Budtender Spotlight: Tiff Smith from Electric Lettuce

Written by Lizzy Solorzano, Photographed by Kayl Wohl

Harvest Edition, 2024.

How long have you been a budtender? 

I actually got my OLCC workers permit two weeks after I turned 21. It’s been five years. When I was getting close to 21, I wasn’t going to be in college anymore. I moved back here and started working at a dispensary in Springfield, got a manager’s position and I never left the industry since. 

When was the first time you got high? 

I actually didn’t start using cannabis until I was in college. I never smoked in high school or anything. I used to take a ton of prescriptions growing up. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis and alopecia, an autoimmune disease, so I have chronic pain. I used to be on pain and sleeping pills. I ended up getting off those by turning to cannabis. I had my best friend in college and we ended up smoking a joint without my sleeping pills. I slept better than I had since I was a child. And honestly, I never turned back. 

What do you gain from being a budtender? 

I get a lot of knowledge. I think knowledge is what’s going to push our industry forward. What I love about being in the industry is how I am educating myself, I am educating others, and honestly I hope I’m destigmatizing cannabis as a whole. I feel like every single person has to do their part to see the industry progress. The more I know, the more I can educate others and the more I can help people. I want to make the world a better place, and I’m going to do that with cannabis.

What do you feel your responsibilities are as a budtender? 

As a budtender, maintaining compliance means we can be trusted. It’s so stigmatized so we want to follow the laws and want people to know that–it’s one level of distrust that we do not surpass. There are many dispensaries still not following regulations and people are scared. Being compliant, trustworthy and consistent makes people feel comfortable and confident to destigmatize this industry. 

How have you seen differences between CBD and THC products and their potential benefits for fibromyalgia and/or alopecia?

I much prefer marijuana-based plants than hemp products. Hemp is mostly CBD, but CBD alone isn’t going to be as efficient as you’d want it to be. I have specifically found a good combination of CBD, CBG and THC that has helped me, specifically because CBG interacts with the receptors in your cannabinoid system that helps with inflammation.

What’s the most rewarding part of the job?

As cheesy as it sounds, it is the lasting effect I have on people. It’s knowing that my little hippie heart wants to change the world, it’s putting more good stuff into the world. It’s helping people be educated, helping people feel better, and helping people live their lives in a better way. Seeing that lasting effect… it’s really cool.