Budtender Interview #18 - Kellee
Budtender | California
What state do you work in?: California (Southern).
Care to share which dispensary you work at?: Tri County Medical.
Do you work Retail, Medical or both?: Currently, it’s a medical affair - but here’s to legalizing recreational soon!
How long have you been in the industry?: Not very long. I’ve been “involved” for just over a year, hands-on for about seven months.
How did you go about getting into the industry?: Funny story (perhaps just to me): I was at dinner with my mother and father early last year when my dad drops the bomb, “[We’re] going to open a dispensary.” I can’t remember if I choked or not, haha. Those certainly aren’t words you expect either of your parents to say, especially when neither of them have smoked for probably close to 30 years. My mother was against it at first, but we’ve had the shop open over a year with no issues and it’s been a great deal of fun and it’s been rewarding helping people. So I didn’t have to ‘walk the pavement’ to get this job, if you wanna say that; I was basically just one of the lucky ones to be included by default.
How did you react to your first day working in a dispensary? Was it mind blowing?: Not really! I’d had my doctor’s recommendation for about five years prior to this happening, so I was quite familiar with dispensaries and picking up any meds, but I never even considered getting into the industry or what it would be like. It was as easy as I figured it could be. Beats working in retail or even working in management, which I was doing before. It was a little overwhelming the first day because I hadn’t sampled any of the strains or most of the products we carried, so I felt a little uneducated when I was trying to help people pick out something that worked for them.
What is the most random question somebody has asked you about cannabis?: “Does all the weed smell like pussy?” (Eek!) I haven’t seen this patient since, for what it’s worth. He was nice… I guess.
Ever have any awkward moments with a patient or customer?: I’m not particularly squeamish, but I pride myself in great customer service and I suppose I seem like an open and inviting person, and I do love my patients… which leads to a lot of them telling me about their ailments in-depth. I can tell you several patients’ poop schedules, what their bowel movements actually look like (complete with color!) as well as what non-visible piercings they have, or which of their family members they dislike the most. None of it is inherently awkward to me, but it sort of is when someone comes out and says, “I’m super constipated and what I can pass just looks like rabbit poop.” like it’s an everyday greeting, and other patients look at *me* like I’m the one who asked.
Is there a patient or customer that you have seen improve their health due to cannabis use? If so, explain.: Of course! That’s what makes this entire industry rewarding. We had a gentleman with cancer going through chemo come in to get meds because he just couldn’t stomach anything and had issues eating. He was skin and bones when I first met him, and you should see him now! We also have several other patients who use CBD products that we carry and it’s insanely cool to see how it’s improved their lives or lives of their loved ones. A patient comes in regularly to get CBD tincture for his daughter who was having ~30 seizures a day. He showed us pictures of her after they started giving her the tincture. She’s had ZERO seizures since then. She’s not the only one, either. It’s pretty incredible what this stuff does.
Cannabis Edibles seem to be a touchy subject in the news. Have you ever had a bad experience with them? Also, how many MG of THC do you recommend for a first time consumer?: Oh, jeez. My body does not build up a tolerance to anything I consume with THC in it (lol). My tolerance for actual flowers is pretty high, but even 50mg of an edible has me stoned until the next morning, even after trying to sleep it off! I haven’t had a bad experience, but for me, the effects last too long to be manageable and I don’t like how I can’t gauge exactly how high I want to be. The activation times are not something I enjoy waiting through. They’re just not for me! For first timers, I recommend between 10-25mg of an edible if they’re not necessarily afraid to try one. At that level I think most newbies get a decent buzz and don’t get too freaked out by it.
