written and photographed by Kimberly Harris.
Genevieve Auman has been working at Spacebuds for 14 months. Sci-Fi decorations, laser colored lights and star constellations bring customers into galactic space while they buy cannabis. Within her two years of budtending, Auman focuses on helping customers find the best way to experience cannabis whether it’s for pain relief or fun.
What made you want to be a budtender?
I love cannabis and I love sharing knowledge, it’s my favorite part of the job. The first time I smoked my social anxiety went away, my pain went away and I experienced relief for the first time. It was life changing and I knew that this was what I wanted to do. The medical applications of cannabis are so huge. I know friends and family members that suffer aches and pains who have experienced relief with cannabis. There’s an answer for people who are in pain and I wanted to be a part of the answer.
What was the first time you tried Cannabis?
I was hanging out with a group of friends at one of their houses and they were passing the bong around. I think I stopped coughing 10 minutes later after taking a hit. It was definitely an interesting experience, but I realized after I was done coughing that my pain was gone, my anxiety was gone and this was the medicine that I’ve been looking for.
What’s your favorite activity to do after using cannabis?
I like cooking. I love getting a good case of the munchies going and cooking up some delicious food. The smells are more potent, flavors are cranked up to ten and food becomes better than it was before. Cooking is always a wonderful way to enjoy my high.
Do you have an OLCC protocol to follow while working?
Everyone has to have their OLCC handlers card licensed through Oregon. It’s a gift to sell marijuana. Only half of the country is legalized at this point, and we are still waiting on the federal government to legalize it, so I believe it’s a privilege to do what I do. Marijuana in Oregon is tracked seed to sale. All products have a number assigned to it and the state of Oregon tracks those numbers through a OLCC database to know exactly where the product goes.
What does it mean to have a license?
Essentially it means that I’m licensed to be behind the counter in a dispensary or work on a farm or do things with, under federal law, a schedule 1 drug that is deemed legal in Oregon. The state of Oregon has licensed me as long as I strictly follow rules and guidelines. A lot of the rules are limited to how much I can sell to someone in a day. There are categories for every product with daily limits per person to purchase.
Do you feel it’s your obligation as a budtender to inform people?
As a budtender, I am a point of knowledge about cannabis. I like the educational aspects of my job. I believe there’s no such thing as a stupid questions. I approach customers with “How can I help you the most?” I learn a lot by asking my own questions and having personal experience. I try to ask customers what they are looking for, what experience that they are seeking and how can I help them find it.
What’s a rule that you think is important for customers to understand better?
I want to keep daily purchase limits fresh on people’s minds. It’s not that I don’t want to sell you more, it’s that I can’t. Concentrates want to be sold in bigger amounts, but state standards limit us on how much we can sell to a person. I’ve learned a lot about rules by being licensed and my own research. I recommend researching any sites with .gov links.
What is a rule that you wished customers remembered?
Bags are for childproofing. If products don’t come in childproof packaging, a container that’s resealable, we have to put it in a bag that is up to Oregon’s standards of childproof. And secondly, budtenders have to check everyone’s ID. I can recognize if a person looks over 21 years old, but it’s a part of my job to check for a valid ID regardless.