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The rapidly growing cannabis industry needs trained employees now. This demand for quality professional staff members grows each year and is bound to continue well into the future. The cannabis industry ranks as the most rapidly growing industry in the United States and shows no signs of letting up, as an increasing number of states pass legislation decriminalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

To secure a job in this increasingly competitive industry, proper training and certification will increase your chances for employment and success. The fact that you’re reading this article from the Cannabis Training University (CTU) shows that you’ve come to the right place. Completing training and earning certification from CTU ensures that you’ve received your cannabis-industry education from an established and respected information source. The Cannabis Training University has a proven track record for educating cannabis professionals with the crucial training they need to stand out from the crowd. An individual applying for cannabis jobs without earning CTU certification is just another name on a long list of job applicants.

Within the cannabis industry, budtender is the position most in demand. A quick skim through the larger employment websites will verify this fact. To qualify for this type of job, applicants must confirm that they’re 21 years of age and possess any industry licensing or certification that may prove necessary in their state. After confirming those prerequisites, the worthiest applicant usually gets the job, which usually depends on industry and cannabis knowledge and the applicant’s interpersonal skills and overall demeanor during the interview. Dispensary work requires someone with a defined skill set, and company-specific training costs the company money, so most dispensaries make every effort to hire the most qualified applicants. Training for CTU will help you become one of those qualified applicants.

Let’s examine some of the reasons why training and cannabis education are crucial for getting hired and succeeding on the job. Consider the following information to gain a clear expectation of what the budtender job entails and whether or not it’s right for you.

The Dispensary Environment

Cannabis dispensaries tend to be very busy places, and budtenders often are on their feet and interacting with customers during their entire shifts. In the better dispensaries, lines of people often wait for service. This is a retail environment, so consider the retail aspects of a budtender position as well as knowledge of cannabis and related products. The customer mix will range from seasoned cannabis consumers, who need little assistance choosing their purchases, to total novices to the world of legal marijuana. In either instance, a high level of customer service is required to make the customer feel comfortable and satisfied with what they buy at your dispensary. With the number of dispensaries in business today, customers have many options from which to choose, which makes it even more important that budtenders earn their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty through exemplary customer service. Budtenders are, in effect, brand ambassadors for their companies. Converting foot traffic into repeat customers is key, and gaining customer trust is paramount to success in the cannabis space.

In most cannabis states, dispensary hours can be long, with some dispensaries and recreational shops closing as late as 10 p.m. or even midnight. Most will be open on Sundays and holidays, so you may have to work during those times. Being punctual and conforming to company-specific standard operating procedures is important, because many dispensaries have defined opening and closing policies and practices. Suffice it to say that punctuality is expected and tardiness is noticed.

Inventory Knowledge

Many aspects of a budtender job are quite fun, including gaining thorough knowledge of your company’s cannabis flower and related products. If your workplace grows its own bud and creates proprietary strains, learn about them, and recommend them to customers as being something specific to your company and not available anywhere else. If your company grows known strains that are industry mainstays, learn which are the best. Perhaps your company grows a particularly nice cut of Bubba Kush or Golden Goat. If so, mention that to discerning customers looking for something special.

Does your company sell items produced by other companies? Learn about those companies and why you stock their products. Customers will appreciate the information. If you have a particularly potent concentrate in stock that was produced either internally or from an outside source, point out the THC or CBD percentage that makes it an attractive purchase for those who enjoy concentrates. Thoroughly explain your line of infused beverages and edibles. Know your product line and the potency of individual products.

Become familiar with exactly where all products are found, and maintain an awareness of supply, alerting store management to low inventory (the POS software you will most likely use will also assist with these things). Restocking depleted inventory may well fall into your wheelhouse eventually as a part of the dispensary team. An entry-level budtender aspires to take the next step up the ladder and become a lead budtender, then perhaps an assistant manager and, ultimately, a manager. The successful employees who reaches the management level does so through hard work, sales record, and knowledge. In this respect, a dispensary is no different from any other retail environment.

Cross-Selling and Upselling

While you help customers decide on purchases, remember to provide suggestions that will both help the customers with their decisions and increase the company’s bottom line.

If a customer wants a particular strain that is out of stock, what similar strains can you recommend that are available that day? If a customer buys a supply of flower, ask if they need papers or a new glass pipe. Offer to show them the latest bongs. In a similar manner, if a customer buys a couple of grams of shatter or wax, offer to show them the dab rigs you have in stock or another concentrates device. Do they need a dab tool? Find out the answers to these questions through friendly, helpful conversation.

The cannabis industry is full of new and interesting products and gadgetry. Even the proudest, “I’ve-seen-it-all” cannabis enthusiast can learn a thing or two from a well-stocked dispensary. The innovation and diversity of products in today’s cannabis space has never been higher.

Customer Service

Often, the budtenders who experience the greatest career success and enjoy their jobs the most are “people persons.” They naturally love to engage in conversation with customers, most of whom are complete strangers. A friendly and professional demeanor is vital in this role.

This is not to say that a person who’s more of an introvert can’t succeed as a budtender, but they must get out of their comfort zone and put on a work face and a smile each day—which is a common reality for many people in a wide range of occupations.

A passion and love for cannabis is also important for success. You must believe in the products you sell. Just like a salesman at a fine clothing store should have an interest in fashion, budtenders (who are essentially retail sales professionals) should have an interest in cannabis and strive to increase their knowledge about it on an ongoing basis. The more you invest in your job as a budtender, the more likely you are to enjoy it.

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

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Becoming a dispensary budtender can be a wise career move with opportunities for upward growth and development. Just like other occupations, training is essential for success, and prior to applying for a budtender position, training from CTU will put you at an advantage for securing employment with a company for which you would like to work.

In today’s increasingly competitive cannabis industry you need to take advantage of any opportunity that will give you an edge over others who are competing for the same jobs as you. Enrolling for training will do exactly that. The firm foundation of knowledge you will gain will provide you with the confidence you’ll need to hit the road running once you begin employment with a dispensary. Don’t delay your cannabis training. You could be in the job of your dreams before you know it!

Jeffrey (Jeff) Zorn-CEO Cannabis Training University picture
Jeff Zorn

Jeff Zorn, a collegiate basketball player, discovered the transformative power of medical cannabis after a significant injury. He founded Cannabis Training University (CTU), a groundbreaking institution dedicated to disseminating comprehensive information about the cannabis industry. With a team of skilled educators and faculty members, CTU has reached thousands of students worldwide. As an esteemed cannabis business expert, Jeff regularly contributes thought-provoking articles online, providing invaluable guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs. CTU has grown from a single student in 2009 to a global phenomenon with over 80,000 students.

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