Want to Become a Budtender? 7 Criteria to Master First

dispensarywebSo, you’ve been thinking about becoming a budtender. Do you know what’s involved in a budtender position? The main responsibilities of a budtender include handling and knowledge of medical cannabis and interacting and educating patients. Before you can walk into a dispensary asking for a job, you’ll need important knowledge and skill regarding marijuana and patients.

What do budtenders have to know? Here’s a list of the top seven criteria you’ll want to master.

Terminology. First of all, the term ‘budtender’ is now more appropriately called ‘patient consultant’ and is the individual who connects patients to the legal cannabis industry. Use of proper terminology is imperative when talking with patients. Avoid street slang. Examples include:

  • Adult, Commercial, Retail … instead of Recreational
  • Cannabis, Medicine … instead of Pot, Weed, Marijuana
  • Consume and Consumer … instead of Use and User
  • Overmedicate … instead of Overdose

Patient Relations. As a patient consultant, you will be helping a variety of patients. While many patients may know exactly what they want, others will be new to a dispensary. As patients, some could be very ill or depressed and the patient consultant must maintain professionalism while being caring.

Cannabis Science. Knowledge of cannabis as medicine is crucial. While the cannabinoids THC and CBD are important, it is worth knowing about other cannabinoids such as CBC, CBG, CBN, and CBDL and what makes up the cannabis plant. Further, you will need to understand basic human physiology and how cannabis interacts with the body when consumed. You can readily find published research about cannabis and being informed about the latest research will be valuable when consulting with patients.

State Laws and Regulations. Twenty-five states (plus Washington, D.C.) have now legalized cannabis. Depending upon the state in which you’d like to work as a patient consultant, it will be essential that you understand the laws and regulations set forth by that state as well as the city in which the dispensary is located

Strain Identification and Effects. The two major types of cannabis plants are Sativa and Indica. Each strain has its own range of effects on the body and mind and offer a range of medical benefits. Sativa strains will make a patient feel at ease and able to focus while Indica strains will relax a patient’s body and offer relief from pain.

How to Identify Quality Cannabis. Sometimes the patient consultant must be able to evaluate the quality of cannabis coming into the dispensary. There are three criteria to fully understand in doing this and include: the trimmed flower and visible trichomes, the moisture content, and the smell. Cannabis that contains mold, mildew, pests or other debris could be harmful to patients.

How Cannabis is Consumed. Not all patients want to smoke cannabis and knowing other consumption methods is essential. From concentrates to cannabis edibles and tinctures, a patient consultant must have knowledge to advise patients about the various methods of ingestion.

Importance of Security. A reputable dispensary will have security protocols to follow when helping patients. Understanding what these are and how to adhere to them will make you a valued patient consultant.

Ready to learn more? Oaksterdam University is hosting two upcoming indoor horticulture seminars, one in Las Vegas in November and one in New York in December. If you’re serious about becoming a patient consultant, attending one of these seminars will be invaluable. You’ll receive four days of intensive instruction, 26 hours of grow training, networking with cannabis experts, and certification (optional) to help you prepare to work in this growing industry.


Early Bird Registration Ends October 31!   




Early Bird Registration Ends November 4!




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