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12 Qualities a Dispensary Budtender Needs to Have

Budtending is one of the most sought-after jobs in the cannabis industry. Everyone wants to get into it, especially weed enthusiasts. After all, who doesn’t want to be surrounded by premium cannabis products and interact with fellow stoners all day? But contrary to what most people believe, budtending is not all about selling weed—although that’s […]

12 Qualities a Dispensary Budtender Needs to Have

Budtending is one of the most sought-after jobs in the cannabis industry. Everyone wants to get into it, especially weed enthusiasts. After all, who doesn’t want to be surrounded by premium cannabis products and interact with fellow stoners all day?

But contrary to what most people believe, budtending is not all about selling weed—although that’s part of the job description. A big part of it is about having customer service skills and a generally pleasant demeanor. If you are an aspiring budtender, read on to find out how to excel in this competitive and utterly cutthroat industry. We’ve also thrown in a few tips on how to get the job.

Qualities of a Dispensary Budtender

Extensive Knowledge of Marijuana Strains

There are thousands of cannabis strains out there, and you need to know most of them. Dispensaries can’t stock them all, so you’ll only need to memorize a few. When we say memorize, we don’t just mean the name and how high it can get you. We also mean the psychoactive and psychological effects of the strain. 

You should also know which medications interact negatively with cannabis. For example, some anti-rejection drugs for liver transplants have some pretty negative effects when mixed with cannabis. It also helps if you’re an active stoner because you will be better equipped to give firsthand advice to customers given your experience.

Customer Service Skills

This is one of the most important qualities to have as a budtender. Although most of your customers know exactly what they want, some just have a general idea. As a budtender, it is your job to create a safe space for your customers so they can explore their options. You should also be able to make recommendations based on their preferences.

You should be able to provide a brief, uncomplicated explanation of various cannabis products and their effects. This is especially helpful to customers buying weed for the first time, so a short, simple description of the products can go a long way in helping them make the right choice.

Nothing annoys a customer faster than a smug, impatient budtender. In the same measure, a friendly budtender who is also an effective communicator is an asset to any dispensary.

Multi-tasking Skills

A normal business day in a dispensary involves tons of stoners and patients flocking in to get their favorite weed products. It is your job to cater to all their needs and make them feel at ease while shopping. Most dispensaries have a pretty effective staff duty allocation program that helps streamline operations. 

But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a time when you have to serve multiple customers simultaneously.

If you’re ever in such a situation, it is advisable that you serve the customer who is more eager to make a quick purchase while you give another time to consider their options. At its core, multi-tasking as a budtender requires a balance of priorities.

Multi-tasking Skills


The best thing about weed is that it sells itself. But that doesn’t mean that a budtender doesn’t need to have good salesmanship skills. A dispensary is much like any other retail establishment. At any given time, you’ll have a few deals and specials that you need to sell to the crowd. If you’re a good salesperson and an active cannabis user, telling them how much you enjoyed a certain strain will do the trick.


Etiquette in budtending doesn’t just involve how you talk to clients. It also involves how you manage your salesroom. If you take a close look at experienced budtenders doing their thing, you’ll rarely see them handling cannabis flower directly by hand. Instead, they use tongs or chopsticks so they don’t contaminate or compromise the integrity of the strain. They also take their time to explain different cannabis products to customers in a friendly way.


Sometimes you might come across a customer who doesn’t respect the rules inside the dispensary. It’s important to know how to deal with these types of situations with utmost diplomacy and assertiveness.

Say, for example, a customer lights up inside the dispensary. The politest way to deal with this situation is to ask them to stop or step out. If they refuse to cooperate, you can get security involved. As a budtender, you should avoid confrontation at all costs. 

Work Ethic

As much as being a little laid-back is advisable when working in a dispensary, you also need to have an excellent work ethic. Budtending is a very demanding job, and you need to be on top of things at all times. Despite its seemingly unconventional nature, a dispensary is a professional environment like any other. It comes with its fair share of rules and regulations that must be followed at all times.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene doesn’t only apply to people working in restaurants. It applies to budtenders as well. It all comes down to how you handle your products and how good you look and smell. For example, if you have long hair, it would help if you tied it back in a ponytail to prevent it from falling in your face. Taking a shower regularly also goes a long way in impressing your customers.

People Skills

People Skills

To succeed in any retail job, you need people skills. And budtending is no exception. So, if you have a problem dealing with people, then budtending isn’t the right job for you. As a budtender, you will interact with people constantly as they ask you questions or request suggestions on which cannabis product is best for them. If you love people and like teaching them new things, you might be an excellent budtender.

