In an industrial neighborhood of warehouses and railroad tracks stands Union Pre-ICO, a new kid on the block when it comes to Downtown Los Angeles collectives.
This week, MERRY JANE stopped by Union while the staff was putting the finishing touches on the new construction.
Photos: Terrell Young/ MERRY JANE
The entrance to the collective boasts a speakeasy vibe, and on 4/20 Union will open its doors to the medical marijuana patients of Southern California.
The dispensary also has an added perk, an airstream Apuletown coffee shop that allows onsite consumption of the products purchased inside.
This week's Tender of the Week is Union Pre-ICO's Ayanna, who has worked at several West Coast dispensaries before becoming a "Union Girl" as the budtenders are affectionately called.
MERRY JANE: What is your favorite product to prescribe to patients and why?
Ayanna: My favorite flower to recommend my patients is any top shelf OG as long as it is good because the effect is unbeatable! Nice pain relieving body high to go along with a nice, subtle, uplifting head high.
MJ: Are there cannabis events you like to attend and why?
A: I really want to go to Cannabis cup. I'd also like to one day invent my own event that will be more calm and healing like a healing retreat where we have sessions of meditation, yoga, and of course cannabis to heal ourselves and our souls.
Photos by Terrell Young
MJ: How is being a budtender better and/or different than any other job you've had?
A: Well first of all, I've had SO many different types of jobs in the past.. from retail, to working at the airport and having to wake up at 3:45am, to the food industry. Nothing beats working at a collective as a side job to pay the bills. Of course I have big dreams and goals but to me, I see no difference between serving someone alcohol or serving someone Marijuana for the time being. The pay is above minimum wage, we get good tips, meet awesome people, and learn new things all the time about a growing industry.
MJ: What attracted you to the cannabis Industry?
A: Well, while I was working like a dog at the airport, my friend knew a girl who was the manager at a collective. She got a job there and was making a ridiculous amount of money at the time, so I asked her to get me in and she did! That's how it works at collectives, most times you have to know someone. They are particular about who they bring on to the team.
MJ: What cannabis product would we find in your handbag?
A: You'd find some CBD salve for any pain throughout day and my vape oil pen filled with a good uplifting sativa for when I'm feeling down and dragging during the middle of the day.
MJ: What restaurants do you have on speed dial when you consume and what is your go-to dish? What do you keep your refrigerator stocked with when you consume?
A: I love to be healthy, so as far as restaurants on speed dial, I would have anything vegan, and organic. My favorite snack to have while I'm consuming is any type of super-food fresh pressed juice or smoothie.
MJ: Do you prefer to consume alone or with others?
A: If I am having a stressful day or I have a lot going on I usually prefer alone. But I definitely love recreational smoking with my boyfriend or friends, it's fun to get our minds calm and creative together.
Union Pre-ICO is hosting its grand opening celebration on 4/20. Check it out and tell them MERRY JANE sent you!
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3411 E 15th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90023