Budtender Spotlight: Genevieve Auman

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. 

Budtender Spotlight: Melissa Call

What made you want to become a budtender?

I think when I first moved here I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I just wanted to live in a new area, I moved all the way from Pennsylvania.  I have a lot of friends in this area and that’s why I ended up moving here. The cannabis industry was kind of going up at the same time, it was something I was already pretty passionate about and I knew I was good at marketing.

What made you want to work at TJ’s?

I knew I’d have chances to work with plants, because TJ’s is community-based and they have their own grow. I was really interested in learning more about the grow process and how organic and no-till growing practices effect the plants versus farming methods using nutrients. They are completely no-till, and completely organic.  It takes a lot longer and there’s a lot more to deal with like bugs and pests in natural ways. I have a lot of respect for that.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I like that spread of information—like having a first-time user in their 50s come in and not know anything about cannabis, or CBD, or the health benefits of the plant. I like getting to break down those barriers that have been built up over the years. It’s nice to see them become comfortable with the products or see the products benefit them. It’s cool to watch people go on their personal journey with cannabis.

Have you been surprised by who the customers are?

I am a little bit surprised about how it’s everyone. There’s a little bit of every group in cannabis. It’s something that can benefit anyone and I think people are learning that very quickly.  

What do you think about cannabis being legalized in Oregon?  

It’s been medically legal here for so long, I think that’s benefited a lot of people. Switching over to recreational in some ways has hurt medical patients, unfortunately, and that’s really a hard thing to watch happen. But I think it’s something that could even out as people are heard. Because there is a community of medical patients that really care about that and they want to continue building on it.

Do you have a favorite strain or product?

I really like tinctures, especially for times when it’s hard to smoke. Tinctures are a great way to consume. I love the convenience of it, I love how it’s truly probably the most medical product we produce. You see the concentrated forms of cannabis, and you’re just getting the effect of it purified so much. We put it in coconut oil so it’s got a nice taste.

What would you recommend to readers?

I recommend that if you’re shopping for flower you go by farm, because it’s an easy way to guarantee you’re going to get an organically grown product. A lot of the times if you’re strain-hunting you’re going to be disappointed. Every dispensary tries to stock strains, but it’s not always good farms that grow the strains that people want. That’s always my best advice for customers—not to look at the THC, not to look at the strain name, but smell the jar, know where it’s coming from. And if it’s organic it’s going to be a higher quality.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re high?

Usually stretching. I like heavy CBD strains before yoga, it really helps your body loosen. Other than that I like hiking and watching movies. There’s all sorts of situations where it can be really fun, but I definitely like to be active.

Do you have a favorite type of music you like to listen to when you’re high?

Usually acoustic music, there’s something about string music I really like. It makes me feel happy.

When was the first time you got high?

I was a senior in high school. I was with my brother at my parent’s farm. We were by a pond, and we were smoking a joint that he rolled with some of his friends. I was about to go to college, and It was kind of his initiation — ‘you’re going to college and I want you to be prepared for things.’ So I got to have a nice comfortable experience, and it was with a family member so that was nice.


Budtender Spotlight: Katrina Johnston

How and when did you become a budtender?

I was in between a rock and a hard place, I was working mediocre jobs, and I realized, “Oh shoot, cannabis has been legal for almost a year now, what am I doing?” I got really ambitious from there. I called every single store in Eugene and asked who was hiring, but initially I did not get the job at Next Level. I was trained at The Greener Side, which is the oldest dispensary in Eugene, and the way that I was taught, numbers weren’t the focus. I was learning all about the growth process. I would spend hours cruising the computer, reading articles and talking to customers and vendors. When the industry was developing and there were so many unknowns, every day was a challenge because you had to learn how to package properly, how to hand it out and understand what weights were. But since cannabis law is always changing, there are new changes happening every 3 to 7 days, you don’t what law you might break so you have to be careful.

