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Budtender of the Month: Dominic Miller at People’s OC

Dominic Miller from People's OC is our California Leaf Budtender of the Month for March 2021.

An email came across the Leaf content desk from a reader who wanted to nominate Dominic Miller – a guide for People’s OC in Santa Ana – for our Budtender of the Month column. We’re always thrilled when reader nominations come rolling in, so we were elated to read it. According to this dispensary customer, who shall remain anonymous, Miller recommends products and strains to help them overcome anxiety and they have relied on his recommendations for more than a year. We connected with Miller to find out how he ended up in Cannabis and what he believes makes a good guide. 

First impressions

As with so many people, Miller’s first experiences with the plant conjure imagery ripe with the sweetly skunky smell of nostalgia, as he recounts passing joints among friends on the bottom of a dried-out riverbed. He recalls one experience while in junior college in Santa Barbara, when he obtained a deca-dose edible – which contained 10,000mg of THC, as he remembers it. 

“I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that it was supposed to be that strong of a high. I was like, ‘No, man, I got this.’”

As the effects lasted through most of the following day, he realized the power of proper dosage.   

Entering the industry

As a grad from Cal State Fullerton with an emphasis in marketing and microbiology, Miller got a job at a microbiology lab. When that company decided to diversify its revenue streams by beginning to test Cannabis products, Miller caught a window into the sprouting industry. 

“That gave me so much more insight,” he said. “You actually see all of these medical professionals who have done more research into Cannabis, and who are seeing the positive side of it. I was able to get into Cannabis testing through that, and that’s when my interest started to grow.”

Driven by fate to embark on a journey into the Cannabis industry, he found himself caught up in a growing community full of opportunity to help people and have fun doing it, while simultaneously building a career. 

Becoming a guide at People’s OC

People’s OC takes its role as a source of information and relief seriously, and as such, the company refers to its floor staff as guides, rather than the commonly accepted budtender nomenclature. 

As a guide for People’s, Miller finds a lot to keep him fulfilled. 

Whether it’s getting hyped on new strains, bonding with the team or helping people find relief from what ails them, Miller loves his work. He especially loves helping change outdated attitudes about the plant. 

“The majority of our customers are probably over 40 and heading into 50,” he said, “and you get all of these people who may not have tried Cannabis before … That’s one of the best things, seeing the opinions of Cannabis swaying toward the more positive end.”

The most important thing about being a guide, he says, is to stay informed and be genuine. 

“Have the confidence in yourself,” he said. “Be you when you’re trying to interact with customers. You want to come across as genuine, and genuinely be you. That’s one of the benefits of being in this industry. You can show more of who you are, in a sense.”

A bong and a blintz? 

As a guide at People’s OC, Miller needs to stay up to speed on all of the products carried by the shop. Though he has his favorites. 

“I’m a huge Sativa guy. I love that uplifting feeling,” he said. He especially digs playing video games with his friends and watching the Los Angeles Angels play after enjoying some flower out of his favorite bong. 

“I also really like Absolute Extracts Lost Farms Gummies,” he said. “I’m not a huge edible guy, because I have a super high tolerance, but Lost Farms Gummies really slap. They’re phenomenal.”

As a self-described flower enthusiast, he’s partial to Durban Poison, Lava Flower and Quest strains. And when it comes to consumption, he favors one method over all others. 

“I’m smoking a bong, for sure,” he said. “I think that’s the quickest, strongest high. I don’t waste weed … but if a joint comes my way, I’m smoking it.”

People’s OC / 2721 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705 / https://peoplescali.com/

Photos by @justinlstewart

About Tom Bowers

When he's not hunting down the tastiest stories and products the cannabis community has to offer, Tom plays guitar, master builds Legos with his kids, and plays with his dog in the park.

This article was originally published in the March 2021 issue of California Leaf.

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