The environmental impact of the cannabis industry is something often put on the back burner. Scarborough-born Spencer Charlton has found a meaningful solution to address the issue of excessive cannabis packaging waste while simultaneously expressing his creativity through sustainability. As a budtender, Charlton actively strives to prevent plastic from ending up in landfills by repurposing cannabis packaging and giving it a second life.
A Cannabis Connoisseur with an Eye for Sustainable Artwork
Crater Crater is a recycling project that kicked off in the spring of 2022 with the goal to showcase hand-made artwork crafted from repurposed cannabis packaging and waste. The purpose is to bring attention to the excessive number of single-use plastics and other by-products that the industry produces and to seek out positive change.
“Charlton has found a meaningful solution to address the issue of excessive cannabis packaging waste.”
Charlton has experienced the rewarding effects of creating art for the cannabis community first-hand, all while positively impacting the environment. His hopes are that his artwork brings attention to the issue of waste produced by the industry, encouraging other companies to start their own recycling programs.
Budtending as Liberation
Charlton started consuming cannabis recreationally and then adjusted his outlook and started using cannabis mindfully as a tool to help the creative process. The plant has directly impacted Charlton’s growth over the years but so has working in a retail store. Budtending has helped Charlton improve his communication and relationship-building skills by connecting with others. He has had the pleasure of creating and nurturing many positive relationships, both behind the counter and on the purchasing end.
Working the Night Shift in the Cannabis Industry
Charlton has worked as a retail store supervisor for various companies over the last three years and finds himself working the closing shift, exclusively. This means he gets the privilege of interacting with the eccentric, late-night customers and the fast-paced energy that comes with it.
Consumers are becoming more aware of the power of product education and are actively seeking the recommendations of those who are knowledgeable and experienced. Charlton’s favourite part of his day is when a customer returns to the shop excited to tell him about their experience and that he “nailed it” with his recommendations. These are the type of moments that build trust between consumers and budtenders, reaffirming their product knowledge.
Knowing the Customer Through Experience
The best way to understand a customer’s wants and needs is to first create an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable enough to engage in meaningful conversation. Charlton strives to learn each customer’s cannabis experience level, habits, and preferences early in their interaction to provide more accurate recommendations. With so much innovation happening in the industry, it’s difficult for customers to know what products are available and what best suits them. That’s why Charlton finds it so important to stay current with product news so that he can suggest appropriate recommendations that align with their unique needs.