Online Cannabis Training for Retail Employees


The training required for retail and hospitality workers can vary depending on state cannabis laws and local regulations.

Retail employees in the cannabis industry typically need to complete Responsible Vendor Training (RVT) soon after starting work and retake the course annually. In this program, students learn about applicable laws, regulations and industry standards for safe and legal cannabis sales.

Our Cannabis Responsible Vendor Training courses offer the following:

  • 100% Online
  • Self-Paced Training on a Flexible Schedule
  • Instant Certificate Download
  • Corporate Bulk Discount Pricing

Retail owners in certain locations must secure ANAB-accredited training for their team. Training programs accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) ensure competence and reliability, customer satisfaction, up-to-date course curriculum and more.

Types of Cannabis Training

It's important to determine which course best suits the employee's needs before choosing a training program. Learn more about each option to decide on the right fit.

Responsible Vendor Training (RVT)

Cannabis Responsible Vendor Training helps ensure employee compliance with state and industry guidelines. This is a critical step in qualifying individuals to work with cannabis products. RVT courses are designed to educate employees and owners on how to perform safe and legal cannabis sales.

The course outlines:

  • Laws and regulations relating to cannabis use
  • Health effects of cannabis use
  • Signs of impairment and appropriate intervention techniques for cannabis users
  • Customer assistance and checking identification to prevent illegal sales
  • Health, safety and packaging standards for cannabis distribution and retail sales
  • Cannabis seed-to-sale distribution and recordkeeping process
  • Best practices related to cannabis product delivery

» Explore our state-approved Responsible Vendor Training courses

Basics of Cannabis

Entry-level retail employees often take courses about the basics of cannabis to meet state and employer requirements. Learning the basics of safe and responsible cannabis sales also helps employees grow their knowledge about the industry.

Course topics include:

  • Introduction to cannabis
  • About the plant
  • Cannabinoids
  • Non-cannabinoids
  • Effects on the body
  • Cannabis products and uses
  • Dosing methods

Types of Retail Cannabis Businesses

The legality around the consumption of medical and recreational cannabis varies based on state laws. Federally, marijuana is illegal in all forms. All retail employees should be trained on state and federal cannabis laws and local regulations in order to avoid illegal sales and protect the business from liability.

Recreational Dispensaries

Recreational marijuana is for adults 21 and over to purchase and consume at their leisure, depending on state requirements. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, the District of Columbia and two territories.

Employees at retail dispensaries should:

  • Have a clean driving record
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Possess a cannabis training certificate
  • Understand the different strains and mediums of marijuana
  • Have retail experience

Medical Dispensaries

Medical marijuana dispensaries include any facility where medical marijuana is provided to qualified patients or individuals with medical ID cards. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that medical marijuana is currently legal in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Medical marijuana patients must follow state-specific laws to obtain a doctor-prescribed medical marijuana card. This card allows patients to purchase and consume medical marijuana products.

Qualifying conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Medical dispensary employees should:

  • Recommend products based on qualifying conditions
  • Check the validity of medical identification
  • Possess a cannabis training certificate
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Demonstrate communication/customer service skills

Hospitality Establishments

Hospitality establishments, also known as consumption lounges or tasting rooms, are businesses that allow on-site recreational cannabis use. Businesses need to meet certain licensing requirements to perform any commercial cannabis activity.

Examples of cannabis-friendly businesses can include:

  • Dispensaries
  • Consumption lounges
  • Tasting rooms
  • Hotels
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Painting classes
  • Yoga classes
  • Spas
  • Culinary classes
  • And more

Employees should:

  • Understand the scope of on-site cannabis use
  • Possess a cannabis training certificate
  • Have effective communication and retail skills

Which Retail Employees Need Cannabis Training?

In order to obtain a retail/hospitality license, employees are required to pass an RVT course and obtain a certificate. This training is designed for individuals who sell, handle or transport cannabis for a dispensary or retail store.

This includes:

  • Budtenders and salespersons
  • Managers
  • Cannabis transporters
  • Vendors
  • Chefs/bakers
  • And more

Our Responsible Vendor Training courses prepare employees to provide safe and legal retail services, with topics including an introduction to cannabis, varieties of the plant, effects on the body, dosing and more.

Course topics include:

  • Cannabis Laws and Regulations in the United States
  • Effects of Cannabis on the Human Body
  • Safety Concerns Related to Cannabis Use
  • Performing Responsible Cannabis Sales
  • Health and Safety Standards in the Cannabis Industry
  • Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Requirements
  • Cannabis Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Cannabis Transport Requirements

Types of Retail Licenses

Cannabis businesses must attain a license to distribute cannabis products to customers. State requirements, including mandatory training, can vary depending on the type of license.

Non-Storefront Retailer

A non-storefront retailer sells cannabis goods to customers only through delivery.

Storefront Retailer

A storefront retailer has a physical location where cannabis goods are sold. If they choose to, storefront retailers can also deliver cannabis goods.

Event Licenses

You need an event license to hold or organize a cannabis event. The two license types are event organizer — for the person hosting cannabis events — and temporary cannabis event — for the event itself. The length of the license validity varies by state, as well as the renewal window.