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Eager to join the industry after about 15 years “orbiting in the world of cannabis,” Nadine Rosario-Vieira is a dispensary supervisor at The Travel Agency who has recently brought her longtime knowledge and experience with plant medicine to her professional endeavors. As one of the newer additions to the team, Nadine spends her day-to-day getting acquainted with her co-workers, sharing her cannabis knowledge, dialing in workflow and OCM protocol, and being a pillar of support for the USQTA crew.

 

 

Q&A with Nadine

 

Can you share a personal story or a memorable interaction related to the positive effects of cannabis on yourself or a customer at USQTA?

Within my first few weeks at USQTA, I had a guest who wanted their parents to consume cannabis to support pain management instead of using pain meds. We carry an edible formulated with herbs that provide sleep support, nerve support, and anxiety support. I was able to talk through the ingredients with them, deepening their understanding on how cannabis can work in conjunction with plants that have analgesic properties. They came back a few days later and relayed to me that it was a success. I laughed when the first thing they said after greeting me was, “You know your shit!”

 

What are some consumer trends you have noticed? Are these trends surprising?

Sleep support, sleep support, sleep support! I don’t find this surprising at all. The science of sleep has specialists, departments and institutions dedicated to it. It is very cool to see more and more people moving away from pharmaceuticals and manufactured sleeping aids, and moving towards cannabis.

 

What has been your favorite brand to learn about during staff training? What sets it apart?

MFNY! The compassion, precision, and knowledge their team possesses is astounding. We got to tour the facility and experience their harvesting processes in the flesh. Prior to working at USQTA, in 2018 I worked with a company who worked closely with Treaty and Hudson Hemp, which is now Hudson Cannabis. I’m so happy to see how much they’ve blossomed over the years and I’m very excited to be working in the same space as them once more.

 

What are some things you’ve learned since working at USQTA that you would like to share?

It’s been very informative to learn about the policies and laws in regards to cannabis in New York State. I do think the laws regarding cannabis are very unique and it is refreshing to see a progressive legal framework.

 

What are your favorite NYC activities to enjoy after consuming cannabis?

I play music so I always enjoy having band rehearsal after a cannabis ritual ^__^. I’m very thankful I’ve been able to travel the world on tour with my bands over the years. I always love seeing the ways that consuming cannabis differs from country to country. I love being in nature and harvesting herbs for my practice as well. Before processing plant matter, cannabis allows me to get into a trance-like state where my cognitive function that is so wired into the day to day of the modern world is put on pause, and  be present in my body and not my schedule, planner, or responsibilities. I’m a Capricorn sun, Virgo moon & rising so being able to  materialize in the physical realm is very vital to me. I do think formulating plant medicine can be also a fun nerdy activity whilst consuming cannabis, it’s like phytochemistry’s answer to songwriting.

 

What is your favorite type of music or artists to listen to while high?

Wow this is tricky question! It depends if I’m in groups or at a show, or one of my friend’s bands are playing— that obviously is in an experience in itself. If I’m home and decompressing that’s a whole other thing. I collect records and I DJ so my vinyl collection goes from Sahel Rock, Exuma, Nina Simone, ESG to hard pysch rock, international hardcore punk, industrial, and then outward into space with italio disco, synth pop, new wave, and UK jungle.

 

What are some misconceptions or stereotypes about cannabis that you encounter, and how do you address them?

The biggest misconception I would say is that Cannabis sativa is a gateway drug. I’ve had many clients and seen in family members their struggles with pharmaceuticals which were prescribed to them that had become that specifically. I do think the narrative of cannabis being alternative medicine needs to be highlighted as opposed to being frowned upon for some.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your role at USQTA or in the cannabis industry?

Cultivating and sustaining an atmosphere to highlight alternative medicine calls for alternative ways of thinking. As a new addition to this team, I believe we are evolving beyond the archaic western concepts of cannabis and making room for the new breed.

 

If you were stranded on an island, what three cannabis products and what three accessories would you bring?

Paper, glass piece, and flower.

 

A Little Bit More…

“The atmosphere here at USQTA is very lively and vibrant. Unlike other dispensaries I’ve been to around the country, the team at USQTA is actually representative of the diverse population of New York City which I find empowering. The range of folks that work here reflect all walks of life in the city.”

 

The beginnings of Nadine’s journey through the world of plant medicine started in Asheville, North Carolina in 2007, where she lived in a co-op surrounded by like-minded, plant-minded individuals that inspired her exploration of agriculture. Alongside these housemates and through the knowledge gained in a foundational clinical herbalist program, Nadine began to cultivate cannabis to use as medicine and incorporate in her herbal practices. “At that time it just felt like the skies had cleared and the stars aligned! We all shared our skill sets while working in community to nurture our farm and plants. It was definitely a formative time for me,” she shares about the experience.

While her time at USQTA has just recently begun, Nadine has been involved with many community initiatives and projects around the city. Beyond her work at the dispensary, she is a Community Herbalist & Acupuncture Detox Specialist offering NADA protocol through her own herbal practice Poppy & Star. She is also part of a mutual aid group, Monarda Community Care, to help facilitate community care clinics in the city and Hudson Valley. Her passion and practice is rooted in collective healing, harm reduction, and health justice, especially for underserved communities. 

 

“More than anything my small business and practice are to uplift, support and illustrate the thaumaturgy of plants by means of folk herbalism. I aim to be a part of the healing of communities living under the stressors of systemic harm.”

 

Beyond her own consumption, Nadine is a self-proclaimed “plant nerd” and loves to talk about the phytochemistry side of cannabis and how the phytoconstituents of a plant affects specific bodily systems. Her belief in the power of cannabis runs deep, helping effectively serve the many USQTA customers in her direct interactions and through supporting other budtenders. 

 

“I believe cannabis has the power to be the introductory plant on a larger scale for those wanting to deepen their knowledge in plant medicine. Though that doesn’t necessarily have to be the path folks are interested in, I believe all plants are portals. Ancient societies knew this. Do we honestly think 2,500 years ago Cannabis sativa thought it would be affiliated with criminal activity, animated bears, and tie dye? These are all things that Western culture has woven into its narrative. Cannabis is rewriting its narrative and what we’re seeing is a special time that will be remembered. Like any major industry, this one will be multifaceted. From the back end, people in IT, payment processing, engineering, to educators and farmers there will be many new roles to be filled. There is enough room for everyone to grow.”

 

While she is overjoyed with the opportunity to use and spread her herbal knowledge at USQTA, she strives to eventually attain a processing license to incorporate cannabis into her small business. Through this, she hopes to create cannabis formulations in conjunction with other plants. 

 

Nadine is a big fan of MFNY, but her recommendations greatly vary from customer to customer, as she takes into account each customer’s unique consumption goals and body anatomy.  

 

She shares her approach to recommendations, stating, “Cannabis, it’s like your wardrobe: it’s an extension of your self-expression and  personality. Much like wine, cannabis can be an accessory to an activity or enhance sensation. That’s what I take into consideration in regards to my own consumption, or when making recommendations to others.”

 

Nadine loves an adventure with friends when consuming cannabis, especially when it involves music, whether that’s playing in her own band or enjoying her friend’s performances. Rather than delving into junk food when she has the munchies, Nadine prefers tea— anything from herbal to oolong.

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