Most of Southern Nevada’s recreational cannabis dispensaries are scarcely four years old. To put that into perspective, cocktails have been around since the early 1800s, which means the profession of bartending has enjoyed some 200 years to develop recipes, tools and schools.
Budtending, by comparison, is in its infancy, so its practitioners are in the process of creating the sort of institutional knowledge bartenders can take for granted. When customers report that a new strain helped their sleep, eased their anxiety or simply made Godzilla vs. Kong more rad, budtenders take careful note. They’re writing up that knowledge base as fast as we can smoke it.
Budtending, with its notes of mixology, medicine and math-rock bassist, might seem like a difficult profession to jump into. Conor Mitts, a budtender at Curaleaf’s Las Vegas Boulevard location, says he had mild reservations about it before last year’s financial downturn inspired him to take a chance. “I didn’t think of it as an actual career path that I could follow,” he says. “But I wanted to pursue something that I was passionate about, and I’ve been passionate about the marijuana industry since … well, probably before I should have been.”
Here are a few of his tips on how to become a budtender yourself.
GET YOUR CARDS
If you’re working in a hospitality position, you might already have a Sheriff’s Card. If so, that’s great; you’ll need it. If not, you should see about getting one, though Mitts notes one can’t get a Sheriff’s Card until they’ve landed a job that requires one. (See the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s work card page: bit.ly/2OjxooA.)
To get a job in a cannabis dispensary you’ll need an agent card from the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (ccb.nv.gov). Mitts strongly suggests not waiting