Budtender Interview #28 - Matt - Farma
What's your name?: Matt T
What state do you currently work in?: Oregon
Care to share where you work at?: Farma
Recreational, Medical or Both?: Both
What do you do within the cannabis industry?: Budtender
How long have you been in the legal cannabis industry?: In May of 2015, I began working for Danodan Caramels & Tinctures. I started working for Farma in October of 2015
What is your most favorite aspect of working within the cannabis industry?: Being on-board at the launch site of a multi-faceted revolution. The reign of rogue pharmaceutical conglomerates have severely wounded countless families (including my own) and relationships in our country over the last several decades. They intentionally instill onto our people the dependency of drugs that do nothing to actually solve or reverse ailments, but offer a mere temporary diversion to a symptom. In most cases these pills are causing long-term harm while simultaneously draining the pockets of people who already lack the money to afford them. Cannabis however, is a wonderful natural plant medicine with the power to heal and increase the quality of our lives, and strengthen our connection to the world around us. It takes on the role of our guide to wellness of the mind body & spirit, as it balances our ego and gives us a fresh angle of perspective- both internally and externally. In the infancy of this industry, the spectrum of healing qualities this plant has to offer broadens regularly, as new discoveries are being made nearly every day. To be a facilitator of this information in such a special place like Farma, in such an age of awakening for the people of our planet, is equally motivating, humbling, and overwhelmingly inspiring. I am incredibly grateful to live the life I live every day.
What were you doing before the getting in the cannabis industry?: Before moving with my partner to Portland in November 2014, I was channeling most of my energy (outside of working in financial institutions to pay the bills) into my band in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For four years my band mates and I were writing music, playing shows, recording a few EPs, recording a full length album at a legendary studio in Washington DC, and connecting with other like-minded musicians/bands from the Northeastern region. Though that creative outlet is something I dearly miss, this industry is currently where I choose to devote my focus. It is equally as rewarding to experience this rapid acceleration of growth, knowledge and progression.
Cannabis edibles is a touchy subject in the media. How much do you recommend to a first time user and why?: Start with a 5mg -10mg dose. Ingest during a small meal to activate digestion for a faster, more consistently measurable onset. Make this common practice for every experience with edibles so it eliminates a variable. Titrating dosage to achieve a desired effect is the most effective and respectful way to negotiate a positive long-term partnership with cannabis. You can always take more if desired, but you cannot un-ingest an excessive dose. Thankfully CBD exists and always has your back as well. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable place from too much THC intake, smoking CBD-rich flower will help reel you back over to the happy side of the anxiety threshold within minutes. I highly recommend having CBD in your stash to treat anxiety in case of a THC overdose.
Have you ever ate too many edibles? Have a story to tell?: Abso-stinkin-lutely. I have a very low tolerance for cannabis, especially edibles, so it has taken me a long time and a lot of trial and error to find my comfortable dosage - 10-15 mg of THC. One evening in the heart of a heat wave that occurred this past summer, a friend and I foolishly split a 60mg edible. We went to a North Portland music venue to see a nostalgic late 90’s era post-rock band play. While watching the band, I was holding a cup of water (that I thought was empty at this point) in my hands, and the effects of the edible began peaking right in the middle of their set. The abundance of delay and reverb coming from the guitar rigs aided in launching me to the cosmos deep within my own mind. As my consciousness had nearly drifted away from the helm of my physical being, I began seeing sounds in the form of colors. I noticed the silhouettes of the few guys directly in front of me begin to disconcertingly look around, down at the ground and then up at the balcony and ceiling above. After the second or third time this happened within a few minutes, a person next to me tapped me on the arm and said “Dude, you’re spilling your drink on the floor -__- “. Abruptly jerked back to physical reality, I look down and sure enough, atop my innocently interlocked hands, there was the plastic cup leaning just shy of completely sideways. Inside of the cup laid just enough water to spill out periodically in sizable splashes crashing into the floor and splattering onto the bare ankles and calves of the six or so strangers directly around me. I briefly apologized to him over the music and continued watching. I felt quite like a dingus (because I usually can compose myself relatively well in public) and realized they all probably thought it was a sticky alcoholic drink of some sort. Shortly following this experience, I turned to check on my friend who had been standing a few feet behind me, but he was gone. I walked to the back of the venue where the bar and the bathrooms were and waited for him. When he came out of the bathroom, we reconvened and exchanged how overly high we both were. He then tells me that he had left the floor and gone to the bathroom, then returned at least three times so far. He repeatedly caught whiffs of a shameful odor around where he was standing and had to keep making sure it wasn’t coming from him. He said that he was so high he thought he might have lost control of his bowels. The current energy and the way he delivered that information caused us to laugh uncontrollably for a good minute. We both walked back towards the stage to watch the rest of the set, and when we reclaimed our spot, there was an odor in the air. Someone indeed was shamelessly letting it rip, thankfully it wasn’t my friend nearly soiling himself against his will. We looked at each other and took it as a sign to just go back home. Home is a stable environment to be in while overdosing on edibles. Looking back on it now, I hope that the toot-troll’s attacks were countered by my clumsy splashings, and the mystery liquid hitting their legs made them feel mildly grossed out.
