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If you're interested in working in The Land of Opportunity’s cannabis industry, check out our guide on how to become a budtender in Arkansas.  We cover the state's legal requirements to work in the industry. We also go over how to get certified to have a better shot at getting hired.

Industry Snapshot: Medical Cannabis in Arkansas

Currently, only medical cannabis use is legal in the state of Arkansas. The state's medical cannabis program was approved in 2016, but didn't start up until May 2019. Ever since then, its medical cannabis patient count has skyrocketed.

Support among state residents and legislators is growing. In 2020, activists fell short of obtaining the necessary petition signatures for a ballot initiative due to coronavirus restrictions. Advocates are setting their sights now on the 2022 ballot.

Now’s your time to become part of the state’s cannabis workforce.

Arkansas Budtender: Job Description & Requirements

As a budtender in Arkansas, you must be friendly and warmly welcome every patient into the medical dispensary. You will educate customers and answer questions on products and consumption methods.

When you're not helping a customer, you’ll be keeping the shop clean, organized, and well-stocked. Above all, you must comply with all state and local rules and regulations. Checking patient IDs and proper dispensing is all part of the job.


  • Must be at least 21 years old
  •  Pass a state and federal background check ($25 fee)
  • Must not have been convicted of an excluded felony offense
  • Cannabis industry experience (preferred)
  • At least 1 year of customer service, cash handling, retail experience

Registry Identification Card

Every cannabis industry employee must obtain a registry identification card before starting work. In order to get a card, you must not have had a one previously revoked within five years. If you're hired, your employer will provide you with the registry ID card packet, which includes:

  • An Arkansas State Police Background Application
  • A Notice of Intent to Hire completed by your employer
  • Request for Employment Registry Identification Card
  • Authority to Release Information form
  • Applicant Record Notification form

Cost: $50 ($25 paid on application and $25 on approval); $25 background check; $13.25 fingerprinting

Note: If you’ll be working at multiple cannabis facilities, you’ll need to get a separate registry ID card for each job.

Find a step-by-step guide on the application process.

Excluded Offenses

Applicants with an excluded felony offense cannot work in the cannabis industry. An excluded felony offense is determined by the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. It's up to their discretion to determine the severity of the offense.

The following offenses are not considered excluded felony offenses:

  • An offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted
  • An offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years earlier

How Much Do Budtenders Make in Arkansas?

Average base salary: $12.96/hour

Arkansas's average base salary is on par with the national average. Budtenders can earn anywhere from $12-$18 an hour based on experience and qualifications.

Where to Find Budtender Jobs in Arkansas?

Under Arkansas's medical cannabis program, up to 40 dispensaries are allowed. However, the state's medical marijuana commission chose to start off with 32. They plan to increase the count based on demand.

The state is divided into 8 medical cannabis dispensary zones, each  allowing up to 4 dispensaries per zone.

Job availability varies by region, season, and dispensary staffing needs.

How to Get Hired as a Budtender in Arkansas

Getting hired as a budtender in an Arkansas medical dispensary is easier than ever!

Just follow these steps to start earning income as a budtender:

  1. Get skills and education: Find work in a customer service or retail environment. In addition, getting industry certification can give you the edge you need to stand out when applying.
  2. Apply: Search on online job boards or network at local industry events to find work. Prepare your resume and cover letter covering your skills, education, and experience.
  3. Interview: If qualified, you'll score an interview where you can show your personality and competence.
  4. Registry ID Card: If hired, you'll need to pass a background check and complete several application forms to obtain a state registry ID card.
  5. Start Working!: Once you've registered with the state, you can start working at the dispensary right away.

Budtender Training in Arkansas

For the best budtender training online, enroll at Cannabis Training University.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Our budtender training in Arkansas covers the essentials of working in a retail cannabis environment. From customer service techniques to career advancement, our courses prepare you for the first day on the job and beyond.

We also cover cannabis cultivation, cannabis extraction, cannabis medicine, cannabis laws, and so much more.

Start learning today!

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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