It’s no secret that Canadian cannabis needs budtenders, especially as more and more retail locations begin to open across the country.
Budtenders are the first point of contact when a customer visits a dispensary and are therefore the faces representing legal cannabis to the public. It’s an important position that goes beyond most other retail jobs because there is also a legal aspect involved.
Hiring the right people is an important aspect of running a successful retail store, and as you can imagine, dispensary owners aren’t hiring just anyone. So, if you’re looking to get into the industry at the retail level, keep reading for some tips on how you can put yourself ahead of the crowd and get one foot in the door for an amazing cannabis job as a budtender.
What are dispensary owners looking for in a budtender?
Cannabis retail requires professionalism, so just because you smoke a lot of pot, it doesn’t qualify you to sell it legally. The legal cannabis industry is trying to present an image that doesn’t involve the stoner stereotype and modern budtenders are expected to break the stigma by looking (and acting) fresh, poised, and professional when dealing with customers and cannabis.
Savvy dispensary owners will also be looking at you as a salesperson, not just a cannabis consultant. They’ll want you to push products and maximize sales at all times while being focused on the customer’s needs. Budtenders that seem to be in demand are those that go beyond their enthusiasm for cannabis by adding the ability to sell into the mix.
Compliance is one of the most important topics
Making sure you know and comply with all cannabis regulations is extremely important for a budtender position. You’ll be expected to ensure you’re doing your due diligence, whether it’s while loading the pre-weighed product, dispensing point-of-sale distribution, or properly tracking inventory.
If you get the job you’ll receive training, but there are some things to know about in advance that could give you an edge. This might include avoiding sales to minors, understanding compliant packaging and labeling, inventory tracking, and steering clear of any illegally obtained products.
Understand your customers
As a budtender, it’s important to know your customers. Not everyone who uses cannabis does so regularly or wants the same thing when they consume. This means that talking to your customer is vital in order to figure out what products to recommend, so they will have the best possible cannabis experience.
Understand your product
Having extensive knowledge about cannabis is a must because customers will have a lot of questions. If you have the knowledge and can provide answers without always asking your manager, you’ll be a great budtender. Showing that you’re well-versed with strain types, consumption methods, effects, dosing and more will greatly increase your chances of landing the job.
Understand cannabis dosing
A major difference between illegal cannabis products and legal ones is that the latter are packaged and labeled to clearly indicate the amount of cannabis contained within. This makes it important that you, as a budtender, understand how to properly dose with cannabis and that you can convey that information to the customer.
Dosing is especially important when it comes to edibles and concentrates, which will be a huge part of the industry later this year.
Constantly be educating yourself
A top-rate budtender should always be on top of industry news, especially when it comes to the scientific and health aspects of cannabis. With all the research that’s currently going on, there’s always new information coming out about everything from effects and medical benefits to dosing. It’s important that any advice you relay to customers isn’t just something you suspected but backed by evidence and research. Dispensary owners will love it if you take it upon yourself to stay current with the ‘world’ of cannabis.
This should go without saying, after all a job interview is a professional setting. Don’t think that looking like a stoner hippy will help you land the job because it won’t. Your best bet is to dress professionally, be sober (duh) and make sure you’re ready to smash the old stoner stigma of cannabis.
Budtenders must be knowledgeable, ready to answer questions, make recommendations, and just generally be on the ball while on the clock.
Be ready to learn
It’s important to communicate to potential employers that you’re ready to learn everything you can about cannabis. Budtenders will be given training courses that cover everything from compliance to product information to make sure that they’re ready to guide consumers in the right direction, so showing you’re hungry for knowledge could be to your advantage.
Have your CannSell Certification
In Ontario, all budtenders must carry a CannSell Certification to be allowed to sell cannabis through a retail dispensary. If you already have this certification, that’s one less step your prospective employer will need to take and it may help you land the job ahead of someone without the certification.
There are a handful of budtender training courses available that will help you successfully achieve CannSell certification, but it might be best to ask your employer if they recommend you take the course on your own. Also, being pre-certified is not a necessity as many retailers are willing to hire staff that aren’t certified yet.
Tips for nailing your job interview
Know the dispensary
Before you go in for your interview, make sure you know about the company, their ethos and the products they sell. Showing that you’re already an expert on all their products will put you ahead of the competition for sure.
You can use their website as a resource or visit the store location as a customer before you apply.
Bring a resume
As with any job interview, you’ll need to bring along your resume. It’s a good idea to tailor it specifically for the position you’re applying for and target it towards your potential employer. List any past jobs, your education, and any certifications you might already hold.
Emphasize any relevant experience you have
If you’ve ever legally worked with cannabis before let it be known during your interview. Same thing for any customer service or retail jobs you may have worked in the past.
If you have any certifications, like the aforementioned CannSell Certification, be sure to promote that. Other than that, sell yourself and communicate that you’re always excited to learn something new.
We hope this article has been informative and has given you a good idea of what to expect when you apply for a budtender position with a legal retail dispensary in Ontario. The industry needs people like you to make it work and we wish you the best of luck during your job searching process.