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Canada’s third fastest-growing job title is in the cannabis industry: LinkedIn

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‘Jobs on the Rise’ list uses LinkedIn data to build a report of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs in Canada

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If you’re looking for a way into the cannabis industry, budtender might just be the job for you.

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According to data from LinkedIn, dispensary technicians rank as the third fastest-growing job title in Canada. The company’s 2023 Jobs on the Rise list uses LinkedIn data to build a report of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs in the country, with the data collected from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 31, 2022.

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To be included in the rankings the job title needed to show consistent growth and reach a meaningful size by 2022. 

  1. Overall, findings show “cancer and non-cancer patients used different dosages of cannabis formulations with dramatically different THC:CBD ratios. The two most common formulations contained THC and CBD, but one had 20 times more THC than CBD, whereas the other had the opposite ratio.”

    Like a sommelier of cannabis, a budtender is a trained weed expert

  2. FILE: People gather as a customer buys CBD oil at the new Fire and Flower pot store on Apr. 1, 2019 in Ottawa, Ont. /

    Nearly a quarter of newly hired budtenders in Canada leave the job within the first 30 days

  3. Screen shot of dispensary location posted on Skymint's Instagram page. /

    One lucky Michigander could win free cannabis for a whole year

LinkedIn describes the main duties of the role as taking and filling out customer orders and helping to package sales items at cannabis dispensaries.

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The most common skills include product knowledge and sales and retail backgrounds. LinkedIn also notes knowledge of medical marijuana and cannabis cultivation as assets.

According to LinkedIn, the majority of opportunities for budtenders are in the Greater Toronto Area. Ontario leads the country with nearly 2,000 dispensaries according to MJBizDaily, followed by Alberta, which is home to nearly 1,000 cannabis stores.

The LinkedIn data also found that there’s a fairly even split in gender distrubtution, with 54 per cent of budtenders being female and 46 per cent male. In terms of education, about 15 per cent of budtenders have a high school degrees, nearly 13 per cent have an Associate’s degree, 34 per cent have a Bachelor’s degree and 39 per cent have a Master’s degree or higher.

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The top roles transitioned include salesperson, customer service rep, keyholder, receptionist and administrative assistant and most budtenders have about 2.5 years of prior experience.

How much do budtenders earn?

LinkedIn does not cite a salary range for the position but according to employer review website Glassdoor, the national average salary for a budtender in Canada is $36,860. Assuming a 40-hour workweek and 50 weeks worked a year, that breaks down to $18.43 an hour. 

Last July, a report focused on retail workers in the cannabis industry found that nearly a quarter of newly hired budtenders turnover in the first 30 days of their employment in both the U.S. and Canada.

Based on data from Headset, a cannabis analytics firm based in Seattle, the report included input from workers in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan between June 2021 and May 2022.

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Jennawae McLean, the co-founder of Calyx + Trichomes, a cannabis store chain in Kingston, Ont., told The Canadian Press that workers may be drawn to the industry due to a “cool factor” but it’s “still retail at the end of the day.”

“You still have to do customer service, and customer service is a very demanding job. Not everybody’s cut out for customer service,” McLean said.

A 2022 report from the Budtenders Association found that, on average, retail workers interact with 33 customers a day and almost four in 10 customers are seeking further cannabis education.

That can be tough situation to navigate as budtenders are prohibited from offering medical advice, or information regarding the safety, health effects or health risks of cannabis, under the federal Cannabis Act.

“We have to be extremely delicate when it comes to these situations, and the most important thing I find is to mention immediately that I am in no way a doctor, nor am I able in any capacity to speak towards what will ‘work’ for that particular person,” Madison Cox, a Toronto-based budtender, previously told The GrowthOp.

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