Last fall, the top Budtenders from around the country set their eyes on Las Vegas for the Inaugural 2019 Budtender Awards. The award show praised Lady Mary Jane and all of the beautiful people working with cannabis to not only educate the world about cannabis but show appreciation for the art.

Want to become a Budtender? How to become a budtender.

The show recognized the top talent in the cannabis industry from around the nation. It was jam-packed with the top brands and companies like Cannapaid™, Cloverleaf University, Lowell Farms, Planet13, Skinny Weed, and Guild Extracts. If we can say ourselves, the show was lit.

The Budtender awards were held at Mandalay Bay’s Light NightClub on October 12, 2019 and featured bass busting performances by Cypress Hill. Hosts Rachel “Wolfie” Wolfson and Modest Jones took the show to another level, keeping the audience laughing and engaged through the night.

Budtender Awards 2020

A sold-out Budtender Awards 2020 was in the making. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the show’s creators recently announced that G4 Live & Budtender Awards will be postponed.

According to the show, they’re looking to reschedule it to happen sometime in early 2021. The show creators say they are making this move to protect those who would be attending the fall awards show or working the event.

You can still nominate your favorite budtenders by following this link. and you can sign up for this the budtender awards newsletter to stay updated on when they announce an official date for the 2021 show.

As new details arise regarding Budtender Awards 2021, MJP will be sure to keep you posted. Until then we look forward to announcing the latest winners.

Budtender Awards 2019

Here at Mary Jane Post, we know how much fun you guys had last year, so we wanted to take a trip down memory lane and highlight some of your favorite 2019 Budtenders from the impressive list of last year’s winners.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rocky Hernandez, Jazziymn West, and Zulema Lino past winners of the first Budtender Awards in Las Vegas. Let see what they had to say….

Rocky Hernandez, WINNER: Medallion Award

Getty Images Rocky Hernandez Modest
Rocky Hernandez (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)

When it comes to weed, Rocky Hernandez knows her stuff. When it comes to the community, Hernandez is the first to step up to get things done. That’s why this Las Vegas budtender won the Medallion Award. It’s given to those who go the extra mile to give back to the community, putting others first by taking action to fix a local problem.

While Hernandez works at one of the largest dispensaries in the country, her start was a little…well rocky.

Hernandez moved to Las Vegas just over 3 years ago and started looking for an open door in the cannabis industry. While she had an impressive background in sales management, she had no professional cannabis experience which made getting her foot in the door a pretty tough.

Hernandez was turned away many times but she remained consistent. She finally landed a role as a part-time budtender for a small dispensary and now works for one of the largest dispensaries in the country. 

We asked Hernandez some questions about her success after winning the award and her thoughts about the 2020 show.

MJP- What was it like to be nominated for the Budtender Awards? In what ways has this award helped you within your career or in general?

HERNANDEZ- Winning the award was a dream come true, since then I have been working on a Budtender Podcast with a fellow Budtender that will be airing in April 2020, in March 2020.

I will be a guest speaker at Budtender Fight Club, I am nominated for some BTA “Your Choice” awards and a 2020 Las Vegas Cannabis Award in the category of “Female Entrepreneur of the year”, and I am now a new member of Women Grow and Nevada NORML.

My career in the industry has changed since I won a BTA and would highly recommend any and all budtenders across the US to get involved. It is truly life-changing.

MJP – What are your current thoughts on trends within the industry?

HERNANDEZ –  Now that we are seeing an increase of recreational states, we are also seeing a lot more diversity of multicultural business owners, and cultivation experts in the industry, it’s a game-changer for me being a Hispanic LGBT woman in the cannabis industry.

We have also seen a positive political shift in the outlook of cannabis legislation, hopefully making it integral to legalize cannabis and to make it possible for everyone to obtain cannabis across all 50 US States by 2022. The future of cannabis is looking a whole lot brighter!

Hernandez says she is surprised and grateful for how much exposure she’s gotten since the award show including invites to podcasts, guest speaking, and a variety of industry events. She has been featured in several publications including Business Insider, and Cannabis Dispensary Mag. Make sure to keep an eye out for Hernandez during BTA 2020!

Jazziymn West WINNER:  In the Arts Award

Jazziymn West (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)

Jazziymn West, reps Cali Kush, and she doesn’t settle for the bare minimum when it comes to budtending. The San Bernardino, CA budtender takes her work at Captain Jacks to the next level. West has a passion for creating and her passion combined with her weed skills landed her the In the Arts Award.

West stays true to her last name, repping all things westside including cannabis. West got her start in 2013. With no cannabis experience and a lot of passion, West reached out to a friend that owned a dispensary in Riverside, CA called “Cali Grown” in hopes to get her foot in the door. 

Her drive, persistence, responsibility and background in retail helped her land her first role. Since then, her career has continued to grow.  Mary Jane Post spoke with West to get her thoughts about success after winning awards and her thoughts about the 2020 show.

