Sarah knows the ins and outs of medical Cannabis in Maryland, including what makes the industry an exciting place to be – not to mention the nuances people would not expect. She does whatever she can to bring joy into the patient experience and make their time at the dispensary more than just simply buying Cannabis. Be sure to say hello when you see her smiling face walking around Greenhouse Wellness in Ellicott City.
As an insider in the industry, what is something people wouldn’t expect about your job?
It’s an interesting job because it’s such a new job. Like you can’t go to Barnes and Noble and get a book on how to become a good budtender. Unlike some industries where there is a set foundation for getting started, you have to carve out your own path in this industry as you grow into it. This is also a very diverse job in terms of what you experience. The way patients talk to you and open up to you makes you feel like a cross between a bartender and a therapist – adding a feeling of medical professionalism for budtenders.
What sparked your interest in getting into the Cannabis industry in Maryland?
So it was actually my grandmother who sparked my interest in this industry after she passed away in 2015, losing her battle with rheumatoid arthritis. She didn’t live long enough to experience medical Cannabis in Maryland, but after she passed away I was really interested in medicine and alternative medicine. Shortly after that, Cannabis became medically legal and I applied to local shops, working elsewhere before starting at Greenhouse Wellness in March 2021.
What drives your desire for Cannabis education?
Definitely my grandmother, and then the patients I have met along the way. Many of my patients remind me of her, whether they also have rheumatoid arthritis or another chronic condition. I have seen these patients turn their lives around with Cannabis, and wish my grandmother could’ve had a similar experience. This inspires me to stay in the industry and help people reclaim their lives through alternative medicine.
How do you approach the topic of terpenes with patients?
One of my old colleagues went out to California and met a budtender there, and she brought back a piece of information that really resonated with me. He wanted to turn patients from ‘THC chasers’ into ‘terpene hunters’ and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m the same way.’ So I try to take time and educate patients on the importance of terpenes, because they dictate the direction of your high. Teaching patients to work with their body chemistry and find what terpenes work is extremely important.
What are your favorite cannabinoids to use?
I love CBG. Dr. Apgar got me on that, she is one of the owners here at Greenhouse. I tried CBG for the first time, and the aches and pains in my body melted away completely. I always recommend it to patients who struggle with chronic pain, and they come back with success stories. One of my patients struggles daily with migraines, and claims CBG has changed her life. My favorite strain right now would have to be Sour Gorilla from Curio Wellness.
What are some of your hobbies?
I’m a nursing student at HCC, which takes up most of my free time, but I love it. I’m also into gardening – I grow herbs and veggies. You can also catch me grinding Cannabis research in my free time, reading the latest articles on cannabinoids being discovered.
What do you think about Cannabis/CBD in mass media, Super Bowl commercials, etc.?
I’m on the fence about it because it has taken over so much and grown really fast, that you have to sort through the massive amount of companies to find who is selling high-quality CBD versus poor quality CBD. When I see CBD at a gas station, part of me cringes – but I also like that everyone sees these things are a part of our everyday lives. This helps shift the scope and push for further legalization.