Coffee shops have baristas, bars have bartenders, and marijuana dispensaries have “budtenders.” For some they might simply be a middleman — but for the inexperienced, they’re a modern-day Indica and Sativa Sherpa, there to guide you through the illustrious world of strains, vaporizers, edibles and more. Below, Billo budtendress Kate Baird gives her take on helping consumers with their cannabis purchase.
Name: Kate Baird
Marital status: Not married
How did you end up in Steamboat? I had never been to Steamboat before in my life. My cousin had a room available to rent, I left the college town I was living in and moved within two weeks. I’ve been here three years now.
What do you like about it? I like the fact that Steamboat is such a great, friendly community with awesome access to the outdoors.
Favorite sports: Cycling, snowboarding and basketball.
What do you like about budtending? I like the fact that my coworkers and I can help consumers make a more educated and accurate decision because knowledge is a huge part of our business. This is also a huge aspect of helping consumers who don’t live in a legal state, helping them purchase things that won’t contribute to an uncomfortable experience or overwhelming high. And maybe this can hopefully create a voter in that state in favor of medical and/or recreational cannabis.
What skills does it entail? You have to be very diligent in adhering to all the compliance rules and regulations. It also takes a lot of organizational and service skills.
What’s the hardest part about it? One is understanding compliance from the consumer’s point of view. Many of our customers are visiting from states without recreational or medical cannabis and can’t anticipate rules being much different from your typical liquor store. But they are and the list is extensive, from having a non-expired ID, no matter your age, to not passing cash to your spouse making a separate purchase. It can get hard for the consumer to navigate.
Did you ever think this is what you’d be doing for a living? I was doing artist management before I moved to Colorado. I imagined my career growing in Chicago and myself staying there. But cannabis has always been more than an interest for me and I’m happy to be able to share that passion for its many benefits with others who have a new or continued love for it.
What’s the most popular item people order? We sell flower above all else, which is definitely something Billo prides itself on. Our top shelf strains are all grown by our warehouse team here, which works incredibly hard to produce the quality they do.
Is it hard to explain the difference between strains? If you know the lineage and/or scent (terpene profile) of the strain, it’s not too hard to give the consumer a pretty accurate description of taste and feel. Otherwise, it definitely can be.