Mother and marijuana advocate Amy Fintonis talks to Northeast Leaf about a career switch to Cannabis, working in weed with the patients in mind and being a more present mom.
What brought you to Bountiful Farms as a budtender?
I worked in the medical industry as a member of the supportive care team as a Board Certified Music Therapist at a private hospice company for over five years prior to joining the Bountiful Farms team. While supporting some of the most medically-challenged patients and their families, I was also supporting my own mental and physical health. Without medicinal Cannabis use, I’m not sure I would have made it five years in such a physically and emotionally taxing industry and line of work – especially during the first waves of the pandemic.
It took a lot for me to leave my past career because it felt like an abandonment of years of schooling and work. But the stars aligned when I found Bountiful Farms – a cultivator focused on creating exceptional medical products and a dispensary focused on patient experience and symptom management. Since day one I have felt like I’m exactly where I need to be, and doing work that feels like a calling – which for me is to be a part of a healthcare and treatment revolution, and to have a hand in the destruction of stigma. Bountiful Farms is different because of our focus on quality and innovation. Our QC process is extensive to say the least and our growers have set the highest quality standards at every step of the process. It’s really the extra attention to detail that makes a difference in the overall experience for the consumer.
I’ve never looked back. I’m still involved with patient care and symptom management, but from a direction that resonates with me and my experience much more deeply. Utilizing a medicine that this earth has naturally provided us, but also a medicine that through emerging scientific studies has been proven helpful with little to no adverse effects, is a true dream opportunity.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I recently became a new mother this past summer, and it has been the most amazing journey I have ever walked. It may have been less than ideal timing to become pregnant only a few short months after starting at a new company and with a new career, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the last year. I felt supported by my coworkers, management and company in a way I could have never thought possible in modern-day, free market and retail.
I’ve always had a passion for music, crafts, gardening, camping and anything outdoors. Basically, I’m just a weed smoking, singing mama hedge witch.
What are some of the questions that you ask people in order to help them find a specific product, or a strain that will be most useful for their goals?
Goals go beyond symptoms. Pain is a symptom, going hiking with your son even in the midst of some back pain is a goal. Depression is a symptom, remaining present and focused on your family so they feel loved and supported in the face of that depression is a goal. Sometimes it’s beyond looking for anxiety support and it’s knowing a patient’s interests and their joys to know how best to apply symptom management – finding products that match not just symptomatic needs, but lifestyle and comfort level needs as well. We can’t make promises that all of these goals will be met, but we can provide all the knowledge we have to lead them in the best direction.
As a mom, how does your life experience help you as a budtender?
Many of our patients are parents and have families. The stigma of the ‘Cannabis User’ is thankfully a dying idea. I understand the need for safe consumption and storage, the need for some folks to be more subtle with their Cannabis use, and the necessity of finding medical doses. But as a mom of a young child, I understand the need for finding the balance. The balance of function – helping with symptoms to make me the best mother I can be – but not taking away from my natural state of being.
I know that I’m a wonderful mother, and Cannabis is a great tool to enhance that. Whether it’s helping me stay present and attentive to my child, engrossing in his playtime with my own authentic joy, or even being able to move and keep up with him physically – because floor play and joint inflammation don’t usually pair well.
How can people consult with you?
I am always happy to consult. Honest conversations are the strongest tool against misinformation and stigma. I am currently the assistant manager at Bountiful Farms in Natick, Mass. and would love for any patients to visit. Feel free to contact Bountiful Farms’ social media accounts to reach me as well.