Budtenders: Living the High Life?
“How do you want to feel after smoking cannabis?” That’s the opening question Sloane Poorman asks clients at the marijuana dispensary she works at in Boulder, Colorado.
Then, she tries to gauge the customer’s tolerance level: “How often do you smoke? When was the last time you’ve smoked?”
Even a question like, “Do you want to play video games for an hour and pass out after smoking?” is not uncommon.
There are different types of weed depending on what you want to do, and in order to make the proper recommendations, Poorman needs to know quite a bit about the 20-plus marijuana strains her facility offers, not to mention the differences between flowers, concentrates and edibles.
To do this, Poorman plans on smoking all of the different strains at least once.
” recommends that I smoke them all,” she said. “They don’t make you, but it’s recommended.” It’s a recommendation Poorman is excited to follow.
The legalization of pot in Colorado has made Poorman’s job — budtending — one of the hottest new occupations in the explosive alternative medicine industry. With this kind of growth, the need for budtenders isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Unfortunately, getting a license with the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED) to sell cannabis legally isn’t the smoothest process.
With backlogs and a greater supply of wannabe budtenders than a demand for those positions, some have compared the MMED lines to taking a trip to the “DMV look like a walk in the park.”
For some, the process can actually be dangerous. Poorman witnessed several people get arrested in the waiting room when active warrants for them showed up in the system.
To get the green light for a license, potential budtenders need to pass a background check.
Poorman’s own experience at the MMED involved getting fingerprinted, photographed, filling out “a bunch of paperwork” and paying a $75 fee.
Since successfully getting her MMED badge, Poorman works 10-hour shifts at one of the new recreational facilities where she’s paid $12 an hour, not including tips.
While she hopes to go into advertising and media one day, the 23-year-old college student is extremely happy with her current job, which she describes as “one of the best jobs” out there.