Hilltop Premium Green
Noah Huseman works at Green Degree/Hilltop Premium Green, which has multiple locations. One is located off Knik Goose Bay Road in Wasilla; the other off the Parks Highway in Wasilla; Hilltop Premium Green is in Sutton
Huseman is well liked by his coworkers, who took a poll to decide who they wanted to see featured in this article. One of them told him, “I nominated you for this because I can see you love helping people. The public really needs to see that there is more to a budtender then just being a stoner and knowing your cannabis. It’s being educated, having customer service, breaking the stigma and bringing the community together by making every customer feel cared about and understood . Also because you are dedicated in your job and always willing to learn something new, as you know this industry is continually evolving. And last but not least you have a great attitude with every task given.”
Why did you decide to become a budtender: Marijuana is a big facet of Alaskan culture, and that’s true even to my own life as both my parents are longtime smokers. I frequently came into Green Degree while I was a student. Green Degree and their awesome staff made me feel welcome, and I admired their passion and care of the community, and wanted to be a part of that.
What’s your favorite part of the job: While I enjoy getting new products in, or gushing over a particularly beautiful cultivar, I’d have to say for sure my favorite part of my job is getting returning customers that come back and tell me they loved something they picked up the visit prior. They’re always very excited to tell me how they enjoyed it, and I love knowing I gave them a great experience with a product they liked.
What sort of things have you learned on the job: Too many things to list really. Working at Green Degree has broadened my knowledge on not only things like cannabinoids, terpenes, cultivation, extraction, and marijuana regulation and business, but it has also brought me immense personal growth. I learn just as much from my customers and my coworkers every day as I do about my products and business.
How do you help a customer who is new to cannabis, or returning after years away: If I ever have new or returning customers, either excited to try or even apprehensive, I try and focus on individuality. Regardless of anything I sell or stock, that person is coming to us and looking for an experience. I ask questions to narrow what they like and what they’re looking for, so that I can recommend the right thing for them.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job: The biggest challenge of our job is education, by far. There is just a myriad of issues daily that arise from either miseducation on cannabis, to a complete disregard for new information or introductions, to a lot of areas of our business. As dispensaries and cultivators like ours and our industry partners try and cultivate a more positive light for marijuana, I hope we can start to change those negative perceptions and help communities learn more about how they can benefit from cannabis.
What’s your most memorable job experience: I frequently remind myself that I get to go to and work in a legal marijuana industry, and I love my job. My most memorable experience is simply getting to go to work and do something I actually enjoy and believe in, and helping out my community go about their lives.
What’s your personal favorite product among those that you sell: My personal favorite would be our in-house cultivation, Mr. Clean. I love sativas, and Mr. Clean is an absolute powerhouse of a sativa-dominant cultivar, with fresh lemony and floral notes. It helps get me going in the morning, and keeps me going after a day at the shop.
How long have you been in Alaska, and if from somewhere else, where: I’ve grown up and lived in Alaska for most of my life, but I’ve also lived in Washington for several years.
If you could share a bowl with one famous person in the world, who would it be and why: John Lennon, for sure. I love the Beatles. Not only a huge fan of their musical work, but I’ve always loved and admired John’s social work, and his vision for what the world could be. To have a conversation with the man himself over a bowl would make me a dreamer.
What are your interests outside of work: Some of my hobbies include fishing and camping out in the beauty of Alaska, gaming and reading to escape the cold, and I fill in the spare time trying to learn new things or just loving on my pets at home.
If someone asked you about becoming a budtender, what would you tell them: Do your research, and love what you learn. There is so much to know about trying to jump in this industry, so the sooner you start the better. But as you comb over articles and read about botany and business and law, the overwhelming feeling fades into a passion for this plant and its industries, because it really does change people’s lives for the better, as it did mine.
— David James