Pendleton, Oregon is best known for its whisky, wool and world-renowned rodeo. Not much comes to mind when Cannabis comes up in a conversation, but would you believe me when I say that there are four dispensaries in a town that’s roughly 11 miles in size?
Brenna Saldana is the manager of Kind Leaf dispensary and has won the hearts of all the stoners in this cowboy-ridden town. Brenna raved about her passion for helping the members of the small community, curating products for specific palates and breaking the negative social stigma around Cannabis down, brick by brick. We talked past, present and future, and it became quickly apparent as to why Brenna is a local VIP.
Tell me about your first experience with Cannabis.
I was a freshman in college and my roommate asked if I was ‘down to smoke’ type of vibe. But it wasn’t until after I was in a car accident that I started to have more of a relationship with Cannabis, because the prescriptions were not working for me. I really owe it to Cannabis for helping me recover from that.
What made you decide to become a budtender and how did you get your leadership role?
Well, I’m originally from San Diego – so I moved up here in 2015 right after legalization and loved the idea of becoming a budtender. I was getting burned out on the job I had, so I thought there was no better time than to hop on it. I think passion is what really got me where I am today. I honestly don’t want to be doing anything else and feel so lucky.
What would you say is your biggest asset to the Kind Leaf team?
I get so fulfilled by leading this team and providing them a workspace that they take pride in. I take whatever they have to say to me and I put it into action. I want to bring not just joy, but a sense of peace to my crew when they clock in, because this is a safe space for them to just be themselves. We thrive on helping our customers and being able to give the customers what they give us, which is hope and relief.
What’s your biggest goal as a budtender?
My biggest goal is to help change the way we look at this plant. If I can do anything to help whoever is in front of me and leave them with even just a little bit more knowledge about Cannabis than they had before they walked in the store, then that’s a win in my book. That’s what this job is all about to me.
You just had the longest day ever and you’re about to go home and get stoney. How are you achieving that?
Oh I am definitely gonna nectar collect some dabs. I love to go zero-to-60 in a matter of seconds. My current go-to is Tangies & Cream by Happy Cabbage and it’s absolute fire. After I’m feelin’ toasty enough, I will start rolling something.
If you could pass a joint to anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Definitely my late grandmother, because she passed before I even really knew what Cannabis was and would have loved to pick her brain. The other is the legendary Robin Williams. I can only imagine the kind of belly laughs I would have with just one conversation with him.