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Photo by Daniel Kim

KOLAS Sacramento budtender Talitha “Mama T” Blizzeard

Talitha Blizzeard took her years as a bartender and applied them to a new career as a budtender at Kolas in Sacramento.

Even behind the mask I could feel her smile glowing back at me. Talitha Blizzeard, known as Mama T by her colleagues, never expected that she would be educating individuals on the benefits of Cannabis – but now she’s diving headfirst into the industry at Kolas in Sacramento and loving every minute of it.

As the owner of a mobile bartending company, Talitha’s business took a hit when the pandemic struck. Shortly thereafter she responded to a radio ad calling for what she thought was bartenders, but a few days later, discovered the term “budtender” for the first time. Being a mom who had never smoked Cannabis in her life, Talitha believed it to be a harmful substance and adhered to the typical stigmas that came with the plant.  However, she showed up for her interview – feeling that divine intervention may have led her to the Kolas dispensary floor – and excitedly embarked on a new journey.

As a Sacramento native and woman of color, Mama T grew up targeted by this plant that is now playing such an incremental role in her life. With tears in her eyes, she confided that this job has changed who she is and has expanded her perceptions. She is humbled by the opportunity to do this work. The Cannabis industry is not what she expected – it is so much more.

“I love this new knowledge” Blizzeard said. “I would have never learned about the benefits of this plant if it weren’t for the incredible classes and trainings at Kolas University. I had no idea, I only knew about the negativity. I now know everything it is not.”

As a mother, educator and hospitality professional, Talitha loves engaging with customers and is overwhelmed with compassion and empathy for the patients she interacts with on a daily basis. She truly feels like she is changing lives – not only physically – but also impacting perceptions, as she can relate to older customers that her younger teammates cannot. As an incredible role model for her colleagues, she is not only altering Cannabis stigmas in patients, but raising awareness about specific patients’ needs. She’s proud that her services and team are able to create a sense of normalcy for customers during these challenging pandemic times.

Early on, Mama T knew that she had to try Cannabis for herself to be better able to help her customers. She began experimenting with various products, infusing her passion for bartending by perfecting her own Cannabis cocktails. She was scared to tell her children at first about her new career, as she had chastised them for pot throughout their young adult lives. Now, they can’t believe she is an advocate – with future dreams of building her own line of Cannabis cocktails and entering the Cannabis event space. She even introduced Cannabis to her mother who is battling breast cancer and saw real, positive impacts. 

At the end of the day, Mama T is on a mission to continue growing and expanding her belief systems. She understands how her own stigmas were drastically changed through exposure and education, and is motivated to help others to evolve as well. “Some people really want and need to change in order to receive the medicine this plant has to offer,” she said. “Some people get it, but some won’t – and I realize I need to let those people go.” 

Photos by @dkimreports

About Alexa Jesse

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

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