A Day in the Life of the Vault
One of the departments at The+Source that is responsible for the intake, inventory, and care of our products, is the packaging team, aka “the Vault.” The vault crew has a range of duties; we’ll take a look at the 10 tenants of being a packager.
1. They work hard and put in elbow grease.
“The vendors send us bulk flower, we weigh out eighths and grams, seal them in mylar bags, and put those in a bin for the tellers to sell” explains Javier Arroyo, Assistant Vault Manager at the Las Vegas location. When we say bulk, we mean business: “on a good day, I’ve weighed six pounds of flower” explains Kandeh Jones of The+Source- Henderson. Matt LaSalle, packager from the Sahara & Rainbow store continues, “when we finish those sets, we make pre-rolls.” The vault is also in charge of packaging specialty weights for the tellers, managing inventory, picking out snap sale flower, making displays for all 30 strains on the shelves with bud boxes, and staying state compliant with METRC, Nevada’s seed to sale tracking system. Most importantly, they keep the vault clean and sanitize everything.
2. They listen to good jams.
“Every person has their flavor,” says Sahara Vault Manager Frankie as he describes the music situation in the vault. “You know what your team likes, so depending on who’s coming in I’ll throw on trap music, reggae, dubstep, or EDM.” It’s a mixed bag, and the vibes that day influence the BPMs you can expect to hear. “You may hear Travis Scott, Drake, Lil Wayne, Disclosure, Odesza, or Juicy J,” says Dylan, a packager from Sahara & Rainbow. “Between everyone’s tastes we can jive, most of us are musicians and in the local music scene and have good taste; as soon as anyone comes back here they compliment the music,” according to Kandeh. You might imagine so many different tastes in music may make for a cooks-in-the-kitchen type dilemma, but surprisingly enough, the worst problem? “Our old speaker caught too much kief in it, and it died,” laughs Kandeh.
3. They want you to know from the inside out
- the vault is super clean – Matt M
- the sheer volume of marijuana we process – Matt L
- we can tell what strain it is just by smelling it or seeing it – Dylan
- we’d like you to know that we’re the ones handling your phone calls in the back, we have a connection with the customers too -Kandeh
- even though we’re back of house, we’re there for the customers and patients. It’s an honor and privilege to supply the valley with quality cannabis goods, for the best dispensary there is; we help people with cancer and people who want to have a nice weekend, that’s how versatile and beneficial our products are” -Tony
- it’s not always about money, or being fast, and we’ll slow down and put aside what we’re doing to take care of the ones who need it, we don’t tell them to google it, we’ll give you useful info” -Dean
4. While it’s one of the coolest places in the store, they have aspirations to fly the coop someday
“My dream is to be in production for a craft cannabis line,” says Javi unhesitatingly, as he’d like to make extracts using hydrocarbons, like BHO. Others have more of an entrepreneurial and experimental take on the industry: “My ultimate goal is to combine music and cannabis, I want to own a lounge/bar/venue/restaurant to promote music that I enjoy and bring artists to the venue while enjoying a joint with friends and food” spills Matt Muniz, the Vault Manager in Henderson. “I’d want to be on a tasting team, like quality assurance of sorts, testing weed and trying new products for a living would be my dream job.” Dylan, a vault team member from the Rainbow & Sahara location. Dean, a Henderson packager wants “to be a The+Source sponsored motorcycle racer.” While others would prefer to climb the ranks within the stores: “I would be most happy in leadership, like GM or eventually ownership,” says an aspirational Kandeh.
6. The challenges they face make them excellent problem solvers.
They have to purchase equipment and supplies and plan out how to make the vault run smoothly. Frankie, Las Vegas Vault Manager elaborates, “none of this has been done before: making things faster and more efficient, or finding the right equipment for a business that hasn’t existed in the past: it’s not like they make jars just for weed, we have to consistently try new, specialty, cannabis-industry specific inventions to see if they’re the real deal.” The layout is also calculated to a tee “we’re still coming up with ideas on blueprints for the vault, we want to be the standard for every vault hereto forth, we’re still in the first year of retail sales, through combining ideas from the Sahara store, we want to expedite our processes in the most efficient way possible.” The vault crew ensures that the shelves are stocked with equal amounts of sativas and indicas, “we don’t sell the best thing because it’s the best, we have to calculate when is the optimal time to put out the different strains,” explains Dean. “we also have to package up flower in anticipation of big sales, on top of what we already have planned to package, it takes a decent amount of analytics, planning, and organization to pull it off in time” says Kandeh.
