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Marijuana 'apprenticeships' could get dispensary employees started faster

Posted at 6:58 AM, Apr 27, 2017

If marijuana appeals to you as a career, you may soon be able to get into the business faster than ever before.

A bill passed in the Nevada state Senate would allow aspiring "budtenders" to start working right away as apprentices.

Under the current system, employees can't start working until they've been processed by the state.

For Rhianna Hollenbeck, an employee at the Nevada Wellness Center dispensary, it took more than a month for her application to clear.

"You need to get background check, fingerprints, [there are] cards you have to get, then it's just a matter of waiting for everything to go through," she said.

During an apprenticeship, the owner of Nevada Wellness, Andre Rhodes, says employees would work side by side with more experienced budtenders.

Rhodes says there's more to the business than many people think.

As an example, he brought up knowing which strains of marijuana have the right ingredients to help different medical ailments.

There's also the sales and the customer service portion.

"We have vendors that come in and teach us about their product," Hollenbeck said. "They teach us their selling points, why it makes a difference, how it's beneficial, what does it help. So we're always learning."

With demand expected to jump this summer, Rhodes is in favor of apprenticeship because it would get new employees on board as quickly as possible.

He says if the law were enacted today, he'd hire 12 to 15 people.

The bill will move to the state Assembly next.