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Photo by Ryan David Brown

Cass Marie’s Cannabis Journey

"You have to make sure you’re at the top of your game when you are recommending products to patients."

Fire on Fore budtender Cass Marie’s journey with Cannabis has been a lengthy one – beginning in her teens as a recreational user, but shifting into medicinal usage in her early 20s. At that time her health took a drastic shift for the worse and she opted to go the route of herbal remedies. Unfortunately, she was living in a state that did not recognize Cannabis as a medicinal herb, so she moved to Maine. Here she started growing her own Cannabis and the experience solidified her deep love for the healing flower. After a brief stint in Northern California where she learned to make hash, edibles, and skincare products, Cass returned to Maine in 2018 and is currently running the sales team at Portland’s Fire on Fore.

What effect has Cannabis had on your life?

Cannabis has had a truly profound effect on my life – it opened my eyes to the power of herbal healing at a relatively young age. Incorporating Cannabis into my daily routine allowed me to take control of my health and wellbeing overall. 

What makes a good budtender?

I think a good budtender is made up of equal parts education, experience, and anticipation of patient needs, with a hefty sprinkle of fun personality! Education is so important – from terpene profiles to combustion temperatures, to different formats of edibles, to the difference between rosin versus resin, and so on. You have to make sure you’re at the top of your game when you are recommending products to patients.

What are you smoking right now?

I am smoking a lot of OVM flower (Tangie X Cookies N’ Cream) grown by Think Higher Cultivation and also grown by Firefly Organics. It is the perfect amount of blissed-out pep-in-my-step, with enough body density to keep me grounded. At the end of my day, I’m typically dabbing on Sundae Driver rosin, grown and pressed by Team Green. They have a phenotype of Sundae Driver that is so juicy sweet and allows for a great end-of-day chill. I incorporate a fair amount of full-spectrum CBD-dominant tinctures into my daily routine to nail my inflammation and arthritis woes. I’m currently taking the 30:1 Anti Venom tincture by Limitless Earth and the 1:1 tincture by Maine Craft Cannabis.

If you had any complaints, what would they be?

No complaints here really, but more of a request: Where are all the juicy Tangie dominant strains?! The Crown of New England needs more juicy and fruity terps! Jokes aside, I think the Cannabis community all over the country has to take a moment and think about how there are millions of people sitting in jail for petty drug charges, while there are loads of us working in legal dispensaries. Anything we as a community can do to help should be done.

What do you enjoy most about budtending at Fire On Fore?

I love the genuine interactions with the patients I see a few times a week. It really warms my heart to have someone come back to let me know that the strain I recommended for them totally took away their leg spasms, or that they’ve found their new favorite edible to ease their cramps. As a patient myself, my knowledge has been a lot of trial-and-error. Being able to share that and receive positive feedback is absolutely amazing! 

Where do you go for Cannabis knowledge?

A lot of my Cannabis knowledge has come from the years I spent working in gardens; there can be many tough learning curves to be had when you are cultivating. That knowledge is paired with digital research – comparing several resources when it comes to terpene profiles and genetics, and the application for commonly treated symptoms. I do also turn to paperbacks on occasion; Michael Backes put out a fantastic read a number of years back that I reference regularly – “Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana.”

If you could get blazed with any figure from history, who would that be?

I have a number of top choices and choosing just one is really difficult! But I would have to say that Albert Einstein would definitely be at the top of the list. Puffing one down then chatting space and cosmic equations – that would be something truly special!

Photos by @ryandavidbrown

About Dan Vinkovetsky @dannydankoht

Dan Vinkovetsky (formerly Danny Danko of High Times) is a Cannabis writer and editor at Northeast Leaf Magazine since July 2020. Previously, He was the Senior Cultivation Editor at High Times Magazine since 2002. Danny is the author of "The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains" (2011) and "Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana" (2018). Danny hosted the podcast "Free Weed from Danny Danko” from 2011-2018 and currently hosts the podcast "Grow Bud Yourself!".

This article was originally published in the December 2020 issue of Northeast Leaf.

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