How to Get a Job at a Dispensary

Like our Seattle and Spokane locations, more and more areas in the nation are experiencing the legalization of weed, and as a result, Cannabis dispensaries are popping up all over the country. Well, only in states and neighborhoods where marijuana use has been decriminalized, of course. 

How to Get a Job at a Dispensary

February 25, 2020

Like any establishment, when a new cannabis business opens, they are going to be in dire need of employees to serve the inevitable influx of customers. It’s far easier to land a position at a dispensary that just opened or is opening in the near future, but it’s not impossible to get a job at a dispensary that has been open for a while! 

Cannabis Dispensaries 101: What are the Positions? 

The number one step to getting a job at a dispensary is to have an idea of the position that you’d like to fill. When you have knowledge regarding the various roles that dispensaries need employees for, you can approach your interview in a way that shows you’re prepared.  

When looking to get a job at a dispensary, the first step is to decide which position you want to fill, and then apply! It helps to have a firm understanding of the positions that need to be filled, too. 

As with most jobs, applicants are typically hired to fill the position for which they applied, so it’s essential to be familiar with your options. Every dispensary is unique, so there may be other positions outside of these, but in most cases, the three main positions dispensaries are looking to fill include… 

  • Budtenders 
  • Security Guards 
  • Business Administrators


In many cases, the most common position that dispensary owners are looking to fill is that of a budtender. The title sounds eerily similar to a bartender, and that’s not a coincidence either. Budtenders and bartenders are both skilled in the art of preparing and distributing goods to customers, the main difference being the product involved. 

Rather than pouring various liquors and syrups into glasses, budtenders take strains and forms of cannabis off of shelves for the customers. Not only are budtenders well versed in all things related to cannabis, but they are also equipped with the skill set of relating to customers. 

The role of a budtender is the most cannabis-focused position in a dispensary, but it’s also the most customer-oriented job as well. Whenever someone walks into the doors of a dispensary, it’s imperative that they are greeted warmly and assisted, if need be.

The experience is just as important as the purchase the customer makes, especially given the rise in dispensaries and the competition that comes along with it. It’s always good news to hear customers say that your dispensary is the one they love to frequent. 

Since people can technically stop by any dispensary and pick up the cannabis they’re in search of, you want to give them a reason to return to your dispensary in particular time and time again. That’s where the customer service skills of budtenders come into play.

Security guards

Security guards are hired as a preventative measure to ensure the safety of employees and customers alike. Whether you’ve held a security position previously, or you are applying for your first ever role as a security guard, each dispensary will have its own protocol for hiring people who will maintain a safe environment at the dispensary. 

In general, the duties of security guards revolve around being alert and attentive for the entirety of your shift. Guards are also responsible for making sure that the only people who step foot in the dispensary are of legal age, so they are the ones who check IDs at the door.

Business administrators

The administrators of a dispensary handle a myriad of behind-the-scenes elements, such as managing the books, coordinating with marketing teams, and placing inventory orders on schedule. People who apply for the administrative role at a dispensary are going to focus more on the business side of things, rather than interacting with customers or working on the floor during store hours.

What Dispensary Owners are Looking for in Budtenders

Part of applying for a job at a dispensary is finding a dispensary that you love, but in order to successfully get a job at a dispensary, the store owners need to love you right back. 

Here are five characteristics that dispensary owners look for when examining the hiring pool. Learning about the qualifications they prefer can help you tailor your application in a way that helps you stand out amongst the crowd! 

Knowledge of Cannabis and enthusiasm for Cannabis education

You don’t have to be a cannabis expert by any means, but some knowledge of the industry is certainly beneficial. On top of being educated about marijuana and all that it entails, an additional quality that dispensary owners will appreciate is a strong desire to share your wisdom with customers. 

It’s not uncommon for cannabis novices to walk into dispensaries and ask for assistance with finding the right strain for them. Even the most educated applicants will not land a job at a dispensary if helping to educate others is not their cup of tea because that’s such a big part of the role of a budtender! 

Customer service skills that impress 

On a similar note, having the know-how to interact with the general public in a professional and conversational way is key to working at a dispensary. If you can impress the owners of a dispensary with your personable conversations and 

Professionalism paired with friendliness 

As we touched on ever so briefly, dispensary owners are on the hunt for employees who can master the art of being professional and poised, while also maintaining a sense of relatability and friendliness. You want to try to find a balance in the way you approach conversations with customers. 

It’s not necessarily important to talk very eloquently with a customer you don’t know, but you also don’t want to overstep the boundary and talk to them as though they are a friend that you know well. A dash of professionalism and a pinch of friendliness is the perfect combination when working at a dispensary! 

Organization abilities that make you reliable 

Believe it or not, there is quite a lot of organization involved in working as a budtender. Not only do you need to sift through inventory and ensure that the shelves are always stocked with products, but it is also essential that you learn where everything is in the store.

As a customer looking at the display cases and walls of inventory in a dispensary, it’s hard to fathom being able to memorize where exactly each individual product is stored. Over time, your muscle memory will start to assist you in locating what your customers ask for, of course. 

However, in the beginning, there’s definitely a learning curve to overcome. As long as you are committed to staying on top of stocking the shop when items are running low, you will make a great impression during your interview.  

Last But Not Least… A Spotless Criminal Record

If you are applying to work at a dispensary, then marijuana is obviously legal in your area. But just because cannabis is no longer criminalized where you live, and you’re planning to work within a recently-decriminalized industry, doesn’t mean that a background check is out of the question. 

Every owner of every dispensary in the world wants to know that they can trust their employees without hesitation. Many people have excellent intuition when it comes to who is trustworthy and who is not, so it’s likely the owner already has a gut feeling upon meeting with the people they are considering for the positions. 

However, a clean background check provides a great deal of comfort to dispensary owners, and that is very valuable. There are regulations that protect people who’ve been accused of a crime from being turned away on those grounds alone.

That being said, this does not mean a history of criminal behavior won’t work against you as you go through the application process. Be prepared for the owners of the dispensary to ask that you comply to having a background check because it’s incredibly rare for this not to happen.  

What to Do Before Getting a Job at a Dispensary

A lot of the focus so far has been on what you should do before you walk into your job interview… But one detail that we have yet to cover is also one of the most important points to touch on when discussing how to get a job at a dispensary.

Something important to think about is whether or not you feel that being a budtender is the right role for you. In order to figure that out with unwavering certainty, it’s imperative that you are honest with yourself. 

Having an interest in cannabis is helpful, but it’s not everything. We hope these key points provide you with insight and assistance when figuring out if getting a job at a dispensary is right for you! 

  • Familiarize yourself with cannabis terminology and products
  • Keep up-to-date with changes in the cannabis industry 
  • Become comfortable explaining cannabis to other people
  • Obtain a budtender certification through an accredited program

The fourth and final tip is the last step in becoming qualified to work at a dispensary. When you are eager to get a job at a dispensary, try not to take yourself too seriously. 

Working at a dispensary is one of the most laid back jobs you’ll ever work, particularly in terms of the vibe and energy of your soon-to-be workplace. As long as you adhere to the suggestions and take our advice into consideration, you’ll land a job at a dispensary in no time!  –

Visitng Bellingham? Our Bellingham dispensary is conveniently located in downtown Bellingham. Catch us after a drink at Gruff Brewing or visit during the Saturday Farmer’s Market. 

Piece of Mind Cannabis is a medical marijuana and recreational Cannabis dispensary with locations in North Spokane, South Spokane, Bellingham, and Pullman Washington as well as Anchorage, Alaska!

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