'Just a Beautiful Thing to See'

Q&A with Wayne Guthrie, budtender and purchasing manager for the Hidden Joint in northeast Spokane

click to enlarge 'Just a Beautiful Thing to See'
"I also really like growing plants and understanding nature and science," Guthrie says.

INLANDER: How old are you?

GUTHRIE: I am 23.

How is it that someone can move up in this business so quickly at a relatively young age?

You have to have a knowledge, a good understanding. For me especially, like, I love weed and everything about it, from a growing standpoint all the way to what it takes to get a final product. And I guess from a growing background, I understand that pretty well. And then just your ability to learn, you know, I'm the guy who's here whenever somebody is not. I'm the guy who stays longer than anybody stays. I'm the guy who takes the work home with him, and will read for days on end to figure out what it takes.

Why do you love weed?

I get relief in some regard. I had surgery when I was 16 and they gave me a bunch of [OxyContin] and hydros [hydrocodone], and I refused it entirely and just started using weed. And from the ability to not feel bogged down, or have a physical addiction to it, that gave me a greater appreciation for it.

And then I also really like growing plants and understanding nature and science, running my own experiments. From growing cannabis to learning and living in this industry for so long, you see the relations between cannabis plants and humans, and how what you put into them is what you get out of them. Same with humans, and so just as much as I'm interested in cannabis, I'm also interested in health. It's just a beautiful thing to see the healing properties, and being able to create it.

What do you think about the clientele you've met?

It's mind-blowing. Honestly, I've seen every kind of person you can ever think of. The majority of people are 35 and up, which is really interesting. They're all amazing people. That's what I found, is everybody is so kind, they're just excited to come in and share their time. Everybody is happy when they come here, and they're happy when they leave.

Have you met a lot of people like you, in your age range, able to make a career out of this business?

Yeah. From my perspective, I get to see a lot of growers. I don't see as many retailers, but what I have seen is a lot of budtenders and people who have worked in the retail space, then move into growing and vice versa.

I personally like the budtender position a little bit more. I like people. I like to see their reactions to things that I think would be a good product for whatever they're looking for. And then you get that immediate satisfaction from them when they come in and are like, "Man, that was such a great — " you know, whatever it was. I just like people. Plants are really great. Just being able to work with them on a scientific level. But like I said, I like people. ♦

The Hidden Joint • 6620 N. Market • Facebook: Hidden Joint • 368-9065