What is a Budtender?

Grow a Career in Cannabis as a Budtender

Budtenders—a play on the words “bud” and “bartender”—hold an essential position in the cannabis industry. Budtenders work in dispensaries and directly assist customers, providing them with recommendations, guidance, and information on the purchase and use of cannabis products. In other words, budtenders are the face of the cannabis industry.  


What is a Budtender? 


Although the term budtender sounds like slang, it’s actually a real word. The term “budtender” was officially recognized by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2018—although the first known use of the word dates all the way back to 1997. Budtenders are not medically trained, however, they’re responsible for informing customers about the effects, benefits, and overall experience of cannabis products, while also maintaining up-to-date knowledge of cannabis laws and regulations.  


What Does a Budtender Do? 


The duties of a budtender vary from location to location, but in general, the responsibilities of a budtender will straddle those of traditional customer service and retail positions—they’re commonly tasked with everything from stocking shelves to managing a register to providing product recommendations.  


Typical responsibilities of a budtender include: 

Greeting and interacting with customers  

– Answering questions about different products, strains, and methods of consumption 

– Providing product recommendations to customers  

– Offering advice on the safe consumption of cannabis  

– Weighing and packaging products as needed 

– Keeping the dispensary clean, organized, and presentable  

– Processing customer payments  

– Adhering to current cannabis-related legal restrictions 

– Verifying medical marijuana cards or age identification 


It’s also important that budtenders maintain up-to-date knowledge of the cannabis industry—such as information about new strains, products, regulations, and industry trends—to ensure that customers receive high-quality and trustworthy service.   


How to Become a Budtender 


A budtender is considered an entry-level position in the cannabis industry. Dispensaries look to employ budtenders with a substantial amount of product knowledge, however, the best dispensaries provide plenty of training opportunities to their staff.


Some qualities dispensaries look for in a budtender include:

– High-level customer service skills

– Friendly demeanor  

– Professionalism  

– Strong communicator  

– Dependable and trustworthy  

– Multi-tasker  

– Knowledge of cannabis products, strains, and methods of consumption 

– Familiarity with cannabis-related slang and terms  


Because budtender is a customer-facing entry-level position, it’s highly visible and there’s a lot of room for advancement. Budtenders who increase their knowledge of the industry and demonstrate leadership are excellent candidates for advancement—most commonly into a supervisory role at a dispensary, but also to other positions within the organization.  


What Does a Budtender Earn?  


Budtender salaries vary depending on everything from their geographic location to the size of the dispensary to their level of experience. According to Indeed, budtenders earn, on average, $14.77 an hour—not including tips—which is a little higher than the $14.25 minimum wage in Massachusetts. Those hoping to advance within an organization will be happy to learn that ZipRecruiter reports the average dispensary manager makes more than $62,000 a year.  


Plant Dispensary  


Plant Dispensary is committed to delivering the highest-quality service possible to our customers and that starts with our budtenders. We’re always on the lookout for motivated, talented, and professional people with a passion for cannabis. If you’re interested in delivering an exceptional experience to our customers and growing a career in cannabis, contact us today to learn more about open positions at Plant. 

Plant Dispensary

Plan Dispensary writes about cannabis cultures, recent events, promotions and industry developments.




Join our Newsletter

Stay on top of dispensary news, get new product updates, discounts and more.


Find the best quality cannabis that has not only been scientifically grown but has been hand manicured to preserve the prized trichome heads. Large nugs, that that provide you the most luxurious part of the plan.

Shopping Basket