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Do you want to learn how to become a budtender in Florida? Are you ready to take your cannabis career to the next level? If so, then industry training from Cannabis Training University can help!
Florida is bursting at the seams with cannabis jobs in retail, manufacturing, and cultivation. In the retail sector, budtenders are the unsung heroes that help patients find the right type of relief they need.
These entry-level jobs can get you started on a fulfilling weed career in any segment of the industry. Ready to learn how to get your foot in the door of Florida’s cannabis industry? Let's get started.
Florida’s Medical Cannabis Laws
Currently, only medical cannabis is legal in the state. Recreational cannabis use is prohibited in Florida.
Knowing the state's cannabis laws is one of the prerequisites for getting hired as a budtender. It is up to you to check IDs, understand the purchasing limits, and properly track certain information to remain compliant with state regulations.
Here is a quick primer on what you need to know:
- Possession: Patients and caregivers may not possess more than a 70-day supply of cannabis at any given time; patients and caregivers may not purchase more than a 35-day supply of smokable cannabis (2.5 oz) or possess more than 4 oz of smokable cannabis at any one time.
- Home cultivation: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers.
Up until recently, the state banned smokeable flower products for medical patients. After lawmakers reversed the cannabis flower ban in March 2019, the market started to take off even more so than before. Expect to see major growth in Florida from here on out.
The state is expected to pass adult-use laws within the next few years. Don’t wait until it’s too late. It's up to you to be ready for the incoming green rush.
What is a Budtender?
A Florida budtender is a knowledgeable salesperson who works in a licensed medical dispensary. As a budtender, you must be friendly, positive, and outgoing. You are a medical patient's personal guide to the world of cannabis.
As a budtender, you'll have to educate patients of all experience levels and answer all of their questions about using cannabis. You'll need to teach them about different cannabis products, strains, and consumption methods. Your job is tohelp them find the right product for their unique medical condition and symptoms.
Budtender job duties include:
- Verify documentation and ID for patients
- Assist in verifying order deliveries
- Keep a patient log
- Set up and break down display cases; keep them clean and maintained
- Assist in inventory management
- Answer phone calls
- Clean work areas
- Maintain a positive work environment
- Remain compliant with HIPAA guidelines
How Much Does a Budtender Make in Florida?
Budtenders, also known as patient care technicians or dispensary associates, can earn between $12.50 to $15 per hour. Budtenders with previous and direct work experience can earn more. The average budtender salary in Florida is about $14 per hour. Budtenders may also receive benefits such as store discounts, tips, and other job perks.
Legal Requirements and Qualifications to Work in Florida’s Cannabis Industry
You must be at least 21 years of age to work in the cannabis industry. State law requires all medical cannabis workers to undergo a level 2 criminal background check and not have any disqualifying offenses. You must have a clean record to work in a dispensary. A felony can automatically disqualify you from employment. Some dispensaries may exempt low-level misdemeanor possession charges.
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Customer service experience
- POS systems experience
- Excellent communication and teamwork skills
Florida Cities with Budtender Jobs
In Florida, cannabis companies must be vertically integrated. That means that the business must run every stage of the supply chain from the cultivation of the cannabis plants to the manufacturing of products to the retail stores that sell the products.
Currently, Florida has 22 approved medical cannabis operators that can open dispensaries. Of those companies, about 14 have dispensary locations in Florida. The state has a total of 312 medical cannabis dispensaries as of May 2021. That makes it second in the nation for medical cannabis industry growth. Florida’s market size is right behind Oklahoma’s.
Five operators run the majority of the shops in the state. Three operators control more than two-thirds of the market. The top six operators make up nearly 90% of all sales.
Trulieve is the undisputed leader with 83 stores in Florida (87 nationwide). Surterra Wellness follows Trulieve with 39 dispensaries in the state. Liberty Health Sciences has 35 dispensaries in the state. Curaleaf trails behind with 33dispensaries. Fluent, formerly Knox Medical, rounds out the top five chains with 26 stores.
If you're looking for work in the cannabis retail sector, check out their websites for dispensary locations and employment opportunities.
Cities that have the most available cannabis jobs include Tampa, Pensacola, Quincy, Boca Raton,and Jacksonville. Also, look for cannabis work in Avon Park, Destin, Midway, Miami, Orlando, Lee, West Palm Beach, Monticello, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Homestead, and Gainesville. Make sure to research your local laws first. Ensure there are no commercial medical cannabis bans in your city.
How to Find Work as a Budtender
Florida is one of the best places to find cannabis work, especially as a budtender. Here are some tips to help you land the role of a budtender.
If you want to work in a medical cannabis dispensary, you need previous retail and customer service experience, even if it is not directly in the industry.
On top of relevant work experience, you need to know how the cannabis industry works. That means learning about the medicinal properties of cannabis and how to safely use it as a medicine. You'll also need to know about the different cannabis products available in the state and dispensary.
Cannabis products available in Florida include:
- Vape carts
If you don't have any of these qualifications, don’t worry. You can still join the industry. You just have to gain some work experience and cannabis knowledge first.
Find work in a non-cannabis-related field in retail, customer service, or sales to gain relevant work experienceLook for jobs that involve retail, cash handling, and point of sales (POS) systems.
As a budtender, you will be expected to provide exceptional customer service and maintain a good relationship with patients, vendors, and staff. A big part of the job will be to recommend the right type of medicine to patients depending on their needs.
Enroll in a cannabis education course or program to catch up on the latest developments in the industry. Online cannabis training is a convenient and affordable option for students of all skill levels.
A complete cannabis education curriculum includes course information on every major aspect of the industry including cannabis medicine, cannabis cultivation, cannabis cooking, cannabis extraction, cannabis laws, cannabis careers, and cannabis business.
Common education requirements include:
- A high school diploma or general education degree (GED)
- At least six months of related experience and/or training
- Equivalent combination of education and experience
Earning certification from a renowned cannabis training program can be an excellent supplement to your previous work experience and education. Check out the Cannabis Training University enrollment page to learn more.
Resume and Cover Letter
By including a cover letter, you are already one step ahead of most job applicants. Cover letters help you persuade hiring managers to hire you. They can make or break their hiring decision.
Working In the Cannabis Industry
You can start in one of many other entry-level positions in the cannabis industry to gain knowledge and experience. You can then make a lateral move to become a budtender at a medical cannabis dispensary.
Medical cannabis dispensaries hire receptionists, inventory assistants, and security guards. After displaying your work competence at a dispensary, dispensary managers may consider you first for the budtender position when it opens up.
You can work in the cultivation sector as a cannabis trimmer responsible for pruning flowers for sale. You can also work as a grower’s assistant helping master growers take care of the crop. Your jobs will involve watering, feeding, transplanting, and pest control.
Working in an ancillary industry can give you insight into how the cannabis market works. The most in-demand ancillary segments include accounting, law, IT, marketing, real estate, security, and insurance. There are many more ancillary segments that work with cannabis businesses.
One of the best ways to find work as a budtender is to talk to people. Attend networking events to meet business owners, industry employees, and other like-minded people. Join online groups and forums and even visit the shops themselves and ask if they are hiring. Putting a face to a name can give you an advantage over a simple resume submission.
Florida Cannabis College
Cannabis education can give you a competitive edge over other job applicants. Cannabis Training University (CTU) offers affordable online industry training for students around the world. Whether you're in Florida or any other place in the world, online cannabis training is at the tip of your fingers. Sign up for online budtender training today with CTU.