Meet the Higher Path Collective’s budtender extraordinaire Gianfranco. A self-proclaimed cannabis educator and enthusiast, learn what he loves most about his job and what he envisions for the future of the industry.

1. Tell us about yourself—where you work, what you do, and how you became a budtender.

Hello! I’m Gian, otherwise known as GiGi. I work at The Higher Path Collective and I’m a shift leader. I make sure the flow of our shop runs smoothly and tend to guests with their cannabis questions. I have always been curious to work in the cannabis industry and luckily someone from The Higher Path thought I’d be a great fit for the business.

2. What’s the number one thing you tell canna-curious fans who want to try products for the first time?

First-time cannabis consumers are my favorite to speak with! Something I always tell my newbies is that when it comes to edibles, it’s always best to take one (or two for the adventurous soul) and wait for the effects to begin before taking over 10mg THC per serving. To better suggest a product, I love to ask what type of experience they’re looking for or what activities they might enjoy elevated.

3. Describe your proudest moment as a budtender or what you like most about working in the cannabis industry.

I think when a returning customer comes to me and he or she thanks me for the sleep they had or talks to me about the best giggles they enjoyed from their favorite movie is when my proud budtender face comes on.

4. What do you like most about Kiva Confections? What should consumers know about our edibles and what sets them apart from others?

I like the versatility Kiva Confections provides! Whether it’s a 2.5mg THC dose from a Petra Mint or 15mg of the Camino gummy, it’s easy to choose Kiva. Describing how mouthwatering the Caminos are is usually the kicker to taking them home with you.

5. What is your hope for cannabis and the future?

My hope for the cannabis community in the future is to erase the negative connotations surrounding it. I hope for us to restructure where our tax money goes and to better our community with the millions of dollars our state has to work with now. Maybe we could even structure the money to benefit art programs for children or better our veteran homeless epidemic that’s happening in DTLA. I think all of this is possible with positive reinforcement and love, and what better way to do it if it isn’t with cannabis.