Do you have an all time favorite strain? If so, why is it your favorite?: Obligatory “Northern Lights.” For an indica, it’s quite uplifting and happy. I just find it to be very unique in that regard. For me, someone who has pretty bad anxiety and a lot of stress, the strain helps with it considerably without making me want to go to bed. It also amps up the creative flow for being an indica, and allows me to think more clearly than a lot of heavier indicas. It’s also got that “giggle factor” for me, which doesn’t happen very often after you’ve been medicating for a long time. It does help with pain management, and doesn’t hit my munchie switch! Obviously I can keep myself from giving into crazy amounts of snacking, but I like that it isn’t nagging me to eat the last Oreo. Otherwise, I enjoy a good hybrid from our private grower. He has this “Double Dream” that is INSANELY good. I’m also down with most OG indica strains. I love the stink and the taste.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into the industry?: Have a resume, be friendly and courteous, but most of all: be ON TIME and be ACCESSIBLE. Customer service and compassion is a must. I’ve seen terrible people try to work in this industry and it gets old pretty quick. They don’t last.
The cannabis industry is new and obviously has a lot of improving to do. Where would you like to see improvement in the industry?: Some form of accountability. Yes, we are all helping people, but we are also businesses. Too many times people don’t hold up their end of a bargain, or a vendor says he’ll “be there tomorrow” and then never shows. The biggest issue with the industry is the lack of reliability with a lot of vendors who either make or vend amazing products - we can’t have your stuff on the shelves if you don’t show up! I assume this will just fix itself when it’s legalized for recreational use, as there seems to be less regulation now than if it *was* recreational.
How do you explain the difference in the effects of Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains?: Typically, to someone that asks me, I say that indicas have a bigger influence on your body, mobility, and coordination. It can lower your inhibitions. Aids with relaxation and trouble sleeping and pain. I explain a sativa as more cerebral, energizing, motivating, and great for helping focus and that it can help slow down racing thoughts in some people. I will tell people who are new to the whole thing to exercise caution with that, though. I explain most hybrids as relaxing in the sense they’ll get rid of “edgy” feelings, but still be stimulating enough upstairs that you’re not falling into a coma before your bedtime. It’s where I get to plug the Girl Scout and Animal Cookies strains - the reason GSC is so popular is that it’s such a good mix of both properties.
What’s the largest amount of flower you have smoked in one setting?: Ah, flashbacks to my first semester of community college. I used to have friends over to hotbox my garage, and I know I smoked wellllll over a ½ oz one time. I don’t remember much after, except that you do eventually hit a wall and cannot possibly get more high. At 3:50pm that day I tried to tell everyone we needed to pack another bowl for 4:20. Everyone forgot and no one checked the time until 5:15. If I tried to smoke that much in one sitting now, I wouldn’t wake up for 12 days. Also, I laugh at how silly we were, but that was six years ago.
Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years?: Hopefully at a stable and accepted place. I want to see it as the reason why lots of people can get the medical help they need, and I’d love to see how much the taxes are helping school systems and the state. Colorado has done such a great job. The numbers and data are there. There’s no reason to hold back now. Hemp is so sustainable. The country could be a much better place.
Do you use cannabis more so Medically or Recreationally? Explain please.: These days it’s pretty much 98% medical and 2% recreational. I have what I call “mystery nausea” that I’ve been getting for years. I feel like I’m going to vomit quite frequently, and THC and CBD stops that, which is nice. Also helps me with subsequent headaches. And cramps. Ladies, you know.
Have any hobbies? Any examples you would like to share?: Ha, I would say I don’t do much, but I love playing video games and am really into that part of the entertainment industry as well (I actually attended E3 courtesy of Konami this year). I like eating delicious vegan food and correcting people on the internet. I occasionally draw and paint. I move on from hobby to hobby.
Where can people connect with you? Instagram? Massroots?: My instagram username is “Killerzeit.” It’s full of vegan food, cats, and travel photos to make me look interesting.
What are you most grateful for today?: My overall health, opportunities I’ve had, cannabis, and my lovely manfriend who’s been putting up with me for a couple years now. :) (Honorable mention goes to my fast and stable internet connection, don’t know where I’d be without you.)