This is the first of what we hope to be a regular feature on SBVerde, budtender spotlights. It can be hard to choose a dispensary. One of the things that can make or break a dispensary experience is who is behind the counter. We hope our budtender spotlights help you get to know some of our area’s budtenders better.
I ran into Jayce Bedal some time last year. He had a warm demeanor and a friendly smile. I caught up with him at my local neighborhood dispensary, Santa Barbara Collective, to ask him a few questions. Jayce and his wife were recently blessed with a new baby girl, and he was also recently promoted to manager of Santa Barbara Collective. There is a lot going on for this local budtender right now!
What did you do before you became a budtender?
Before budtending, I worked for 6 years as a Phlebotomist/Lab Technical Assistant in a hospital. I drew blood, set up microbiological cultures, and maintained lab equipment.
How did you find your way into budtending?
After having my son, I slowly started to realize that working in a hospital was unfulfilling to me spiritually. I realized that I wanted more out of life, so my wife and I packed up our home, moved into an rv, and traveled up California. After a year, a family health emergency brought me and my family to Goleta and I found myself needing a job. I was applying to so many jobs but I kept seeing an ad for a bud tending position. After seeing the ad for a few weeks I decided that I would apply and see what happened. The rest is pretty much history.
What was your first experience at a dispensary like as a consumer?
I was not impressed at all. It was a dispensary in LA. It was dingy, there was no sign, it was located in a rough neighborhood, and the cannabis was pretty rough looking. I was drawn in by a deal that I couldn’t pass up. The only thing I liked was being able to see the flower. I really didn’t come around to getting product from a dispensary until I started working in one. I learned the value of the human interaction. I loved that there was a level of guidance and explanation of the products that you really couldn’t get from an online menu.
What tips do you have for new cannabis consumers?
Always start with small amounts and work up from there. You can always take more, but you can’t take less. Also, keep a high CBD product around to help relieve the high if it is too intense.
What is your favorite part of your job?
To be honest, I just love talking to people and helping them discover how cannabis helps them. I love the human connection that cannabis brings about. Also, I truly do love watching people come to life after trying cannabis. As a budtender, I see so many people who are just struggling with life and their own issues. These people are looking for some sort of relief and some people are at a point where trying cannabis is the only thing left. It’s truly a magical thing to watch how cannabis helps people to heal.
What are some of your favorite products?
I really enjoy THCA products. THCA helps with pain and inflammation, without the high.
Other products that I enjoy:
• Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Gel Pens
• Breez CBD Mints
• Cannabis Quencher Lemonade Drink
Any strains you particularly enjoy?
1. South Fork Kush
2. Sour Diesel
3. Platinum OG
What’s something you can use cannabis for that many people don’t realize?
You can use cannabis to increase focus and attention span. I use CBD to help me focus and calm my mind.
What do you like to do for fun?
Recently, I’ve discovered a new found passion for photography. I really enjoy taking pictures of my family and being outside trying to freeze moments in time.
What’s your motto or a saying you like?
Always follow your nose. The nose knows best.
If you rubbed a lamp and a genie popped out, what would be three things you’d wish for?
1. A mini van for my growing family
2. a Fuji XT-3 Camera and a few prime lenses
3. A home in Oregon