Budtender: A worker at a dispensary of medical or recreational marijuana who helps customers with their selections. Formed from bud (of marijuana) and bartender.
As of July 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia had laws legalizing the sale and use of marijuana. Two of them, Washington and Colorado, have made marijuana legal for recreational as well as medical use, and Oregon voters will decide in November whether to legalize adult use of marijuana. With the changing legal climate come new additions to an already fragrant lexicon of cannabis use.
Today, there are “budtenders” (think sommeliers, only they work with cannabis instead of wine) in every dispensary, to help couples who are so inclined find the ideal strains for their weddings. Bec Koop just opened a business, Buds and Blossoms in Alma, Colo., to advise those who want to include marijuana in their centerpieces, dinner salads, bouquets and boutonnieres (or “bud-tonnieres,” as she calls them).
Brady cautioned not to read too much into such enterprises:
It is hard to predict if pot will become more or less popular at weddings in the future. Mark Buddemeyer, a Colorado budtender whose nickname is actually Bud, expressed doubts that marijuana would ever become widely acceptable at weddings.
“We’ve got to get to the point where smoking is classier than drinking,” he said. “A bride blowing out a big cloud of smoke is not necessarily attractive.”
Eating cannabis-infused cake—referred to as a “medible” in the article, a contraction of “medicinal edible”—may find more favor.
Legal marijuana has also spawned many new business names, including several mentioned by Brady: Get High Getaways, a bed-bud-and-breakfast in Denver; Green Life Consulting, “an advisory firm for those who want to start marijuana-based businesses”; and 710 Labs, “which manufactures concentrates like hash oil.” (Why “710”? When you turn the digits upside down they spell “OIL.”)
The earliest citation for budtender in Urban Dictionary is dated April 7, 2010: “a barista that can’t pass a drug test.” A July 4, 2011, definition includes this personal aside:
These are also some of the luckiest motherfuckers on the face of the earth. Despite that, you should still tip them as heavily as you can possibly afford to.