The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation, Cannabis Control Section has approved 26 businesses as “Responsible Vendors” authorized to provide mandatory health and safety training to cannabis dispensary agents often referred to as “budtenders.” At least half of these approved providers are minority owned. Approved vendors are based in Cook, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Will, and Sangamon counties in Illinois, and include three out-of-state companies from Iowa, Texas, and Florida. Many Responsible Vendors offer online trainings or have expressed a willingness to travel.
Responsible Vendors provide dispensary agents important training on how to properly check purchaser identification, state laws and rules relating to dispensing cannabis, how to identify signs of impairment, physiological effects of cannabis, security measures, and health concerns related to cannabis consumption. The Responsible Vendor training requirement is based on similar training required of alcohol servers but is tailored to the Illinois cannabis regulatory structure.
All medical cannabis dispensing agents currently working in Illinois must receive training from an approved Responsible Vendor by November 30, 2019 to ensure they have been trained before adult use sales begin on January 1, 2020. Any newly hired dispensary agents also will be required to receive training from an approved vendor within 90 days of their hiring date. In addition, all budtenders must receive the training annually to renew their license to work at a cannabis dispensary.
A list of approved Responsible Vendors can be found on IDFPR’s website at: