Find the Right Fit: Cannabis Dispensary Jobs

Jonathan Rose / Aug 06, 2022
hero-graphic-Find the Right Fit: Cannabis Dispensary Jobs
Photo Credit: Cova Software via Unsplash

Cannabis retail is a great opportunity — these are the jobs you'll typically find at a dispensary

So you've done your research, built your resume, and networked like crazy — it's time to land that cannabis dispensary job. What are your options when it comes to working in cannabis retail? Let's take a look.

Download the Vangst 2021 Cannabis Industry Salary Guide for a more detailed look at cannabis job opportunities and wages.

What is a cannabis dispensary?

A cannabis dispensary is simply another way of saying "cannabis retail store." It's the place that adult-use customers and medical patients go to buy their weed. It may be owned by a major multistate operator, large local chain, or a family. Either way, it's likely to be a relatively small location with a handful of positions and hopefully a large selection of cannabis products: From flower to edibles, concentrates, beverages, and inhalables.

Is a cannabis dispensary the right fit for me?

If you're passionate for cannabis and people, working at a cannabis retail store is likely a great move for you. The job is a retail position and, depending on the job you land, you're likely going to be interacting with people of all stripes your entire shift, and talking cannabis all day.

What cannabis dispensary jobs are commonly available?

While the store where you work may have many people on staff, odds are that a vast majority of them fall into one of two positions: Budtenders or managers. These are the two most common in-store positions. A dispensary may have six budtenders on staff and one manager.

Other positions that may be available are less common like visual merchandisers/planners. This growing position in cannabis retail will likely work across multiple stores, and is responsible for achieving sales and inventory plans in retail stores that meet financial targets and company objectives.

And the last common position at a cannabis dispensary is security. A security guard will often check identification at the door and ensure the general safety of the store, its employees, and its guests. This position is usually contracted out to a third party, though.

What does a budtender do at a cannabis dispensary?

When it comes down to it, a budtender is frontline retail employee. They're the "face" of the store, and are responsible for greeting customers or patients, assisting them with their purchase, and completing the sale. Specifically, these are the primary responsibilities of a cannabis budtender:

  • Evaluate customer needs and offer solutions through products sold at the store
  • Tip customers off to sales or promotions
  • Work toward sales goals established by management
  • Use traditional sales tactics like upselling and suggestive selling to increase basket size
  • Work with point-of-sale systems and cash registers
  • Clean and restock the store at open, close, and throughout the day

How much does a budtender get paid?

A budtender is an hourly job. Depending on where they work, they can earn anywhere from $14 to $25 per hour — and they often receive tips.

What does a manager do at a cannabis dispensary?

A store manager, often called a general manager, is responsible for overseeing all activities related to the operation of a singular dispensary. They manage the team of budtenders and any other staff. Store managers will typically work toward sales goals established by senior-level retail staff, and are ultimately responsible for the goal being met. They may help develop strategies to boost store traffic and profitability. General managers train, mentor, and review the performance of store staff, providing feedback as needed.

How much does a dispensary store manager make?

A store or general manager is a salaried position that typically earns between $55,000 and $90,000, depending on many variables like location and how many stores they manage.

Are there senior-level cannabis retail jobs?

Simply put: Yes. Many cannabis chains also employ a director of retail operations and vice president of retail operations. The director of retail operations role is responsible for strategic leadership and direction to retail store teams while ensuring each store has the tools it needs to succeed and provide an amazing customer experience. This director role is salaried, and wages can range from $80,000 to $150,000.

The VP of retail operations manages daily dispensary operations — typically at multiple locations — and generally oversees the stores. This position may also be called chief retail officer. The VP position is salaried and wages range from $120,000 to $200,000 annually.

Now that you know about the roles typically found at a cannabis dispensary, you can make the right decision for yourself as you pursue a cannabis job. The Vangst platform is a great place to upload your resume, get advice from recruiters, and apply for open positions at some of the best cannabis companies in the world. Sign up for free today!

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