Budtenders of the Month: Jaramie & Jessica Thomas

September 05, 2017 | WES ABNEY

Siblings, Medical Certified Consultants & Budtenders.


When did you first experience Cannabis?

Jaramie: I first started smoking at 15, my father and brother both smoked, so I started too, and it’s been a big part of my life ever since then. I’ve always been into pot — and thought it was much better than alcohol or other drugs.

Jessica: Cannabis came into my life four years ago when Jaramie opened Grassroots [a medical collective]. That was my first time being involved in the industry. I got to learn from a strictly medical standpoint, and where before I had been pretty anti-Cannabis, I got to learn all the medicinal ways Cannabis helps people, which frankly blew my mind.
How long have you been a budtender and what is your favorite part?

Jaramie: I owned a shop and budtended in it for two years, and one year here at Satori. My favorite part was in the medical days, when you could focus more on patients and have better prices and higher doses. I really enjoy getting to know people and helping them connect with the best medicine possible.

Jessica: I’ve been a budtender for four years and at Satori for six months. My favorite part hands-down is the people. There’s not many service industries where you can say you enjoy every customer interaction, but I couldn’t ask for better people. I have met so many wonderful people and have the common ground of Cannabis, it’s so comfortable talking and relating to them.

What your favorite way to consume Cannabis?

Jaramie: I like smoking flower and I like edibles, in that order. I did dab for a couple years, pretty solid, but after my fiancée passed, I got anxiety with PTSD, and dabs set it off, so I had to quit dabbing. So I like to hit pipes and bongs. I like filtered smoke or if I want to get wrecked, or for pain I do edibles — I feel those are best for pain treatment and sleeping.

Jessica: I personally like to vape. I have to be discrete, and it’s a comfortable thing in the home, and it’s a lot easier on the chest.

What are your favorite strains and products?

Jaramie: My favorite strains right now are Chem Cookies and White Urkel from Subdued Excitement, I also really like the Platinum Kush and Freddy’s Kush from Freddy’s Fuego, and I really like the Emerald Jane’s lineup, especially the Emerald Cookies. My favorite organic farm is Eagle Tree and their AC/DC for a medicinal strain.

Jessica: Some of my fav’s are Doctor and Crook Cannabis, as well as Fine Detail Greenway, both located in Bellingham. Not only do they take pride in their quality, but knowing that they came from medical before and are family-oriented companies, they really stand out. My favorite strain, hands-down is the Fine Detail Greenway Salmonberry. The flavor is so unique. It’s everything you think of in a Salmonberry, and it’s a mellow and gentle high that’s long-lasting ... a feel-good-all-day strain.
How do you help customers find the right products?

Jaramie: It’s all about asking questions. I start out with the basics to find what they are looking for and then we talk about what they are treating, then sativas and indicas. Same as I did in medical. And if they are beginners, we have low-dose tinctures and capsules to control dosage and track what I recommend. And when starting with flower, I recommend the organic, lower-THC items. With experienced smokers, they know what they’re looking for, so I walk ’em through my opinions on the cleanest farms and show the farms I feel are worthy.

Jessica: Honestly, it comes down to talking to them. Being open. When someone comes in, I ask what I can help them find, and I listen. If you really understand a person’s needs and study Cannabis strains, you can give them four or five options that really hit the key points for their needs.

Why do you like working at your store?

Jaramie: Satori does a lot to ask us about the products and they care about the products we want to share with customers, and they do their best to keep good products in the store. They also make sure to have medically certified consultants on staff. My sister or I, one of us is always there, not only for knowledge but we actually care. When someone takes the time to listen about a family member or sick child, it means something. We’re not trying to sell them, I’m there to help inform the patient. Satori allows us to focus on the patient needs first.

Jessica: They see the passion we have to help people and that’s great. I really enjoy the atmosphere they’ve created by catering to a wide variety of people — not just one group. Anyone can come in and feel comfortable and welcome, and they take the medicine seriously. It’s wonderful to educate people on the medical use of Cannabis. It’s not just to get you high, and they do a great job serving the community.

What are your hobbies when you aren’t budtending?

Jaramie: My main hobby is playing poker. I play high-limit and no-limit poker tournaments. That and growing Cannabis are my two favorite hobbies. I am also trying to work with LCCB on setting up a medical consulting company ... a future project to help patients in the registry. I’m doing it right now for free as a hobby to help people and someday turn it into a business.

Jessica: I really enjoy time with family. We are very family-oriented, which is why we work together very well. I spend time with my mom, and enjoy anything outdoors. Bellingham is beautiful. People should come give us a visit!

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