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Welcome to the latest in our budtender spotlight series! We believe that community is a powerful part of wellness—so why not get to know the person that guides you to the perfect medicine for your needs? There is nothing better than building relationships with the people we interact with day after day and often take for granted. Jordan Herrera’s magic lies in going deeper with patients to help them find the product that will best deliver what they need. He takes his role as a cannabis educator seriously, and understands that the right recommendation can be a total game-changer for someone who might have just been guessing. When Jordan goes to work each day, he uses his knowledge to impact people’s quality of life. We think it doesn’t get much better than that! Read on for more…

Herrera didn’t start in the cannabis industry as a bud tender at Curaleaf Midtown, he’s been working his way up since 2017.

“I started packing tubes for a lab [testing] and then I moved into a packaging room and then into the grow room and then the lab,” Herrera said. “I just wanted to be in every step of it.”

His journey into the cannabis industry isn’t something he sought out—it nearly came to him. While living in the border town Nogales, a grow opened up. Herrera knew the difference between sativa, hybrids, and indica, and understood THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids — the basics. He was hired right away.

His personal cannabis journey started in his teens, but he wasn’t smoking joints out back. He was using cannabis topicals.

“I was maybe 16 or 17 and used ointments first. When I used to play football, I would use them on my knees or my back. Basically, it was just for pain relief because I wasn’t allowed to smoke at that age,” Herrera said.

His favorite thing about working in cannabis is the patients, as he likes communicating with different people to understand why they need different things. If someone comes in asking for a high THC strain, Herrera always asks them two questions: if they’ve tried it and if it helps with whatever they’re trying to fix. This way, he’s able to help people where they need to be helped, often by recommending more cannabinoids.

“I basically just tell them basically what the CBD does and then they will let me know like, ‘Oh yeah, I need something that’s anti-inflammatory or I need something that will be good for stress or for eating,’” Herrera said. “Honestly the pod that you have, the Bleu Genius, that one is going to be really high in THC and then really high in CBD, which is really rare for a lot of cartridges and pods. That one would be my number one recommendation on something that is high on both.”

Even though he’s as thorough as possible in asking questions, Herrera knows more education is needed on all sides — both about cannabis and health care in general.

“It’s hard to work with some patients… to find the perfect product for someone because a lot of patients don’t communicate back. The best, and the hardest, part of the job are the patients,” Herrera said. “Seeing that same patient come back and be like, ‘Dude, that thing you sold me!’ [I’m] just trying to teach them, teach the patients more.”

His personal cannabis tastes run toward flower, as he enjoys the terpenes.

“I do like to taste the strain a lot, so I only use like Raw, like the cones, because they’re just so simple. I have one of those grinders that is like a little jar. You just stuff the cone in there and you’re done in two minutes with the whole joint,” he said.

After he’s finished with that joint, Herrera enjoys fantasy football and active options like kickball or camping. He’s been pretty successful so far, in both helping himself stay healthy while assisting patients with the same.

“Never stop exploring. Never just stick to one thing. Always grow,” Herrera said. “The industry’s growing. There are new products out every day. Just try something new.”

That’s a motto we can get behind! Thanks Jordan, for talking to us and being part of what makes our industry amazing.

Stay tuned for more budtender spotlights!