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So You Want to Know How to be a Budtender

How to be a budtender

For cannabis lovers everywhere, being a budtender sounds like a dream job and for some it really is just that.  The dispensary business in most states is still quite new so there are many opportunities for marijuana lovers to take the passion and turn it into a way to earn a living.  Working at a dispensary is a special kind of job but it is still a job and before you start sending your resume to every dispensary in town, it’s smart to do your homework about the realities of working in a dispensary. Read on tips on how to be a budtender.

Research the Specific Dispensary

This should go without saying but before you even send out a single resume, research the individual dispensaries you plan to apply to beforehand.  Obviously start by going on their website and reading the about page but then dig deeper.  Reading reviews online will give you an idea of the overall vibe of the dispensary.  Check out their social media and see how active their online presence is because you never know if you might be tasked with managing more than just the marijuana. Some dispensaries are geared towards a niche demographic and with the fast growth of dispensaries in multiple states, many dispensaries have more than one location.  The more you know about the specific dispensary, the better your chances of getting hired there will be.  True for any job of course, but as dispensary jobs are fairly coveted these days, learn as much as you can before reaching out.

Brush Up on Your Cannabis Knowledge Base

Naturally you would not apply to be a bartender with no knowledge of alcohol or how to mix a drink and the same applies to working with cannabis.  Of course your own personal experience with marijuana is useful and in most cases essential but unless you happen to know the dispensary owner, it may not be enough.  Make sure you know as much about the different strains of cannabis as possible and have or develop a deep understanding of cannabis delivery methods such as bongs, pipes, dab rings, bubblers, you get the idea.  A big part of working at a dispensary is giving advice to customers so they can select the best cannabis products for their needs.  The more you know, the easier it will be to give that advice and show your perspective audience that you know how to be a budtender.

Perfect those Customer Service Skills

The dispensary business and being a budtender in particular means working in a competitive market so the better you are at working with people, the better budtender you will ultimately be.  This means showcasing any previous retail experience you have, even if it’s not cannabis related.  If you are lucky enough to land an interview, another budtender or the dispensary owner will test you on your general cannabis knowledge and they will also test you on your ability to work with people, sometimes difficult people who have no idea what they are looking for when it comes to marijuana.  Successful budtenders say they practiced with friends before interviews with the friend playing the role of a challenging or difficult to please customer.  This type of experience is kind of fun to do but is truly invaluable when it comes to showing dispensary staff members that you can handle any type of person who may walk through the door.  One last tip, don’t ask about the employee discount or monthly swag hauls during the interview, get the job first, then enjoy those cannabis perks, they are amazing! These tips should help show you how to be a budtender.

Be sure to check out: Your Friendly Neighborhood Budtender

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The Best Marijuana Dispensaries in Boston & Massachusetts

Best Marijuana Dispensaries in Boston

Popular Marijuana dispensaries in Boston and Massachusetts

NETA Brookline

Distance from Boston: Minutes by car
NETA Brookline is placed within a gorgeous, converted bank, all high ceilings and ornate dark wood. The menu resembles its Northampton counterpart, even though its enduring popularity occasionally means its product runs out more quickly — especially at the moment. Bonus points go to the team members for their friendly but no-nonsense attitude (not every dispensary visitor attempts a woo-woo experience).
Operations: People who have a valid medical card must book their purchases beforehand.


Distance from Boston: One hour
With a title like Cultivate, you would expect a farm-like approach for their product, and the dispensary does not disappoint:”seed to table” is Cultivate’s governing philosophy. The lineup of blossom, pre-rolls, wax, and vape cartridges is remarkable, but how fascinating is that infused olive oil? And nobody ever went wrong making cannabis-chocolate chip biscuits their quarantine treat.
Operations: Patients must book ahead of time online; those looking for a full-scale consult can call 508.233.8000 to talk to a brand ambassador.

Northeast Alternatives

Fall River
Distance from Boston: One hour
At age 19, founder Chris Harkins witnessed the profound suffering his mother experienced from the cancer that would eventually take her life; when his father was diagnosed with cancer decades later, Harkins sought alternative treatments to alleviate pain and learned more about the effectiveness of cannabis. NEA now sells flower, pre-rolls, focus, edibles, and vape capsules; its own unique selling proposition must be its sativa energy drink with notes of pineapple and cherry.
Operations: The dispensary is open for regular business hours and is offering special deals for new patients.

Marijuana Dispensaries in Boston and Massachusetts


Easthampton and Springfield
Distance from Boston: Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to
There is the normal lineup of blossom, pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and concentrates, but INSA also provides the Dart Pod, CCell’s vape system that’s lighter and boasts more vapor generation than standard cartridges. Most fascinating of all are the bath salts, certain to give you the most relaxing tubby time (that we sure as hell could use right about now).
Operations: The dispensaries are available for state pick-up orders only.

NETA Northampton

Distance from Boston: About two hours
This was the nation’s first recreational dispensary, and when it started, the wait times were measured in hours and parking areas were miles away. Things have since calmed down, but we can not guarantee what things will look like now that it is medical-only. The menu within this spa-like area is impressive: a number of flower and pre-rolls; lots of edibles, such as gummies, lozenges, as well as chocolate chip brownies; and a fine-mist inhaler. Their cartridges start with the fundamental Rempen and the purer Apex, and their proprietary Rubi (everything else matches the 510 vape cartridge regular ).
Operations : All orders must be placed beforehand through Reserve Ahead.


