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Budtender Spotlight: Dominik

Name: Dominik

From: Los Angeles, California, originally, but he’s been in Vancouver for several years.

“I moved up here with my dad when I was 16,” Dominik said. “He’s an airplane mechanic with Alaska Airlines. I ended up falling in love with Washington.”

He graduated from Columbia River High School and spent four years in the Air Force as a combat photographer based out of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

“I ended up staying in Nevada for a while after that, then I went to California, and then I used a tax return to buy a ticket back here with just the clothes on my back so I could be with my fiance.”

Weed history: “I was nine, and one of my best friend’s older brothers had it. I had actually heard about weed before that from DARE, but they didn’t have much to say about it other than don’t smoke it, and I ended up trying it” Dominik said. “I like everything about it. It’s all natural. It’s used as a medicine. It’s relaxing. And it’s a better social thing to do than drinking.”

Favorite strains: Secret Recipe from Cascadia Gardens.

“It’s sticky. It’s always fresh. It has a very pungent aroma – and when you smoke it you get a real terpene taste. It’s a great happy, silly high.”

As a dab fan, he also likes Phat Panda concentrates quite a bit.

“I enjoy pretty much anything Phat Panda makes – and Sunshine Farms has been doing really well with their dabs too – I love their Tangie.”

Customer support: “I feel like I’m good with all customers,” Dominik said. “There’s something about the older generation that comes in that’s really great – they’re normally the funniest customers. The things they tell you – like about how they smoked Thai stick in Vietnam – it’s just absolutely awesome.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I have a leopard gecko and a pug, deerhead chihuahua and a pitbull that I love very much. I’m a big animal guy.”

Dominik also makes his own hip hop music and loves outrageous stoner humor. “How High” is one of his favorite films.

Where do you want to be in five years: “I want to be maybe farming,” Dominik said. “I’ve sold glass, weed, edibles. The only thing left to do is start growing it – and I haven’t even scratched the surface. There’s always something new to learn.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Matt

Name: Matt

From: Swansea, Massachusetts – near Fall River.

He’s also lived in Southern California, where he made wax for the cannabis industry, and Wisconsin periodically. Matt moved to Vancouver in late May after visiting a friend in the area and checking out the scene, he said.

“I visited a bunch of weed shops up here and just fell in love with the city,” Matt said. “I applied for a job at The Herbery as soon as I could and they hired me. I’m really happy to be here.”

Weed history: “I’ve been a weed smoker since I was a teenager,” Matt said. “I’ve always been interested in weed – even before it was legal I knew that this was what I wanted to do for a living.”

In California he worked for a delivery service briefly before deciding he wanted to learn how to make wax, which wasn’t available as a legal consumer product at the time.

“I was interested in trying it but nobody would tell me how to make it,” Matt said. “I had to figure it out for myself watching YouTube videos. And one thing I’ll say – if you use crappy dried up material in your wax, you’re going to get crappy wax. I’ve learned quite a bit about how to make it the right way since then.”

Favorite strains: As a dab expert – Matt recommends Dorado concentrates.

“The stuff from Dorado is pretty good, and Phat Panda’s Sugar Wax looks really good, but I haven’t tried it yet because I’ve only been here for a few weeks. That’s next on my list.”

For flower, he likes The Jack from Cascadia Gardens.

“That’s one of the best sativas I’ve tried in a while,” he said. “I’m a big fan of the fruity lemon strain sativas. I just don’t like the lazy aspects of a high.”

Customer support: “The customers who need weed – not just the ones who want to get stoned. I like to talk to people who use it for specific purposes and need information. I have a LOT of information. If they have questions, I have answers.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I have a pet tortoise in Massachusetts named Sheldon. He’s at my parents house but I’m going to bring him here once I’m settled.”

Growing up, his grandfather had a pet store – which let him have some strange pets as a kid, including a racoon.

“You can train a racoon, but once they reach sexual maturity they go back to being wild,” Matt said. “But I’m kind of an animal whisperer. I can make almost any animal like me.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I would actually like to start growing again. Not a big grow, just a small one where I can pay my bills and stay happy. I’d also love to get back into making wax.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Sarah

Name: Sarah

From: Forest Grove, Oregon. She moved to Vancouver a few months ago to work at The Herbery.

“This is just a super chill state,” she said of her new home. “Everything’s so easy to get to.”

Weed history: “My brothers used to smoke really hard core – and I was totally against it,” Sarah said with a laugh. “My parents smoke too. I got shooed away when they used to smoke.”

But then came Dec. 28, 2005 – a date she remembers clearly.

“I went to my brother’s room before I was heading off to Alaska and asked ‘so are you going to load it with me before I leave?’ My brothers got me blasted and then I moved to Anchorage for a while. After they smoked me out I couldn’t wait to get home and try it again.”

