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The budtender is the first person that any California medical marijuana card holder will encounter when they go to their local dispensary. He or she is the public face of any dispensary, so it is an incredibly important job. Most California medical marijuana card-owning patients rely on the budtender to educate them and help them to find the medicine that will improve their life the most.
A great budtender is passionate about medical marijuana, knows the cannabis card industry, and the product, inside out, and is a ‘people person’ who loves dealing with customers and helping them to improve their lives.
If you are a people person, then being a budtender can be an extremely rewarding and very often heartwarming job. You can create deep connections and friendships with your California medical marijuana card customers and watch as their quality of life massively improves.
If you want to become a budtender, here is what you need to do…
As a budtender, you will need to know all about cannabis strains, their effects, and what ailments each is typically good for treating. You need to know how the product was developed, where and how it was grown, and how your prices compare with those of your competitors. You have to be able to talk about the background of cannabis, and its history. In order to educate your customers, you must be highly educated yourself. Study is crucial – read books on the subject by Jorge Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal. Invest in yourself and your career by doing the necessary work to become a genuine MMJ expert. Make sure that before you attend an interview you are deeply familiar with all of the products that that particular dispensary sells. Being knowledgeable is essential, so do not be afraid to show this off during the interview.
Visit all of the dispensaries in your local area so you can talk to the budtenders and get some insider knowledge on what products each store carries, and what is most popular with their customers and in the wider California medical marijuana card scene. Meeting these guys and girls who are already doing what you want to do will be invaluable preparation for your career as a budtender, and will no doubt inspire you. Ask them about how they got their position and how they went about becoming experts in the field. Learn from the pros!
Study industry blogs and social media to stay on the cutting-edge. Follow industry leaders on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what is hot right now, and what exciting new developments are in the pipeline. Learn about new concentrates, extractions, and infused products. If your customers know that each time they come into your store you will have some interesting bits of advice, and tips about new products that are in the pipeline, they will come back to you again and again, and tell all of their friends about how interesting and informative their trips to the MMJ dispensary are. Also, stay up to date with new developments on the business side of things – who are the big industry names, what strains are making the most money, and what is the latest medical research telling us?
Networking is important in any industry and the medical marijuana business is certainly no different. Cannabis conventions are excellent places to meet industry people from all over the state and beyond. Striking up friendships with fellow weed-lovers can be fun, informative, and can even create opportunities for career advancement. There are over 100 cannabis conventions each year worldwide, with most of them taking place in the USA and Europe. This is both a great way to meet other industry workers, and to learn about the most up-to-date and cutting edge developments in the industry. Put yourself out there, be brave and social, and make those vital connections!
Being a compelling storyteller is an important part of being a great budtender. You want to fascinate, educate, and inspire your customers in equal measure. People need to enjoy the experience of dealing with you and learning about this fascinating subject that you are an expert in, and that will be having a profound effect on their lives. Connecting with customers on a personal level is key. Read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People to learn how to best connect with people and make them feel comfortable and inspired. Learning how to figure out what a customer needs and then sell it to them in a way that ignites their passion and imagination will make you a truly world-class budtender!
There are a few budtending schools out there, but the California medical marijuana card industry is very new and the courses vary wildly in quality. You don’t need an official qualification in budtending to become a budtender. Genuine knowledge is the most important thing, and that can certainly be achieved with private hard work, lots of reading, and gaining lots of first-hand experience. With the growth of the MMJ industry, really high-quality courses will surely be established soon, and if you are going to spend money and get educated you want to be sure that your money is well spent, and that the information you are being taught is top-notch.
A career as a budtender can be fun, fascinating, and rewarding. It will require hard work and effort, but the experience will be well worth it. Learn, grow, develop yourself, and the sky’s the limit!