Monday, May 16, 2016

Bud Tender: An Emerging Occupation in Oregon

Marijuana dispensaries are the storefront of the marijuana industry, and the occupation most common in those establishments is a cannabis dispensary technician, also known as a “bud tender.” Those are the people who stand behind the counter with a dizzying array of cannabis flower varieties that are available for sale.

According to dispensary owners, at the end the day, it’s a retail business and the same attributes you would want in someone selling shoes at a shoe store are similar to what you would want in someone working behind the counter at a marijuana store. Employers expect their bud tenders to have excellent customer service skills and be very knowledgeable about the products they are offering.

Wade Hall, the owner of Top Shelf Wellness Center in Phoenix, discussed his employee handbook, which not only covers the usual rules and regulations that any business would expect his employees to know, but also the complex and quickly evolving rules and regulations that apply to the cannabis industry in Oregon. He also tests the knowledge of his employees about regulations and the marijuana industry in general. His bud tenders need to understand the software and computer system that tracks customers and sales, making sure that they abide by laws limiting sales to seven grams per person per day, and that they are collecting accurate taxes on recreational sales as required by the State of Oregon.

One of the rewarding aspects of Mr. Hall’s new business is seeing how cannabis has proven to help his customers, either for pain suppression, appetite increase, or in one instance he told about seizure relief that was previously not obtained through traditional pharmaceutical remedies and prescription drugs.

One of the Top Shelf Wellness Center employees, Dale Nielson III, spoke at length about really understanding how different strains of cannabis, based on their genetics and strain, would affect those who consume it. He had a detailed notebook of chemical compounds that different strains possessed, whether it was an “Indica” or “Sativa” strain, and percentages of compounds such as TCH and CBD – acronyms for some of the chemicals in cannabis that induce an uplifting feeling, or more of a relaxing sensation.

To learn more about bud tenders and trends in sales and customers, read Regional Economist Guy Tauer's full article "Bud Tender: An Emerging Occupation in Oregon"

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