A day in the life of a Breckenridge budtender
June 19, 2017
Budtender Tori Osborne hears a lot of interesting questions about marijuana — inquiries about which strains are good for sexual activity, or whether the marijuana in the store is fake.
"We get all sorts of funky questions," she says.
Osborne works at Organix in Breckenridge as a budtender, manager and trainer. She used to be a bartender but moved over to the cannabis industry about five years ago, before recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado.
"Everything was more personal (in the medical-only days) — you knew your customers," Osborne says. "Now, it's more mainstream and fast-paced."
That's not to say that she doesn't know her regulars. Some customers come in and she'll get excited to tell them about a new product, or she'll see a regular customer and know exactly how much of a particular strain they're going to buy.
And then there are the customers in town on vacation that visited the store last year — they come in with a level of excitement that local customers don't usually have.
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"They'll remember you and say, 'Remember me? You sold me weed last year,'" she says.
Knowing the products
A typical day for a budtender isn't what you might imagine. They don't wake-n-bake and then head in to work with a buzz.
"There's no weed (use allowed) on your shift," she says. "But it's important that budtenders are knowledgeable about the products we sell, especially because the people who come in are relying on us for accurate information."
And because marijuana strains can affect people differently, the employees in the store gather feedback from users to understand the varying effects that each strain produces. Osborne says the staff refers to it as "research and development."
A typical day in the store includes tedious tasks just like any job. In addition to helping customers, budtenders spend time organizing and stocking, doing paperwork, cleaning, answering phones, packaging weed into jars and talking to vendors about their products.
There are surges in business throughout the day during the usual times when people are heading to or from work, or during the lunch hour. Another busy time is at the end of the day after the local resorts have closed.
'Nothing more rewarding than that'
Because the legal marijuana industry is constantly evolving and changing, Osborne says budtenders often have to learn as they go. They depend on each other to share knowledge, including new laws passed by the state legislature. Osborne says a couple of the managers at the store provide legislative updates to the staff on a regular basis as laws change.
An industry that's constantly growing and changing makes for an interesting job, but Osborne says the most gratifying part of the job is helping people. Osborne has experienced her own health issues and has found many benefits in using marijuana as medicine, so she truly understands what it's like when a customer comes in seeking relief from various symptoms.
"They come in the next day and give you a big hug because they've slept for the first night in forever," she says. "There's nothing more rewarding than that."
Organix, 1795 Airport Rd., Breckenridge, (970) 453-1340, http://www.myorganix.com
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