If you are a dispensary owner in the emerging cannabis market in the US or Canada, you are likely looking to find great people to staff up your dispensary—but how do you find them?
The first step to hiring great budtenders is writing your job posts, the content included will reflect the caliber of your candidates.
Getting the right budtenders is critical to the success of your business. Why? Because budtenders serve as the first point of contact with your customers and provide them with the right information about cannabis products and their consumption. So here is what you need to know to hire a great dispensary team.
One mark of a successful and experienced budtender is their full knowledge of the products they are selling and the ability to walk customers through their consumption of cannabis—their preferences, the available types and the various modes of consumption.
They will ensure that your customers enjoy a wholesome cannabis experience, which can positively impact your business. On the other hand, if you engage the services of the wrong budtenders for your dispensary, it could lead to a total collapse of your business.
To employ a good budtender, it is critical that they tick all the boxes before you sign their employment letter. You need to understand that hiring budtenders for your dispensary means that you are leaving your business in the hands of a stranger. It is the responsibility of the new staff to help your business achieve its goals and adhere to your cannabis compliance record. So what are those boxes? What should you include in a budtender job description, and when looking for your dream hire? We have you covered.
The cannabis industry has experienced unprecedented growth in the last few years, and budtender certifications have been implemented. Although there is no one-size-fits-all regarding budtender requirements, up-skilling to match the skills in these budtender job descriptions will help.
In addition to certifications, and understanding the tasks and roles of a budtender, other requirements or requests might include:
To become a budtender, a high level of education is not necessary. However, applicants should have at least a high school diploma or GED. This degree ensures that the budtender has basic maths knowledge as well as a level of intelligence to handle interpersonal relationships and customer service. A budtender may have other responsibilities such as operating a POS system, computing sales and relevant data, answering phone calls, documenting inventory, cashiering etc. With a budtender who has been educated to at least a high school diploma level, you can be confident that they will be smart enough to handle the dispensary in relation to these duties.
In some cases, a budtender job can be an entry-level position. However, this does not negate the fact that the budtender you are looking to hire must be able to prove that they have a firm understanding of cannabis products. They must also display a level of familiarity with the products in the dispensary as well as the latest changes in the industry. This experience can come from following the latest trends and attending training or product seminars. This will not only ensure that they are aware of the current trends in the industry but will also be handy when relating with customers.
Different states in the US have their policies regarding the certification and licenses for budtenders. While some states in the US are not particular about licenses, you may want to consider adding a certificate as a requirement for the budtender job description. Budtenders with certificates tend to have more knowledge and professionalism than those who don't. These certifications boost the value of the budtender and prepare them for the job.
Also, confirm that the applicants have proof of a valid work permit, most especially to work as a budtender. Even if they meet other requirements, a lack of a work permit can prevent an applicant from being legally employed. And employing someone who does not have a valid work permit would not be good for your organization's reputation since there could be legal consequences.
Budtenders provide guidance and educate customers about cannabis products. One important and delicate part of owning a dispensary is dealing with different types of customers—first-timers, novices, patients, veterans and others. Some customers use cannabis for recreational purposes, while others use it as a medical prescription. A budtender represents the face of your store, and they are the personnel that your customers will have to relate with. This makes customer service and relationship skills an essential requirement. To attract customers, a budtender must be able to earn their trust and build connections with them. He or she must also be able to walk the customers through their cannabis experience and ask relevant questions such as when they last consumed cannabis, what their preferences are and how often they plan to consume cannabis. In most cases, a budtender might be saddled with the responsibility of recommending a product to customers based on the variety of products and accessories available. This is where the work experience comes in as a vital prerequisite.
Major organizational skills include adaptability, flexibility, scheduling, multi-tasking, and project management, among others. In addition to the customer service skill, the budtender you are hiring must have basic organizational skills to see to the running of the dispensary. Customer safety and common cannabis hygiene procedures are two important hallmarks of a dispensary.
To this end, it is the responsibility of the budtender to provide customers with prompt service and quality cannabis products while maintaining a safe and clean environment. The budtender must adhere to safe practices by wearing gloves and using tongs when dealing with the products. All of these are crucial to comply with the health inspection standard of your jurisdiction.
In the same vein, the budtender must be able to accurately account for the sales of cannabis sold and ensure that products are not being sold illegally or to the underaged. Other organizational responsibilities of a budtender are attending to customers' enquiries about products and their uses, informing the manager of any operational issues, and assisting the management team in educating other employees about the cannabis products.
Cannabis is a product that can easily be abused. It should also not be found in possession of a minor. Based on these, states have policies regarding the minimum age of budtenders. In Canada, the legal age to be a budtender is 19, while in Alberta it is 18. However, for states in the US like California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nevada, the legal age to be a budtender is 21. As a recruiter, it is important that you add this in your job description to ensure you are complying with the policies of your state or country. Employing a minor is likely to lead to serious legal implications for your dispensary.
This requirement is peculiar to where your dispensary is located. States in the US do not require budtenders to have licenses for the recreational use of cannabis. However, some states in Canada are particular about licenses, which is why there are training centres in Canada. More importantly, medical training is necessary to prescribe cannabis to those who use the product for health purposes.
Before employing a budtender, it is important that they have a clean record to work as one. The rules of what is regarded as a clean record vary from state to state, and you must ensure that your budtender passes your state's background check. For some states, the focus is on whether the applicant has any record of outstanding warrants or felony convictions. Other checks that you can look out for are past or present criminal violations, credit problems, previous work issues, etc.
In addition to the aforementioned, you may proceed to carry out a thorough background check, especially if you are considering giving your budtender more responsibilities. To do this, talking to an attorney may be advisable so that you know what is important to check for. You can also contact the applicant's previous employers for more information. You could also ask that applicants submit personal references that you can contact as part of the job description.
If you own a dispensary, you need to have the right people working as budtenders to ensure your business aim is achieved. The best way to streamline this process is by exploring HR software build for dispensaries. With HR software for dispensaries you can hire better, more qualified candidates, faster.
Once you are finished writing a great budtender job description, it's time to start hiring. Check out our free budtender onboarding checklist to help you move through the next steps of the process!