Scott Yoss has held nearly every position there is in the cannabis industry, but he always comes back “home” to budtending. “I love interacting with people,” says Yoss, who currently works for The Clinic in Denver, Colorado.

Yoss says he finds it tremendously rewarding to see the advent of legal adult use and to be able to educate his customers on safe, responsible consumption.

“I love to learn about cannabis and pass on what I know. To see the many different effects that this one plant can produce, and to teach people how to use it responsibly, is a dream come true,” Yoss says. “I am tremendously proud to be able to work in this industry.”

Yoss took a unique path to his jobs in the cannabis industry. An oil painter, Yoss found himself selling his contemporary works to dispensaries across Denver after moving to the city ten years ago.

“I formed some very meaningful relationships with people in the industry, both as a patient and as a customer, and working in the cannabis industry seemed like a natural fit for me,” Yoss says. “I’ve worked in virtually all aspects of the industry, and cannabis has been with me my entire life.”

“Cannabis isn’t for everyone,” he adds, “but it is a personal decision and an adult decision, and people whose lives are improved by cannabis should be able to use it.

“Part of my job is to make sure that those who do use it use it responsibly and within the confines of the law. We have fought hard to be recognized as a legitimate, law-abiding industry, and neither we nor consumers have the right to endanger our freedom by being reckless or disrespectful of local statutes.”

Yoss himself found his expectations up-ended when he entered the profession.

“I expected it to be dominated by hippies — the older generation, the folks who in some way paved the way for legalization,” he says. But what he found was “a bunch of energized, highly intelligent, thirty-somethings who were committed to doing things the right way.”

Yoss says that one of the things that struck him the most about the industry is its unwavering commitment to “following, in black and white, the statutory regulations set before us. People who think that the industry is full of careless stoners — of people who just want to get high and get other people high and don’t care about anything else — couldn’t be further off the mark.”

Of special concern to Yoss and his colleagues in the cannabis industry is ensuring adult use is just that: adult. Following cannabis legalization, a common concern among policymakers and the public was that juvenile use of cannabis would go up. However, recent evidence has shown no support for that concern, and even suggests that the opposite is happening, thanks in part to the cannabis industry’s commitment to responsible regulation. In Colorado, for example, juvenile use of cannabis has actually decreased since legalization.

“The numbers are adding up the right way,” Yoss says. “People who were concerned that legalizing adult-use cannabis would result in more crime can rest easy. It’s not the case.”

Yoss and others like him in the industry are committed to being good corporate citizens in their communities — operating responsibly, complying with state and local laws, and educating their customers about how to consume cannabis safely, responsibly, and with respect for the law.

“Working for the greater good has always been a driver for me,” Yoss says, “and cannabis has been with me every step of the way. It’s never been anything but a positive force in my life.”