I was in between a rock and a hard place, I was working mediocre jobs, and I realized, “Oh shoot, cannabis has been legal for almost a year now, what am I doing?” I got really ambitious from there. I called every single store in Eugene and asked who was hiring, but initially I did not get the job at Next Level. I was trained at The Greener Side, which is the oldest dispensary in Eugene, and the way that I was taught, numbers weren’t the focus. I was learning all about the growth process. I would spend hours cruising the computer, reading articles and talking to customers and vendors. When the industry was developing and there were so many unknowns, every day was a challenge because you had to learn how to package properly, how to hand it out and understand what weights were. But since cannabis law is always changing, there are new changes happening every 3 to 7 days, you don’t what law you might break so you have to be careful.

What was it like the first time you got high?

The first time I got high, I smoked a homemade gravity bong, and I got blasted. I wasn’t scared at all, I was like this is cool — I was a much happier person. As a seasoned Oregonian, I also remember the first time I hit oil, we called it honey oil, and I remember I could not talk for 2 hours after that. When you’re young, you have all these other emotions going on and when you’re high on top of that and it can be a lot. I was young, but I was one of those people who had anxiety as a kid. I switched high schools and was having panic attacks every morning, and I ended up doing better in school after I found cannabis. It’s funny because I was an above and beyond student and I was so high a lot of the time. Cannabis is such a diverse product, that it’s not one size fits all. I’m one of those people who can do their coffee and their cannabis and then plow through shit.

How do you approach recommending a product to a customer?

That can be a really fun adventure simply because it’s an opportunity to learn. You ask yourself, what is this person like, and why might something work for them. You instantly go through your mind and think about every customer that’s been similar, so it’s like, cool, I’m in to learn something and they’re in to learn something. And it’s a win-win. We are experts simply because of our customers or else we would have nothing to gain. I have learned so many things about the world of cannabis through talking to people. I always want customers to come back and tell me how a product worked for them.

What do you look for in a strain?

It’s weird the different kinds of smells you look for depending on where you’re at in your life. Currently I absolutely love indicas. I’m looking for the body high, I’m looking to get out of my head. But I am a non-discriminate user because I believe more in the genetics effects rather than whether it’s an indica, sativa, or hybrid. Because there are so many different things going on with a plant, you can’t base your preferences off those categories because sometimes a super purple indica has me cleaning my entire fucking house. These are classification and scales that legal states have created, but there’s no universal measure, and that’s when budtending becomes really difficult.

Best part about budtending? Worst part?
Getting that real personal connection with a customer, whether it be enlightening someone who hasn’t done this before, finding something that works, or just finding someone who you connect with who wants to learn and have an open mind. And the downfall can be that so many people don’t take selling weed seriously. But learning acceptance in yourself and others is what has helped me not worry about that. Either you let it run you or you run it.

What do you think is special about Next Level Wellness?
Next Level Wellness is the best company I have worked with, and I’ve worked with plenty of other dispensaries. I wanted to work in a place where I had room to grow and Next Level is this diverse place that allows me to do that. They’re really involved in the community, they do all sorts of cool events that I get to be a part of.

Favorite way to consume?
If I didn’t have asthma, I prefer flower all day every day. The effects of a flower are just so pure that when you do all these other things with it, it gets lost. Right now, my favorite way to consume is edibles. I’ve been digging macarons.

What’s one stereotype about cannabis users that isn’t true?
Who uses cannabis. We’re having a lot of the elderly community come in, who grew up with Reefer Madness, asking what they can take in place of opioids for many reasons. It’s really amazing to be a part of that because you’ve opened somebody’s eyes to something that they would have never ever considered and it can help them. Selling weed is really fun, but working with people you know you know you’re helping is the whole fun.

What’s your favorite activity to do while high?

My favorite thing to do is a have a good conversation where everybody’s laughing. I like being comedic and doing improv and creating crazy stories with my brilliant friends. And there’s nothing better than laughing your hardest and purest. Everybody has their version of That 70’s Show that they remember, sitting in a circle with their friends — because you can’t not be in a circle. Stoners are always in a circle, man.

Favorite thing to munch on while high?
Typically candy always. But there is nothing better than a burrito. My favorite thing to do on my day off was what I call, Sundazed and Confused. Every Sunday I would get a burrito, watch Dazed and Confused, and get stoned.

