Written and photographed by Kimberly Harris.
Skylar Nitesh, a Florida native, moved to Eugene about 9 months ago after saving up for two years to make the move. It was a dream of his to come out to the West Coast. Nitesh started working at the Eugreen Health Center in February 2021 and has already come to love his job as a budtender. Working in the heart of downtown each week allows Nitesh to meet a variety of people, and he already has a collection of weird stories.
Were any of your past job’s cannabis related? If not, what type of jobs did you have before budtending?
I was a correctional officer for two years, used to manage a Papa Murphy’s and I worked in construction and retail before applying here. Before I applied to a few dispensaries, I met someone who was a manager at another dispensary, and he helped me punch up my resume with some tips to stand out from the crowd of applications. I enjoy work that makes me feel like I’m making an impact and working at a dispensary allows me to see how cannabis can benefit people.
Did you have an influence or inclination to work within the cannabis industry?
Cannabis saved my life, after working as a correctional officer for two years, my mental health was broken from work-related stresses. I found salvation in support from my parents, listening to music and finding out about the benefits that cannabis can have on stress and depression. It’s slowly increasing my quality of life.
The cannabis industry is a unique opportunity. It’s very straight forward and finding a balance between work and life is easier within this industry. I feel like my managers care about me, give me autonomy within my position and they listen to my input. Feeling like you’re being heard by your management is important.
What type of people do you meet working downtown? Do you have any funny stories?
There was a gentleman who walked in with an open container, not wearing a mask, and laid down on our front door mat to take a nap.
I also sometimes hear people screaming on the street or talking to themselves, probably because of a mental illness they’re not able to treat, but I always check out what’s going on and it’s not usually super bad – just usual downtown behavior.
What’s something you enjoy about cannabis?
Everything. Lately I’ve been calling myself a “terp slut” because I love smelling each strain’s terpenes, and I’ve been super into dabs lately. There’s some good scents and flavors.
Is there a certain strain or a type of high that you look for?
I tend to stay away from sativa strains because of the anxiousness it can cause, so I go towards hybrids or indicas. I enjoy energetic strains sometimes, but they can’t be over-stimulating. Although, I personally look for terpenes. It’s all about the nose for me and some terpene profiles can smell so good, like blueberry muffins.
Do you have a favorite way to consume?
I use an electric nectar collector. It’s small, compact, easy to clean and not that expensive. The one that I have has an attachment that hooks to my rig so it can be used as an e-nail too. I enjoy cannabis alone and with people. I think it’s helped me socialize with new friends, and the latter, it’s also helped me do a lot of introspective work to help better myself.
Tell me about your favorite go-to munchie.
Sushi is the number one, but sometimes I’ll mix it up with Mexican food. I like variety in my food and in my strains.
What is something rewarding from being a budtender?
Knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives, I get to joke around with customers, get to know who they are and work in a casual, fun atmosphere. We have some amazing customers. They have a lot to do with the experience and they’ll bring in their artwork to share with us or even sell in our shop. I’ve been able to make genuine connections with customers – I truly enjoy my job as a budtender.