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Photo by Daniel Berman

Budtender of the Month Brooke Wisener

After using Cannabis to treat symptoms of depression, Brooke helps patients find relief at Destination HWY 420.

With this kind of energy, it’s no surprise that she loves being near the ocean collecting shells, stones and sea glass, or just swimming into the waves. The only downside is not being able to take her beloved cockatiel named Pretty Bird, who she grew up with for 15 years of her early life. Follow her on Instagram @brookiebaybiee.

You’ve been at Destination HWY 420 for five years. That’s a lifetime in budtender years.
I’ve worked at a couple shops and this one is my favorite – the last one had a more corporate way of doing things. I like to help with training some of the new budtenders, so it just feels like home for me.

In the past year your ambitions have reached beyond budtending into freelance modeling. Has budtending been a confidence builder for this new adventure?
I have just developed this confidence in the past year. I used to be really shy and insecure because I have a very rare skin condition I was born with. I’ve always been nervous in public because I have scars and shit, so when I started smoking weed when I was 15, it helped with my depression and anxiety.

What can you tell us about that skin condition?
It’s called EB, or epidermolysis bullosa. We’re known as the butterfly children. If you look online, you can learn more about it.

Are topicals helpful?
Yes. Basically, I’m missing two layers of skin, so any friction causes a blister – therefore I’m always in pain. I have so many scars on my back because of my skin disorder, so when I first turned 21 and found topicals, it helped with the pain and the scarring. It’s also helped with my feet because they always hurt – and my hands, too. 

Would you say that modeling is somewhat of an escape for you?
Absolutely. People will tell me that they can’t even tell that I have a skin disorder because I hide it really well. I’ve hidden it my entire life. But now I’m ready to embrace my uniqueness – and modeling has helped me break out of my shell, partly because I’ve met other models who also have skin disorders. 

What advice would you give to girls who are insecure about their bodies?
You be you and live your life. Don’t give up because when you conquer your demons, life only gets better. I mean, I still struggle every day – but it’s not as bad as it used to be. I’ve accepted that I have to live the rest of my life with this condition and the more I get OK with it, the happier I become. 

If you could smoke anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On the Greek Isles.  

Photos by @nwleaf

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 October 2022 issue of Northwest Leaf.

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