Written by Keaton Roberts. Photographed by Riley Valle.
Basic Info: I am 22 years old. I have been budtending for a little more than a year now. I love to make art, play with my pets and read books.
Are you in school? If so, what is your degree?
I am not in school as of now. I plan to go to cosmetology school because I have always loved doing hair. At some point I would love to look into doing tattoos as well, but for now I just sell weed.
What got you involved with budtending and Peach Cannabis? Why did you choose Peach Cannabis specifically?
I actually got really lucky with this job. During Covid, when everyone started getting laid off, I was looking for a job. I was very close to turning 21 years old, and I was trying to think of what I wanted to do. At first, I looked into bartending because I had worked at many restaurants before. I realized that was probably not the best choice for me and was not the most healthy environment to work in. After much thought, I had the idea of selling weed instead. So the day after I turned 21, I took the OLCC test and got my license. I began throwing resumes all over Downtown Eugene. Suddenly my best friend, who I met at another job years ago, worked at Peach Cannabis and helped get my foot in the door in the industry. Coincidentally, she was also the one that got this interview for me today.
Can you tell me about a time that felt like the most rewarding part about being a budtender?
The most rewarding part is how much I get to help people. It has helped me learn more about myself and how marijuana is not just a drug to get high with, but how certain chemicals within weed can help other people. Obviously, there are a bunch of people who buy weed recreationally, however, there’s a lot more people who use it to treat health conditions. Many people associate the different types of weed as CBD and THC. However, during my time in the industry I have learned it’s much more than that. I’ve learned how specific chemicals and strains help certain types of illnesses. For example, when someone comes in saying they’re struggling with insomnia, I could say “let’s try some CBN with an indica,” or if you are having muscle pain, then I could recommend some CBG – it’s just certain scenarios like that where I have the knowledge that can help these people in need. That is what feels the most rewarding.
How do you feel you have grown in your life by being a budtender?
It definitely helped me a lot mentally to be in a work environment and industry that I actually want to be in. I love all the people I work with, and I am very lucky to have this opportunity. Once I started working there, I knew that this was the right industry for me. As I said before, I get the opportunity to not only help people have a good time, but I get to assist and provide a solution for people’s health and illnesses while educating them on what is beneficial for their bodies.
How has working in the industry changed your relationship with cannabis?
It’s made me realize there is a lot more to the industry. Before I got this job, I didn’t know much about weed. I knew that THC gets you high and CBD makes your body feel better physically. Boom, that’s it, great! Overall, I went into the industry as a stoner in their early 20s knowing very basic level information. Quickly, I realized that there is so much more that goes into the growing process, genetics and the business of it all. There is so much more to it than just getting stoned.
What is a problem or conflict in the cannabis/budtending industry that you hope to solve or see improvement in?
A big misconception is that you just hand people pot and they go have a fun time with it. Customers often think it is an easy job, but it is much more complicated. You have to educate yourself and work together as a team to provide the most efficient and healthiest care for our customers. People in general don’t see that side of the job, and it’s a big responsibility to pick out what you’re going to recommend. It’s almost like I’m a hippie pharmacist, where I hear the problem the person is experiencing and need to have the knowledge of what type of strain and dosage to give to them.
How do you feel supported by your team or management at Peach Cannabis?
I feel like we have always had a really strong team and management from the moment I started here. At this point, there have been a lot of changes, but in a positive way. I am very lucky because I have health problems, and my team has always been super supportive and is always available to cover for me if need be. They have been emotionally supportive as well. I have made so many friends here, and we have formed a great bond the past year I have worked here.
What do you want your lasting impact to be in the cannabis industry?
I just want to be able to help people, and in the long run if they find something that works for them, then they will remember me as the person that steered them in the right direction. Even if they never saw me again, it would make me feel good knowing that someone would have the knowledge of what is good for their bodies because of the information I provided. I just want to spread as much information about cannabis products to the world and help as many people as possible.