It is my great pleasure to introduce the Budtenders Association and tell you more about what we’re cultivating.
But first... here’s a little bit about how we got here and how I've personally found myself being a part of this incredible journey.
Like a true millennial, I was pursuing my schooling while the economy kept crashing into recession after recession. So, despite heading into university with all my math and science courses, I decided to pivot towards fields which I felt had a greater impact on the world around me and so I dedicated my academic pursuits to learning about peace, justice, and community building—a journey which took me through conflict zones, classrooms and many places between. My travels instilled a deeper appreciation for community organizers and leaders who dedicate their life’s work to supporting, empowering and elevating others. I’ve seen firsthand that when community building is the foundational core to everything we do in society, business, down to the individual, everything else flourishes organically.
Upon my return to Canada, the exploration of how I could have a direct and positive impact on my community led me to re-examine my relationship with weed. Cannabis, something I consumed recreationally and on occasion, was now an emerging industry full of opportunity and promise. With many being given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be at the forefront of a major global industry it became clear that the infant stages would be crucial to help mould the space into one that embraces diversity, social responsibility, and small businesses.
We ought to demand more from ourselves and our communities so that we may dare to imagine a future where we can all learn, grow and build together.
My introduction to the cannabis industry began as the Community Engagement Coordinator with TREC brands, where I visited retailers and had the pleasure of meeting consumers and Budtenders province-wide. During my time educating in the field and through retail activations, it quickly became apparent just how instrumental and influential Budtenders can be as the gatekeepers to an intricate and unraveling market. The customers’ loyalty to their favourite Budtender was ever present and it became clear - they are the primary educators and curators of our industry. It was also during this time that I met and worked alongside Casey, our CEO and founder.
When COVID hit, our day to day interactions with our industry partners were restricted. The brick & mortar landscape changed, naturally, meaning many Budtenders were laid off and uncertain of the long-term effects accompanying the global pandemic. It was in this uncertainty however that the foundation of the Budtenders Association developed. Every week, Casey and I hosted and continue to host Burn & Learn sessions (a digital space where Budtenders from around the country can meet and connect). The more we connected with our community, the more we realized the untapped potential which Budtenders possess as researchers, consultants, tastemakers, and creatives. In order to tap into this potential however, we knew that we had to come together to build something that would empower and support Budtenders nationwide.
Budtenders Association is a creative and inclusive solution to the issues we see today in the cannabis industry and our society at large.
Through fostering the passions and creativity of our cannabis community, the Association is bridging gaps in our industry and propelling it forward towards a more inclusive future.
We have collaborated with Budtenders on all aspects of the Association from our branding, content writing, to community outreach, virtual programs and more. As we develop our mission to research and educate in the cannabis space, provide Budtenders with resources and connections to build our diverse community, we are inviting you to grow it with us.
At its heart, the Budtenders Association is a community-driven collaborative organization. We are accepting submissions from passionate people who want to contribute by creating content, submitting a blog post , being a guest or host on a Burn & Learn, or proposing a novel project. Join us in breaking down the stigmas associated with cannabis while ensuring no one is left behind. If you are interested in joining this journey with us, please register, please write us your ideas, and get in touch!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Director of Operations