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As the industry continues to grow at a blazing fast speed, there is an increased need for qualified cannabis dispensary technicians, also known as budtenders, in dispensaries. Find out more about a dispensary technician’s responsibilities, salary, and career path with our dispensary technician cannabis career guide.

Dispensary Technician Duties

What is a Budtender?

A dispensary technician, informally known as a budtender, is an experienced salesperson with extensive knowledge about cannabis, its products, and the industry. They describe the health benefits of different strains and products. They can also answer customers’ questions about dosage, adverse reactions, consumption methods, and safe consumption tips.

What Does a Budtender do?

A budtender job description depends on the dispensary. Common job responsibilities of a certified dispensary technician usually include the following tasks:

  • Providing exceptional customer service and maintaining positive customer relations
  • Educating customers about cannabis products, strains, and doses
  • Monitoring incoming online orders
  • Processing customer transactions
  • Maintaining a clean and organized working area
  • Balancing the cash register at the end of each shift
  • Counting and recording product inventory when closing
  • Remaining compliant with state and local regulations

Read our complete guide on How to Become a Budtender in a Marijuana Dispensary.

Dispensary Technician Pay

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How Much do Budtenders Make?

In the United States, the average base salary of a dispensary technician is $14.15 per hour. The national average annual salary for dispensary technicians is $32,956. A budtender salary varies depending on the job candidate’s education, skills, and experience, as well as the employer and job duties.

The most common benefits for dispensary technicians:

  • Employee discount
  • Flexible schedule
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Life insurance
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development assistance

Dispensary Technician Requirements

Becoming a budtender is easier than ever if you have the right education, skills, qualifications, and passion. As an entry-level dispensary technician, you may need to have the following qualifications to work in a dispensary:

Dispensary Technician Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Experience working in retail, customer service, or hospitality
  • Experience in the cannabis industry (preferred)
  • Cannabis dispensary technician certification (preferred)

Dispensary Technician Requirements

  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Must pass a criminal history check and have no disqualifying offenses
  • Must be able to obtain a cannabis worker’s permit (if applicable)
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time
  • Must be able to push, pull, carry, and lift up to 50 pounds

How to Become a Dispensary Technician

Interested in becoming a dispensary technician in a medical and/or recreational cannabis dispensary? If you are eligible to work in your state’s cannabis industry, you can apply to become a budtender in a dispensary.

Our handy budtender study guide breaks down the process of finding work in the industry, step by step.

Step 1: Get experience

Even if you have zero experience working in the industry or a relevant field, you can still start your journey toward working in a dispensary.

Find entry-level work in retail or customer service to build your job experience and earn transferable skills such as cash handling, building a rapport with customers, and working in a fast-paced environment.

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All the while, read up on books, trade magazines, or online publications. Watch videos about budtenders at work. As a budtender, you must have knowledge about using cannabis as medicine, cannabis delivery methods, and the endocannabinoid system.

Enrolling in a renowned dispensary technician certification course can provide you with a complete curriculum covering cannabis medicine, cannabis laws, and how to get certified to work in a dispensary. A dispensary technician certificate is not a requirement but can make your resume and cover letter stand out from other job candidates.

Step 2: Find work

When you have sufficient experience working in a relevant field and knowledge about the plant and the industry, you can start looking for work.

Search traditional job boards like Indeed, Monster, Simply Hired, and Craigslist or cannabis-specific ones like 420Careers and Ganjapreneur for “budtender” and “dispensary technician” positions near you. Check daily or set an alert to apply quickly. Jobs are going fast.

Recruitment and placement companies like Viridian Staffing and Ms. Mary Staffing can pair employees with the right position based on their skills and experience. You can also reach out to companies directly through social media and email about employment opportunities.

Networking in person at your favorite dispensary or at local and national industry events can help you connect with dispensary employees and owners. Find events on community boards, online, and in newspapers.

Step 3: Create a resume and cover letter

A resume and cover letter are integral parts of your job application. They highlight your experience, skills, and education. A cover letter, in particular, provides a narrative of your experience and lets your personality shine through.

Check out our cannabis resume writing tips, budtender resume example, and cover letter writing guide.

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Step 4: Succeed in the job interview

If the hiring manager likes what they see on your resume and cover letter, you'll get it called in for a job interview. Get there 10 to 15 minutes early, dress nicely, prepare a few questions, and keep your body language open to give the best first impression.

Step 5: Start working!

If hired, you can start working in a dispensary and explore a variety of career paths. Becoming a budtender gives you a wide range of employment opportunities in retail, cultivation, and manufacturing.

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