bloomin photo bartender to budtender.jpg

Bartenders Change Careers To Become Budtenders

By Harry Lyons (photo/

As more and more states legalize marijuana either recreationally or medically, the demand for workers in the industry increases. The growing industry is opening up more and more different types of jobs every day. One of the first most popular careers that has been around since marijuana started becoming legal is the budtender position. 
A budtender got its career title based off of the career that has existed for centuries; the bartender. A budtender's job is similar to that of a bartender but instead of serving booze the budtender serves up cannabis products. With the industry profiting millions every year and growing, the demand for budtenders to only going to increase in the future. 
However, becoming a budtender is not as easy as finding a bartender job. According to, there are several hoops somebody must jump through in order to jump on the career bandwagon and find a job serving weed. First you must establish residency in the state you wish to work in for a year before you can apply for a support or key license. Then you must apply for a medical marijuana industry license through the state. One report discusses how some people get arrested applying for marijuana licenses because they have warrants out for their arrest. 
According to, the budtender position is becoming highly sought after. One budtender interviewed in the article states that being a budtender is "one of the best jobs out there." Others have reported that they enjoy the job because they are encouraged to sample all of the marijuana products their employing dispensary offers. 
Belinda Burke just recently obtained her medical marijuana industry key license and enjoys her new job as a manager at a dispensary chain in Colorado Springs, CO. Her previous occupation was a bartender and bar manager. "I enjoy serving weed over booze because you don't have to deal with drunk people every day," Burke stated. "Our customers at the dispensary are much more easy-going and easy to get along with." 
However, some bartenders are not convinced that budtending would be a better opportunity. Sara June currently works as a bartender at a brewery near Colorado Springs, CO and says that she would not switch careers to become a budtender. "I don't think I would make as much money in tips as I do now," June replied. She said that she thinks for now that tips are better in the alcohol industry because everyone tips around 20% of their purchase. 
Although the career change may not be for everyone, the growing marijuana industry will be offering more and more opportunities in the future. Many see budtending as their "dream job" and the industry is creating new ones every day. The future trend could become a switch to more people wanting to deal with stoners instead of drunks.