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Budtender of the Month: Ariana Halley

It’s all about building relationships.

She’s a foodie who loves exploring new dishes in the home and on the road. When following her passion for traveling the world, you’ll find her soaking up the art, the culinary discoveries, and the exciting nightlife of whatever culture she’s immersed in. (@ariknowsbetter_) 

How did you make your way into this wonderful industry?
Through friends, actually. Some of them were working here at Strains and they let me know that they were hiring – so I jumped at the opportunity.

What did you do before the weed biz?
Super random, my background is in SEO marketing. I would help small local businesses advertise on Google, different social media platforms, help them get reviews – just little things that are time consuming, but pretty easy. 

Are you too much of a social person to spend your life in a tech career?
I think so. That’s what moved me to get into Cannabis, which I consider customer service. I know a lot of people don’t enjoy doing customer service, but I love it. I think in the Cannabis industry we have relatively easy customers to deal with, so it gives me a chance to interact on a more personal level – which is totally my speed. 

How important is it to identify the right product for a newcomer?
Super important! You want to make sure they are getting the right product for whatever they’re dealing with, especially if they are using it for medicinal uses. They need the right high, or treatment they are looking for. And you want them leaving with the image that this shop is awesome, so you get them to come back. It’s all about building relationships.

Your mother works with Advanced Nutrients. What’s it like being in the same industry as her?
It’s the best. It gives us so much more to talk about. We’re able to work more as a team. We do event coordination for nonprofit events, we collaborate on consulting, and other fun stuff. I love it. 

Do you give her flowers on Mother’s Day?
Yeah, I give her lots of flower. We get goodie bags, so when I have some good sativa, I always share it with her. She loves Jack Herer from our grow here at Strains. It’s a really uplifting, pungent bud.

I meant like roses.
Oh (laughs), I am so dead! I get her those too, year-round. She has a green thumb and loves flowers. Come on, she’s a woman! 

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 January 2024 issue of California Leaf.

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