Favorite strains: Her favorite strain overall is Jack Herer.

“I like sativas and I like that one in particular – it’s a powerfully motivating strain.”

She also like Strawberry Banana from Cascadia Gardens.

“It’s a hybrid mix of Banana Kush and Bubble Gum. It’s the best tasting weed I’ve ever smoked. For me, it’s the perfect high – I can socialize and I’m not too self-conscious.”

Customer support: “I really like picky customers, actually. I like the ones who come back and tell me if they don’t like something – because I always want to learn how to help them better each time. I love a good constructive criticism.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I have psychic dreams sometimes, and in general I’m just really into dreams. I don’t know if it’s actually psychic or just my brain processing something that it picked up – but one time I dreamed about making up after a fight with my boyfriend’s mom and that we made up and exchanged socks. The next day I woke up and we actually did exchange socks. I’ve had other dreams like that as well. I’m just into all that crazy dream stuff.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I just spent three years in the electrical trade and this is so much better,” Sarah said. “I want to be doing this in five years. I’m on the edge of my seat with excitement every day just to come in to work here.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Nate

Name: Nate

From: Vancouver and Battle Ground. He graduated from Skyview High School.

Weed history: “I grew up smoking, since I was about 14,” the 21-year-old said. “I always dreamed of having a legal job in the industry and it was a wish I wanted to fulfill – so I applied for a job at The Herbery as soon as I could and I’m so happy I’m here.”

Favorite strains: Raw concentrate syringes – they’re new and they’re about 99 percent THC, Nate said, adding that in general dabbing is his favorite way to consume cannabis.

“I really like dabs because of their strength,” Nate said. “I like to get the most feel from the flower and I love strong head highs. The rush you get from dabbing is just the best.”

For flower, Nate also likes Green Jack and Bear OG from Cascadia Gardens.

Customer support: “I’m best with the older audience,” Nate said. “They like people with thorough knowledge that can walk them through things in easy steps. I take pride in my knowledge – especially knowing which terpenes have which effects and how to use them.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I’m an absolute anime nerd,” Nate said. “I’m all about anime, manga and I also really love video games. My favorite right now is Overwatch.”

His two favorite anime shows right now are Tokyo Ghoul and Bleach, he said.

Where do you want to be in five years: “I want to be a store manager or product tester. I’d like to try out new things and figure out how to set some standards for the industry.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Janet

Name: Janet

From: Born in California and raised in Vancouver, Washington. She graduated from St. Mary of the Valley High School in Portland.

Weed history: “My family grew it, actually,” Janet said. “Before we left Sunnyvale California we grew it with our apricots. That’s how I learned how to trim it, make oils, tinctures, edibles and all of that.”

Favorite strains: Janet’s a big fan of OG Kush from Cascadia Gardens and Jack Herer from Phat Panda.

And for edibles, she loves Evergreen Herbal’s 4.20 bite-sized brownies.

“You can eat a couple of those and then you feel really good – you’re not out of it, it’s just perfect.”

Customer support: “I love everybody, really. I love to make suggestions, especially for people who come in without a lot of knowledge. There are so many products to choose from.”

Weirdest thing about you: Janet’s gearing up for her first marathon!

“I get up at 4 a.m. and I run four miles every day,” Janet said. “Running in a marathon is one of my bucket list things.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I’d like to be a manager or something like that,” Janet said. “Everywhere I am, I like to rise to the top. That’s who I am.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: David

Name: David

From: Logan, Ohio.

At age 19, David’s father passed away and his mother moved to Vancouver, where he soon followed.

“I had so much stuff in my life and marijuana was the only thing that was really helping me, so I came here for a change of pace and because of legalization,” David said. “I’ve been here for six years and I love it. It’s beautiful, very progressive, and a lot different than rural Ohio.”

Weed history: “I was an athlete in high school and I played three sports,” David said. “I probably smoked five or ten times in high school, but usually I was mixing it with alcohol. The first time I really started buying it on my own was in my second year of college – because my roommate was a big pothead.”

He used cannabis as a social tool in college, he said.

“If you have a blunt on campus it can be just a great conversation starter,” he said with a grin.

Favorite strains: David’s favorite overall strain is Dutch Treat from Doc & Yeti.

“It’s a very potent hybrid that keeps me satisfied but not sedated,” David said. “The way it looks, it’s just covered in kief. It’s the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen. The taste is immaculate – pungent floral. It’s just delicious.”

He also likes ADAK from Nettles Unlimited when he’s looking for a creative vibe.

“That stuff’s like rocket fuel,” David said. “I’m a creative media major (at WSU-V) now and I sometimes use it late at night when I’m working.”

He also likes Cascadia Gardens for its consistent quality and Gimme Samores from Honu is his favorite edible.

