Since joining Washington State’s cannabis industry six months ago, I’ve come to realize that many people around the world still have no concept of what legal cannabis really entails. In the world of legal weed, almost anything has become possible.
Long gone are the days where weed was just weed and getting stoned was the only effect you could hope to achieve. Seattle is full of highly creative people who have been pushing the boundaries of cannabis with science, customer service, and traditional retail experiences. Our city has a unique set of people who work in the industry and for the most part, the people of legal cannabis are there to be your all-knowing connect for quality weed.
With that said, RMR encourages you to learn more about one of our favorite local budtenders in the interview below. Tony Chung is an outstanding liaison for the cannabis community and one of the more knowledgeable people you could connect with in the Seattle area. When you’re visiting Fremont and looking for cannabis, RMR recommends calling up Have a Heart and asking for Tony.
The People of Legal Cannabis: Tony Chung Medical Consultant at Have a Heart
Q: Share some info on who you are and what shop(s) you currently work or have worked at. How long have you been working in the medical or rec industry, or both?
A: Tony Chung born and raised in Treeattle, Washington. I currently work at the dankest shop around at Have a Heart Fremont as a lead medical consultant. I am an energetic artist with passions in improving one’s life through cannabis, climbing, technology and health. I have been in the industry for the last 5 years starting out with medical.
Q: What have been some of your favorite moments working within the cannabis industry thus far?
A: Some of my recent favorite moments in the industry are when I get to provide knowledge for medical patients with ailments when asked so that they may learn to heal themselves with the power of cannabis has been priceless for me. In the past, some of my favorite moments would be watching a room of fully matured buds, smelling them right before harvesting and then trimming. My favorite all time moments would be the collection of gooey scissor and finger hash that gets collected and then I squish them into little mini shapes as it cures.
Q: What made you get into the cannabis industry? Were there any particular moments where you realized this was what you really wanted to get into?
A: I started out volunteering for cannabis cups and 420 events like the once a year Hempfest at Myrtle Edwards Park. With growing interests in the industry, I started out finding part-time gigs trimming for medical gardens and then working my way up, down and around. Everything from transitioning to collaborating with teams, to harvest rooms with 15~20lb rooms of multiple strains on the weekly! The moment I realized I was 110% in for cannabis was in 2014 when I started to fully realize how powerful cannabis is when used appropriately.
A: I’m mostly on team hybrid that are around 60/40 or 40/60 leaning toward either sativa or indica. I enjoy the indica profile for the body euphoria with pain relief and in unison with the added umph of the sativa, I usually get just goofy enough to be creative with art or get into a talk about alternate dimensions and aliens. My preferred method of using cannabis for relaxation is rolling up a nice fatty joint. Next runner up, I use tinctures in varying ratios on the daily as well, mainly concentrated in higher levels of CBD than THC which helps my body flow smoother and easier through the day.
Q: Can you really break down and describe that perfect cannabis experience for you?
A: The perfect cannabis experience for me would be when I am in a majestic setting like on top of a mountain or on the beach with friends rewarding ourselves with a delicious fruity joint. Or roasting a joint before a delicious meal with good family and friends helps me become more present and appreciate my senses more.
Q: What aspect of marijuana brings out the passion in you? Why?
A: Knowing that this plant is the most universally diverse in multiple areas, mainly healing. Cannabis has changed my perception of reality for the better and I aim to help others discover how to use cannabis for beneficial causes.
Q: How important is properly educating the consumer to you and the shop you work at? Do you feel that consumers are receptive to the information you provide?
A: Educating guests and patients is one of the most important points that I have at Have a Heart in Fremont. I do feel guests are receptive but only when conversing with them as if you would chat with a friend instead of a client.
Q: What are some of the most important things you look for when purchasing cannabis that you feel most consumers are overlooking?
A: Overall life force of the bud itself, the manicure from the trimming to the overall visual pronunciation of trichomes to the sizing of the calyx’s. Using my senses to the best of my abilities to observe the different colors, density, and funk if it can escape the container.
Q: What cannabis brands do you trust the most and why? (1 each for concentrates, prerolls, flower, edibles/drinkables and which resource you go to for trusted information.)
A: Seattle Private Reserve for its concentrates for overall cost effective to quality, Gold Leaf for their delicious and kickass pre-rolls, Subx for the flowers due to their overall consistent output of some fire! Honu is my favorite edibles right now due to their texture changing treats and Legal sodas for their diversified taste and effects. When it comes to information my go to sites are Leafly, Cannafo, ProjectCBD and Examine.
A: I would like to see the misconception in others about cannabis not being a medicine dissolved along with cannabis being universally accepted.
Q: Anything you would like to see changed in Washington’s cannabis industry?
A: Yes, the allowance of more safe spaces in which residents and guest can use cannabis at.