Flora Farms is proud of all our employees, from cultivation to dispensary. We’re lucky to have three powerful women managing our three dispensaries: Chelsea Rollins in Humansville, Leah Hunter in Springfield, and Shelly Morrow in Neosho. All three sat down to discuss the industry, what makes a great budtender, and advice for their younger self.
How did you get your start in the cannabis industry?
Chelsea – Dispensary Manager at Flora Farms – Humansville
I spent much of my adult life in retail sales and hospitality, and my last position before transitioning to cannabis was with a distillery as the beverage director. I watched as the pandemic slowly gutted the food and beverage scene and realized it was time to pivot. About that time, I was recruited by Flora Farms, and as the child of two self-proclaimed hippies and a long time cannabis advocate, the fit was too perfect. I jumped at the opportunity to start a new career.
Leah – Dispensary Manager at Flora Farms – Springfield
I got my start in the cannabis industry because of loved ones who are patients. Cannabis is the only thing out of all other medications that helps them every day. It helps relieve one of pain and anxiety. Another had cancer and the one thing that helped them get through it was cannabis. I see the personal effects day in and day out, so I know how good it is. Then I saw the job opening, and the rest is history.
Shelly – Dispensary Manager at Flora Farms – Neosho
My journey with the cannabis industry started nine years ago when we discovered that it treats Crohn’s disease. A loved one had severe problems, and nothing was working. They wanted to remove everything and put in a colostomy bag. We’re like, “Nope, not yet.” We started with CBD and it helped with the swelling, pain, and inflammation, but it didn’t control the other extreme symptoms caused by Crohn’s. We needed the THC. That’s how I got my start.
What makes a great budtender?
#1 is passion for the plant. We can arm anyone with the knowledge of terpenes and strain profiles but the best budtenders are those who believe in the positive impact cannabis can have on a patient’s life and their own life as well. The best writers are readers, and the best budtenders are bud advocates and consumers.
Warm, personable, a great listener, and gets to know their patients. One thing I love is when the patients walk through the door and ask for budtenders by name. I think that makes a huge difference.
First of all, they’re my pharmacists. They know their terpenes, their plants, their strains. They know what treats what. When you go into a pharmacy and you have a question about your prescription, you don’t ask for the store manager, you ask for the pharmacist.
What do you wish new patients knew before visiting a dispensary?
Ditch the nerves! We are here to help and don’t expect you to know everything or anything. That’s what we do. Make the road from trial and error to relief as short as possible.
To let go of the stigma, have an open mind, and understand the broad scope of cannabis, and how it truly is a medicine.
Honestly, there’s not a lot I wish they knew before coming in because there is so much disinformation out there. When they come in with little to no knowledge, we don’t have a bunch of misconceptions to straighten out or bad habits to break.
If you could go back in time to talk to yourself as you were just starting your career, what advice would you give yourself?
DEEP BREATH! This is the right place, the right time, the right company… don’t be nervous, just jump.
Have more confidence. It’s okay, you’ve got this. Trust in yourself.
I’d tell a younger me to continue helping others. That everything she’s sacrificed has led her here with Flora Farms, trying to save others from unnecessary pain and suffering.