Customer support: “I consider myself someone that can sell to anyone,” David said. “I’ve been here at The Herbery for two years now. I feel comfortable selling to anyone. I love to help people who are coming in for the first time especially – I like to make them feel welcome and give them the rundown.”

Weirdest thing about you: “If I go to sleep I like to sleep even hours,” David said. “If I’ll get an odd hour of sleep, I’ll wait up until it gets to an even number of hours. It seems to work best for me – I actually have a bunch of energy.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I want to be somewhere on a marketing team for the marijuana industry,” David said. “That’s what I’m studying for.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Camille

Name: Camille

From: Camas, Washington. Camas High School graduate.

Weed history: “I started smoking when I was 17 – I used to smoke primarily flower, but now I’m mostly into dabs because they’re easier on my lungs.”

Favorite strains: Her flower favorites include Doc & Yeti‘s Red Headed Stranger and NWCC’s Orange Creamsicle – for dabs she likes Cheese Dog from Dorado and EBDB from Cascadia Gardens.

“I felt like the EBDB gave me a unique high – very heady. It put me in a different world. The Cheese Dog also makes me incredibly happy, and as a bonus it doesn’t put me to sleep.”

Customer support: “My expertise lies in dabs. I’m good at working with people looking for value. I like to get the most bang for my buck and I like to help others do the same.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I love dragons. I collect dragon stuff. I’ve loved them since I was a kid. I actually believed they were real for a long time. I did a 10-page essay in school on how they might have existed in the past!”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I want to still be here. I got my associates degree in human services, and I feel like budtending is a human service. I’d love to stay in this industry for the next five to 10 years – maybe more!”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Jeff

Name: Jeff

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From: Chicago, Illinois

“I came to Clark County because I just needed a change of pace. My dad lived out here for the past two years and I decided to come out and join him. I love it – weed’s legal!”

Weed history: “I’ve been smoking since I was about 15, or about 25 years. Now, though, it’s my actual job! I pay taxes, I’m a contributing member of society. It’s great!”

Favorite strains: As a Chicago Bears fan, Jeff’s top strain has to be Bear OG from Cascadia Gardens.

He also loves Adak from Nettles Unlimited. “It has a very nice taste and I like the combination of flavors.”

And he digs Fireline’s new hybrid of White Fire and Pearl Scout Cookies. “It’s an interesting taste, flavor and overall feeling. It centers me.”

Customer support: “I love everybody. I really love helping people – it just makes me feel good.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I have more shoes than most women. I’m a sneaker head. I just got into it. Michael Jordan is huge in Chicago – and I probably have about 60 pairs of Jordan’s in my collection.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I’d love to still be in this industry and be a bigger contributor to it. I want to learn all facets of it.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Matt Bleuel

Name: Matt Bleuel

Matt

From: Louisville, Kentucky

“I wanted to come out here to the Pacific Northwest, so my wife and I threw the dogs in the Jeep and prayed we could get jobs,” Bleuel said. “That was two months ago, and I’m so happy now. I love it here. Best decision I ever made, outside of marrying my wife, of course.”

Weed history: “I’ve smoked it since I was about 16. In Kentucky you basically just have ‘good weed’ and ‘bad weed’ – so I’ve had to learn a lot since coming here. I know so much more now, but I’m still always doing research.”

Favorite strains: Most sativas. In particular he likes Golden Pineapple from Phat Panda, Bear OG from Cascadia Gardens and Adak from Nettles (“It’s the kief-iest sativa I’ve ever smoked.”)

Customer support: “My favorite customers now are other transplants to the area, just because we can unite in the ‘how cool is this’ factor. But really I like all customers. We’re all potheads in the end, and that’s great.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I’ve traveled through all 48 contiguous states. My dad was an over the road truck driver while I was growing up, and so I got to go with him and see a lot of the country. And for me? Oregon and Washington were always my favorites. Politically, spiritually, it’s just more aligned with me.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “Five years from now I hope I’m still at The Herbery. I love it. If I can keep doing what I’m doing now, I’ll be so happy.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Lyn Mullen

Name: Lyn Mullen

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From: Manchester, England (but she’s been in the U.S. for a long time)

Weed history: “I’ve been smoking since I was 14. I just always knew it was something for me. It just makes me feel normal.”

Favorite strains: Indicas of all stripe – “I love, love, love indicas!”

Particularly, she likes Bear OG from Cascadia Gardens, Chem Dawg from Cedar Creek Cannabis, Alien Dawg from Doc & Yeti and NYC Diesel (a sativa) from Golden Leaf.

Customer support: “I think older customers can relate a little more to me because I’m older as well. I also love sharing cannabis recipes with customers.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I do community theater at Magenta here in Vancouver. I love everything about it. Musicals are my favorites. I love to sing!”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I’m very happy in this industry. It’s been a good change. I was a paraeducator for special needs kids before this. In comparison, this is a breeze!”

Video Introduction: