Updated on June 28, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
This is a term meant to refer the employee who works to represent a particular cannabis dispensary and gives advice on what are the uses and effects of prescribed cannabis, which is very similar to that of a dispensing pharmacist.
This term has come into existence as a mix of two words, namely, buds and bartenders, therefore signifying the “tending of cannabis buds.” Though the term was colloquial in the late 90s, it has become a recognized word in the English language, per Merriam – Webster dictionary from the year 2018.
Budtenders do not have a medical degree or professional license, however, they just act as a liaison to customers in ensuring that they are completely educated with the benefits, cautions, and the experience attributed to using a particular type of cannabis. Nevertheless, the candidates need to be above 18 years of age to be appointed as budtenders.
While it is advantageous to have certain information pertaining to the variety of cultivars available in the market, most dispensaries are ready to train the candidates as it is assumed to be an entry-level position.
Nevertheless, budtenders who have expertise in this field could provide guidance with respect to cannabis cultivation, any of the state or federal laws pertaining to medical marijuana, and medical uses. Thus, one of the main skills sought in a candidate applying for the position of budtenders is the interest to stay up-to-date in this field; the interest alone is not enough as a candidate who is customer friendly would be able to do justice to this role better.
Budtenders, on average, earn $32,000 a year, according to a Census conducted in the United States of America in 2018.
Budtenders are required to obtain certain state-regulated permits to work in states like Oregon or Colorado where cannabis (or medical marijuana) is not legalized. However, states like California or Detroit, where medical marijuana has been legalized, an increase has been noted in the need for “qualified budtenders.”