Budtender Interview #13 - Mia Jane
Budtender / Brand Ambassador | Colorado
Name: Mia Jane
What state do you work in?: Colorado
Care to share which dispensary you work at?: Green Man Cannabis Downtown
Do you work Retail, Medical or both?: I thoroughly enjoy working with both!
How did you go about getting into the industry?: I was feeling some pretty intense burn out on my small business at the time, and was looking for a change. A budtender friend of mine said their sister store was looking for some part time staff. Then it just kind of snowballed. Given my strong customer service and retail background, it came pretty easily. That and because I love weed.
I had been a medical marijuana patient prior to working in the industry. When I experienced such a drastic improvement in my health through transitioning to a more plant-based lifestyle, I knew there was no way that this miracle medicine could be innately bad. A few puffs here and there, some edibles, tinctures when necessary, these simple things eased, if not evaporated, certain symptoms that had been plaguing me for years. I felt relief, finally. And even more so, I felt impassioned to educate myself, and set about finding ways I could bring this medicine to other people who might benefit from it.
How did you react to your first day working? Was it mind blowing?: You know, there's not really a whole lot else like opening a giant four gallon jar of cannabis and taking a huge whiff. My first day, I was ecstatic. I knew this was the first step towards something much bigger. I was in love with the weed industry.
What is the most random question somebody has asked you about cannabis?: A recreational customer at my last shop had come in complaining of aches that Rx pain meds would not remedy. Upon further examination of some strains and some discussion, he inquired specifically about "that weed that makes you feel like you've done meth." I was taken aback a bit, but tried to recover quickly and showed him a strain we called Green Crack. Not sure if that remedied his ailments, but gosh I hope so.
Ever have any awkward moments with a patient or customer?: Sometimes people can be a little over the top. A rec customer more than double my age without much personal hygiene to speak of spent a good fifteen minutes trying to get my phone number, much to my chagrin and the amusement of my coworkers. I appreciate the compliments to a point, but I totally felt creeped out. You never know with some people.
Is there a patient or customer that you have seen improve their health due to cannabis use? If so, explain.: Absolutely, myself being one of them. I have seen people with ailments from severe depression and alcoholism to fibromylagia and MS greatly improve using various form of cannabis to treat their conditions. The biggest improvement people seem to appreciate is the lack of side effects that they get normally from prescription medications, yet their issues are remedied just as well, if not better, from using a more natural, plant-based substance.
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?: During 4/20 weekend in Denver a few years ago, some friends of mine and I were out celebrating. We had just come from a cannabis-themed brunch and I decided to stop into a dispensary and grab a few edibles for the day. I had never had some of the edibles before, and they were incredibly tasty. Before I knew it, I had downed too many milligrams to lead anywhere good. Of course, the only thing that happened was I got super spacey, and then went home and went to sleep. No scary trip or out of body experience. Just a mild, groggy edible hangover the following day.
I usually ask a customer about their edible knowledge outright, and sometimes even the self-proclaimed edible aficionados will sometimes come out as frauds through our continued conversation. One rule I always stress is to start low and go slow! You can always eat more. And buy your munchies before hand so you aren't tempted to over indulge in your cannabis treats.
I recommend 10-20 MG of THC for a beginner, wait at least an hour! Then medicate maybe another dose or two for heavier users. I also will give patients and customers recommendations for how they are looking to feel based on my personal experiences. The quality of an edible, consistency of dosing, how they are made, how they are dosed out and administered, all play into which edibles I will recommend for a customer.
Do you have an all time favorite strain? If so, why is it your favorite?: My favorite strain of the moment is most definitely Ghost Train Haze. The Rare Dankness genetics on this strain set it up for a great flavor and overall feel. GTH is has a sharp lemony aroma upon opening the jar that is unmistakable. If someone were concocting a terpene-tastic perfume, this would be my choice! The flavor is unmistakably tart, and has a very pungent yet smooth haze taste to it. The high will lift you up, and then knock you on your tail, and bring you back up again so be mindful when medicating with this powerful strain.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into the Cannabis industry?: When it come to working in the cannabis industry in Colorado, I have found that a balance of professionalism as well as basic cannabis and industry knowledge will set you a part. Make sure you have a badge from the MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) prior to applying as well. Not only will it give you the upper hand on non-badged applicants, but it's one less step an MMC needs to put you to work. Make it easy for people to hire you. Also, never underestimate a personalized cover letter and professional applicable resume.
How do you explain the difference in the effects of Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains?: These descriptions will vary a bit from strain to strain, but overall I describe Sativa as much more of a head high sometimes motivating and very focused, sometimes a bit more cerebral and euphoric. Sativas are great for nausea, appetite stimulation, motivation, and energy. Indicas can leave you "in-da-couch"! With their stoney, relaxing body highs, they are great for aches and pains, insomnia, and severe stress. Hybrids will be a mix of body high and head high, normally leaning a little more towards one or the other. I think the most important questions budtenders need to be asking customers is "how do you want to feel?" And educating them accordingly.
What’s the largest amount of flower you have smoked in one setting?: One time for a photo shoot. I puffed three gram joints back to back to try to get this sunset shot. It was a wonderfully flavorful sativa, but towards the end I thought I might pass out. It's important to remember to breathe while medicating! haha
Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years? I see the cannabis industry growing exponentially over the next 5 years. The amount of growth, opportunity, and research that has occurred just since the legalization of cannabis in Colorado is mind-blowing. In the next five years, I think we will see a much more widespread legalization via state legislation, possibly federal legalization, but I think it still may be a few years off at that point. I think there will be a more universal standards for a lot of the arising components of the industry that are now regulated on a state-by-state basis.
Do you use cannabis more so Medically or Recreationally? Explain please.: I believe I use cannabis both medically and recreationally. Some times, I need a powerful strain to set straight whatever is ailing me. I have several medical issues that I use cannabis for, but I also really love getting baked for the hell of it, and hanging out with my friends or seeing live music. Cannabis has helped me to not only to overcome some mental and physical ailments, it has also taught me how to just RELAX. I tend to be a stress ball normally.
Have any hobbies? Any examples you would like to share?: My hobbies include both cannabis and non-cannabis cooking, reading books to help me conquer the world, and taking my adorable dog Buster on killer mountain hikes.
Where can people connect with you? Instagram? Massroots?: Absolutely, check out all of my budtender escapades at any of the links below:
What are you most grateful for today?: Today, I am grateful to be living in a time of revolution, the beginning of the end of prohibition. I couldn't feel more excited to be a part of such a progressive life-changing industry. I am grateful that there is no looking back. I am grateful that I have found an industry I love where I am able to act on my dreams of being an educator and an advocate for cannabis.