How to become a Budtender in Colorado

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How to become a Budtender in Colorado.

So, you are interested in becoming a Budtender? You might have questions like.. Where do I start? Does it cost money? How much does a Budtender make? Do I get Free Cannabis? All of which are valid questions. Let's get down to it.

Must be a Colorado resident.

Yes, you must be a Colorado resident to become a Budtender. Meaning, you need to have a Colorado I.D to get your Support or Key badge. 

You must obtain a Colorado MED Badge.

Legally, you must obtain and hold a current, valid MED Support or Key Badge in order to be employed in the Colorado Cannabis industry. The difference between a Support Badge and a Key Badge is your role and responsibilities in the store. Click here to be taken to the MED page. Also, there are requirements that must be met in order to qualify for your badge. See the below links for legal requirements. We recommend not to apply anyplace until you obtain your badge. It can take anywhere from 1-10 days to receive it in the mail. 

Support Badge:

 Necessary for employees that work within the business but do no makes operational decisions.  An example of such an employee would be a bud tender - the majority of occupational license holders are in this category. Click HERE for a Medical Marijuana Support Occupational License (Cost $150)

Key Badge:

Necessary for employees that make operational or management decisions that directly impact the business.  An example of such an employee is a master grower that determines what or how much of a particular strain to produce or an individual whose decisions have a significant impact on the business and its operations, but does not have an ownership interest in the business.  Click HERE for a Medical Marijuana Key Occupational License Application (Cost $300)

Applying to Cannabis dispensaries

In such a saturated market, it's hard to get into a dispensary you like. You can find cannabis job listings on sites like Or you can visit your target dispensaries and drop off your resume. When applying to a dispensary, always make sure to include a photocopy of your Support or Key badge. 

Visiting Dispensaries:

If you are looking for a job in the cannabis industry and choose to manually drop off your resume, make sure to go during slow hours. Preferably when they open. This will assure that you are not bothering during busy hours and makes your chances of talking with a manager higher. (no pun intended).

Emailing your resume:

If you are emailing your resume, remember this is a job. We cannot tell you how many horrible emails we have seen. Act like you are applying to a normal job. Dispensaries will not hire you if you say "I sold weed all the time when I was in high I think I know a lot"... 


Please, be professional. Depending on the person who is interviewing you, we would recommend to dress business casual. More and more dispensaries are looking to improve their view from the public eye. Most do not want you to walk in wearing a tie dye grateful dead t-shirt and flip flops. 

If one says no.. keep trying. 

There isn't a shortage of dispensaries in Colorado. If one says no.. keep applying. Also, knowing a budtender that is already working will help your chances drastically. The Cannabis industry seems to be a "Who you know" system. Not saying you NEED to know somebody.. but helps. If you shop at a dispensary consistently, maybe ask them if they need help. If you already have your badge... you have done 90% of the work. 

Alex Person1 Comment