A day in the life of a Colorado budtender

Leo Wolfson, brought to you by Organix

Organix, 1795 Airport Rd., Breckenridge,

(970) 453-1340

By Leo Wolfson, brought to you by Organix

One of the biggest misconceptions about being a dispensary budtender is that it’s a laidback, easy job, because of its affiliation with marijuana. For Mikhaila Smith, this has been quite the opposite.

“Some people think that we just chill back there, and that it’s really easy — and it’s not,” said Smith.


On a typical day, Smith will work 10-12 hours at the Organix dispensary store in Breckenridge and see an average of 100-200 people walk through. Most comparable to your standard retail job, Smith and her Organix budtender crew start their day just like many shops in Keystone village or Main Street Breckenridge — cleaning and putting labels on product. Since the store sees such a large volume of business, these labels can sometimes number in the hundreds for a single given day. Then, at 9 a.m., doors open and it’s go-time.


As a budtender, Smith doesn’t grow or trim weed, but instead focuses her time on communicating with customers. Since recreational marijuana is still very new, many misconceptions surround it — things like lack of professionalism, cleanliness and intelligence of employees at dispensaries. To prove these perceptions wrong, communication has become a key component to success for Organix and the recreational marijuana industry as a whole. Additionally, being located in a tourist destination provides Organix with an especially inexperienced clientele compared to other areas of Colorado — which Smith views as a unique opportunity.

“We don’t want there to be any confusion or any misguided thoughts about what we do,” explained Smith. “As far as we’re concerned, we just want to help as many people as possible and make them comfortable with the products we have.”

Informing through bud-keeping has become a passion for Smith, replacing the original inspirations that drew her to the job. Now, she thinks of herself as a consultant for the industry.

“The best days for me are when you have someone very timid, but trying to figure it out. Like, I had this one guy who brought his mom in who had colon cancer.”

After talking for half an hour, Smith convinced the woman to try marijuana capsules that provide the physical effects of marijuana without the psychoactive aspect feeling of being high.

“He (her son) came back about two weeks later, and he looked like he was going to cry. He came and just gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘She said she hasn’t had good days like she’s had in a really long time. It changed her daily routine.’ That’s what makes it all worth it,” said Smith, with a small smile.

Smith also has a medicinal need of her own for smoking the herb, as she was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Now, she utilizes her personal experiences to assist customers on a deeper level.

“It’s pretty great when you get people who are like, ‘Can you help me with this, or can you show me?’” said Smith. “It’s a turning point for me.”


Having rung up her last customer and locked the doors, Smith’s day is nearly finished, but not before one last thorough cleaning of the store and organization of the displays. “Everyone’s bigger ideal is to make this place a better place, and to be a part of that at the same time,” said Smith. “I don’t want to be stagnant. We’re constantly restocking the shelves with new edibles and products. It’s really a passion for us.”

Brought to you by:

Organix, 1795 Airport Rd., Breckenridge,

(970) 453-1340

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