Budtender Interview #26 - Edward - Farma - Oregon

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What's your name?: Edward Jr. All of my friends and family call me E.J.

What state do you currently work in?: Oregon

Care to share where you work at?: Farma in SE Portland & Mt Hood Garden Supply East Burnside, Portland.

Recreational, Medical or Both?: Both

What do you do within the cannabis industry?: Budtender, Grower

How long have you been in the legal cannabis industry?: This is my second year total, but my first year in Oregon. I’ve been growing MMJ for 9 years.

What is your most favorite aspect of working within the cannabis industry?: Helping people, quite honestly. It’s rewarding to know people are getting the medicine they need and an experience they want.

What were you doing before the getting in the cannabis industry?: I was in the health and fitness industry, working as a personal trainer at a private country club in Pasadena. My life focused on cannabis fully when I moved to Oregon.

Cannabis edibles is a touchy subject in the media. How much do you recommend to a first time user and why?: Take half the recommended dose on the packaging, and the other half in 1 to 1.5 hours. If you don't feel the onset of effects and you’re a first time user, don’t eat any more. I advise you wait until the next day to try again. This method may seem conservative, but it’s the best way to err on the side of safety. I’ve found the most troubling thing about medibles is the consistency in the medication per unit and per dose. They’re strong. For example, chocolate bars - piece to piece and corner to corner - will vary in terms of strength and potency. We could definitely use an increase in the standardization of production and testing.

Have you ever ate too many edibles? Have a story to tell?: Yes, it happens all the time. My metabolism is really fast. I am going to refrain from telling all of my stories here, but trust me it happens.

Do you have a favorite edible company? If so, explain why.: I like the flavor of Toro Ma Chocolate. That's what I have eaten the most of here. I enjoy Danodan’s caramels. They taste amazing as well. I like Box Extracts for their tinctures. It’s really potent stuff. I want to see more strain specific edibles like Peak Extracts. I understand it is harder to produce, but people need to be able to dose and control their experience. I believe accurate titration is possible with strain specific edibles and tinctures.

Have you seen a patient/consumer's health improve since using cannabis? If so, explain!: Absolutely! A patient came in to Farma before and after brain surgery to deal with the accumulating neurological pain. Pre-op, he was trying heavy hitting sedative type cannabis varieties like Dogwalker. Post operation he was trying several different uplifting varieties to help cope with pain while maintaining an elevated energy level and enhanced mood.

Working within a shop can provide from some interesting stories. Do you have a awkward story of a customers request or a general funny story while working in a shop/grow/kitchen?: A younger woman came in recently with a laundry list of requisites for her magic combination of cannabis strains. She wanted something to make her headache go away that would motivate her to work out and give her energy for drinks later on with someone she didn’t know well. And, she wanted all of this in a pre-roll with CBD, so I waved my magic wand and turned her into a princess! Just kidding. I did, however, roll her a joint of our inhouse bred Cinex with Z7, a high CBD variety.

Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years and why?: The country will have a majority of states instituted with a medical cannabis program. We are at 23 now. I see recreationally legal cannabis laws spreading to many other states as well. I hope California, Alaska and New York are recreationally legal by 2020. I hope more states take industrial hemp seriously. I believe there are legal cultivations of hemp in Kentucky. That, however distant at the moment, is the wave of the future. When industrial hemp comes back into play, the American economy will see a huge increase. We’ll be able to produce an insane amount of textiles. See: Jack Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

What type of cannabis strains do you prefer? Indica, Sativa, or Hybrids?: I really enjoy them all. There is a strain for every time of day. I could not smoke the same strain day in and day out. There are just too many, and variety is the spice of life. For the top of my morning, I enjoy Colombian x Malawi grown and bred by Newcleus Nurseries, and the California classic Green Kush (aka Green Crack). For evening, I’ve been enjoying some of the new local varieties: Dogwalker, Scooby Snacks and Blues Clues. However, uplifting strains are what I use regularly to help me accomplish the many tasks in my week. Honestly, I just need more of the focusing/euphoric/energetic terpenes: pinene, limonene and caryophyllene!

In your opinion, what company is the industry leader in your state?: Farma. I believe this to be a collective effort for cannabis rather than a competition for profit. Farma was voted Portland’s #1 dispensary and our owner, Jeremy Plumb, was voted Budtender of the Year. I have been extremely blessed to work with such a talented crew. I know of some farms leading the charge too. To be fair, without growers like Green Bodhi, Hummingbird and Liontree, who are constantly working hard to produce high quality organic products we love so much at Farma, we would be just like any other store or dispensary. So, credit goes to the breeders and farmers! Thank you for everything that you do.

Do you have an all time favorite strain? Explain why you like it so much?: That’s easy. Grape Ape! The strain just tastes and looks so good. The average effect, of all the different batches I have tried of this chemo-varietal, boils down to a floaty, moderately mentally uplifting, body-relaxing experience. If smoked early in the day, you’ll notice a clean drop off from the high. You won’t be buzzed anymore, and you won’t experience any residual effects. If smoked in abundance in the evening, the Grape will lull you to sleep. It’s really amazing, so much so I am currently working on stabilizing this cultivar into stable f7 - f8 seed form.

If you could change one thing about the current cannabis industry, what would you change and why?: The glamorization of dabs and concentrates. I believe, we as a people going forward, need to take a step back from the culture of who has the most expensive rig or who can take the biggest dab snake to the head and film it. In my humble opinion, there are a million other constructive things we can be doing. I hate to sound overly critical, but a stereotype of the cannabis industry still exists, and it alludes to the pre-existing drug culture. In the future, I hope the culture evolves and focuses on helping the rest of the world with their new found freedoms.

Why are you excited to work within the cannabis industry? What kind of opportunities have opened up for you?: I am so stoked to work in the industry, in multiple facets even. I am involved in seed to sale with some people. I am truly grateful I can do something I love for a living. That’s what fuels me. I am gaining more knowledge with every grow cycle and harvest. There are some seriously involved people here in Oregon, big time breeders like Heroes Of The Farm. I’m currently working in their garden store, learning the ins and outs of the business directly from the farmers.

What is the #1 thing you are grateful for today?: LIFE. I am grateful to be alive, sharing life with my beautiful wife, working towards a better future with cannabis and hemp at the forefront.

Have any hobbies? Care to share them with us?: On steady rotation: martial arts, dance, music, cats. Are cats a hobby? Gardening used to be my hobby, but now I’m doing my best to make it my profession.

Nikki NoelComment