Do you have a favorite edible company? If so, explain why.: Luminous Botanicals. The energy that Devan and Sally resonate and imbue into their product makes me feel incredibly comfortable about using their brand. The base for their tincture is a blend of organic almond and coconut oil with organic cannabis and essential oils for the other two ingredients. Their product pairs perfectly with my choice to abstain from eating animal products. Their Meadow blend is a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD and the experience is PHENOMENAL. A perfect balance of cerebral and body high, no anxiety, super relaxing and focusing, elated state of being. Danodan is another solid brand using local organic constituents, with cannabis infused butter as the base for the caramels.
Have you seen a patient/consumer's health improve since using cannabis? If so, explain!: Of course. From recommending flower such as Sunset Sherbet or Violet Delight to treat insomnia and Dogwalker for pain relief, CBD for anxiety and muscle tension, to offering RSO, tinctures, and edibles for treating more severe ailments that can stem from life-long illnesses -- Countless feedback has made its way back to Farma for improving the quality of many lives. I have not been in the industry long enough yet to have developed a lot of long-term relationships with patients and witness the downs and ups of their journey to recovery, but that is only a matter of time.
Working within a shop can provide from some interesting stories. Do you have a awkward story of a customer's request or a general funny story while working in a shop/grow/kitchen?: Fortunately, I haven’t experienced any truly awkward interactions yet, our client/patient base is usually very receptive and respectful. I do vividly recall a couple coming into Farma for their first time and within the first three sentences we spoke to one another, they asked “which strains will make us horny?” It caught me off guard at first because it was unexpected, but they were super cool and I immediately adapted my vibe to theirs. I asked a few general questions that wouldn’t impel too much personal/private information, and led them to a couple choices. They come in every few weeks with the same intention, so I make sure I’m aware of a strain on our shelf that enhances sexy time.
Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years and why?: This industry is expanding and evolving at such a rapid rate right now. Honestly, it’s hard to fathom what it’ll be like in five years. I hope to see it legalized on the Federal level, and anyone incarcerated for marijuana related charges to be pardoned. I hope our federal government does not claim control over cannabis cultivation and completely strip this sacred flower of its integrity, and add it to their roster of mono-crops. Ideally, Oregon’s roar of organic and sustainable cultivation methods will be heard across state borders and the message will spread without dilution to other future cannabis entrepreneurs across the country. You cannot cut corners to save time and money without sacrificing quality and integrity of your product. Especially involving nature. The sooner we all embrace that notion, the sooner our earth and it’s inhabitants can begin mending, which will result in a healthier future. Living soil, no-till, pesticide-free, and sustainable organic practice yield better quality cannabis, and that applies to nearly all other plants as well. There is no room for discrimination in the realm of cannabis, as it brings all walks of life together all over the world. I’m looking forward to seeing a tighter harmonization among people and the way we treat each other. I hypothesize that on a grand scale, cannabis can put us in tune with what really matters in this lifetime, and help us weed out some aspects of our routines that have little to no positive outcome.
