What Budtenders Want


Budtenders are the heart of the cannabis industry, they influence purchases and help to establish brand loyalty to both the retailer and LP brands. Tether, Canada’s budtender community, surveyed 300 budtenders from across Canada. Here’s what budtenders had to say about their jobs, and what they want from the industry.

Make Their Job Easier

Budtenders want to help develop a better future for the industry, and they want their expertise heard. As we get further into cannabis legalization budtenders have increased experience and want to be treated as such. Here are some changes budtenders want to see:

●     In-Store Education – Budtenders want to get their information from a reliable, trusted source, 40% of budtenders surveyed want to be educated by their store management team and 92% of budtenders want to connect with brand reps and ask questions face to face.

●     Sampling – Many budtenders pointed out they don’t know if they haven’t tried, 75% of budtenders indicate sampling is their preferred way to learn about new products and a big chunk of their paycheck goes to trying product. Make it easier for them and set up sampling programs and opportunities.

●    Community Not Competition – Hostility with other stores creates a tense work environment and can lead to challenging situations. 86% of budtenders want to connect with other budtenders locally and learn from each other versus being competitive with one another.

Budtenders have the desire to become more involved in the industry, they have a passion for cannabis knowledge and a genuine fire lit under them to advance their careers in cannabis.

Industry Inclusion

Budtenders want to be connected in the industry and more than 50% are looking to pursue higher-level positions within the cannabis space.

●     Regulations, Packaging and Sustainability – It’s no surprise budtenders are looking for change when it comes to cannabis regulations, particularly around packaging. Tight regulations make a budtender’s job difficult with just under 80% saying there needs to be improvement and 86% citing packaging regulations specifically.

●     Management Training – Offer management training programs and work with your budtenders to prepare them for store management; 23% of budtenders want to move into cannabis retail management positions.

●     Be The Best Employer – Wages are a pain point for many budtenders. Only 55% of budtenders agreed they felt their pay was fair based on their responsibilities and under half of budtenders get health benefits. With almost half of budtenders surveyed feeling they aren’t properly compensated, retailers are at risk of losing talent. Consider what your competition offers and beat it to ensure your budtenders grow with you.

●     Events, Events, Events – 86% of budtenders want to be more connected with budtenders in their area and feel more connected to the greater cannabis community. With events primarily happening in big cities many budtenders have to travel hours if they want to participate. Hosting budtender events in smaller markets is a great way to connect with a passionate, engaged audience. Want to plan a budtender event? Connect with Tether!

●     Keep Things Cannabis-Focused – Cannabis experiences are what most budtenders are interested in doing together; cultivation tours, sommelier sessions and education sessions rank highest and the overwhelming majority of budtenders think it’s important or very important to be able to consume at events. Less than half of budtenders consume alcohol frequently or socially so it shouldn’t be a priority when developing budtender experiences.

Tether, created by Marigold PR, is celebrating the contribution of budtenders during the second annual Budtender Appreciation Week, March 20-26, 2023. Over 86% of budtenders said they are looking for community, B-Week aims to engage budtenders across the country. Learn more about the budtender survey and B-Week at tetherbuds.com