At Island Herb, we pride ourselves on being the best cannabis store on Whidbey. But, it’s not our location, the great selection, or even the unique decor that make our store special. It’s the people. We think our budtenders are out of this world and we think you’ll love them too, so we wanted to clue you in on some of their stories and allow you to get swept up in their out of this world recommendations! Today, we’re talking to Valerie, budtender, medical marijuana consultant, and all around brand ambassador extraordinaire, about her journey to Island Herb and why it’s great to call Whidbey Island home.

Can’t Beat the Beach

Valerie is a Whidbey Island native and wouldn’t have it any other way. “Whidbey’s got everything! The community is tight-knit, and people are always willing to help. And,” she laughs. “The beaches help too. No matter where you go, the water isn’t far away. Even on the gloomiest of days, it’s beautiful.” She was first drawn to Island Herb because she saw Lucas’ work in the community firsthand. “I used to volunteer at Good Cheer and the South Whidbey Homeless Coalition, and I was intrigued by Lucas’ passion for local nonprofits. Once I learned that Island Herb started life as a medical dispensary, I was in.”

From Prescription Pad to Flower Power

Valerie began her career as a pharmacy technician but then had to take a more active role in helping to care for a family member who became ill. Once the crisis phase had passed, she looked around and realized that she wanted to do something that would put good into the world and help others set their feet on the path toward health. She came onboard with Island Herb a little over a year ago, and the rest, as they say, was history. “My favorite part of the job is connecting with people and hearing their stories. I like being able to recommend things that don’t have all of the side effects that can come with the scripts I used to fill in my old job.”

Valerie’s Pro Tips

Asking someone who works at a cannabis store to name their favorite strain is a bit unfair, but Valerie managed to narrow it down to just a few. Sour Diesel and Grand Daddy Purple are her old standbys, and a few new strains that have stolen her heart are Kimbo Kush by Avitas and Pink Lemonaide by North Coast Growers. Her favorite strains for dabbing are Dr. Who and Hindu Kush by Smokey Point Productions.

For those who are just starting out or who are trying out new ways to consume, she has a few pieces of advice. “Start slow. Start small. Have an open mind. Always experiment–there are so many different strains and ways to try cannabis–don’t limit yourself to what you’ve always done. And remember, edibles are tasty, but they pack a punch. Don’t eat more than a serving to start.”

Stop in soon to see Valerie in person and to meet the rest of our fantastic staff. Check out our menu and don’t forget! We’ve expanded our hours. We’re open from 8am-8pm every day of the week!