Which do you prefer when it comes to flower?: 50/50 hybrid
Explain why you choose the above answer?: A vast majority of the flower accessible to us currently are “hybrids”. We all have adopted a misinformed method of categorizing strains by the terms “Indica and Sativa”. Farma is taking a different approach to labeling cannabis, which is based on the effect of each individual phenotype. There are so many other factors to consider than just genetic predisposition when determining the effect that a specific flower is going to provide. I usually lean towards more energizing/daytime phenotypes because I like to be productive and focused, whether I am making music and drawing, or exploring nature. I have begun to embrace relaxing strains a lot in the recent months, however, because I’ve been using cannabis more often at night in a relaxed setting. There are phenotypes for all occasions throughout our daily lives. It’s been exhilarating to hone in on this idea and map out strains accordingly.
In your opinion, what company is the industry leader in your state?: Farma and Newcleus Nurseries. Both are brilliant models paving the path to an educated and evolved future for society with legal cannabis. They are actively engaging in many of the virtues I have mentioned above. There are some incredibly intelligent and powerful people at the helm of these companies whom are fearlessly barreling through unchartered territory, leading by example with a philanthropic vision and the cannabis plant as the median.
Do you have an all time favorite strain? Explain why you like it so much?: Equanimity (Strawberry Chunk x Malawai) grown by Newcleus Nurseries. I have such a soulful connection to this cultivation. I haven’t been able to configure the right words to accurately describe it. It’s also the first flower I’ve trimmed, which enhances the bond. This flower is visually stunning with a great balance of purple and green colored buds and vibrant burnt orange pistils galore, happily reaching off of every bud. The perfectly balanced effect gives you exactly what you need to enhance your experience in any environment you choose. Even it’s name, Equanimity, is elegant with a definition to match, which resonates deeply with me: *Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, even in a difficult situation.* Equanimity is tight.
If you could change one thing about the current cannabis industry, what would you change and why?: I am not happy to witness how medical marijuana programs are intentionally being displaced by state legislature. There are people who absolutely need cannabis as medicine to make it through the day. Some of these people cannot afford to pay recreational prices and taxes, especially when they will need to buy exponentially higher amounts of edible packages because of strict dosage limits. These people also confide in us as educated advisors to guide them as far as possible out of a dark cavern of pain and/or discomfort they unwillingly reside in every day. There are amazing producers in Oregon’s cannabis industry who are 100% emotionally invested in their medical clientele, and will choose to continue on that path if/when we reach the fork in the road. These people have so much of my respect because they can’t ignore their knowledge of how ill-fated America’s healthcare system has become. Sick humans are not five, six or seven figure dollar signs. The direction in which the new laws are going could make it insanely difficult for medical dispensaries to financially stay afloat if medical and recreational divide later this year. We have proven ourselves capable of managing medical and rec under one roof, and we are dialing in our efficacy tighter every day. It’s important for those of us working in dispensaries to see both sides, to remain grounded and aligned with the initial implemented visions that created the foundation of this industry. Without the medical program, recreational legalization would have taken much, much longer to pass.
Why are you excited to work within the cannabis industry? What kind of opportunities have opened up for you?: Besides everything else that’s been stated already, I get to genuinely be myself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t have to wear any figurative suits or masks. I can feel open, genuine and passionate in each interaction with so many amazing people every day. Being given the chance to work with Farma, with my AMAZING team, and spend time in the garden at Newcleus Nurseries have been once in a lifetime opportunities. The part that I can’t quite wrap my head around yet is that this is just the beginning. New relationships with some incredible people are forging, and I can only imagine where these connections will lead.
What is the #1 thing you are grateful for today?: Brilliant and inspiring people surround me on a daily basis: From my personal relationships, to each and every one of my peers at Farma. They all inspire me and are my motivation to keep striving for growth. I hope I am providing reciprocity to these relationships to result in collective elevation.
Have any hobbies? Care to share them with us?: I’ve played guitar for 20 years, and I love writing music. Hiking and spending time in nature is something I require to remain centered and happy. I also draw and paint sometimes, usually as a gift for friends/family or commissioned work for other bands. Snowboarding and skateboarding hold places in my heart, but I haven’t done much of either lately, unfortunately. I also have two ferrets that I hang out with every day! Such unique little slinky characters they are.
Where can people connect with you?: Facebook: Matt Taylor Snapchat: letitoutmatt