Jessica krantz has been a positive influence in my life for the last few years upon our introduction in Seattle. I have reminded her many times of my gratitude to have her as a role model in my life, as a mentor and most importantly, a friend. Her impressive career inspired me to expand my horizons in both the Cannabis industry and as an artist, having completed my very first art show with her encouragement. She even helped me land my first job in the California Cannabis industry, giving me every single tool I needed to be successful in that position. Her work ethic is like nothing I have ever seen before, where she rises to every challenge that is set before her.
How did your journey into the Cannabis industry begin?
Getting into the industry actually started as an art show for me. At the time, I didn’t have any connections within the industry and although I was very knowledgeable, I didn’t have any experience behind the glass. Knowing this, I devised a plan to convince the local dispensary owners of Hashtag in Seattle to let me have an art show. I was already showing my art in San Diego and Los Angeles, so to me, it seemed like a great opportunity to use my talents and put me face-to-face with the connections that I needed to land a job within the industry.
I was given permission to have my art show, was introduced to five of my favorite Cannabis brands, and worked with them closely to create pieces of art based on the strain effects of the strains that they were currently growing. On Aug. 12, 2015 my show “Cultivate and Create” opened and was a huge success. I made 25 original pieces for the show and sold every one of them, cementing my invitation into the industry. About two weeks later, I was offered a position at Have a Heart’s flagship location in Belltown as a budtender, but then was quickly promoted to Social Media Coordinator.
The rest is history.
What was the transition like from the Washington market into California’s?
How did your experience in Washington help you land roles in California?
Coming to California from Seattle was quite different. At that time, Seattle had already gone through the recreational movement, whereas California was still only medicinal. This was an advantage as well as a disadvantage. The advantage was that I had already gone through the recreational movement, so I was a little bit more prepared for the madness once California did transition to recreational sales. The disadvantage was that I didn’t know anybody in the California market and even though my resumé was killer – showing that I had worked with companies like Have a Heart, Dope Magazine and Berner – the likelihood of me landing the sales position I wanted was unlikely. This industry is very much about connections. At the time, I didn’t have those in the San Diego market, so I knew that I needed to get my ass in gear and start making them. I applied for a budtender position at Urbn Leaf, and worked extremely hard to become one of their top sales employees within a matter of months. I knew going into my job at Urbn that I didn’t necessarily want to be there forever, but that I did want to learn from them, make great connections and use that as a stepping stone towards my larger career goals. Which is exactly what I did. I owe a lot to Urbn, and appreciate them for the experience and connections I was afforded while working there.
What are your current responsibilities as Territory Manager for Old Pal?
My job is to get quality, affordable weed to the people! I travel between San Diego, Perris and Coachella Valley, visiting dispensaries to develop and maintain individual relationships with them. Each dispensary that Old Pal partners with is very individual and comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities.
By visiting each of these dispensaries, I’m not only visiting with my buyer and learning of their needs and concerns, but I’m also providing my team with feedback, ideas and insight to improve products, services and sales.
My favorite responsibility, however, is getting to educate, train and hang out with my fellow budtenders. I miss being behind the glass at times and thoroughly enjoy interacting with them. We talk about Old Pal, we talk about politics, we talk about their future, the future of this industry – we pretty much talk about everything!
Most people agree that budtenders and retail staff are essential employees to the Cannabis industry at all times, not just during a pandemic. Why is that? How does your team work to support retail staff and vice versa?
Having been a budtender for quite a few years I definitely agree with this. Budtenders are not only essential, they have the ability to make or break your brand.
They are the first line of information when a customer comes into a dispensary. If they don’t know anything about you, your brand or what you stand for, you might as well just assume you’re going to be collecting dust. Although they are not doctors, they are educated informants.
In a dispensary, customers don’t select their orders from a shelf, then pay a cashier.
They approach the counter and speak with a budtender. Some customers know their order, others need to ask questions. A good budtender will have an extensive understanding of the inventory available, and can help guide patients towards products that can be used recreationally and/or will help aid them in their search for medicinal relief. A budtender’s experience and recommendation carries weight and should be treated as such.
At Old Pal, we recognize this and are always thinking of ways to help support our fellow budtenders. We provide educational days, deliver weekly snacks, lunches, give out special gift packages, and are working on future incentive plans to help reward those who go above and beyond for our community.
Will you explain some of your greatest accomplishments within your career? Your biggest challenge so far?
My ad campaign “Meet Your New Connects” was published on the back of Dope Magazine in 2017 and I even got to work with Berner on a few occasions. But my greatest accomplishment so far in my career has been working for Old Pal. This is absolutely the kind of job that individuals like myself dream of having.
I not only can take care of myself, but I am able to take care of my family, which is very important to me. Having your dream job, though, comes with hefty responsibilities and I don’t take them lightly. I have hundreds of people counting on me daily, which can be a little daunting at times, but also something I find exhilarating. I love a good challenge and one of the biggest challenges that I face as Territory Manager is getting that face-to-face time with dispensary buyers. They’re a tricky, fickle bunch and the challenge is real – but I’m also insanely persistent and truly believe that my authenticity, drive and belief in Old Pal will outshine even the biggest skeptic.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I have this motto I follow: Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Till your good is better, and your better is best. In the future I want to be better. I am a firm believer that there’s always room for improvement – always. The Cannabis industry is constantly changing and being flexible is imperative in being able to survive and thrive within this industry. Working in Cannabis is not for the faint of heart, it’s for the hustlers, go-getters and do-ers. Although I have a few years of learning to do, in the future, I absolutely see myself wanting to be a sales director in some capacity, while still working for Old Pal. Right now I’m focused on expanding my current territory, being the best that I can be, while still aspiring to be better.
What are some of your passions outside of Cannabis and how do they work together?
I have a very wide umbrella of talents and having been everything from an up-cycler and painter, to a published writer and favorite auntie, I’d like to think that they all coincide and don’t necessarily rest outside of each other.
I love to paint, love to cook, love my family and I love to smoke. Each of these interests are individual, yet intertwined into my daily existence. I’ve been smoking Cannabis medicinally since my early 20s and have since also discovered that I smoke to create, and I create to smoke. I also smoke to maintain my sanity and help with my own medicinal issues. I cannot have one without the other.
They each make up a part of myself that would be incomplete if one were missing. I’m perfectly OK being a passionate stoner and Jill of all trades.
“I love a good challenge and one of the biggest challenges that I face as Territory Manager is getting that face-to-face time with dispensary buyers. They’re a tricky, fickle bunch and the challenge is real – but I’m also insanely persistent and truly believe that my authenticity, drive and belief in Old Pal will outshine even the biggest skeptic.”
Krantz loves to paint and cook in her free time.
story & photos by danielle halle @sweet.deezy for leaf nation