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The Top 25 Budtenders of 2019

They're the influencers, the gatekeepers, the curators, and the tastemakers. They're budtenders -- and these are the best in the biz.

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This story appears in the December 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Green Entrepreneur’s first annual portfolio of the most intriguing characters on the front lines of the cannabis industry is a montage of the struggles and achievements of a noticeably economically and socially diverse -- and growing! -- new segment of the American workforce. 

Each of our candidates was nominated by an industry professional and required to supply an employer reference and two client recommendations. The stories we heard were both mind-blowing and heart-wrenching, like the one about the woman whose tumors resolved after she treated them with cannabis oil or the budtender who left midshift to find a blind woman who got lost walking to the dispensary. More than one medical marijuana client cried in conversation with us, giving thanks for their budtender with an appreciation usually reserved for nurses and doctors. 

The world unfolding inside many of today’s dispensaries has more in common with a health clinic than a head shop, and the leading budtenders are playing an outsize role in reshaping cannabis’s future. They’ve become as knowledgable as anyone in the industry about everything from human anatomy to plant biology to physical illness to brain chemistry. Budtending shows all the signs of being a career poised to explode in the 21st century -- a 2019 report coauthored by cannabis website Leafly describes the industry as “America’s hidden job boom” -- and we expect the names in these pages to be the standard-bearers for years to come.  

Related: Whatever Business You're In, You Can Pivot to the Cannabis Business

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