How to Hire a Top-Performing Budtender

The role of the budtender has become increasingly vital in providing customers with exceptional service and guidance. A skilled and knowledgeable budtender can greatly impact a dispensary’s success by driving sales and creating a positive customer experience. Great budtenders can be hard to hire. In this article, we’ve identified the personality traits and characteristics you should look for when hiring a new budtender. Take the time to find the right candidate for your dispensary.

Willingness to learn:

One of the most crucial characteristics of a successful budtender is an extensive understanding of cannabis products. Because the cannabis industry is so new, this often means that the people you interview may still be very new to the industry themselves and have a limited or biased knowledge of cannabis and hemp products. You will also meet people that have a higher understanding of cannabis. They will also likely have personal bias based on their own experiences with products and brands. It’s important that regardless of how much cannabis knowledge your potential budtender has that they are open to continuing to learn and educate themselves and especially have the ability to unlearn bad habits or incorrect information.

During the interview process, test the candidate’s knowledge by asking about strain profiles, cannabinoid and terpene profiles, and different consumption methods. Look for candidates who are honest about their level of product knowledge and without being prompted, mention the desire to educate themselves on new developments in the industry.


Exceptional customer service is the backbone of any successful retail operation, and the cannabis industry is no exception. A good budtender should have excellent interpersonal skills, be approachable, and possess the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of customers and their personalities. During the interview, assess their communication style, empathy, and ability to actively listen. Ask questions about how they would handle various customer scenarios, such as dealing with an inexperienced user or someone seeking specific medical benefits. Your customers may range from 21 year old cannasseurs seeking new products to 80 year old seniors needing pain relief and everywhere in between.

Persuasive nature:

A budtender’s role extends beyond providing information; they are also responsible for driving sales. Look for candidates who possess strong sales acumen and the ability to upsell and cross-sell effectively with the tools you provide. Inquire about their experience with sales targets, strategies they have used to increase sales in previous roles, and how they would approach suggestive selling in a dispensary environment. Candidates who can strike a balance between educating customers and promoting products are valuable assets to any dispensary.

Attention to detail and compliance:

The cannabis industry is highly regulated, and adherence to legal and operational protocols is crucial. A successful budtender should possess a keen eye for detail and a commitment to compliance. During the interview, inquire about their experience with maintaining accurate inventory records, verifying identification, and following legal requirements. Ask hypothetical questions to gauge their understanding of compliance and their ability to handle challenging situations, such as spotting fake IDs or managing inventory discrepancies.

Adaptability and multitasking:

Dispensaries can be fast-paced environments with multiple tasks demanding attention simultaneously. A good budtender should be adaptable and capable of multitasking effectively. Assess their ability to handle high-pressure situations and how they prioritize tasks. Inquire about their experience in previous roles where they had to juggle multiple responsibilities. Look for candidates who demonstrate composure under pressure, organizational skills, and the ability to work efficiently in a dynamic environment.

Articulation and communication skills:

In order to make all of your customers feel comfortable while purchasing your products, it’s important for your budtenders to have adequate communication skills. They should be able to describe the pros and cons of each product and easily answer common questions without using slang or jargon customers might not be familiar with. Abundance of knowledge will not make up for communication skills. You can gauge this by asking them to describe a common household product (non-canna related) and how they would tell you about its benefits if you had never used it.

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