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Ganja Goddess’ Ganja Loving Bibliophile

I feel it’s important as a leader, especially in a small business environment.

Being a dad comes first for this six-year veteran of the Air Force who is a self-proclaimed, ganja-loving bibliophile. Jason likes playing golf in his spare time, as well as practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and making music. 

You wear a lot of hats in the shop. You’re the acting purchasing manager, yet you still get on the floor and behind the counter every day. How important is budtending in that whole scheme?
I feel it’s important as a leader, especially in a small business environment, to have my hand in every aspect of the operation as possible. I like to lead by example, not necessarily by directive. This is something I learned from my military experience and through having great examples in my life to learn from. And not only does budtending change things up for me a bit – it’s afforded me the opportunity to cultivate relationships with customers, which enriches my life. 

Doing the purchasing and then taking that knowledge to the floor, how does that work as an advantage for you when super-serving your clientele?
Mentally, I live in two worlds. As a purchaser, I’m living in the future and as a budtender I’m living in the present. So, I’ve always got a rotation of products in my head and sometimes I’ll go to sell something that isn’t actually on the shelf yet, or I’ll miss a product that’s already sold out because it moved quicker than I anticipated. So, maybe that’s a disadvantage. As an advantage, however, I get to be intimate with the inventory to see a direct correlation between what is selling this week and what I need to get next week. Also, I’m hearing how people feel about the product directly. I enjoy being in the trenches. 

Ganja Goddess has officially won the battle of SODO. What do you consider to be the recipe for success?
Success comes down to understanding customers. I’ve always felt that their money is already mentally spent when they walk through the door, but what they haven’t spent is their time. So, if you value that, then everything else falls into alignment. You’ll make your sales goals, and the owners are happy. It’s understanding that the true transaction is first time, then money. That’s how you win loyalty. Whether or not we’ve won SODO, that’s for everyone else to decide. I’ve never seen our neighbors as competitors because we share the common goal of furthering the normalization of Cannabis. 

You’ve been there six-and-a-half years, so I assume you have a good relationship with the owner, Tara. Who would win in a thumb wrestling match?
Oooh, you know, she’s still very spry and smart – but I’ve got some stocky thumbs man – so it would be a toss-up, for sure. If my raise was on the line, she would definitely win (laughs).

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 June 2021 issue of Northwest Leaf.

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