medical marijuana consumers on a regular basis.
#3. You are an Excellent Salesperson
Budtender jobs are all about service. Repeat after me, all about service. After speaking to my fair share of dispensary owners, it has become overwhelmingly apparent to me how important it is for budtenders to be superb customer servers. Be sure to detail any experience working a direct service job, such as a bartender or barista, where you were responsible for selling specific products.
Though having marijuana sales experience is of course preferred, a strong history of service can be more attractive than weed experience to some employers.
#4. You are Reliable and Trustworthy
Some dispensary owners I’ve spoken to have gushed about the compassion and attitudes of their employees, but lamented their punctuality. Since dispensaries are part of the service industry, which naturally experiences higher rates of turnover, employers want to hire individuals who show up to work on time, every time.
It is also important that employees can be trusted working independently. This is largely because marijuana is still a cash business that experiences a lot of internal theft of both money and products. Dispensary owners cannot afford to lose money as operating their business is expensive enough as it is!
Highlight any jobs you’ve worked where you’ve been very consistent It is especially helpful to recall positions that you’ve worked for longer periods of time (ie. six months or more).
#5. You are Curious and Eager to Learn!
Despite how cheesy this sounds, it’s a time tested truth. Dispensaries are looking for high energy budtenders who ask questions, want to learn and provide the best service they can.
A genuine excitement for a job cannot be faked, so let your interviewer know how much you want to work as a budtender. They may consider a less experienced, but more enthusiastic candidate over someone who has a marijuana background, but doesn’t seem to care about the job.
Get Out There!
Well, there you have it! These tips represent only a few of the many ways to market yourself to your employer when seeking a job as a budtender. Since the industry is still so new, finding an open budtender position can be tough. General job boards like Indeed.com and Craigslist are giving way for niche job boards like Canna Recruiter, which seeks to connect applicants and employers under a more streamlined and user-friendly forum.