While Nevada is poised to become one of the leading legal cannabis markets in the nation, raking in a whopping $27 million during its first month of recreational sales, the big dogs of the industry are reportedly struggling to find thousands of qualified employees who can step inside a dispensary fully prepared to offer top-notch customer service. It is for this reason that Las Vegas businesses consultant Jason Sturtsman has launched the Budtender Fight Club.
No, this organization is not some underground gathering of the American downtrodden searching for a new level of self-confidence by beating each other into submission.
This particular fight club is more about hundreds of cannabis enthusiasts coming together in one room to absorb as much information as possible about the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry in hopes of giving themselves the upper hand when it comes time to duke it out over a job.
“They’re getting taught by doctors, they’re getting taught by people who are actually working in the industry,” Sturtsman told NBC affiliate KSNV. “There are thousands of applications that come in on a regular basis to every single dispensary and cannabis business in the state—the way to differentiate yourself is to get educated.”
When marijuana first became legal in Colorado and Washington, many companies were willing to train workers with raw talent in order to get their operations off the ground.
But now that several years have passed, with a number of states from California to Maine climbing out of the pit of prohibition, the majority of the businesses involved in the growing or selling of marijuana are searching for experience.
Sturtsman, who also works as a journalist for Vegas Cannabis Magazine, wants his monthly, three-hour-long Budtender Fight Club to provide potential cannabis industry employees with the same intensity of knowledge that is often found in other popular tourists spots across the state.
The goal of the class is to ensure budtenders are offering the cannabis consumer the same “high-quality experiences” that these people often receive while frequenting other service industries, like hotels and restaurants.
For those people interested in building a career inside Nevada’s nascent cannabis market, the Budtender Fight Club might not be a bad place to begin. Some of the state’s cannabis businesses are showing up to these classes as part of their recruitment efforts.
“We are head hunting,” said Robert Casillas, a consultant for Cannacopia dispensary. “We’re here looking for the people in the industry who are hungry for the education because it gives our customers and patients a better experience.”
There is hope that the Budtender Fight Club curriculum will be expanded, perhaps even becoming a mandatory training course for those folks just getting started in the business of selling marijuana.
When Nevada launched its recreational marijuana market back in July, dispensaries sold more pot during the first month than any other legal state ever has.
Although state officials are still trying to iron out some distribution troubles brought on by the alcohol wholesalers, it seems Nevada’s pot market is destined to become one of the most successful in the country—definitely a place where the ambitious cannabis worker can go and not starve.