A thick line of people formed inside a Doubletree hotel Saturday afternoon, all of them waiting to learn if they had earned the distinction of certified budtender, one of many titles for a person who works behind the counter at a medicinal marijuana dispensary.
Hemp Staff, a Florida-based company that aims to educate, certify and assist jobseekers in the medicinal marijuana industry, hosted two sold-out budtender training and certification sessions Saturday morning and afternoon at the hotel in Rosemont.
Though marijuana is still illegal under federal law, a state pilot program that took effect last year has allowed for up to 21 cultivation centers and 60dispensaries to grow and sell medicinal marijuana in Illinois.
John Reininger, a Chicago resident who attended the Hemp Staff morning session, said he hopes to enter the burgeoning field as a budtender. An employee in an oncology department of a hospital, Reininger said his ultimate goal is to be able to give patients an alternative to what he sees everyday at work by offering them a “more natural drug.”
Reininger is certainly not the only potential job seeker in the budding field. [Read more at the Chicago Tribune]