For patients prescribed medical marijuana, picking from the hundreds of available strains can be daunting—variety, effects, and strength vary widely. The need for expert knowledge has given rise to a new job: "budtender," a pot gurus employed by a dispensary to help guide patients. "We get a lot of older patients who come in, maybe tried marijuana in college 30 years ago," says the owner of one dispensary. "Now their doctor recommended it for them."
For those patients, the budtender is a boon indeed, working to find the right blend for each user. Unsurprisingly, budtending jobs attract many applicants looking to ply their pot knowledge. But for some, altruism, and not close promixity to weed, is the motivating factor. "I grew up with a community service background. Surprisingly, this industry really feels that way to me," one budtender and CU student tells the Boulder Daily Camera. "It helps a lot of very sick people."