Joe | Arizona Budtender | Interview #32
A few questions with a Joe. A budtender in Arizona.
1. So Joe, how long have you been in the cannabis industry and what do you do?
I've been in the industry for about 3 years. I've done a bit of everything, but currently I'm budtending and assisting patients at a brand new dispensary in North Phoenix.
2. What was your first thought when you saw your first large batch of legal cannabis?!
My first thought was something like, "Holy crap, that's a lot of weed", and I remember feeling like I was going to get into trouble for some reason.
3. When you go to work in the morning, what are you looking forward to the most?
I really enjoy talking about cannabis all day, so for me, I look forward to talking with and educating our wide array of patients about our products.
4. What state are you currently working in and have you visited any other medical or recreational shop in another state?
I live in Arizona, and unfortunately haven't made it out to any other states with medical/recreational shops just yet.
5. Arizona doesn't get much news or media attention for their medical cannabis.. what are your thoughts on that?
I'd like to see our medical cannabis program get more coverage for sure. I see the positive benefits of medical cannabis on a daily basis, and its crazy to me that it still has such a negative stigma.
6. Since you have some experience in the industry, what are some positive things you've seen happen since recreational cannabis has became a thing?
I've seen large numbers of new consumers of all walks of life since recreational cannabis has come around, which I think is great. People who may have previously thought negatively of cannabis are out there giving it a try, and I think that's awesome.
7. Are there any changes you would like to see happen?
Medical marijuana patients are not criminals, though I feel as though there is still a large amount of discrimination against us out there regarding employment and residential living. Just because this is the best medicine for us, which we can legally consume, it shouldn't make it hard for us to find work or find a place to live because we don't want to fail a drug test or get in trouble for consuming. I'd like to see more leeway on that.
8. What are some cannabis consumer stereotypes that are completely not true?
"Cannabis consumers are lazy and burnouts". This is completely false. The amount of goal oriented and driven individuals in this industry alone proves that wrong. Lawyers, professors, musicians, business owners, and marathon runners are all among patients I've helped over the years...all people who don't have a lazy bone in their body, but could roll you a fantastic joint in a second.
9. Let's get real. Can you tell us a story or an example of a patient that has benefited in a major way after consuming cannabis?
Absolutely. I used to assist a cancer patient who was undergoing chemotherapy. She couldn't eat, was nauseas all the time, and was withering away to skin and bones. She couldn't smoke because of the type of cancer she had, so I started her on a cannabis oil vapor pen. After a few months of trying a few strains, she found her favorites and stuck with them. She told me that no amount of medicine made her feel the way she did after consuming that vapor pen. Pain free, gained her appetite back, and even began physical therapy to help her gain her strength back. Not after too long, this particular patient rode her bicycle to the dispensary I was working at, just to drop by and tell me she was on her way to ride in a marathon. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. She continues to ride in marathons to this day, and is stronger and healthier than ever because of medical cannabis.
10. When a new patient comes in that hasn't yet experienced cannabis, what is your first go to advice for them? (Let's say they have serious back pains from a past operation.)
For someone new, I wouldn't want to overload them with the vast amount of products available out there. I'd keep it simple with starting with a high cbd strain like AC/DC or even a good solid indica will alleviate a lot of pain symptoms. These strains paired with a nice topical lotion would be a great place to start, then possibly transition into other options as the patient became more experienced, such as edibles and concentrates.
11. Do you have any cannabis edibles company that you have no problem recommending every time? If so, why and who?
Ganja Goos and Sticky Lickies by TD Mints. These taffy and lollipop edibles are small but pack a serious punch. They are easy to dose, taste great, and have a wide variety to pick from. Take it easy with these, they'll creep up on you!
12. We all accidentally consume too much edibles at some point in our career. Do you have a story involving learning your right dosage?
I accidentally drank an entire 300mg iced tea, thinking it was only 25mg. 14 hours later, I woke up out of a dead sleep and started wandering around my house. I had no idea where I was, but I did feel like I drank a gallon of whiskey... my head was spinning something fierce. Not cool. Needless to say, I always check the label of any edible I consume now to check the dosage.
13. Do you have any tips for someone looking to get into the cannabis industry?
Make yourself stand out. This is a highly competitive industry, so you have to stand out among the crowd to employers. Be unique and highlight your strengths. Customer service goes a lot farther than cannabis knowledge in the beginning.
14. You've been great! We want to thank you for coming on and doing this interview! One last question: What are you most grateful for today?
Thank you for having me! Today, as everyday, I'm most thankful for my family and friends. And this Ghost Train Haze live resin.