Welcome to the latest installment of our dispensary worker spotlight! This month we highlight JT Venhousen, from the venerable Curaleaf Bell. JT brings passion and experience to his role and is driven to spread the cannabis gospel as he educates and informs. A connoisseur who understands that pairing someone with the right product can have a huge impact, he is on a mission to guide both medical and adult-use clients to their perfect cannabis match. Read on for more on JT’s philosophy and experience!
A Passion for Cannabis
Curaleaf Bell Assistant Store Manager JT Vanhousen has always had a passion for the cannabis industry. After years of odd jobs, landscaping, and outdoor labor gigs, a buddy recommended him for an open position at a previous dispensary—he fell in love with it.
His typical day includes stocking, helping out on the floor, and answering any questions or concerns that patients may have. He’s also the guy in charge of making sure other employees are on task and doing what they’re supposed to do.
“I love helping the patients, especially medical patients, older folks who have lots of questions and don’t really know much about any of the stuff or any of the terpenes or anything going on with the products. I like educating people on them,” JT says.
JT says the new adult-use visitors don’t yet have a lot of questions, but they are excited to be shopping for cannabis. “A lot of the recreational [adult-use] people seem to just kind of want to try it and just say they came into a dispensary. A lot of them are just buying like a gram or like a preroll,” JT says.
He has noticed that many people, especially long-time patients, are interested in concentrates.
“We do have a lot of people that like concentrates. A big popular one is actually one of your items, the Ambrosia, sell that real quick when we have it,” JT says.
People First Philosophy
JT says that his family asks him all kinds of questions about his job, but not from a place of concern—they don’t yet understand but want to. They do know that Curaleaf, the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in the world, enables JT to do what he likes to do best: help people.
Beginning in his teenage years, it wasn’t until legalization that JT really understood how his own cannabis use was helping him. “When I got in the industry, I started to learn about how cannabis works and I actually began to notice the difference in cannabis. Because before that, you’re just kind of getting whatever,” JT says.
He’s also quick to share that more education is needed around CBD. “That could really help people, and people don’t really understand that. A lot of people just kind of look at it like a bunch of potheads, but that’s not necessarily what it is,” JT says. “There are a lot of patients that do see relief from something with CBD in it rather than just coming in to get a product that gets them high.”
As far as his own preferences go, JT is happiest with a Gelato concentrate in his Puffco. “It makes it so much easier than when you had the torch, and the banger, and everything,” he says.
JT is most excited about the future of cannabis legalization. “I’m excited to see what kind of products they come out with in the future,” he says. “Because it’s always changing. They’re always coming out with new stuff. It’s always exciting for me to see what’s new.”
We couldn’t agree more. The cannabis space is as dynamic as ever, and with adult-use legalization in Arizona, we can’t wait to see how our industry grows and evolves. Arizona implemented the new law in record time, with new licenses issued just weeks after the legislation passed. Under the new policy, adults are allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis at a time and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. Newcomers to cannabis are lucky to have seasoned pros like the staff at Curaleaf to guide their explorations and answer their questions, while veteran cannabis lovers benefit from their ongoing education.
Thanks, JT for bringing your time and energy to the Arizona cannabis community. It is made better by people who share their knowledge so others can thrive in good times and good health! Pop over to Curaleaf Bell and see what they have to offer. You can find Item 9 Lab’s Ambrosia, among other wonders!