What accessory or paraphernalia do you like to use?
This bong that has an electric nail that stays at a certain temperature all the time. That way you get a better flavor profile, and since I can’t smoke flower anymore, it allows me to get the full benefits from that plant. It makes me feel one step higher in the cannabis world.
When you’re not here, what might you be doing?
There’s nothing more that I enjoy in this world than making a meal for a group of people. I bake very well, and I also like cooking. Cannabis bring people together and so do meals. You’re required to just sit and enjoy your food and nobody strays away from that moment. You talk about life and you get to enjoy a meal.

Budtender Spotlight: Malik Patterson

words and photos by Julio Jaquez

Malik Patterson, a 21 year old San Bernardino native who came to Eugene to study at the University of Oregon, was a student and a budtender at Cannabliss and Co. It wasn’t until after high school that Patterson was first introduced to marijuana. As an athlete of the San Bernardino track and football team, using marijuana as a recreational substance never crossed his mind. Knowing that both of the sports he played required healthy lungs, Patterson wasn’t interested in slowing himself down.  “I didn’t really know I was that good.” explained Patterson, describing the skill on the field that came so easily to him.

Patterson stopped playing sports after high school, and figured that since he wasn’t playing, he would give recreational marijuana a chance. “It was great, that’s when I was like ok, I see what everyone is talking about,” Patterson said.

Patterson says that after he smoked for the first time, he understood why everyone was raving about marijuana. His first high was pleasant.  “It’s a stress reliever,” Patterson said, “and this high is something that I can control.”

Three weeks after this first high, Patterson experienced another first: a seizure on the mall escalator that ignited his interest in the medical benefits of marijuana. With no previous history of having seizures, Patterson was caught off guard. Still to this day, Patterson is grateful for help of bystanders and a medic who stabilized him and transported him to the hospital. After waking up from a seizure-induced blackout, Patterson woke up in a hospital bed.

While he was being diagnosed, Patterson realized that his urine was going to be tested. He knew THC would show up in his system and his mother would find out he had gotten high. So he confessed.  To his surprise, his mother simply replied, “You started smoking later than I did so I can’t be mad at you.” Patterson was diagnosed with epilepsy that day, and after that he and his mother began to research and inform themselves about his condition.

Patterson’s diagnosis inspired a new interest in medical marijuana. Patterson learned that marijuana contains cannabidiol (CBD), a substance in cannabis that can help control seizures in some people with epilepsy, and also reduce anxiety. In addition to using marijuana to help with his seizures and anxiety, Patterson also smokes marijuana to get high and take time to reflect on his life and the his expectations he has for himself.

   Patterson’s s interest in the cannabis industry continued to blossom after moving to Eugene, OR. “It’s a whole different thing when it comes to the sale of marijuana here,” says Malik when comparing the difference of prices of marijuana in Eugene to his hometown, San Bernardino. “This is probably the cheapest place you’ll ever find weed in all of America,” Patterson said. With various dispensaries around Eugene offering relatively affordable $60 ounces, Patterson couldn’t really believe the cheap prices.

Not only did Patterson’s arrival to Eugene mean an  introduction to cheaper marijuana, it also brought a change in priority. Coming to the University of Oregon meant the acceptance of brand new responsibilities and a different way of life. As the pressures rose in college, Malik began to experience seizures more often than before. He realized that his seizures were connected to the increase of stress that came with school.

After working in the corporate world as secretary for roughly two years and feeling less than himself, Patterson decided to step in a different direction and join the ranks of the cannabis industry.  Now working for Cannabliss and Co. Patterson enjoys his new position. He works at the front desk, and he continues to develop his budtending skills. For Patterson, budtending is more than just taking flower, weighing it, and handing it to the customer. Patterson says the distribution and weighing process of budtending is one of the most precise things he’s done.With more and more experience, Patterson gradually continues to work more shifts behind the counter. As a consistent smoker and connoisseur of both CBD and THC heavy strains, Patterson is happy with where he is, and says that marijuana has helped him to take full control of his life.  Patterson now feels he is in a better place than when he first arrived to Eugene. His ability to handle the daily stressors that are thrown at him is stronger, and and continues to feel more like himself.

Budtender Spotlight: Bridget Gavin of River Valley Remedies

How and when did you become a budtender?

