Meet Your Budtender: Derek Nunez of Lucky Leaf Co.

INLANDER: How long have you been a budtender?

NUNEZ: Probably about 5 months now, not long really.

What did you do before becoming a budtender?

I did construction. I lived in South Carolina, you know, all over really. I ended up over here and got into budtending, which was way cooler. I was a project manager, but they wanted me to move to Boise and I didn't want to move.

Where does your passion for cannabis come from?

I've always smoked. I've always been around it and I was here all the time as a customer — that's how I got this job here.

Are there any products you are especially excited about?

I really like Lilac City bud — it's my favorite and I really like Blue Root dab stuff. I dab a lot, but it's all preference. Honey crystals, oleum and sugar waxes are what I like but it's all a preference.

What kind of customers are your favorites?

Being downtown you get all different types all the time and I work a lot, like split shifts and stuff, so mornings are way different than night time. My least favorite is probably drunk people, but other than that I am good with most people.

What kind of questions are you asked by your customers?

I'm good at asking my questions right away, so I know how to narrow it down with people. Price might be a huge deal to people. You know, does taste matter a whole lot? If you smoke blunts you are probably cool with outdoor weed. It's just little questions I ask them to see what they are looking for.

When do you predict the rest of the country will follow through with legalization?

I think it's going to happen everywhere for sure. I think the huge tax benefits pay for lots of roads. There's just a ton of benefits in having it be legal versus illegal. Like even down in New Orleans it's become decriminalized. I think what happens is it just needs to become the norm in places first before people jump on it. Everyone wants to say no first.

What surprised you most about this job?

I guess just how fast you catch onto it. Everyone's surprised how you know all this stuff [about marijuana], but it's because you work all the time. Think about the people who work at Home Depot who work in the hardware that remember about all those screws — that's crazy — but they're there everyday so that makes it easy. You learn a lot being in this environment everyday. ♦