How to Get a Job at a Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Jonathan Rose/Jul 14, 2022

hero-graphic-How to Get a Job at a Medical Cannabis Dispensary
Photo Credit: Jeff W via Unsplash

You've already made the right first move.

The cannabis industry is growing fast, with new states launching medical or adult-use cannabis programs seemingly every year. Cannabis jobs at retail stores, or dispensaries, typically pay better than most retail gigs, and offer the unusual opportunity of breaking into a brand new industry at the ground floor.

So how do you get a job at a medical cannabis dispensary? We'll take a look at your options, but don't forget that we're you're best resource right here at Vangst. Head on over to our jobs board to check out current opportunities, and create a profile that recruiters will see when searching for the right fit for open positions.

But let's get to the nuts and bolts of how to get a job at a medical cannabis dispensary.

Know why you want to work at a medical dispensary — and what you want to do

Why medical and not adult-use? Is it simply that there is no other cannabis options in your state at the moment, and you want to get into the industry? Nothing wrong with that at all!

Maybe you're passionate about the medicinal uses of the plant out of personal experience, or witnessing its impact on friends, family, or neighbors.

Whatever the reasons, knowing what they are and being able to articulate them is a great first step in breaking into the industry.

Another important thing to know is what you want to do. Do you want to be a budtender? A cultivator? Maybe you want to do administrative work like accounts payable or human resources. Download our free Salary Guide to learn about many of the types of work available at cannabis companies and medical dispensaries.

Know your stuff

Our understanding of the plant, its composition, and its effects is growing every day. Knowing whether a plant is an indica or sativa is no longer enough. Patients and bosses alike want their budtenders to know about cannabinoids and terpenes, and the way these compounds can affect the impact of a particular strain.

Not only that, but certain extraction methods like creating live rosin and resin are becoming more popular and accessible, potentially changing the face of vaping and edibles forever.

Using resources like Vangst Learn, Leafly, and other cannabis-focused media outlets will keep you up to date on the latest trends so that when you sit down for your interview, you can blow the competition away.

Get credentialed for your state

Every state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to authorizing an individual to work in the cannabis industry. Some make it easier, others harder. Start with the Vangst State Requirements Guide where we break it down for you by state. Then get your credentials so you can land that dream position when you apply for a dispensary job.

Leverage your transferable skills in your resume

No matter what type of work experience you have, you're virtually guaranteed to have learned and/or used skills that transfer to the cannabis industry. We call those transferable skills, and have a Vangst Learn resource to show you how to evaluate some of those skills for entry-level positions.

You want to show your work experience and flaunt those skills in a well-put-together, professional resume. We even show you how to do that here.


As with any industry, the real entry point is often who you know. And in most legal states (and online) there are plenty of places to network and get to know cannabis professionals. Our own Community is a great place to start, but here are 15 tips for networking that we've already put together for you.

Know your worth

Cannabis is an emerging industry and pay can vary widely. You want to walk into an interview knowing what your position is worth to that company. In other words: How much will I get paid at a medical dispensary? If you didn't already download our free Salary Guide when it was mentioned earlier, here's your chance to do it again. It will give you exclusive insights into industry pay across the country.

And don't forget that Vangst is your No. 1 best bet for finding the right job for you in the cannabis industry. So figure out exactly what you want, get that resume put together, and join the Vangst network today. Best of luck!

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