I started out in April of 2015 working for Joe and Chelsea Hopkins at The Greener Side. Bloom Hill Botanicals, my family’s cannabis farm, provided The Greener Side with some flower and I jumped at the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients. I’m indescribably grateful for them and the opportunity to work as a budtender just as adult-use legalization became a reality in Oregon. I wanted to broaden my experience within the cannabis industry, and because of that I’ve worked with several different brands. Over time, I took positions at Cannabliss’ the Sorority House and Green Health. All the while, I was still actively a part of Bloom Hill Botanicals. I finally found my fit for budtending in River Valley Remedies, and I really feel as though I’ve won the employment lottery working here.

What was it like the first time you got high?

I felt all the constantly incoming stimuli from my anxiety suddenly become very orderly and manageable. I was in a safe space with people I trusted. Because I grew up in the area, the cannabis was a really good quality too. It was like I went from staring at a Jackson Pollock to a fractal. Everything had a lot more order to it.

What’s one funny or weird customer interaction you’ve had?

I once had an older gentleman ask me where my ruderalis was at because all the real growers knew that was the best stuff out there. Ruderalis is another taxonomy of cannabis, like indica or sativa, and it’s usually associated with high fiber and low cannabinoid output.

How do you approach recommending a product to a customer?

Questions, questions, questions! I start by genuinely asking them how their day is going. Making the consumer feel welcome and connected with is essential to getting honest answers to questions relating to cannabis and how and why they use it. What’s your desired effect is probably the question I ask most behind the counter. Some consumers will have really specific end results they’re looking for and some are just looking for the current staff favorite. Budtending often requires unpacking incomplete information a consumer picked up online or from prohibition area, so getting to know the consumers baseline is really important. It all starts with being an engaged listener.

What’s one stereotype about cannabis users that’s true? What’s one that’s false?

If working in weed has taught me anything, it’s that the only guaranteed commonality between cannabis users is that they use cannabis. The people I get to help in a day represent such a wide array of life experiences I don’t think that there’s a particular stereotype that rings true for all or even most of them.

What do you look for in a strain?

Mostly smell. When I’m on the consumer side of the counter, I’m the person who wants to smell every jar. I also like to look into the producer and the genetic lineage of the strain. If a strain has a terpene profile available to look at that is always a huge plus for me. I make a note to look out for that producer at other shops in the future.

What’s special about this shop?

Education! There is a constant push for education of our staff which leads to education and empowerment of for our consumers. We aren’t just looking to push you into the trendiest product or highest THC. We really want you to be in control of your experience and getting the most out of using cannabis. Looking at cannabis not just as a single active ingredient but a medicinally beneficial plant containing thousands of compounds is at the heart of understanding cannabis’ full potential.

Best part about the job? Worst part?

I think the answer to both questions is the same, the people. Getting to know and help so many people is deeply rewarding; however, because cannabis is such a life-changing substance for people, the stories they share can be very emotional and even draining at times. However, hearing about someone being able to manage the side effects of their chemotherapy or the symptoms of their MS makes all of the emotional investment worth it.

Favorite way to consume?

I love a good clean bong rip, although a joint is my method of choice when in a group. I also have a medicine cabinet full of tinctures. The founder of Sativa Science Club, Mary Jane Poppins, has talked about how tinctures capture a particular strain at a particular harvest in a way that preserves it well for future enjoyment and I couldn’t agree more. Tinctures can almost be akin to vintages of wine in that way.

What’s your favorite munchie food or favorite thing to do while high?

My favorite activity for partaking is probably playing my ukulele or knitting. I really like to get creative when consuming.

What accessory or paraphanelia do you like to use?

My bong and I have been together for a while.

When I’m not here, I’m…

Usually helping out at Bloom Hill. When I finally get a moment away from the cannabis world I like to get my loved ones together for a nice meal.

Are you high right now?

Not necessarily, although I did take my CBD capsule this morning. It’s like my multivitamin, I try to never forget it.

 

Budtender Spotlight: Tyler Banks

How and when did you become a budtender?

It was the summer of 69… Wait, scratch that! That was the moon landing… albeit how I became a budtender did feel like a story that was written in the stars. It was a mystically magical combination of waiting, timing, and experience. Some longtime friends came to me with a job offer and an idea to open a dispensary. Moss hadn’t even been born, still a twinkle in their eyes, yet I knew this was going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Two and a half years later I’m still working the most emotionally rewarding job I’ve ever had to pleasure of partaking in. My skill set of working in all avenues of customer service, for 17 years, had really paid off.

