INLANDER: How long have you been a budtender?
FAULKNER: I started with Cinder about 4/20 of 2016. I started off part-time, went up to full-time, moved up to supervisor pretty quick.
What were you doing before this?
I was in the food industry. I was kind of all over the place — going to school.
What attracted you to joining the marijuana industry?
What I tell everybody else is, this job was pretty much just calling my name. It chose me, I didn't choose it.
What do you mean, that it was always calling your name? Have you always been interested in weed?
Yeah, cannabis, and the benefits and different parts of the plant, you know, and all the awesome ways it can be used to help the world.
Why is this something you've always been interested in?
Jeez, I don't know, man. Like, I was always drawn to it. Once I found out that it did a few things for me, like calming my anxiety. It helps with working out, just staying focused. And honestly, I couldn't do math homework in college without taking a hit of some good [weed] — like, something just clicked as soon as I would, like, take a hit, one hit only, you know what I mean? And then it would just click.
What's your favorite part of this job on a day-to-day basis?
The people that I meet, in and out of the industry. I meet a lot of great people, man.
Have you met any interesting customers?
My favorite is the old heads, man. They tell you how they haven't smoked since before you were born, and I love asking them about it. And they always want to tell you how they used to dig through seeds and stems. And that's kind of a fun conversation to have. Also, we get a lot of out-of-towners looking to set up stuff in their state, when their state wakes up, you know.
Is the clientele any different at this Cinder location, compared to other Cinder locations?
I thought I would see a lot more suits and ties down here, honestly. Downtown is a different beast, for sure.
What are your hopes for this store? Are you hoping to attract more suits and ties?
I mean, I just love the diverse aspect, you know what I mean? In the Valley we've got grandmas, soccer moms, office types, construction workers, everybody — your newbies. I want to see that down here too, man. I think maybe people are scared of coming in too close to their job or something like that, but I love the diversity. ♦