Green and not Blue: Working the Dream

I had a small, long-standing dream of mine come true recently—I started working at a legal cannabis store about two weeks ago. 

Ever since I was 18, I have enjoyed cannabis. It helps me sleep, eat, relax and generally function better. The therapeutic value is immense, and the more I read about it the more stories I would find that echoed my problems. 

As a teenager, and well into my 20s, I never thought Canada would legalize it, especially with the Conservative federal government that I had grown up under. When the Liberals won in 2015, they included talks of legalization in their platform, which was exciting but not set in stone. In 2018, I was proven wrong, and the federal government legalized marijuanna for recreational use and for growing a limited amount of plants. 

The provincial approach to legislation was to only allow the purchase of cannabis from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). OCS-licensed stores began opening in the region in late 2019 and have continued to open at alarming speed since.

In 2021, I obtained my Cannsell, the license budtenders require to sell cannabis provincially. It took a whole other year to get hired by my company of choice, due to various issues caused by the pandemic; staffing needs waned during lockdowns as delivery became more popular. 

Mar. 15, 2022 was my first day at my dream job in my dream industry, and it has been amazing. I am a natural salesperson when it comes to cannabis. I put my whole focus on learning all I can about what cannabis is and what cultivars (strains) have what effects. 

I have extensive product knowledge from both experience and module-driven learning provided by the company. 

The experience has been energizing, like a vital breath of fresh air into my personal life which has been permeated with defeat and disappointment the entire pandemic.

 Budtending is easy, it comes naturally to me. Every customer has a challenge or a problem or is looking for a good experience for an affordable price.

Still, this is a new experience for me. Typically, customers tend to stick to the known as opposed to the unknown, and it can be difficult to sell someone on more expensive pet food that may help a pet shed less or have better regulated bowels, than it is to convince someone to spend a buck or two more on some top shelf bud as customers are already often open to the possibility of a new or better experience. This makes the job highly motivating and engaging, which is something I value highly in a workplace. Challenge is a welcome element in the workplaces I am a part of.

The store I work at is situated uptown in Waterloo. It is a busy location. I get to meet tons of interesting people, which has always been a draw for me when it comes to job perks. 

They are happy to come in and see the savings, knowing they can afford something to help them relax on the couch after a long day at work, and often express how pleased they are about it. 

After struggling so long during the pandemic and having my fair share of disappointing days, I feel like I have found not only a place I belong in, but a place I want to be.

It’s a small thing, but it’s unbelievably freeing to have a job that is enjoyable. Every day is not so draining that I cannot enjoy myself when I have left for home. I am by far more content and it speaks to the importance of improving workplace conditions in many industries, so we can all enjoy our time outside of work.