Meet your budtenders

Madeline Reyes & Becca Hodson of Enlighten Alaska, Anchorage

Enlighten Alaska, Anchorage

Madeline Reyes

Why did you decide to become a budtender: I jumped in to the industry in the middle of a pandemic where I was far away from family and home, anxious and depressed. I dug into research and decided I wanted to learn more about the benefits of marijuana to better understand how to help heal myself and educate those around me.

What’s your favorite part of the job: Working hands-on with weed.

What sort of things have you learned on the job: There is so much information out there, so much to learn! Things starting with common strains, landraces, the variety of products, the effects on the body and mind and the constant demand for it. So many other things, ranging from what terpenes are, where they come from, their benefits and what makes them important, to all the healing potential that CBD has, the many ailments that strains can potentially help relieve or subside, and the various ways people can react to one strain. I’m very thankful for all the great teachers, resources, and opportunities that have been made available to me in this industry so far.

How do you help a customer who is new to cannabis, or returning after years away: First I ask why they are entering or returning to the cannabis world, then we determine the ways they are interested in consuming and put together to the best of my knowledge and abilities a way to potentially and hopefully satisfy their needs.

What’s the biggest challenge in your job: Keeping up in such a fast-paced industry. Things are constantly changing, there’s always something being worked on, devices being upgraded, new products, cultivators, cross strains, laws, regulations, and so much more. Sometimes it gets hard to absorb it all and still try to meet everyone’s needs and demands at the same time. Oof!

What’s your personal favorite product among those that you sell: Lime Gold (PVG CUT) by High North.

How long have you been in Alaska, and if from somewhere else, where: I am originally from Los Angeles, California, and spent a lot of my childhood in Mexico City. In 2018, I started working seasonal summers for the Alaska Railroad. This past spring, COVID shut those plans down, but instead of returning home, I fell in love and decided I would give this whole Alaskan winter thing a shot.

If you could share a bowl with one famous person in the world, who would it be and why: The first person that comes to mind is only famous in my heart. My grandmother. She is my role model and she had strokes three-and-a-half years ago, leaving her incapacitated in a nursing home. But I would love to know the stony side of her.

Becca Hodson

Why did you decide to become a budtender: I wanted to learn more about cannabis and the industry as a whole.

What’s your favorite part of the job: My favorite part of the job is being surrounded by individuals that share a similar love and passion for cannabis and the science behind it.

What sort of things have you learned on the job: I have learned so much I don’t even know where to start.

How do you help a customer who is new to cannabis, or returning after years away: I start by asking about what activities will be going on during consumption. That way we can find a product that will elevate their evening without overdoing it.

What’s the biggest challenge in your job: Finding a strain that will provide an enjoyable effect when everyone’s chemical makeup differs.

What’s your most memorable job experience: When a gang of coworkers busted out their moves in a quick dance party in the middle of a shift.

What’s your personal favorite product among those that you sell: I love sativa strains. My favorite right now is Diesel from Snow Capped Gardens.

How long have you been in Alaska, and if from somewhere else, where: I was born in Colorado, but started kindergarten in Alaska.

If you could share a bowl with one famous person in the world, who would it be and why: Jimmy Fallon, because he is hilarious.

What are your interests outside of work: I love the outdoors, hiking, camping.

If someone asked you about becoming a budtender, what would you tell them: Being a budtender is a blast! It opens the door to so many opportunities in the industry. You are able to learn about what makes cannabis so amazing, and help others on their cannabis journey.

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