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Ganja Guys’ Jennifer Gochenauer

"I was always the kid who never broke the rules during school hours, or work hours even."

She’s a big fan of practicing yoga and riding bikes, but an even bigger fan of anime. Right now, she’s into Demon Slayer and she’s always looking for the next big story arc to take her away!

Before budtending, you were a server at Ramen House. Which job do you prefer, tending bud or tending ramen?
(laughs) Budtending for sure. It was fun working at a restaurant, but it wasn’t a good long-term thing for me.

Did you ever go to work stoned?
No! I was always the kid who never broke the rules during school hours, or work hours even. Work hard and play harder after, right? I use Cannabis after work.

Do you take your past experiences of retail, or love for anime, into your budtending practices?
I do. I’ve been in the service industry for about 13 years and every job I’ve had has given me the tools to prepare me for the awesome job of budtending. I think being personable – by listening to them and paying attention to their body language – is very important. You can tell if they want to chat, or not, because it is important to give them their necessary space.

These are quality skills to have for the new tourist season, yes?
That’s what I love about the Alaskan summer – you have the unique ability to meet new friends from every corner of the globe. Cannabis is the thread that gives us something in common. People who come from the UK tell me how much American weed is over there versus the weed they’re buying here, and it puts me in shock. They say the weed is cheaper and better in Alaska.

You’re a native Alaskan, right?
I am Holikachuk Athabascan. I grew up in Grayling and always played outside with friends. But I also loved to tag along with my grandpa when he needed to check his snares, go for a boat ride or blueberry picking.

Photos by @ShipeShots

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 2022 issue of Alaska Leaf.

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