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A Medical Marijuana Professional

November 5, 2015

Medical Marijuana is a huge industry and should be taken seriously

The Medical Marijuana industry has made great strides over the last couple years in its attempt to go from an underground infrastructure to a full-fledged, State-approved, legal entity ,especially in states where medical marijuana is legal. When the industry started out west, it seemed like they hired the coolest looking people, who had personal experience, to work in the shop. Now, business owners want professional looking people who have had medical marijuana training and actually know cannabis from a medicinal point of view, to work in their shops. Gone are the days of the "stoner look" for the budtender when the business owners hired the "illegal user" to supply the "knowledge" and be the "expert" in the shop to help new cardholders. Loud music would be playing and maybe even a few Bob Marley posters on the wall. As new medical marijuana programs begin in different states, the theme is more of the "pharmacy" look - clean bright waiting rooms that resemble a doctor’s office or even the waiting room of a spa. Employees will all be wearing polo shirts and khakis- some even wear white coats. Medical Marijuana business owners are looking for people that have medical marijuana best practices training and have the compassion to work with cardholders who may need a little hand holding while they take it all in. The dispensary agent or dispensary assistant needs to be a caring individual with the need to help other people. This is by no means, a festival atmosphere- this is serious stuff. In medicinal states, especially the ones with a very short list of "qualifying" diseases, the dispensary customer isn’t someone coming in for the party. They are seriously ill and those folks deserve the time and respect needed to help them choose a medication that is natural and not created in lab. Some cardholders take one pill for their illness and four more for the side effects of the first pill. Maybe we can help them wipe out the side effects of the pharmaceuticals, with a more organic remedy so they can actually live their life instead of sleeping it away. So what do we mean by "a professional" in the medical marijuana business world? Well—first, remove every slang word you ever heard about Cannabis from your vocabulary. You shouldn’t be recommending some dank buds; you should be advising a cardholder on the effects of using flower either by smoking or vaporizing BECAUSE it helps to reduce immediate breakthrough pain. Second, be sure you understand all the medication available because smoking is not always the best method. In fact, where edibles are legal, shops report about 40-60% of their sales come from edibles and extracts. A huge percentage of the older customers would prefer not to smoke, so understanding all the products you shops stocks is of utmost importance. As a dispensary agent, you should understand all the products and be able to educate the cardholder on how to use them and the correct dosage required to be effective. Third, your personal appearance is very important. If you are interviewing at a pristine shop and you are tattooed to your fingertips, perhaps give the owner the option of getting to know the real you without prejudice of your ink and wear long sleeves to the first meeting. Once you get the opportunity to showcase your knowledge, the fact that you "respected" the theme of the shop, will probably prove a smart move to get yourself hired even though you may be required to wear long sleeves. Respect the fact that many members of the older generation are offended or "scared" of a certain look of tattoos and piercings. Whether that is justified or not is irrelevant – ever heard of "Perception is Reality"? It would certainly apply here. That fact that it occurs just means that we need to be mindful of it because we want all patients to be comfortable in their dispensary experiences and we want our agents to be comfortable as well. Be cognizant of the "appearance" and "perception" of the company you are applying for that you know all the "rules" of the game, beforehand and your quest to work in a dispensary should have a productive ending get into the medical marijuana business. We understand that your time is important, but if a job in the Marijuana Industry is what you are striving for, you may have to carve out some of that time for your future career and take a training class. 

The Medical Marijuana Industry is just like any other industry - the more you learn, the more you will earn! #learntoearn

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