What was it like the first time you got high?

I’ll never forget that first time I got high. My step-brother and I felt it necessary to venture as far away from the house as physically possible. Once we made it to the other side of the pond on my parents property, we sat behind a tree, fired up my new Zippo, and sparked a party bowl big enough to get 10 people high! I can still remember the sensory combination of lighter fuel and ditch weed terps. We coughed our lungs out, every hit, and proceeded to space walk our way back to the house. Time slowed way down, my body felt extremely heavy, and we managed to polish off an entire box of strawberry shortcake popsicles. I blasted off to another world with my new best friend, Mary Jane.

What’s one funny or weird customer interaction you’ve had?

You never know when they’ll strike, but as soon as they ask you a question, and don’t wait for a response, you know you’ve entered the Twilight Zone! No matter how much information you provide, all they can hear are their own thoughts. I dub them the “thinking out-loud” customer. Most of the time my silence can snap them back into reality, and we find something they didn’t even know they wanted. Win win! I get a lesson in patience, and they get a solid recommendation.

How do you approach recommending a product to a customer?

I’ve found that it’s a two way street. I like to begin by asking a few questions of my own. “What time of day do you like to consume? How would you rate your tolerance to Cannabis? Are you looking for any specific effects?” Gathering information about a customer gives me a head start to effectively finding something I think they’ll enjoy. Because strains react differently to each person, I try my best to ask enough questions, not to overwhelm, but to ease them into making their own decisions.

What’s one stereotype about cannabis users that’s true?

What’s one that’s false?

Can they find joy in the simplest things? TRUE! My Cannabis of choice soothes inflammation and pain, slows down my thought patterns, and mellows the mind enough to truly enjoy the little things in life. Not the annoying little things, the magnificent eccentricities that get lost in our hyper analysis of the world around us. Take some time to slow down and appreciate the sloths pace for a change. What more can I say? The sloth life chose me.

Do all Cannabis users like watching Bob Ross? FALSE! Not all stoners enjoy the soothing sound of his voice, the way he creates something from nothing, life lessons taught via “happy little trees”, and squirrel buddy shenanigans. On second thought, I take it back! Everyone, stoner on not, loves Bob Ross.

What do you look for in a strain?

Terpenes. More often than not, if I enjoy the smell of a strain, I’m going to enjoy the taste and effects. My relationship with the Cannabis plant and this process, has not led me astray. I do tend to lean towards a more mellowing mood, so terpenes like Caryophyllene and Linolol are some smell profiles I seek out.

What’s special about this shop?

Moss Crossing is not only a soothing place to chat it up and buy a blunt, it’s a hub for information, and a springboard for squashing stigmas. They value our opinions, treat us with equality, and nurture a compassionate environment that enables us to approach the day with patients and kindness towards whomever walks in the door. Also the laid back vibe and decor of the shop won a DOPE Magazine Industry Award for the “Best Atmosphere” in all of Oregon! Stop by, if not for some education, just to say HIGH and see what we’re all about.

Best part about the job?

Worst part?

Best: The people! Experiencing first hand how Cannabis is benefiting a customers daily life is one of the most rewarding things about being in this industry, and that’s just the customer side of things. My co-workers, the owners, vendors, growers, extractors, bakers, crafters, so many wonderful people involved in making Oregon one of the BEST States to find something safe to consume! We are one of the few states that requires ALL products to be free of pesticides and mold via rigorous analytical testing. Go Oregon! Keep’n it green!

Favorite way to consume?

The best way to consume is to find what works best for your lifestyle. I’d say my favorite way to consume is the “combination method”. I start most days with a baseline level of Cannabis derived CBD, taken in a tincture or mint, to squash any pain or inflammation I’m experiencing. I have some screws and hardware in my femur from a car accident I was in a number of years ago, so CBD’s have become a big part of my herbal treatment. Then, depending on what day it is, I generally get my THC sometime in the mid to late afternoon with a gummie, chocolate, or infused beverage. I usually save my smoking rituals for the evening time with a hit of the bong, Hemp wrapped Moss Crossing rolled blunt, or CO2 oil vape pen. Ultimately I don’t dislike any of the methods of consumption, so I do tend to mix things up if I’m feeling fancy.

