Meet Ridgeburn Cannabis and Budtender Sophia
KookiJar is all about community. And our community keeps growing and growing. We like to shine the spotlight on the people and places that make up the Cannabis community with this blog. We recently caught up with Budtender Sophia Kuhn who represents Ridgeburn Cannabis Shop. Sophia was a pleasure to speak with. Intelligent. Funny. And she definitely knows her Cannabis.
KJ: Hi Sophia. Tell us a little about Ridgeburn Cannabis...
Sophia: We are so lucky to be a family owned business, which in the Cannabis industry is harder and harder to come by. You can really tell the amount of thought that was put into our shop, from small details like locally-sourced wood, to the amount of care and effort I see the family put in. A good portion of the work done on the store was actually done by them. Ridgeburn Cannabis Shop always makes sure to support small local businesses whenever possible which is amazing to see as an employee! Apart from our store itself, we were also blessed with some incredible neighbours. At some of my past Cannabis stores, there's been some pushback from nearby stores, but our neighbours such as the Sconewitch or Mr. Remotes have been so welcoming from day one.
KJ: Great neighbours make all the difference. We’d love to hear more about you. When and where did you start out?
Sophia: I have been working in Cannabis since 2017 when it was decriminalized in Vancouver, so I have seen the cannabis industry grow so much since then. It’s been so interesting seeing how legalization has changed the stigma around cannabis and also put so many safety checks in place for consumers.
There were always certain products on the legacy market that I felt needed proper regulation and licensing to produce, so to see that in action now is great. For instance, around 2018 I remember bringing in CBD transdermal patches into my store, which was so cool, but I also remember wishing there was more information on production standards, side effects, and information on if who was making it was following safety procedures and were trained properly. Now that legalization has been in place for a few years, it’s definitely increasing the quality and consistency of products and putting consumers more at ease.
When I was working in the legacy days, there was a certain level of fear that if you were honest about your occupation you would be barred from traveling certain places, or that people would see you differently, so there was a level of secrecy to the job for many of us. My experience in the Cannabis Industry is so different now in the best way. I feel confident telling people where I work, and I don’t feel like talking about my industry is so taboo.
KJ: Can you share your vision of the future of Ridgeburn...
Sophia: I hope our shop continues to grow, and be very successful, while still maintaining the family feel and open communication our staff have with each other. Everyone at our store loves chatting with our customers, and feeling like we are helping them to the best of our ability, so I hope we come to be known as a safe space where newer and old cannabis users feel comfortable being themselves and feel confident relying on all our budtenders for any help.
KJ: Sounds like an amazing and welcoming space. Any thoughts on the future of the Cannabis biz...
Sophia: I hope the Cannabis industry continues to grow, and improve over time. There's been so many improvements in the last few years, but I think there is still room for streamlining when it comes to certain regulations or rules. As cannabis becomes more normalized, I hope the industry grows to include people that may have been too scared to work in cannabis due to the stigma. Also, I hope people who were too nervous to shop in person for cannabis in the past feel comfortable coming in legal stores to shop and learn.
KJ: We are all in on the ‘normalization of cannabis’. Okay, our time is up, so we’d like to get some quick recommendations from you. How about a book you just read?
Sophia: I just finished reading The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. If you like a good mystery book, you’ll love this one. It’s very fast paced, and has more layers than many murder mystery novels I have read.
KJ: How about a TV show worth bingeing?
Sophia: I am a bit of a reality TV junkie, so I have been filling my lockdown days with shows like Siesta Key and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I also am watching Attack on Titan bit by bit and it’s action packed, if you like more animated style TV!
KJ: And finally a movie, new or classic?
Sophia: It's not a new, but the film Lion is a must watch. It is a very emotional, happy but bittersweet movie, so get ready to shed some tears while watching.
Sophia can be found on Instagram: @thatOttawaBudtender and Ridgeburn Cannabis aka: @RidgeburnShop on Instagram is located at 1638 Cyrville Road Unit 6A in Ottawa, Ontario. This is the Ridgeburn Cannabis Shop website where you’ll find an incredible selection of cannabis, gear and accessories - including KookiJar products.