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Budtender of the Month: Jill Caprio

You have to love who you’re working with to last this long.

Photo by Mike Ricker

This is the proud mother of a 31-year-old son who is obtaining a double master’s degree in physiology and theology at the Dominican University of California. When she’s not serving up the meds behind the counter, you’ll find this ocean lover walking or biking along the coastline just south of Los Angeles. 

You’ve spent 16 years at the same shop. You might be the longest-running, single-job budtender in the history of this industry.
Well, it’s great – you get to help people every day and really make a difference. I work for great people and I love what I do. 

How did this run begin for you?
I didn’t feel well and I was ready for a change from the prescription meds. So, one day I got on my bike and went to this shop when it was in Venice, to check out what was going on. I was always in customer service prior to that. For years I was a waitress who wanted to be a nurse. I liked the energy of this place and asked them to give me a try and I never left.

How important is it to like your owners when you’re a budtender?
You have to love who you’re working with to last this long. You have to have conviction and believe in what you do. And if the people you work for don’t believe in what you do, it’s not going to work. 

How is your relationship with them?
More than friends – we’re like family. Actually, our entire place is like family. Somehow, we know each other, or are related to each other – we look after one another.

What’s your goal in this industry?
To normalize Cannabis, obviously, and have it accepted by everyone. It’s been hard. I have a son that went to private school and was kind of shunned because I was in the Cannabis industry. It’s unfortunate that people generally have to get sick or need the medicine before they’ll open their minds to it. For me, because I’ve been doing it so long, people feel safe when I suggest products. 

How did the Cheech and Chong van from the ‘Up In Smoke’ movie end up in front of Green City Collective?
Our boss found her online … brought her back and we fixed it up a little with some paint. Now she’s our mascot. This is a replica of the original, but Cheech and Chong have autographed it and they’ve been inside of it.

If you could smoke any strain with Cheech and Chong, what would it be?
Straight up OG. Everything else comes from that. 

Photos by @rickerdj

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 December 2023 issue of California Leaf.

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