January 06, 2020

So you wanna be a budtender? We get the appeal; working in the booming cannabis industry alongside great teammates, helping consumers decide which products would work best for them and, oh, the lovely workplace smell – this career is both rewarding and fun. But how do you get there? What’s required? How do you become a budtender?

A budtender is a consumer-facing role and you’ll need a broad knowledge of the industry to be successful. After all, you’d want an expert to help you out with your questions, so you’ll have to be one to help out others. Customer satisfaction will be your primary goal and, to get there, you’ll have to help guide consumers through the selection process until they’re happy and satisfied. You may not have to be a cannabis dictionary, but you’ll want to have enough general expertise and, if you’re smart, deep expertise in one product category within cannabis, to really get ahead.

So, how do you stay savvy and up-to-date on all the trends? Hit up cannabis trade shows on a regular basis, research different products and product development trends, and, of course, learn as much as you can about the dispensaries you want to work for. Do you know what terpenes are? What the different cannabinoids do? What the best strains are? Nothing good comes easy, but you’ll ultimately find a rewarding career ahead of you if you put the time in.

You’ll also need to know what the customer’s needs are. That includes understanding their budget, their lifestyle, their history with cannabis, and what experience they’re looking for. One consumer might be looking for CBD while another might be looking for an indica vape pen for a chill night watching TV, and yet another might be a first timer looking for a good starter strain of flower.

A budtender should look to build consumer relationships, meet sales goals, and understand local cannabis laws (such as minimum age, travel considerations, etc). They should also have an understanding of the dispenary’s tracking system and have organizational skills on top of communication skills. 

So what else should you know? A little bit of everything. How the plants are grown, what oil-making and smoking devices you sell, reactions to different forms of cannabis, and the latest policies on making both recreational and medical marijuana. You’ll also need to develop your ability to listen – because when a customer talks, that’s what you should be doing. Listening and comprehending what the customer wants and needs so you can happily give them solutions.

Here are the essential topics you’ll be expected to know well:

  • Cannabinoids and Terpenes (and there are a lot)
  • Different genetic strains of cannabis
  • The many different ways to consume cannabis 
  • The quality and the different effects of each product
  • The difference between indica/sativa/hybrid blends and what each one does
  • Prices, measurements, and weight conversions
  • The top selling products
  • A working vocabulary of all things cannabis

Couple those skills with people skills and you’ll be the best budtender in town. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be selling Ignite - just like these dispensaries do.