While other students were doing research projects on World War II, Jarrid Reyes was digging into the world of cannabis. His passion for the plant started in high school and hasn’t waned since, and he’s been helping patients and customers explore their options as Retail Floor Manager of Sol Flower Tempe University for six months. We chatted with Jarried about his free thinking early years, his most memorable patient and his newfound interest in European architecture.
When did you know you were passionate about cannabis?
I’ve been interested in the industry before the industry was really a thing. When I was in high school, any time there was an opportunity to do a research project or presentation, I tried to make it cannabis related. That led to some shaming from other kids at the time since I had a strong pro-cannabis opinion, but those same kids now are smokers so the mindset has definitely changed. Fortunately I had supportive teachers who liked that I was a free thinker.
What’s the biggest difference you’ve seen at Sol Flower since adult rec use became legal?
Not much has changed operationally, but attitudes are changing. The medical community was accustomed to the way things were, and now rec folks are coming in and they’re blown away by the fact that they can buy cannabis at all in the first place. There’s kind of been a rebirth in the whole industry and we’re seeing lots of new faces. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that cannabis is open to everyone now but it’s important we stay in tune with the medical side of things. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to smoke on the weekend but I’m still thinking about the people who actually need it and can really benefit from it.
What’s a memorable patient story from your time in the industry?
When I was a PA I loved older people who were nervous or novices. One patient was a caregiver for her son, and it was refreshing because she’d come in, we’d help her out, and she’d come back the next week with a whole bunch of feedback and we were able to really fine tune what her son needed based on what actually worked. We were really close to her, and it was cool to have a regular like that to bond with and build a friendship. It was great to see how cannabis made such a huge difference in her life and her son’s life.
What would you say to patients or customers who are a little hesitant to dip their toes in the cannabis waters?
Cannabis is a tool and it’s all about how you use it. If you feel comfortable in your ability to treat yourself and handle your own things, then I think you should at least try it. It’s more usable than Tylenol anyway, and it doesn't have to be something with this huge negative stigma. You can smoke every day or when you need it. You hold that power.
What are some activities that are enhanced by cannabis in your personal life?
I’m a huge history nerd and cannabis has helped me zone out on documentaries, read books and learn things. I wasn’t always into European history and architecture, for example, but cannabis really sparked that drive in me to attain more knowledge.
Any favorite strains?
I’m a sucker for OGs and anything super gassy and skunky. Those smells and flavors have always done me right, and flower is how I prefer to consume most of the time. I do pay attention to the science of strains for our patients, but for me I feel like I can consume just about anything.
What are the big changes you see in the industry’s future?
How we grow and breed plants based on terpene profiles. Before there was a lot of guesswork but now that we understand more of the science it will be all about fine tuning and select breeding to get certain profiles. Sol Flower is one of the leaders in this area doing things others aren’t, like really educating the public about terpenes and the specific symptom relief.
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