A General Interest in Cannabis

Stoners love talking about weed with other stoners. That’s why it’s crucial that you have a general interest in cannabis. If you don’t have any interest in what you’re selling, a customer can pick up on that immediately, and you might end up losing a sale. Besides, why become a budtender if you’re not interested in the product?

Be Diligent About Checking IDs

The cannabis industry is tightly regulated, and a tiny misstep could have drastic legal consequences.  The law requires all customers’ IDs to be checked at the entrance. However, there’s still a chance that a minor or an uncertified medical marijuana patient might slip through.

As such, you should make sure that you check each customer’s ID at the counter before sealing any product. Although you might have your hands tied with multiple duties, simple solutions like in-store signage telling customers to show their ID and ID scanners can come in pretty handy.

Be Able to Use a Scale

Unless the dispensary you work for sells pre-packed products exclusively, you’ll need to use a scale when selling cannabis flower. Although using a scale is pretty straightforward, a minor error could drastically throw off the dispensary’s inventory. 

The best thing about scales is that using them doesn’t even require basic math skills. As long as you can press the right buttons and the machine is properly calibrated, you’re good to go.

How to Get a Job as a Budtender

How to Get a Job as a Budtender

Describe What You Can Bring to the Table During Your Interview

Most dispensaries are almost the same in terms of design and the products they sell. What sets them apart is their level of customer service. So, in your interview, make sure you mention how good you are at making recommendations, teaching customers about new strains, and generally making them feel at ease.

If you describe how good you are at customer service, it will show your potential to your employer as a valuable employee and not just an order taker. If you play it right, it will significantly increase your chances of getting your dream job.

Stay Ahead of the Trends

Budtending doesn’t just involve knowing which strains are the most popular right now; you also need to know which ones are going to be popular in the future. A simple read-through of social media posts and industry publications will give you a general idea of the latest strains, top cannabis products, and the latest research on cannabis and its products.

Have a Great Resume

Budtending is one of the most popular jobs in the cannabis industry. That means that apart from you, there are tons of other applicants looking to get the position. In fact, there are about 250 applicants on any job posting. 

Due to the immense competition, a good resume is the main thing that can set you apart from the competition and increase your chances of getting an interview. Make sure you personalize your resume and highlight your qualifications and previous experience that seem most relevant to the position.

Research the Dispensaries in Your Area

Before sending your resume to various companies, consider the values you want to emulate in your work. Does that include creativity, education, or fun? Doing this enables you to find a dispensary that fits your values. It will also put you in a better position to evaluate whether your skills and experience fit a given company’s needs. 

When researching the dispensaries in your area, visit their website and social media pages. You can also pay each place a visit as a customer so you can get a feel of the environment and how it would feel working there.

Research the Dispensaries in Your Area

Use Your Networks

Having a good resume and good qualifications is great. But sometimes, getting a job as a budtender comes down to who you know. Once you have a good dispensary in mind, ask your professional and social networks if they know anyone who works there. You can also make use of social media platforms like Facebook. A simple post asking if anyone knows a dispensary that’s currently hiring can go a long way in improving your chances of getting a job.

Get Some Experience

Getting a job as a budtender doesn’t have to be a lateral move. There are tons of jobs in the marijuana industry. You can try applying for a job in a cannabis cultivation farm or a cannabis product manufacturing plant. The experience you gain there can go a long way in improving your chances of getting the job.

Show That You Have Soft Skills

Soft skills are the skills that are hard to put on a resume but that are highly in demand. They include everything from communication skills to leadership skills. Showing that you have soft skills isn’t as easy as indicating that you can do them in your resume. 

You have to go a step further through examples in your cover story. Here, you can tell your potential employers about a time you went above and beyond to satisfy a customer or make a big decision demonstrating your leadership skills.

Choose Your References Wisely

Most employment applications come with a section where you list your personal and professional references. When filling this out, think of people who can help you in this particular instance. As such, you might not want to include people who are not supportive and those who don’t know you well enough. Instead, list people like your former co-workers or other people who want to make your dreams come true.

The Bottom Line

Budtending is arguably one of the most popular jobs among cannabis enthusiasts. This means that there’s tons of competition for the limited available slots. To get the job, you need to know how to get it and what’s expected of you once you get it. We hope the information on this guide will set you on the right track. Good luck!