Grass Station 49

Melissa Taylor works the day shift at Grass Stations 49's Chena Hot Springs Road store. — Photo by Shane Browne

Grass Station 49 budtender Melissa Taylor was delighted to hear she won the award for best budtender.

“It feels amazing! I think the people I work with look at me as just this little shy, quiet Melissa who minds her own business, but I think they’ve finally come to learn that Melissa knows what she’s doing. My customers love me!”

Taylor started working at Grass Station 49 almost two years ago, dividing her time between the Cushman Street store and the now-closed Airport Way store. About six months ago she began working the day shift at the Chena Hot Springs Road store, which is located in a repurposed shipping container on Rainbow Road.

“I’ve grown to really love this little store,” Taylor said, noting that it feels larger on the inside than it looks on the outside. “I enjoy being out here. I’ve gotten to know the customers and what they want.”

Taylor said the best thing about her job is the enjoyment she gets from helping people.

“With CBD and cannabis, I have so many customers who tell me what it has helped them through, whether it be anxiety, losing a loved one, pain, or what have you, and I love the fact that I can help them with that. A lot of them turn to me and tell me what’s going on and ask me what’s best for whatever they’re dealing with. That’s my favorite part about it.”

Many of Taylor’s regular customers have also become her friends. She noted the responses she got when she returned this summer from a sudden trip to Alabama because her grandmother had passed away.

“When I came back they all asked ‘Where’ve you been? Where’d you go?’ because I left at the spur of the moment,” Taylor said. “There was a lot of condolences and sympathy. It’s nice having that. I guess it’s just a big extended family in a way.”

Contact Alaska Cannabist staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 907-459-7582 or dchomicz@AlaskaCannabist.com.

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