Budtending Is The New Bartending: Rocker & Pot Pro Priscilla Ray

Published on September 7, 2018 · Last updated July 28, 2020

Originally from Cincinnati Ohio, Prisilla Ray is a gifted musician who’s spent the last 15 years making a home for herself in both Seattle’s cannabis and creative communities.

With two active bands and a steady gig in the industry, free-time is a rarity, so we couldn’t have been more happy to have Prisilla chat with us about her musical projects, cannabis’s link to the creative process, and which strain pairs well with Prince.

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When and how did your career in music begin?

PR: I started in 2007 as a backup singer/dancer in a band called Cute Lepers which was made up of members of a popular punk band called The Briefs.

Who do you play with now?

PR: I sing lead (along with a male vocalist) and play keys in a band called Trick Candles. I’m also in a Prince tribute band called Purple Mane.

(Courtesy of Priscilla Ray)

What drew you to the industry and where did you start?

PR: I started in the cannabis industry in 2012.

My first position was managing a dispensary in Interbay. A friend of mine was the dispensary owner, and was certain I could use my management skills from other industries and apply it to his shop. I started off not knowing anything about cannabis except that I enjoyed smoking it … A LOT. I studied hard and worked in every area I could until my knowledge of the plant met the position I had been given.

You’ve gone on to work in almost every facet of the industry: retail, management, brand sales, marketing, and physical production—most notably running an all-girl trim crew back in medical’s heyday. What did you gain from that experience? What are you excited to be working on now?

PR: I formed an all-girl trim crew because there are so many industries that are male-dominated. For the most part, I’ve found that girls are faster, more precise, and all in all better at trimming. I also feel like we worked better as a team to get projects done while still reaching our own personal goals.

This industry is still pretty male-dominated in the media, but women are finally getting the recognition they deserve for being pioneers. Some of the best owners, managers, sales directors, and buyers are female.

As much as I miss my old trim crew, I would definitely say I’m excited about the position I have now as Director of Sales and Marketing at Soulshine Cannabis. We use enviro-friendly packaging, have organic farms pick up our soil for reuse, and give a percentage of our gross sales to Emerald City Pet Rescue. It feels nice that even with all of the restrictions we have in this industry I can still talk to the public about more than getting them high.

How or why is a career in cannabis conducive to your career in music?

PR: The cannabis industry allows me the freedom to explore creative journeys. The bonus is that both of my bands play cannabis events regularly so it’s easy to combine the two, they go hand and hand. I meet people all the time when I’m out on the field who are musicians. It’s cool to be able to swap band names and check out the music coming out of this newly birthed industry.

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Plus, when you’re high music even sounds better! Cannabis helps me greatly when opening up my mind to write vocal lines and melodies. Sometimes with the stress from making so many decisions in the day to day cannabis world, the only thing that seems to help is smoking the very thing that drives me crazy … Haha! I smoke Lodi Dodi from Soulshine or sometimes, strangely enough, our Hindu Kush, which is a heavy indica. It blocks out everything for the most part, but sometimes, when lying in bed, I get these insanely catchy hooks in my head, so good I have to get up and sing into a recorder app so I don’t forget.

How can a “canna-manager” best support the artists who work for them?

PR: Realize that sometimes really amazing gigs pop up last minute that an artist would be crazy to give up. In these times, let them do it, they will come back working harder because they understand how rare it is to find a job so cool in an industry so amazing!

If your bands Trick Candles or Purple Mane were a strain, which strains would they be?

PR: If Trick Candles was a strain I would say it was Narnia, a mix of Trainwreck and Jack Herer. The combination leaves you with a buzzy, sweet, head-high but looseness in your body … Great for dancing! Purple Mane would be some sort of Cookies cut that makes you feel cool … Prince was the coolest!

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Ma'Chell Duma
Ma'Chell Duma
Ma'Chell Duma is an Author, Public Speaker, and Culture Connoisseur. You can follow her cocktails, tacos, travels & travails on Instagram.
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