Budtender Interview #16 - Chad
Budtender | Colorado
What's your name?: Chad Drew
What state do you work in?: Colorado
Care to share your dispensary?: Colorado Harvest Company
Retail, Medical or Both?: Both
How long have you been in the cannabis industry?: 6 years
How did you get into the industry?: I was working at a car lot while finishing my Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University with an unpaid internship. I sold a car to a dispensary owner and he thought I would be the perfect candidate to run his dispensary, so he hired me and I quit the car lot on the spot.
How did you react your first day as a Budtender?: My first day was literally mind blowing. At that time, I was a chronic daily smoker, which was more than most of my friends. The owner pulled my into the shop early, like at 9AM, and told me he needed to make sure I could perform accurately while blazed. He then proceeded to smoke two different bowls, and 3 Volcano vaporizer bags, along with eating 2 edibles, and finished up with two joints all before 1030am. Then I had to run the shop all day. Being so high actually calmed me down about what I was doing, and I sold over $1k worth of products that day, which was one of his largest days at the time.
Ever have any awkward moments with customers or patients? Please Tell!: The most awkward time was when I had to sell some buds to a patient that came into the shop while I had a policeman and an MED agent standing over my shoulder, behind the counter with me, watching me work. It wasn’t too awkward until the patient started talking to me about how many pills he had already taken, how he was looking for more, asked me if I had any to sell him, and told me he was on his way out to find some. Right in front of the two officers… I was like, “Do you not see these two men standing here in the room with us?”
Is there a patient or customer you have seen improve since consuming cannabis?: I always refer to one of my first experiences, back in 2009, that involved a poor man that was battling cancer by undergoing radiation therapy. He used some of his welfare money to purchase his cannabis, but these funds were limited. So I wouldn’t see him for a couple of weeks often. The da before he was to get his check, he would come into the store. He was always very discolored in his skin, frail, walking in pain, and skinny. The pain he endured and the lack of nutrition from days without being able to keep any food down would rock him physically. So much, in fact, that he would be very angry and mean. I would “front” him a gram of indica for the night, knowing he would be back the next day, as always. These were usually very unpleasant visits. However, the next day he would come in with great spirit. He would have eaten a healthy meal and kept it down, and gotten a full nights sleep. His color would be back to normal already, his walk and swagger would have returned, and a huge smile would be on his face. It was if he had returned back to his regular self overnight. This would continue as long as he could stretch his money, every day a gram or two, and then I wouldn’t see him for a while. We went through this routine for over a year, but eventually his cancer went into remission. I still talk to him.
Have you ever had a bad experience with edibles? Also, how many MG would you reccomend to a person?: I wouldn’t call it a bad experience, but I have gotten too blazed off of an edible before. Me and my girlfriend decided to share a 200mg hot chocolate from Mad Hatter one night. She doesn’t smoke often, so I took the majority (roughly 150mgs of it) I had thought it was going to be more of an Indica, so I took it before bed expecting some good sleep. Little did I know that we both pretty much “tripped” all night together. We watched Saturday Night Live, and we both thought most of their jokes were talking directly to us, and that the musical guest was singing right to us. We had crazy talks and were almost talking without saying anything to each other, bonding. It was pretty crazy, but enjoyable. The only bad part was not getting enough rest for the workday the next morning. I would recommend to a “newbie” only 10 mgs, but these days, I start with about 25-30 mgs.
All time favorite strain?: I love the flavor of Sour Diesel, and I believe there are 3 others that are very similar to Sour D (I call them sister strains) and they are Flo, Headband, and Chemdawg. But I think the best I’ve ever had was this batch of Trainwreck with was so very on point, everything was perfect about it, flavor, feeling, and potency.
Any advice for people looking to get into the cannabis industry?: Separate yourself from the crowd somehow. I have never seen so many people from all over the world trying to do something at the same time. Everyone thinks they are the best at it, or have the best idea for it. Be yourself but do something extra to separate yourself from the crowd. I mean, it’s almost like trying to be the 100th caller into the radio station to win some concert tickets. Right time/right place. And be professional about it, don’t just try to be the best stoner you can be. Be accountable, and have more than just “years of smoking/growing” experience.
Where would you like to see improvement on in the industry?: I think working together as an industry to educate the world that we aren’t just a bunch of hippies and stoners. Also, I think the true Medical patients with real-life ailments need to receive a bit more benefits than the “recreational” users. I think the industry at this point has gotten away from taking better care of them.
How do you explain between the difference in Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid?: Easiest and quickest for me is day-time, afternoon-time, and night-time, although this doesn’t do it justice. I’d go into it more, but don’t want to disclose my own tricks.
The most you have smoked in one sitting?: I already described my first day in the industry, although when I took a half gram dab for the first time I ever dabbed, that was pretty rugged.
Where do you see the industry in 5 years?: Much more accepted, medically approved nationwide with a handful of states having it available for recreational purchase. Some importing/exporting between these states. #1 Gross National Product collecting enough tax money to stabilize much of the national economy. I guess a budtender can dream.
Do you use cannabis medically or recreationally?: I would say more recreationally as of now. Initially it was much more medical, and still is, to help my body with pain management, but now I have come to understand my body, and through its consistent use, pain management has become a norm to me. But having been in the industry for so long, most of my friends enjoy smoking recreationally when we are hanging out, because it is still new enough to them. And I don’t really drink, so it is my “go-to” in social settings.
Any hobbies you would like to share? I co-host a show on www.worldviral.tv where I have a segment called “Pot Talk” and have some new upcoming shows that I will be a part of soon. I also write for industry trade mags and try to be a spokesman/advocate however I can for the industry within our state. I also try to take care of bands, actors, comedians, and athletes that visit Denver and want to purchase, learn about, or see the cannabis industry. I am also on the board of a non-profit called Mile High Scensters, which is a youth music program that allows kids to perform with their bands on-stage and educates them on many facets of becoming a musician.
Where can people connect with you at?: You can check out my show on www.worldviral.tv and my Instagram and Massroots are @budtendertothestars Snapchat is Starsbudtender or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
What are you most grateful for today? Being able to thrive in a booming industry, living in the most beautiful state, my hometown, and growing within a company that appreciates me and my hard work. The company I get to be a part of is the best I have ever had the privilege of being a part of, so the work I do makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. I am grateful every day to be able to do what I get to do in a company that is a leader in the industry, led by a great man, Tim Cullen.