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Photo Courtesy of House of Cannabis

Budtender of the Month: Aaron Mendenhall

"I don’t ever see myself having a typical job again."

He’s an animal lover who parents four cats at home, while still feeding the strays outside (including raccoons and opossums). With its ocean and tide pools, the Pacific Northwest weather is a welcome change for this Texas native. 

You’ve been at House of Cannabis for three and a half years. What did you do for work before you got into the Cannabis business?
I used to wholesale grinders, bongs, pipes and paraphernalia out of Austin, Texas. 

We’ve all had previous careers, right? Will you ever go back to the grind of wholesaling, or are you here to stay in the actual weed game?
No, I don’t ever see myself having a typical job again. That’s a good question I’ve thought of multiple times over the past several years. Once you’ve committed to devoting your life to sharing the love of Cannabis, it’s really hard to go back. I love the thrill of encountering someone who is a first timer in the shop and getting to show them how this all works. However, my regulars are where I find the most juice. It’s a community I feel a part of, especially when I see them out in public. 

Back when you were in the bong and grinder business, was there one particular bong hit that stood above the rest?
Absolutely, that was my first dab! It changed everything. It opened up a whole new world of getting high. (laughs)

What are you smoking currently?
I’m smoking Matriarch Wedding Cake. And Unicorn Poop from Skord. 

Would you put that in your pipe if you were hiking through the forest and came upon a pile of Unicorn Poop?
Yes, but I would check it for mushrooms first! 

Are you into psilocybin for medicine?
Absolutely, everyone here needs to be – this is the mushroom capital of the world!

About Mike Ricker

The first time Ricker smoked weed was at a Santana concert at the age of 12. He then followed in his footsteps as an award-winning radio personality who became notorious for offering a stage for bong toking listeners in 9 different markets over 20 years. In 2016, the Cannabis industry came calling and the rest is history.

This article was originally published in the August 2023 issue of Northwest Leaf.

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