MJP- How does it feel being one of the first individuals ever to win a Budtender award?

WEST- Words can not express how privileged I feel to be one of the first to receive such an amazing honor. For many years I was not always forthcoming about what I did for a living out of fear of being judged.

Being able to be publicly celebrated by receiving this award has truly brought me immense joy. I feel as though I did not only win the award for myself but for all those who have come before me that fought for cannabis to be respected for what it can truly do.

I won the award for all the people that were and still are incarcerated for possessing such a magical plant. I won the award for the mother with the child with epilepsy and needs worldwide legalization to occur, in order to even make cannabis an option for treatment.

I won this award for people like The Great Jack Herer who made it his life’s work to educate the world about cannabis and all its wonders. It is still kind of surreal for me. I find myself admiring the actual award and thinking, “that actually happened!” I did that and that is something no one can ever take away from me!” I feel beyond blessed to be a part of the evolution of cannabis. I made history. It doesn’t get more rewarding than that!

MJP – What are your expectations for this year’s 2020 Budtender awards?

WEST– I am expecting the 2020 BTA’s to be another slam dunk for the cannabis industry. I heard they are adding budtender brand certifications to the expo, which I think is an excellent addition.

It is beyond imperative that budtenders are educated on the brands they sell in order to provide the consumer with a solid recommendation. I am also expecting to see an even larger gathering to occur now that the BTA’s 2019 was such a success and the cannabis community knows it is legit.

West says after winning, she feels that “She is history”. West says the win has pushed her career in a positive direction and she couldn’t be more grateful. Connect with West on Instagram and Snapchat: @st8w3stcoastin.

Zulema Lino WINNER: CBD Award

Zulema Lino (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)

Sin City wouldn’t be a hit without Zulema Lino and her impressive CBD knowledge. The Las Vegas based budtender is a CBD wizard who can deliver knowledge about the perfect remedy for anyone’s CBD needs. That’s why she was named the winner for the 2019 CBD Award.

Lino is an OG in Las Vegas. She was one of the pioneers of the Las Vegas Cannabis industry. Lino was a part of an online Cannabis advocacy group, when a new company coming to town sought her opinion on Cannabis usage and what the Las Vegas community wanted out of a dispensary.

When word got out that this dispensary was hiring she applied. Lino started off as a receptionist at Essence and became fascinated with her work, learning, and mastering the medicinal aspects of the Cannabis plant.

Her passion didn’t go unnoticed and she was eventually promoted to budtender. Mary Jane Post caught up with Lino to get her thoughts about success after winning awards and her thoughts about the 2020 show.

MJP – How does it feel being one of the first individuals ever to win a Budtender award?

LINO –  It’s truly an honor to be the first ever CBD award winner at the Budtender awards. The acknowledgement is humbling and truly appreciated. Showing others my hard work and dedication has been inspiring. 

This is another stepping stone toward my passion that allows me to share  the importance of respecting the Cannabis plant through its proper usage.

MJP – What is your cannabis preference?

LINO– I like everything in the store, it just depends on how I feel! I’ve converted all my medicinal needs to Cannabis. I no longer touch Tylenol or Motrin. If I have a medical concern, I know how to research formulated profiles with terpenes and cannabinoids and consume from there. 

I do dab both THC and CBD concentrate, I also smoke hemp flower and THC rich flower. I love THC infused dark chocolate (especially before bed) and vapes. All edibles are phenomenal, whether CBD only or THC. Keep in mind that I always make sure I include CBD in all my usual consumption.

Lino says following her win, she was very proud of the acknowledgment she received from her professional peers including a feature in Smash Magazine. Lino also says, she was truly surprised that those outside of the professional world of cannabis weren’t too aware of what was taking place and the importance of the cannabis industry.

She says winning this award has been a plus for her resume and that she is hoping to stay on the front lines to educate people on the benefits of cannabis. Stay connected with Lino on Instagram and Twitter.

Wrapping Up Our Trip Down Memory Lane

Mary Jane Post congratulates all of the 2019 Budtender Awards winners, a full list of winners can be seen here. Each of these budtenders has a unique set of skills, passion, and drive that is shaping and growing the cannabis industry.

While 2020 has been a year full of uncertainties, MJP knows that so many budtenders are still putting in hard work to make sure lady Mary Jane is ready and available to help get people through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the Budtender Awards 2020 has been pushed back to 2021, you still have time to nominate a budtender for an award.  If you know an amazing budtender in your city, give them credit where credit is due and nominate them for a BTA award here.

Budtender Awards Sponsorships

Those looking to join the iconic list of sponsors for this show can get more information on how to sponsor by reaching out to [email protected]. BTA 2021 is going to be historic. Don’t miss out on the announcements. Keep it plugged into MJP, we’ve got you covered.

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