Lucy D.
  • February 20, 2022
  • 0 Comment

Introduction to Dispensary Job Salaries in Colorado

 Dispensary salaries in Colorado can vary depending on experience, and most people have to enter the field through entry-level budtender positions. Tips may also play a role in the final amount you earn yearly.

The cannabis industry has opened up immense opportunities for increased work and sustainable jobs that are remarkable. They have great longevity because people will always seek alternative medicines from mother earth over synthetic compounds.

 Dispensary jobs are a more exclusive gig than working at a headshop because you are actively helping medical patients address common symptoms with one of the most effective miracle plants around.

Here you will learn about the varying salaries of workers in dispensaries and will become enlightened to the possibilities! 

 There are different levels, and because the Cannabis industry is a multi-billion dollar business, you will find no stagnation in your capacity for growth. However, even the entry-level positions include impressive salaries that are rewarding for manual labor. 

How much do dispensary workers make?

 One of the first positions to take note of are dispensary receptionists who are in charge of handling inquiries and other tasks. You can expect to earn minimum wage or slightly above in this position, and there is definitely room for growth with up to around 14 an hour with years under your belt. 

 Your past experience and qualifications will determine what you are initially paid as a cannabis receptionist. You will be expected to have a working knowledge of the industry to help customers effectively. You are also tasked with reinforcing the state regulations regarding legalized Cannabis for a smooth purchasing process.

 This is the lowest end of the spectrum for dispensary worker pay. Still, it's the perfect opportunity to get an introduction to the process and perhaps graduate to another position like Budtender. From there, you will notice a dramatic leap in pay!

The importance of preparation and reliability

 Part of working at a dispensary operation is preparing the product for sale, and that is where budtenders come into play. These skilled workers should have a keen eye for the details because properly trimming the product is a key element of potency and overall enjoyment. 

 A poorly trimmed bud tastes wrong and won't cure correctly, which is why tenders must receive the proper training with preferable experience in the past. This area can get grey somewhat depending on the Dispensary, but most of the time, these workers will be making around 11-13 dollars an hour.

However, it can climb up to about 40k a year which is not a bad deal at all. Manual labor is highly intensive for the wrists and hands. It can also get rather tedious over time which is why there are usually steady. 

Each Dispensary will offer different pay structures

 It's important to remain honest so that you have a good understanding of the pay differences across each dispensary position. The leap from associate to manager is a big one, and you will need prior experience to attain this role. At this point, you may wonder, "How much do dispensaries pay?" A manager can make anywhere from 60k to 150k a year, which is evidence there is room for growth.

 It could even tip a bit beyond that in the booming Colorado location where the cannabis business thrives. Dispensaries will pay managers according to their previous experience in the industry, and you may even see some of them exceeding 200k at particularly successful spots. Generally speaking, these managers have it made, but it's important to remember that with great pay comes great responsibility. 

Determining if you'll be hourly or salary

 If you're brand new to the industry and have no prior experience, you should expect to make minimum wage which is currently 11 dollars an hour. There is much opportunity for growth within dispensaries, and you will be graded on performance to be considered for a raise.

These days, it's more feasible to negotiate starting pay because of the pandemic restrictions that are an added difficulty for workers. Even an extra 50 cent raise is beneficial and more than possible in this industry. 

 The Dispensary associate hourly pay is reasonable for their daily duties because it's honestly not that hard. This is especially true if you've worked in retail with prior relevant experience. There are no associates at dispensaries getting paid by salary, but there is room for pay increases over time.

It's also an excellent opportunity to learn about the industry as a whole and help patients thrive by providing much-needed support regarding strain differences and other variables. 

Minimum wage is common at first

 If you're wondering, "How much can you make at a dispensary?" then you should remember that each spot is different. On average, you will be making somewhere around minimum wage if you're not a manager or an owner.

Owners have to do a tremendous amount of work, study, and hefty fees to attain their own Dispensary. Not only that but they are constantly pressured to follow all regulations perfectly or risk being shut down for violation.

 A dispensary owner in Colorado can earn anywhere from 200,000 to almost 3 million dollars a year. This incredibly wide salary range proves that it is a lucrative business with a hellish startup.

Once everything is set up with your business, you're in charge of daily operations and are ultimately responsible for each important cog in the clock. The amount you make will depend on the success and popularity of your store. 

Salaried workers earn more at dispensaries

 You should be aware of the dispensary worker's salary before considering a position in any location. Some pay more than others, and doing the proper research can make the difference between 11 or 13 dollars an hour. A good number to expect if you're a receptionist is 23,000 a year. This is the lowest possible payment that you will receive working at a store. 

 The Budtender will be making around 36k a year as their base salary, with tips excluded. A manager should expect an average of 75k a year which is very good. Owners rake in a massive 685,000 dollars a year as the reliable average for a standard dispensary.

