Tyler Banks, budtender at Moss Crossing, a weed dispensary located in Eugene’s Friendly Street neighborhood, wants you to know it’s OK if you don’t know much about cannabis.
“They hire here for customer service over cannabis knowledge,” he says, adding that there’s never a stupid question at Moss Crossing.
Which is a good thing because, while I have smoked pot before, I don’t do it much, and I’ve never purchased anything at a pot dispensary.
Why? Because maybe, as a punk rock kid, I rejected marijuana as altogether too hippie. Or maybe it’s because my particular brain chemistry doesn’t seem to meld with cannabis like it does with alcohol.
Or maybe, when all’s said and done, I’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.
I ask Banks to guide me through a first-timer experience at his dispensary. He tells me the initial step he takes with any new customer is letting them know what he himself prefers to smoke.
“Is that for you? That’s for you to experiment with,” he says.
The next step, he continues, is deciding what kind of experience the customer wants to have. He presents me with a menu. On the menu are strains of marijuana called sativas, indicas and hybrids of the two.
Moss Crossing also sells CBDs or cannabidiol, a medically beneficial, less psychoactive cannabis compound used for everything from tissue inflammation to anxiety.
“I would ask what your tolerance level is,” Banks continues. “Brand-spanking new? You’re only going to need one or two hits.”
At Moss Crossing, you can purchase a pipe, or papers. You can buy a joint — already rolled up and ready to go. And the menu goes from smallest, a half-gram joint, all the way up to a 1.5-gram joint.
“That correlates with how many experiences you want to get,” Banks assures me. “You don’t have to smoke the whole thing. You can always go back and revisit it.”
I tell Banks I’m looking for an after-work, ready to unwind, happy-hour type experience. He says stick with the indicas. “If you’re prone to anxiety,” Banks says, “you might want to be careful with the sativas.”
But either way, when it comes to marijuana, Banks says it’s all about the THC — the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol, the stuff that alters your state of mind.
Banks has some beginners’ advice for those who choose to experiment with weed by smoking it.
“Dosage is number one for controlling your experience,” he says. “When you’re gauging your dosage with a joint, you’re not looking to cough. You want this, overall, to be a pleasurable experience.”
I pick out a 0.6-gram pre-rolled joint of “Critical Mass CBD” from SugarTop Buddery. The joint comes in a white, sealed-up little plastic baggy. It’s almost clinical but aesthetically just-so, in keeping with Moss Crossing’s overall vibe, which is something like a plant shop mixed with an Aveda Salon.