BUDTENDEr of the month
W H O ’ S Y O U R FAV O R I T E B U D T E N D E R ? T E L L U S W H Y ! E M A I L N O M I N A T I O N S T O M A X @ L E A F M A G A Z I N E S . C O M
KATIE SOLEDAD OREGON LEAF
Budtender of the Month
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET STARTED WITH CANNABIS?
My first experience with Cannabis was when I was (about) 14. I went on a hunting trip with my friend’s family. When they all left camp, we created a small pipe out of a pop can [laughs]. We smoked (maybe) two bowls and then proceeded to practice acting not stoned for when her family would return to the camp. I could not stop laughing for the life of me! I had tears running down my face and we left on a hike to avoid them altogether. Now, my consumption is a bit more mindful of what, how, and when I am consuming. WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED METHOD OF CONSUMPTION?
I will always love a classic joint. The whole process of creating one is therapeutic. It’s sort of a form of self care for me – I think that it’s important that everyone sets some time aside for themselves. I also like to keep some dank dabs in my collection – like Echo Electuary, Highland Provisions and BNK. For flower, I’ve been really enjoying all of the strains from Indo Supply, Focus North, and Deep Creek. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I’ve been in the Cannabis industry for about
three years. I’d just left a really bad relationship and was starting over. I believe in synchronicity … so this opportunity couldn’t have presented itself at a better time. To find something like this to dedicate my time to was exactly what I needed. I was hired at a brand new shop in Salem, so I was able to learn a lot from the ground up and watch the store evolve.
WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT CANNABIS? WHAT KEEPS YOU IN THIS INDUSTRY? It’s such an amazing
plant that has so many benefits. I’ve been able to hear hundreds of testimonies about how people’s lives have improved with Cannabis. Whether they use it recreationally or medicinally, it has a positive impact. I think that’s what really keeps me in the industry – I love helping people. It’s also a constantly evolving industry with an abundance of opportunities, which is really fun.
Katie Soledad holds it down at one of her hometown’s premier dispensaries. In Salem,
Preserve Oregon is known for its beautiful boutique storefront and top tier selections. As the lead budtender and buyer, Soledad plays a pivotal role.
“I’VE BEEN ABLE TO HEAR HUNDREDS OF TESTIMONIES ABOUT HOW PEOPLE’S LIVES HAVE IMPROVED WITH CANNABIS.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE INDUSTRY WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT BEING A BUDTENDER? Rules and regulations constantly
change in this industry, so we are required to stay up to date with those changes. There are a lot of legalities involved with selling Cannabis – I’m not sure if it’s common knowledge to people outside of the industry, but every single 0.01 gram or item in the dispensary is tracked through a state tracking system. It’s not just about ‘selling weed.’ It’s about educating and providing a wealth of information to novice and seasoned smokers.
P R E S E RV E O R E G O N 1201 COMMERCIAL ST SE, SALEM, OR | SHOPPRESERVE.COM @PRESERVE.OREGON | (971) 719-2914
INTERVIEW by AMANDA DAY @TERPODACTYL_MEDIA | PHOTO by FLETCHER WOLD @FWOLD_PHOTOGRAPHY