Budtenders: Tucson SAINTS’ David McConnell shares his experiences

click to enlarge Budtenders: Tucson SAINTS’ David McConnell shares his experiences
(Hope Peters/Staff)
David McConnell, budtender for Tucson SAINTS Dispensary.

Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in November 2020, more weed dispensaries are popping up all over Tucson. Getting high pays off for Arizona with doobage in high demand.

From January 2021 to June 2022, recreational marijuana revenue is at more than $1 billion, according to Arizona Bureau of Revenue (ABOR).

Tucson has 17 locations marjuana dispensaries. In this regular column, budtenders describe their experiences working in the rapidly growing industry. This week’s budtender is David McConnell at Tucson SAINTS. Want to tell your story? Email hpeters@tucsonlocalmedia.com

Tell us about your career in the cannabis industry.

I got into the industry almost seven years ago because I saw the benefits it had for my grandmother and wanted to be able to help the same way with others.

What types of cannabis do you specialize in?

I would say I specialize in flower and extracts, but it depends on what myself or others might be dealing with at any given time.

What are your favorite memories being behind the counter?

Hearing people’s stories. Whether it be how they started or how long they have been using marijuana or how it has helped them. One gentleman told me his story and how he first tried it when he was walking through the rice fields in Vietnam. His battle buddy pulled out a wrinkled joint from his helmet and told him to try it and he never put it down. It helped him mentally and physically over the course of his entire life. That story will always stand out.

What is the oddest request for a product or oddest infused flavor for an edible request you have had?

It’s hard to say. After years of budtending in Tucson, I feel like nothing comes off as odd anymore.

What is the difference between, hybrid, indica and sativa?

I feel like the difference is more about the actual effects a strain has. If it is very mentally stimulating and euphoric and not very heavy on the body or mind, I would call that sativa. Something that really helps with muscles and pain and calms the mind and has you melted in the couch like the old commercials is an indica. Hybrids can be a blend of the two with both indica and sativa traits.

What does ordering a hybrid, indica or sativa say about a person?

Nothing besides the fact that they may be dealing with something different than someone else or want to feel a certain type of way.

What’s your best piece of advice for people wanting to get into the business?

Make sure you are doing it because you believe in the product, not because you think it would be a cool workplace. It is, but that only goes so far. We don’t medicate at work. We are here for the consumer/patient. If you have a passion for marijuana and understand it can be a lot of work and be very rewarding, then it is the place for you.

Which product is your favorite or highest-selling item? Can you explain what this product is and what are its effects?

I would have to say our Cornerstone flower. It is a pure sativa strain that smells like lemons and pine and is a very effective strain and super consistent over the years.


(Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies)

112 S. Kolb Road, Tucson


10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Sunday