Budtender Spotlight

Q&A with Terrence Quarles from Peach Cannabis

Written by Javay Frye-Nekrasova – BIPOC Edition, 2024.

How long have you been working at Peach Cannabis, and how do you like it?

I’m digging it, honestly. It’s different from the last dispensary I worked at where the customer base was really varied in age. At Peach, because of where we’re located, it’s like a super young customer base, like a lot of college students. So, it’s a lot of energy that comes through that place. It’s a fun environment most of the time.

Did you have cannabis knowledge before getting into the industry or did you learn as you went?

I had somewhat of a knowledge base since I’ve been using cannabis [already]. I started using it medicinally because I’ve had insomnia since I was a young teenager. Once I got into the industry, I realized there was so much more to learn, and since I already loved cannabis, I just dove into it and learned as much as I could because it’s fascinating. Like I did not know what a terpene was until two years ago, and now I got like a catalog of them in my brain and all the effects they have. It’s awesome, honestly. Like it’s dope.

What are your favorite terpenes and why?

It’s a tie between myrcene or linalool because they are sedatives and pain relievers mostly. I’ve always used them for sleep, and they’re also really euphoric. it’s like a relaxed, happy kind of high.

How do you approach the education side of cannabis with customers?

I am very open with my knowledge, and I’m always willing to share information, but being open with it to customers is similar to being pushy. As a salesman, you got to know who really wants to hear it, like the people who show an interest that you can get nerdy about the stuff with. People start asking questions about the posters we have on the walls, like, “Oh, what’s this?” and “What’s terpene?” It’s like, “Oh, dope, I can spend 20 minutes with this person. Like, yes!” But other people, it’s like, “I don’t care. Give me my high-THC joint and get me out of here.”

What has the experience been like as a Black person in the cannabis industry?

It’s basically been like anything else I would say as a Black person. I’m from LA originally and I lived in Hawaii for a few years, so it’s different getting the Oregon, Eugene experience of a Black person. You know, like this being the “liberal center of the world,” basically. What I mean is microaggressions and stuff like that exist everywhere. That’s always going to happen. I do have to say living here though. I have felt more accepted and welcomed than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. So that’s also true of this place.

What differences do you see in the community aspect of cannabis in Oregon compared to other places?

From what I remember of being in LA, it’s a different world entirely. They treat getting into a dispensary in LA like getting into a private club, bro. Like, why, why do I need to pass like three bouncers? And why do they need to have guns? It’s just weed, bro. Like, chill. Here? I love how every dispensary I’ve worked in, we do what’s called deli style where we’re just right over the countertop. We let you smell and interact with the flower and the product. It’s amazing. It helps us connect with the customers better, and it helps them connect with the product better. Here, there’s so much good weed. It’s like, no, we want to show it off.

What advice would you give to a newcomer to smoking?

First, I always ask them how much they want to know. Because if they want to know everything, then I will go, not necessarily product by product, but category by category. I’ll go over edibles and give a general breakdown of how edibles work. Then I’ll go over a flower and the differences between types of flower and how they work. Then I’ll go over like dabs and ask them what they’re looking for. From there, I think that’s where, in my opinion, my skill as a budtender comes in. That’s where I ask them what they’re looking to get out of their weed because they don’t know anything about it. They’re like, “Oh, an indica makes me sleepy. Sativa, it makes me happy. Whatever.” So I ask them “Okay, are you about to go to a party or something? You’re going to go hang out with friends? Go see a movie? Try to just go home, watch TV and chill?” You have to find ways to make the best suggestions for people.

Okay, give me some rapid-fire recommendations. A good strain to smoke after failing a test?

I would go with a heavy myrcene indica, like an old school or Granddaddy Purp. Or if you got some Ice Cream Cake nearby, definitely go for that Ice Cream Cake.

A good strain if someone wants to be aroused?

If I ever have it, I always tell people Pink Runtz is the way to go.

A good strain to have the giggles and just laugh with friends?

I’m gonna say Tropicana Cookies and any Trop Cookies cross. It’s such a euphoric, happy, cerebral high.

A strain for when you want to get philosophical while high?

That’s Cap Junky.

Is there anything else you want to share with the people?

To tip their budtenders better because owners of dispensaries treat us like we get tips, like waitresses, waiters and bartenders, and we don’t.