Here’s our guide on how to become a budtender in New Mexico. Don’t let the state’s rural setting fool you. The Land of Enchantment boasts more than 82,000 medical weed patients. Its $130 million industry supports over 2,549 jobs. The industry just keeps growing. If you want to get in on the action by working in a pot shop, here’s what you need to know.
New Mexico’s Weed Industry
Recreational pot is still illegal in the state. The state does allow qualifying patients to use medical weed. Despite the state's rural setting, its medical program is robust. In fact, it’s seventh on the list of states with the most pot shops per capita as of May 2020. It has about 5.9 stores per 100,000 people. Its program is the ninth-highest in terms of tax revenue raised.
Passing adult-use laws is high on the state’s list of priorities. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been supportive of legal weed since she ran for governor. While previous attempts to pass legal weed have failed, state lawmakers hope to strike a deal and pass legal weed in 2021. The state’s market would boom after legalization.
New Mexico Budtender: Job Description & Requirements
Budtenders are, first and foremost, patient educators. As a budtender, you are responsible for providing compassionate and exceptional customer service to patients. Duties can include welcoming patients and verifying their identification. Once you’ve signed in a new patient, you can take their orders, process payments, and answer any question they may have.
As a budtender, you may recommend and select strains and product types for patients depending on their needs. It’s up to you to clearly communicate the differences between product types and strains. You’ll need to explain their effects and different delivery methods to patients. All the while, you must adhere to HIPAA guidelines.
Budtenders must also maintain a clean and organized work area. They must restock merchandise on the sales floor. When new inventory comes in, they help unpack and label merchandise, if needed. If you want to become a budtender in New Mexico, here’s a list of requirements you may need to meet before applying:
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must be friendly, outgoing, and dependable
- 1-2 years of retail sales/cash handling/point of sales (POS) experience
- Excellent computer, written, and communication skills
- Must pass a state and national background check
- Must have reliable transportation
- Great attention to detail and time management skills
- Flexible hours/availability, willing to work evenings and weekends
- Bilingual or multilingual skills are a bonus
How to Get Hired as a Budtender in New Mexico
In order to work in a New Mexico dispensary, the pot shop must complete a Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) License Identification Card Request for every new employee. To obtain an MCP license ID card, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a state resident and have a state ID. Some employers may accept out-of-state applicants.
- Complete and pass a state and national background check. State background checks are available through the New Mexico Department of Public Safety for $15 plus the cost of a notary public and postage. For national background checks, Sentrylink.com offers affordable service for $19.95 plus taxes.
- Complete state HIPAA training and certification. Classes are 1-2 hours long and end with an exam. Class prices vary between $20 and $50.
If you’re serious about working in the industry, it’s important to have a good resume and cover letter. Weed education and training can help boost your credentials. Work experience in a similar field such as retail, sales, or customer service jobs can help. Finally, showing your focus, passion, and determination in your interview can help you succeed in the industry.
How Much Does a Budtender Make in New Mexico?
Budtenders in New Mexico can make between $10 and $17 per hour. On average, New Mexico budtenders can make $12.65 per hour. That’s the same as the national average. Albuquerque’s average budtender salary is $14.77, 14 percent higher than the national average. Benefits include employee discounts, health insurance, parental leave, and paid time off.
Where to Find Budtender Jobs in New Mexico
New Mexico has 108 dispensaries across the state. Santa Fe ranks high among other pot cities in terms of stores per capita with 5.9 per 50,000 residents. It has 10 shops with more to come. Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Las Cruces have plenty of pot shops. Store chains like Ultra Health have penetrated rural communities to reach every patient and provide pot shop jobs statewide.
Online Budtender Training
Ready to start your weed career in New Mexico? Enroll in CTU’s online budtender training. Our curriculum covers the fundamentals of working in a pot shop and more. Learn everything from weed cultivation to using pot as medicine. Weed certification can make your resume stand out among the rest. Sign up for CTU’s online weed college today!