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: 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: Lynne

Name: Lynne

From: Portland, Oregon, but she’s lived in Vancouver for the past 25 years.

Weed history: “First time I tried it was in high school in like 1973. I started working an ambulance when I was 19, and cannabis became a good soother for the stresses of that job. I’ve been pretty much smoking ever since.”

Favorite strains: “I’m a sativa smoker mostly. I love Doc & Yeti‘s Red Headed Stranger. I also love Cedar Creek’s Jack Herer and Gorilla Glue from Sunshine Farms. Gorilla Glue for me is sort of a sativa hybrid high, although it’s a transition weed. I also like Dream Beaver from Phat Panda.”

Customer support: “Overall I’m probably best with older people – my age – who aren’t always sure what they’re doing. Also people who are coming into either new or are coming back after a long time. I like helping people through the stigma and showing them what’s new.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I collect tacky religious icons. I surround myself with things that bring me joy and make me smile, and I have lots of them. I have a big piece of art of Mary and Jesus up and home that’s probably my favorite. But I love anything with Jesus and sparkles.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “If I’m not retired by then, I’d love to still be here.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Ben

Name: Ben

From: Vancouver, Washington – born and raised.

Weed history: “When I was 19 I was hanging out with some friends and my buddy paid me $50 to take a hit! I didn’t get high at the time because I was drunk. But I tried it again the next night because I was curious, and I’ve been smoking off and on ever since.”

“I love that there’s a plant that can do so many different things for so many people – and it grows really quick in so many environments.”

Favorite strains: His favorite sativa is Jack Herer from Cedar Creek Cannabis. He also loves F?#k Yeah from Phat Panda when he’s ready to chill with an indica.

“Jack – I love the creativity and the euphoric head highs. F?#k Yeah I love because it’s awesome video game weed!”

Customer support: “I love working with everybody and anybody who comes in. I’m a big flower guy. I like vapes as well, but I’m pretty new to them and to dabs.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I’m a computer enthusiast, gamer, and I do security work. I teach people how to avoid hacker bots and spyware.”

For video games, he loves the Civilization series – except for the most recent one, and he’s eagerly awaiting the full launch of a game called Star Citizen.

Where do you want to be in five years: “If I’m still in the industry in five years I hope it’s helping to run a store – or to run IT infrastructure for a marijuana business.”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Kaleb

Name: Kaleb

From: Vancouver, Washington – graduate of Mountain View High School!

Weed history: “It started more as a social thing. People here in Vancouver, socially they just got me into it. Now I just like the feeling of it, but I also want to learn more about medicinal properties – especially for veterans.”

Kaleb served in the Marine Corps from 2012 to 2016 and says he loves talking to veterans.

Favorite strains: Kaleb loves Fireline and Phat Panda – especially the F?#k Yeah strain from Phat Panda, he said.

“It brings out my goofy side. Sometimes I seem a little too shy, but that makes me a little social butterfly.”

Customer support: “I love all customers, really. I don’t want to be biased. At first I was afraid to help older people, because they just know so much, but now I’m learning and I just want to help everybody out. I also really like talking to veterans, just because we have so much common ground.”

Weirdest thing about you: “I have a fake front tooth. I have no idea how it happened. I got really drunk for the first time in high school and I blacked out. Boy did I get in trouble with my parents!”

Where do you want to be in five years: “I want to be in the industry, but I want to own my own shop. I’m working on a degree in Business Administration right now at Clark College!”

Video Introduction:

Budtender Spotlight: Rick

Name: Rick


From: Florida (most recently Miami, Florida)

“I was in the military before coming here (to Vancouver),” Rick said, adding that he served 10 years in the Army.

Weed history: “A friend (in the military) had some one day,” Rick said. “I was curious, tried it and liked it, and that’s how I got started. When I got out of the military it became more of a gourmet thing for me. Now I think of it like wine or any other gourmet beverage.”

Favorite strains: OG Kush from Cedar Creek, White Fire from Fireline (“I haven’t been high like that in I don’t know how long,” he says of The Herbery’s newest grower).

He also counts Phat Panda and Doc & Yeti among his favorite growers.

“I really like indoor grown product – the quality is so much better,” he added.

Customer support: “I work with all customers: Young, old, male, female. I relate to everybody.”

His favorite strains are usually indicas, and he loves recommending them to other indica fans, he added.

Weirdest thing about you: “I collect rare antique books,” Rick said.

He’s especially fascinated with metaphysics books, like Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke, Science of Being by Eugene Fersen, both of which are in his collection.

“I’ve always been curious about metaphysics, esoteric studies,” he said. “Smoking weed and talking about higher states of consciousness is just something I love.”

Where do you want to be in five years: “Hopefully Florida will have legalized by then and I can move back home. I love the Pacific Northwest, but I miss the beaches and sunshine.”

Video Introduction:

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