What’s your favorite munchie food or favorite thing to do while high?

Favorite munchie? Salty and sweet, or anything crunchy, and chocolate. Yeah, chocolate.

Favorite thing to do while high? Playing mentally challenging games. Something like “Cards Against Humanity” is a great balance of social interaction and sparks my mind enough to enjoy cleverly crafting a properly inappropriate winning card. I also thoroughly enjoy zoning out to nature documentaries, making abstract art while listening to psych rock, playing kickball, and brainstorming the answer to the universe. So far I think it might be 42.

What accessory or paraphanelia do you like to use?

Hempwick has quickly become one of my favorite accessories. It enhances the smoking experience by removing butane from the inhalation equation, and allows for a more accurate sensory experience. No fuel equals more natural flavor. Just make sure you’ve fully extinguished your hempwick between uses. My favorite paraphernalia has got to be the Launch Box from Magic Flight. It’s a dried herb vaporizer that has a lifetime warranty, numerous accessory upgrades like: a grinder that fits perfectly on top to funnel herb right in, a water bubbler that attaches with a hookah hose, and a home use cord that plugs into a wall outlet so you don’t have to drain the batteries. It is the most simplistic portable flower vaporizer on the market. #availableatmosscrossing 😉

When I’m not here, I’m…

Lucidly traversing a dreamscape created by my subconscious mind OR discovering a new band I had no idea I couldn’t live without.

Are you high right now?

Yes indeedy.

 

Budtender Spotlight: Kyrsha Witherspoon

Interview and Photo by Anna Glavash

How and when did you become a budtender?

Two years ago, I started at Twenty After Four. I was wanting to get out of the retirement home I was working at, and I was recreationally smoking because of my social anxiety. I had a friend that was working at Twenty After Four, and she said it would be a good fit for me. She thought it would help me to step out of my comfort zone and tried to work there, and it did help me a lot.

First time you got high?

I was overwhelmed. I had a group of friends with me that had already been smoking, and they kind of played jokes on me. It also opened me up to different perspectives. We got to talking, and certain things that I wouldn’t normally be too open about, I was able to talk about more easily.

Funny customer interaction?

I’ll have people come in and say, “It smells good! What do you have in here?” They’ll act like they don’t really know what they’re stepping into, which they probably don’t, but it’s funny to break the ice by saying, “Oh, I got weed here.”

What is a stereotype about cannabis users that’s true and one that you think is false?

The one about being more open to ideas is true. I feel like a lot of people that haven’t tried cannabis are more narrow-minded, but being a part of the industry, I’ve noticed how people actually listen to other people’s ideas and are open to them.

One that isn’t true is that everyone who smokes is lazy. I honestly will wake up, smoke a bowl and start my day. That’s just something that goes with my morning coffee. It’s a ritual. Some people probably think that you can’t get stuff done because you’re smoking all day. But I would say I can use it and be productive as well.

What do you look for in a strain?

I like to be able to function throughout the day, so I lean towards sativas and hybrids. Pineapple or fruit flavored strains are the ones I like, and I definitely use my nose.

What’s special about this shop?

The company motto is “Treat Everyone Like Gold.” When you step in here you’re going to be treated like anyone else, whether you’re the CEO of a company or a person that just wants a joint. Some other shops that I’ve been into just want to get that sale. It’s different here. We want to see what needs we can help you with. We pay a lot of attention to that aspect and it goes a long way.

Favorite way to consume?

I like to smoke out of glass. I have an Empire bong at home. I used to like to roll up blunts but then I got more educated on the stuff I was using, so I stick to more Raw papers and glass now.

What do you do when you’re not here?

Usually I’ll hang out with my family. My cousin is one of the only people that will actually sit down, smoke with you and talk about whatever. Anything that I want to talk about we can just smoke down and talk about it with a bowl.

Are you high right now?

A little bit!

Elev8 Cannabis has been open for nine months. They’re open M-F 8-10 and 10-10 weekends at 2055 West 12th Ave.