Danvers and Woburn
Distance from Boston: Twenty minutes to Woburn, 30 minutes to Danvers
Obviously you need your cannabis to be organic. At least, you do if you have made your way to Sanctuary, which prides itself on the high quality cultivation of its goods. It sells a number of flower and pre-rolls, also vape cartridges and a dash of concentrates. A great selection of edibles, including watermelon fruit chews and butterscotch lozenges.
Operations: Both medical dispensaries are offered for in-store shopping.

Theory Wellness

Distance from Boston: 2 hours and 15 minutes
“Seed to purchase” is the new”farm to table,” and Theory is a trailblazer. Its small-batch product is grown directly in Bridgewater: a fantastic assortment of flowers with two dimensions of pre-rolls, also capsules, Pax pods, and concentrates. The shops also have loads of edibles, tinctures, and an”extra strength” body oil that will not get you high, but will surely ease coronavirus tightness.
Operations : Preorder on the exact day you intend to pick up.

Patriot Care
Boston, Lowell, and Greenfield
Distance from Boston: Two hours, 30 minutes or less
Patriot runs one of the few medicinal dispensaries in Boston proper and has since added two spots to its repertoire. The blossom menu is impressive — more than two dozen varietals currently. Will the bud massage oil give your shoulders the munchies? Just 1 way to discover. Frankly, we are here for the hazelnut spread (available only in Lowell). If you are going to gorge during these stressful times, you may also get the most out of it.
Operations: at this time, all three medical dispensaries continue to be open during regular hours for in-store buys, but you are still best served by either emailing or calling to place your order beforehand.

Berkshire Roots
Distance from Boston: Two hours, 30 minutes
Pittsfield is obviously the Highest Town in Massachusetts, given its two distinct recreational dispensaries when most Massachusetts cities do not have one (Temescal Wellness is another ). All that’s on pause, of course, but Berkshire Roots, which opened on April 6, boasts the biggest growing operation in Western Mass, and their strong flower selection backs it up. They’ve pre-rolls and a collection of concentrates in addition to gummies, chocolate, and four unique tinctures, all made in house. Never mind that you will feel as if you have walked into an REI, the area is so calm and contemporary.
Operations: Patients should pre-order before pickup; the dispensary will send you a text as soon as your order is ready.

If you have other marijuana dispensaries in Boston and Massachusetts that you think should make the list, let us know in the comments.

Be sure to check out: Marijuana Dispensaries in My State

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Marijuana Budtender

Marijuana Budtender

For those lucky enough to live in a state or country with medical and/or recreational marijuana dispensaries, a great marijuana budtender can be the difference between an awesome, educational and ultimately successful experience and a visit that is disappointing and overly expensive.  A good knowledgeable budtender makes your trip to a dispensary the first part of achieving that perfect high.

What is a Budtender?

A person who works at a dispensary whose job it is to help you select cannabis products that meet your needs.  Much like a bartender, a budtender is a service oriented job that requires a variety of skills.

Most budtenders have some industry experience, meaning they are current or previous marijuana users themselves.  Naturally this is only a small part of the job.  Most budtenders in competitive markets have extensive knowledge about the local growing communities, the ever growing methods of consuming cannabis products, an in depth slightly nerdy approach to the science behind marijuana and some level of social skill.  Who are these magic unicorns and how do you become one? Connections.  Most budtenders got their gig by knowing a friend of a friend of a friend.  Update that LinkedIn profile!

What Can I Expect From a Budtender?

For the cannabis novice who has never set foot in a dispensary, think of a budtender like a teacher.  Like any good teacher, a marijuana budtender won’t do the work for you but knows how to ask the right questions so that you can arrive at the answer, the perfect bud, without too much time and stress.  A dispensary is the last place you should be stressed, so keep the vibes chill.

There is a scene from the movie “Bridesmaids” when after boarding a flight to Vegas for the bachelorette party, a drinking newbie asks the flight attendant for a “glass of alcohol”.  Don’t be that person. Do some homework on your own before you head out.  Your marijuana budtender will appreciate it, especially during these times of social distancing, that you do not show up and ask for some “really good weed”.

Of course you should ask your budtender for recommendations but keep in mind part of their job is sales and like any salesperson may recommend top shelf cannabis products that are not what you had in mind.  If you have tried some marijuana recently that you loved, or hated, be sure to mention that to your budtender.   Be specific, tell them what you loved or hated about the last product.  When in doubt listen to your budtenders advice but be willing to try a few different strains.  Sometimes the quest for cannabis perfection takes some trial and error.

What Budtenders Want You to Know

No it’s not the perfect job.  Most marijuana dispensaries budtenders do not sit around stoned all day, in fact most follow very strict laws and guidelines to stay in business.  Treat them with respect and they will reciprocate. Feel free to ask for a discount but don’t demand one and please no complaining about prices and taxes.  Your budtenders have absolutely no control over prices or taxes.  The prices are negotiated between the growers and the dispensary owners, your typical marijuana budtender is not part of this equation.  Taxes are determined by law at the state or federal level.  Budtenders want your feedback.  Found the perfect Sativa during your last visit?  Make sure to thank your budtender on your next visit.  The last Indica recommendation left you unimpressed, your budtender wants to know this too. No touching the cannabis products!  Enough said. Ultimately a budtender is doing everything possible to help you find the best cannabis for your specific needs and the more you work with them, do your homework and treat them with respect, the better the outcome and you may just be on your way to the best marijuana experience of your life.

Be Sure to Tip Your Budtender