The range is extensive here across different positions, and each person has their responsibilities. The more experience you have, the more likely you'll be considered for a managerial position. Running a busy dispensary takes skill and endurance, and you have to earn your pay most definitely!

Some dispensaries offer easier advancement

 The pay at any dispensary will ultimately depend on how much the owner is willing to dish out to their employees. It is possible to get a particularly generous owner who has a more successful chain of dispensaries. This means they can afford to pay their workers higher wages.

 However, it's a rarer occurrence, and you should always have realistic expectations when joining the cannabis workforce for the first time. Every seed starts out tiny, but it grows into a mature and flourishing plant with the proper nutrients. This is the perfect analogy for the cannabis industry because each worker constantly troubleshoots as the regulations change. 

 It's a dynamic business that pays and treats its workers fairly. If you're familiar with a retail environment, then the transition to selling another product won't be as difficult. Teamwork is definitely encouraged, so that daily operation runs smoothly! 

How much do dispensary technicians get paid?

 You can expect to get paid around 35,000 dollars a year on average in this position. That is 17 an hour which is a good-paying dispensary job. However, it is slightly lower than the national average, which sits at 41,000 a year. Technicians are responsible for ensuring product continuity and accuracy for all patients and recreational customers. This requires attention to detail and the capacity for multitasking effectively. 

 They must have a strong knowledge of all regulations and should know how to spot errors. This reduces loss and keeps customers happy with the correct product. In this position, you may also be dealing with other relevant tasks as needed during normal operations. You will work under the physician to ensure product safety and organization for a seamless customer experience. 

Experienced growers typically earn more

 Dispensary master growers will make over 100,000 dollars a year with ease and may earn up to 300,000 depending on the scale of the operation. The lower end of the spectrum is anywhere from 60-88k a year for dispensary growers. There will always be uncertainties during the process regarding the final amount you take home, and experience is an important variable. 

 An excellent comprehensive answer is that you will be making more than enough to survive as a dispensary grower. You will make more connections in the field, and doors will open to increased revenue. Sometimes you also have to meet the substantial demand by scaling up an operation which will inevitably yield a larger salary for the grower.

Experience is highly relevant, and a grower taking on multiple gardens will inevitably earn more. It is possible to have more than one operation running at once, which is how you get to the higher-level pay based on increased demand. 

Working at a dispensary yields growth in the industry

 If you're considering a job at a dispensary, you will also want to weigh the overall pay full-time. This means doing the proper research about any particular dispensary position before applying. There's no worse feeling than getting a job only to realize there was a much more lucrative opportunity at another location. 

 An excellent way to get in is through a personal reference if you know someone working already. This can also be good for gaining a better base salary to start off. The pay at a dispensary is generally very acceptable, but there are somewhere you might have a hard time getting above minimum wage if you lack prior experience.

 Like with Cannabis, growth takes time and the absorption of energy. If you're at minimum wage, then strive to impress your manager and increase the efficiency of your Dispensary to drive profitability. This will make you stand out and can result in new opportunities to thrive in the industry! 

Opportunities for a fruitful career and early retirement

 Entry-level positions will give you minimum wage as the lowest possible salary, but it's not uncommon to get on board with 12 or 13 an hour if you have experience. Even retail experience outside the cannabis industry is why an employer might give you a compromise in pay. One of the most exciting aspects of working at a dispensary is accumulating the knowledge to manage or own one in the future. 

 Career growth is incredibly potent in the cannabis industry currently as states continue to legalize it. At the higher end of the spectrum, you will be making a lot if you dedicate the necessary time and energy. This is a steady job to consider if you're passionate about helping others and getting them their natural medication.

It also opens the door to other medical careers since they are closely related. As an accomplished prestigious master grower, you can potentially retire early in life, which is a substantial perk. 

Conclusion: Pay is Good and much room for advancement!

 In summary, working for a dispensary is a highly lucrative opportunity if you're seeking something fun and different from the conventional positions. It's very similar to a retail environment but with many more strictures to adhere to since it was once an illegal substance. The process is different in each state, but Colorado is generally more relaxed and has the most experience serving customers effectively.

 If you put forth your best effort and are willing to learn, then the pay will be better because you will increase efficiency and grow in value to the business. Personalities across various positions are also a factor to consider. For example, if you aren't a very sociable person, budtending might be a more viable option instead of working around customers.

However, it will be more challenging to get a promotion to manager without retail skills. No matter which path you choose, it will potentially open new doors of success and profit!

About the author

Lucy D.

Lucy D. of iBake is a Cannabis Industry activist and dedicated practitioner. She's the co-founder of iBake Denver 2.0, an online Medical Marijuana resource online for Colorado and beyond! Her love for great cooking mixed with her passion for Cannabis has provided Lucy with valuable knowledge & resources she willingly shares with all of us here. If you like weed-infused edible food products...Stay Tuned!

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