Eventually, the term “bud” will spark the image of cannabis over beer for mainstream audiences. As the cannabis industry grows, many people are looking for cannabis jobs. One of the most popular jobs in the industry is the budtender position. Budtenders are bartenders for cannabis products. The budtender position is an entry-level role that can lead to more opportunities in the marijuana retail space. However, do not let the entry-level categorization fool you, as it takes plenty of skill to perform well in the role. In our guide, we will walk you through what it takes to land budtender jobs.
Budtender Job Responsibilities
Budtenders are responsible for creating an inviting and satisfying experience for the dispensary customers. It is their responsibility to educate customers about any of the cannabis products, as well as make suggestions based on preferences. They must be the resident experts at the cannabis dispensary. Additionally, budtender job responsibilities include staying up to date with customer and inventory management software. Not to mention, budtenders should also meet dispensary sales goals and ensure everything follows cannabis state regulations. Dispensary budtenders may also be responsible for security, inventory, and even social media marketing, depending on management. Since they make direct connections and build rapport with the consumers, they are considered the heart of the dispensary.
Cannabis Education for Budtenders
To be one of the best budtender at any dispensary, your knowledge of cannabis must be comprehensive and ever-growing. Learning about the terpenes and cannabinoids of each strain, including the effects, smell, and taste, is a good place to start. You also want to keep your finger on the pulse of new cannabis products that are growing in popularity. For example, vapes, pre-rolls, and cannabis beverages are a hit with consumers. Also, you should know about the symptoms and conditions that marijuana can assist with and alleviate.
So, where can you learn about cannabis? There are several paid options, including certifications that Green Flower offers, including a Dispensary Associate certificate. However, you can find cannabis education for free online. Leafly has a ton of incredible and informative blog posts about cannabis. You can start with their Cannabis 101 section, which packs a ton of essential information. Another option to deepen your education is to visit cannabis dispensaries often. While you are there, chat with budtenders about the products. Not only will you learn more about cannabis and the latest merchandise, but you will see how budtenders communicate with potential customers.
Relative Customer Service Experience
A cannabis dispensary shares many similarities to any other retail store on the block. So, having any customer service experience will get you closer to landing a budtender job. If you do not have any straightforward customer service experience, you can look to your past jobs and find examples where customer service was one of the responsibilities. You can also look to your volunteer roles or other scenarios where you utilized your abilities to make connections, listen, and help others. On your cannabis resume and cover letter, mention examples when you went out of your way to fulfill customers’ needs.
There are many budtender jobs out there, but it may still be difficult to land one. If you have not exercised your customer service skills in a while, review the main concepts. As a budtender, you should practice active listening. The customer needs to feel understood, so they can build a real connection with you and the brand. Next, a budtender should learn to empathize with various people. Get into their shoes so they can be more receptive to your suggestions. Finally, utilize positive language no matter what the situation. Always stay calm and be solutions focused even when a customer is angry. You will have a better chance at landing one of the budtender jobs on your radar if you can show your sharp customer service mindset when answering behavioral interview questions.
Common Budtender Interview Questions
There will be common cannabis job interview questions that may be a breeze for you. However, you will also run into situational or behavioral questions that will allow the cannabis employer to analyze your customer service mindset. Additionally, some management may even want to see you in action, so role-playing may be part of the cannabis job interview, too. Therefore, you should be prepared to discuss and show your skills. Here are some of the common budtender job interview questions:
How do you ensure customer satisfaction?
What is your previous experience with cannabis?
How would you describe good customer service?
What do you know about our dispensary products?
How would you handle an in-person customer complaint about a product?
How would you respond if a customer doesn’t agree with your suggestions?
What is the most fascinating trend in the cannabis industry right now?
Tell me about a time when you handled a difficult work situation and what you did to resolve it.
Do Your Cannabis Dispensary Research
List the top cannabis dispensaries you want to work for and create profiles for each one. There may be several budtender jobs available near you, but each dispensary has a different company culture and slightly different perception of what makes a good budtender. Check out the social media channels, website, leadership profiles on LinkedIn, and mission/values for each cannabis dispensary on your shortlist. Not only will the research help you understand each dispensary better, but it will also allow you to see if you are a good culture fit. Additionally, you can check out what cannabis products they are carrying, which may help you in the budtender job interview process. You can even visit the cannabis dispensaries and chat with their budtenders to experience the brands.
Q&A with MJ Hybrid Solutions
MJ Hybrid Solutions is the premier education center for dispensaries, brands, and all cannabis and CBD professionals. We had the pleasure to discuss the role of the budtender with the founder of MJ Hybrid Solutions, Melissa Jane Stapley.
CannabizTeam: What are the top 3 components that make a great budtender?
Melissa Jane Stapley: Effective Communication, Product Knowledge, and Attitude. These 3 top components provide the best customer experience and service to meet consumers’ needs.
CT: What are the most challenging aspects of being a budtender? Do you have any advice on preparing for those challenges?
MJS: The most challenging is being able to understand the customers’ needs and dealing with all types of people. People are coming in with major medical needs and want to be told what is best for them. As a budtender, we are not doctors nor experts on dosing, so you have to be able to guide them toward the right product without telling them or dosing them. The best way to deal with this is to ask them questions to understand them and their needs and be upfront about them, needing to figure out what works for them. When you are upfront and honest, they are more open to coming back even if a product does not work.
CT: Are there any specific customer service strategies that translate well to budtender roles?
MJS: Having effective communication skills and using active listening to understand your customers’ needs. Building rapport and mirroring the customer will help them feel comfortable and create trust. And learning to adapt to every situation with a great attitude and smile will reflect on the customer. Customers who feel heard and understood will trust you and purchase more.
CT: How can budtender training/education help?
MJS: Budtender training and education can help build confidence and empower employees to provide the best customer experience. Employees who are trained are more effective, happier at their jobs, less likely to leave, and sell more. When employees are not trained, they often deal with challenging customers and lose their confidence in helping customers and providing great service. To meet consumers’ needs, employees need to be trained in effective communication and product knowledge. Effective communication empowers the sales staff, which in turn empowers the consumer. Consumers who feel empowered and confident make repeat purchases and spread the word.
If you are looking to land one of the many budtender jobs near you, do your research and prepare properly for your cannabis job interview. We wish you the best of luck on your cannabis job hunt!