4. They may be encased in gray cinderblocks all day, but they let their vibrant personalities radiate by showing their passion through expressing themselves.
-Javi likes to select the absolute best strains to put out based on the strains he likes
-Matt L. likes to focus on his work and be accurate with acute attention to detail, letting his work reflect his
-Henderson Vault Manager Matt “I play my own music and wear my own clothes matty ice in the building” Muniz wears glass pendys and plays house music in the vault
-Dylan expresses himself through his clothing, “I have a lot of shirts to keep in rotation,” as he’s known around the store for having sweet shirts from Savers and Goodwill.
-Kandeh expresses himself through his friendly disposition and asking questions to discover details about his friends and coworkers
-Dean likes to take pictures of flower and post them on social media
-Tony continues, “It’s like we’re the Mohamed Ali of a sport that’s barely legal,” he always has a wisecrack or joke, comedy is certainly his preferred form of expression.
7. They help other departments and customers alike
“Sometimes we’re on the phone for up to 15 or 20 minutes at a time, we advise patients as well as answer quick, simple questions,” says Matt Muniz. “I’m like a swiss army knife,” says Branden Barger, a packager at Sahara, “I try to help everywhere I can.” The vault crew stays busy throughout the store. “I restock bins for the teller team, I sticker product or intake for the purchasing team, and I handle a lot of customer service: angry, happy, or confused customers, then I’ll hop on the floor when there’s Spanish speakers” joins Javi.“some of us started in different departments; like me and TJ were tellers, so we’ll help the line” says Dean. “if I see they’re swamped on the floor, I’ll go and patient advise, or help at reception- I’m always the tall one if they need help reaching things” says Kandeh.
8. They have some pretty sweet perks: namely working gloves-on with flower.
Branden Barger, a Las Vegas packager, enjoys “the luxury we have being able to see our selection, all the things all the companies bring to the table, it’s a specialty position.” Frankie agrees, “you’re not just working with one cultivation’s flower, you learn about all the different brands and the quality, processes, and attributes of each.” While Matt M resounds the others’ sentiments “getting to see the flower every day is the most gratifying part of my job.” Some packagers enjoy the olfactory pleasures of the quotidian, “I could sit there and smell every different strain and jar all day, the benefit is we can recognize what strain it is by smell.” says Dylan, after showing off multiple jars of dank bud, haze being his favorite. But in general it’s just exciting to be on the front line of seeing new batches first.“It’s exciting seeing first hand the new strains and lineages or wild parent strains and crosses” remarks Kandeh.
9. Their inspiration keeps them going.
Customers and coworkers alike, these guys see others as inspiration to push themselves to be the best they can be. Matt Muniz reflects on his time helping patients: “I want to help those who may be using this as a last resort or lifeline; helping people get off medications and opiates keeps me in this industry.” “Seeing my coworkers working hard, it inspires me to work hard.” Brandon Perry from Sahara says. “I think seeing people, like seeing Aaron Nino go from packaging to purchasing to production manager, or Alec move up to accounting, and TJ going to production, it makes me believe in moving forward in the company and industry” Kandeh answers.
10. You too could work in the vault if you know these things:
“First thing: you need to know how many grams are in an ounce, half, quarter, eighth, or gram” says Javi, not so jokingly. Frankie recommends having done “tedious tasks with great attention to detail, and also a lot of customer service experience.” And according to Assistant Vault Manager Tony “you have to have passion for what we do; you have to be detail oriented and motivated- we have hourly, daily, and weekly, goals to maintain and exceed, it’s about working hard and keeping a good attitude.”
If you do get the gig, congratulations! Sometimes new team members can be in for a surprise, like Dean who at first “saw how fun it looked back here: but it’s not all fun and games.” He continues “there’s a lot of responsibility and accountability in working back here, I’ve learned it’s fun, hard work.”
Think you’re cut out for the vault life? If you’re interested in applying for jobs at The+Source, check out our Careers Page here for all open positions.