What made you want to become a budtender?
I think when I first moved here I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I just wanted to live in a new area, I moved all the way from Pennsylvania. I have a lot of friends in this area and that’s why I ended up moving here. The cannabis industry was kind of going up at the same time, it was something I was already pretty passionate about and I knew I was good at marketing.
What made you want to work at TJ’s?
I knew I’d have chances to work with plants, because TJ’s is community-based and they have their own grow. I was really interested in learning more about the grow process and how organic and no-till growing practices effect the plants versus farming methods using nutrients. They are completely no-till, and completely organic. It takes a lot longer and there’s a lot more to deal with like bugs and pests in natural ways. I have a lot of respect for that.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I like that spread of information—like having a first-time user in their 50s come in and not know anything about cannabis, or CBD, or the health benefits of the plant. I like getting to break down those barriers that have been built up over the years. It’s nice to see them become comfortable with the products or see the products benefit them. It’s cool to watch people go on their personal journey with cannabis.
Have you been surprised by who the customers are?
I am a little bit surprised about how it’s everyone. There’s a little bit of every group in cannabis. It’s something that can benefit anyone and I think people are learning that very quickly.
What do you think about cannabis being legalized in Oregon?
It’s been medically legal here for so long, I think that’s benefited a lot of people. Switching over to recreational in some ways has hurt medical patients, unfortunately, and that’s really a hard thing to watch happen. But I think it’s something that could even out as people are heard. Because there is a community of medical patients that really care about that and they want to continue building on it.
Do you have a favorite strain or product?
I really like tinctures, especially for times when it’s hard to smoke. Tinctures are a great way to consume. I love the convenience of it, I love how it’s truly probably the most medical product we produce. You see the concentrated forms of cannabis, and you’re just getting the effect of it purified so much. We put it in coconut oil so it’s got a nice taste.
What would you recommend to readers?
I recommend that if you’re shopping for flower you go by farm, because it’s an easy way to guarantee you’re going to get an organically grown product. A lot of the times if you’re strain-hunting you’re going to be disappointed. Every dispensary tries to stock strains, but it’s not always good farms that grow the strains that people want. That’s always my best advice for customers—not to look at the THC, not to look at the strain name, but smell the jar, know where it’s coming from. And if it’s organic it’s going to be a higher quality.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re high?
Usually stretching. I like heavy CBD strains before yoga, it really helps your body loosen. Other than that I like hiking and watching movies. There’s all sorts of situations where it can be really fun, but I definitely like to be active.
Do you have a favorite type of music you like to listen to when you’re high?
Usually acoustic music, there’s something about string music I really like. It makes me feel happy.
When was the first time you got high?
I was a senior in high school. I was with my brother at my parent’s farm. We were by a pond, and we were smoking a joint that he rolled with some of his friends. I was about to go to college, and It was kind of his initiation — ‘you’re going to college and I want you to be prepared for things.’ So I got to have a nice comfortable experience, and it was with a family member so that was nice.