How To Get A Trimmer Or Budtender Job In Alaska:
Working in the marijuana industry in Alaska is many people’s dreams. Luckily, it is a dream that is completely attainable, just as long as you are aware of the laws and regulations you need to adhere to. Even the most entry-level jobs require workers to have a permit before they start their first day of work, but luckily it isn’t overly difficult to acquire.
In terms of entry-level positions, the two best options are being a trimmer or a budtender. People who want to get their foot in the door of the cultivation industry should start as trimmers, while those who are more interested in the retail side of things and working with customers should start out as budtenders.
Legal requirements aside, both positions require attention to detail, a broad area of knowledge, a passion for cannabis, and the interest in doing quality work. Some employers may also require specific professional experience, such as previous customer service work (for budtenders) or gardening experience (for trimmers).
Perhaps the most important aspect of finding a job as a trimmer or budtender is first acquiring a legal permit that allows you to work at a marijuana business, to begin with. Without further ado, let’s look at the nitty gritty of how to officially be allowed to work in the marijuana industry.
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Legal requirements to work as a trimmer or budtender in Alaska
People who are interested in working as a trimmer, budtender or any other position in the marijuana industry are going to need to obtain a marijuana handler permit card. This card is issued by the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development in Alaska.
According to the law in Alaska, every agent, licensee, or employee of a marijuana establishment needs to have the marijuana handler permit card before they can actually begin work. These cards are valid for three years and come with a number of hoops to jump through to get it. Luckily, the AMCO (Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office) does a good job of laying it out clearly for applicants.
Before submitting an application, you should be sure to read through all of the instructions provided by the AMCO. This article also helps you know what you will have to do, but sometimes laws and requirements can change, so it’s a good idea to keep up-to-date by cross-checking AMCO’s webpage.
The requirements for the application include starting your application on the portal online (found on the Department of Commerce’s website), where you will have to create a username and password. Fill out all the required lines on the application and then submit it within the portal. Be sure to review it to make sure everything was accurately filled out; no one wants to have their application rejected because of a typo, after all.
Then, print out the PDF version of your submitted application. Next, you will have to complete an education course provided approved the AMCO. There are many courses available, most of which are online. Find the list under “Marijuana Handler Permit Training” on the Alaska Department of Commerce’s website. You will have to pay for this training, with the cost ranging between $40 and $60 and the duration just a couple of hours long. You will then receive a certificate from the training center once you pass it, which you are also going to need to include in your application packet.
Next, you need to get a criminal history background check. You can get this done at any Alaska State Trooper post, so just go to the one most convenient for you. Check the website of the Division of Statewide Services for a list of locations that accept walk-ins. Don’t forget to bring your checkbook or $20 in cash, plus $5 per copy of the background check if you would like to make copies. They do not accept credit cards or debit cards as payment. Next, stop in at your local AMCO office.
It’s worth noting now that those living in or near Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska should stop in at the AMCO office in one of those cities. Check the opening hours, as they are often only open to permit applications during one window of time per week. If you live too far away to make the trip, mail in your application including your “standard cover page” (your application), your education course completion certificate, a color copy of your photo ID, and an original passport photo. You should send it to the AMCO in Anchorage.
If you do go into the office, be sure to bring all the materials mentioned above (although you should include the original photo ID rather than just a copy). Stop in during their opening hours and bring along a permit fee, which is $50.
This time it should not be cash, but rather either in the form of a check or a money order. So, if you don’t have a checkbook, be sure to look into getting a money order before making the trip to the AMCO office.
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Once your application has been approved and you have your marijuana handler permit card, you can start working at any marijuana-related business you would like. This, of course, includes working as a trimmer or budtender.