Over the past year of traveling throughout Maine, I’ve often stopped at Atlantic Farms in Portland, as it’s a one-stop shop for gas, coffee and Cannabis. But it wasn’t until I chatted up one of the managers that I was introduced to Finn Hopkins-O’Neil – outdoorsman extraordinaire and top notch budtender.
What did you do before becoming a budtender at Atlantic Farms?
I’ve always lived in Maine and used to help my friends with their outdoor grows. I didn’t have a background in the industry, but I always worked at ski mountains and did tours for saltwater kayaking. For the past five years I have been a sea kayak guide – I take people out on the ocean for day tours and sometimes even overnight campouts. I worked full-time at Atlantic Farms until the summer, when I was full-time kayaking – often 60 hours on the water a week – and working part-time at Atlantic. My dad owns a small outfitter in Harpswell, Maine called Casco Bay Kayak and I also work for Portland Paddle here during the summer. Now I am back to full time at Atlantic Farms for the fall and winter. I fit in pretty well with the crew, since a lot of us are pretty outdoorsy.
How do you help clients find what they are looking for?
The first thing I ask is what their particular needs are. Then I’ll inquire if they’re looking for an indica or sativa, because I’m trying to figure out if they want to knock themselves out or if they are just trying to go about their day in a stoney kind of way – or what I call ‘working weed.’ You don’t want to give a person that doesn’t like indicas a sativa, and vice versa – those who don’t like sativas really don’t like them, as it makes them too anxious, nervous, paranoid or their heart race. I let them guide me to what they want or need.
What strain is your favorite – and your favorite way to consume it?
I’m a classic stoner – I like rolling my own joints! As far as a strain, I love Ayahuasca Purple and I’m a big fan of any of the Chem family strains.