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Photo by Colin Bazzano

Kate Stewart-Sollanek from The Pass

"The intersection of nature and Cannabis is a true Berkshire experience."

Kate spent most of her career in the food and beverage industry before transferring to Cannabis, doing everything from bartending to managing. She lives with her husband Brian, teenage son Andrew, and their Jackpit Callie, as well as 11 backyard chickens. She’s also an avid antique collector and plant lover.

What effect has Cannabis had on your life?

Cannabis has had a profound and wonderful effect in my life. It’s made me a more patient (and fun) parent, and it gives me an added sense of connectivity within my marriage. I’m very high-strung, and Cannabis has helped to keep me grounded and relaxed. It helps ease my anxiety and helps me manage migraines, as well as daily aches and pains. 

What do you love about living and working in the Berkshires?

The culture here is like no other. There is a strong sense of community here within both the municipal and Cannabis sectors. The intersection of nature and Cannabis is a true Berkshire experience. Plus it’s absolutely beautiful all year round. There really is something for everyone in our beautiful mountain community.

What makes a good budtender?

Patience, compassion, a welcoming demeanor, and product knowledge are paramount. Passion for Cannabis is a must! You definitely need to know how to read people and to separate those that want a full experience from those that just want to purchase and go. Making a genuine connection with each customer will truly set you apart.  

What makes an informed Cannabis consumer?

Just knowing what you like/don’t like will help us make an informed suggestion for you. It helps when consumers have an idea of an experience they are trying to have or achieve. Our goal is to make each visit a fun, educational, and helpful experience, whether you’re a seasoned consumer or new to Cannabis! 

What are you smoking right now?

Pass products obviously! 19 Sweet Sweet for daytime, Orange Cake for evening. Holistic’s Chaos Kush is also heavy in the rotation. Pass gummies are also a staple in my Cannabis diet.

What do you enjoy most about budtending at The Pass?

We have the best staff in the Berkshires, hands-down. My colleagues are amazing and everyone brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. The community here is so welcoming and the variety of people I get to meet on a daily basis makes my job very interesting!

Photos by @colinbazzano

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 January 2021 issue of Northeast Leaf.

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