INLANDER: How long have you been a budtender?
CONNER: Since [Mary Jane's] opened. [Owner Tom Lloyd ]brought me on as one of the first hires since we opened in December.
Have you always had a passion for cannabis?
Oh, yeah. I've always understood the appeal of the recreational side of it, but I've always been more passionate about the medical side. I use it more medically than recreationally.
Medically in what ways?
I used to suffer from severe migraines that were triggered by aerosol. I realized that, weirdly, every time I would smoke weed, when I would normally get a migraine when someone would use aerosol, I wouldn't get one. As I started getting more into it, I realized, "Oh, this is great for many medical uses." Glaucoma, cancer, chemo, losing your appetite. Working here has allowed me to dive in deep on the medical side of it.
How has your knowledge of cannabis changed or expanded since being a budtender?
Learning the difference between THC, CBD, CBN, CBG. I was so frustrated when I was living in Seattle, I would frequent rec shops over there, and I asked one of the budtenders, "What's up with all of this THCA stuff?" And he goes, "Oh, that's the THC active, that's the one you want to look at." And I believed that, and I told everybody. And when I found out how wrong that was, I was furious. As a budtender, I'm honest to a fault. I'll tell people the whole truth, so they know what to expect when they get home.
What is the biggest misnomer customers usually have when they come in?
The THCA potency, really. Different strains will have different burn-off rates. The people looking for the highest numbers are interested in those higher THCA numbers, but I've personally been mostly disappointed with those high-THCA strains.
What are your favorite type of customers who come in?
The inexperienced, saying, "This is what I'm hoping to get out of it. What do you think?" So I can show them different choices. I love it when they work with me, and give me something to bounce off of.
What is something that intermediate or beginner cannabis consumers should consider?
For beginners, I try not to suggest oils or concentrates. If it's someone looking for a little pick-me-up throughout the day, or something subtle, vaporizers are a good way to go. Unlike taking a dab, where you're taking that half-gram dab in one hit, you're spreading a half-gram cartridge throughout the day, or even throughout the week. You're taking that mild high and stretching it throughout the day. ♦