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Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring a Budtender

published on June 2, 2021
by James Hammer

As a dispensary owner, you expect to thrive in your local market, but to do so, you need every competitive advantage. To distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition, you need to acquire some trustworthy and dependable set of dispensary staff. These budtenders are your front-line workers who interact with every customer that walks through your door. Having a team that positively appeals to these customers is crucial for the success of your dispensary.

While your profits mostly come from other integral sections of your dispensary, such as your marketing strategy and POS, your staff is what ultimately makes your business a successful one. By recruiting the right people, your dispensary will develop a positive reputation among the local cannabis community. However, how do you know if the people you are hiring are suitable for the role of a budtender?

Since they are an essential part of your dispensary success, you need to uncover what makes a good budtender excellent and who you should politely turn down. Here are some interview questions you can ask potential budtenders before hiring them into your dispensary.


What are you looking for in a budtender?

When it comes to hiring a potential staff member for your dispensary, you may want someone knowledgeable or experienced in the industry. While these are factors you may desire, it’s not something you should primarily focus on when hiring a budtender. While asking questions concerning various cannabis products such as “ What’s the difference between edibles and concentrates?” it should not be the ultimate decision behind your hiring decisions. If the person you are interviewing is eager and willing to learn, they can rapidly get to speed on everything they need to know about cannabis.

There are several ways you can go about this. You can evaluate their personality attributes or if they are suitable for your company’s culture. If you decide to take the time to find the ones that fit, you can get some real gems that know how to effectively sell and generate a welcoming atmosphere. When you manage to get the right people to join your staff, you can improve your profit margins and enhance your dispensary’s overall reputation.

Here are the questions you can ask your potential candidates during the interview.

Are you aware of the responsibilities of a budtender?

The people walking through your dispensary’s doorway are likely interested in purchasing some cannabis products. It’s not exactly the type of place you randomly enter a window shop, which means your budtenders are likely to see them as easy pickings for their sales. However, the truly exceptional ones will go out of their way to help these customers.

Asking a couple of simple questions can help you assess if the person will make an excellent or terrible budtender. If they inquire about every customer’s needs in an authentic manner, they are a solid choice. Instead of merely standing around waiting in silence for the customer to confirm their readiness to make a purchase, an exceptional budtender will engage with them in a friendly conversation, politely asking questions and providing a great customer experience.

Poor quality budtenders merely want to make it through their working hour with barely any work on their end. Similar to any other industry, it’s easy to tell when the person merely wants to get a paycheck against someone interested in improving your brand’s image. As the hiring process continues, take the time to consider how each person views themselves as a part of the staff. Do they seem to suit the image your dispensary is trying to portray? Or are they someone who doesn’t seem to get along with others?


Why are you interested in working for our dispensary?

Asking your potential budtenders these questions offers you the chance to get a glimpse of who they genuinely are. Not only will the response they give you provide you with insight into their motives and personality, but it also shows how much they know about your particular dispensary. It lets you know if the potential hire has done their homework or not. A dispensary potentially services hundreds of people per day or week.

Budtenders need to know about the products and resources your dispensary provides its customers. They need to be aware of the unique experiences your dispensary presents for its existing customers. Don’t hesitate to ask them directly what they know about your dispensary.


Are you aware of the strict regulation for the cannabis industry?

As the business owner, you are already aware of how critical it is to remain compliant every passing day. Not only is it necessary for you to create accurate reports, but you need to follow the strict guidelines concerning customer data, buying limits, and package labeling. But you can’t work every single day. There will be times when you need to place your trust in your staff to handle the day-to-day operations of your dispensary and uphold the same accuracy and integrity when it comes to the regulations. You can design questions around this topic when you are interviewing a potential budtender to see if they can be relied upon.


How do you handle a rude customer?

There are times when a tense situation happens on the sales floor of a dispensary, and you want to make sure your potential budtender is capable of handling the circumstances. Asking this question will allow you to gain insight into how they function under pressure and if they can take command of the situation. Dealing with rude customers requires a combination of diplomacy and restraints. However, if the customer becomes confrontational, projecting a calm yet assertive demeanor can be enough to prevent the situation from escalating further. Knowing when it’s best to call for security will determine the outcome of a possibly dangerous moment.


What skills do you possess that relate to this position?

Before you hire someone, you need to determine how their current skill set is capable of supporting your dispensary. For instance, do they have any background experience involving customer service? Have they ever been involved in marketing or growing? Hiring a suitable candidate is fine, but you want to get the most talented people around. Your budtenders hold a vital role in your dispensary. You want to ensure that the people you are recruiting are suitable for your needs. Ask the candidate if they have any past experiences that relate to becoming a budtender.


How would you respond if you caught a coworker stealing?

Evaluating a person’s ethical compass can be hard to pull off during an interview. However, this question should be asked to every applicant. Depending on how the potential budtender responds, it should be enough for you to assess if they genuinely care about the success of the business or not. Dispensary owners need to establish a reporting system to encourage witnesses to step forward if they ever do witness the theft of a product.


What do you think is the hardest part of being a budtender?

The answers you receive from this question will vary depending on the person, and that’s fine. Chances are, they may reference having to handle irritable customers, or they might bring up having to remain on top of the strict regulations required to keep the integrity of the dispensary. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the answer they provide is satisfying enough, but it should give you some intriguing insight into the person.


How has cannabis impacted your life?

Chances are, everyone on your team is passionate about cannabis in some form, and that should be the case for anyone applying for the industry. Ask the potential hiree how cannabis has managed to impact their life. As the employer, you want to see if the person you are potentially hiring is passionate about the cannabis industry and if they are not merely applying because they need a steady paycheck. While being motivated by money is alright, that alone is not enough to make someone an excellent budtender. Give them the chance to show you that they honestly care about cannabis by having them share their thoughts and fondness for it.


Do you know the difference between cannabinoids and terpenes?

Budtenders are not just in charge of offering an excellent experience to their customers. They also need to be capable of advising the customer during their shopping experience. Take the time to determine if they know anything related to cannabis. Every budtender needs to be capable of explaining the difference between cannabinoids and terpenes. While it’s fine for them to improve their knowledge during the cannabis training, they should possess some prior knowledge.


Are there any questions you would like to ask me?

While this is not related to the cannabis industry or your dispensary, it’s still important to ask them this question. It offers you the chance to gauge how much the candidate wants the budtender position. If they have any questions prepared to ask you, that is a great indicator that you have a potential candidate for the position you are offering.



The people you hire will have a significant impact on your dispensary. They are the faces of your store, so the experience they provide will impact your reputation among the local community. As the owner, you need to ensure the people you hire are of the highest caliber. Use these questions in your upcoming interview to discover if the person applying for the job is suitable for your dispensary.