Meet Cathy Abbott, aka The Budtender


When did you start The Budtender? What was the inspiration behind it?

This is my third year. I have always loved horticulture and growing things. I’m a gardener for a living; I do private gardens in Rochester, Penfield and all over. Once I realized that (cannabis) was going to be a legal business, I thought I’d make a little money growing seedlings. I’ve been growing my own cannabis for close to 30 years, just in a planter in my garden.


You provide feminized photo clones. Could you explain what are they and what are their benefits?

I start mother plants. The clones are just cuttings from the mother plant. I put the cuttings into a little water system and treat them with a hydroponic solution, which will root them. If you don’t use clones, you don’t know the background of the plant. If you have the mother plant in front of you, you know that it’s going to be the exact same genetics.


How many varieties do you have in your selection?

I try to get one that’s sativa-dominant (Mother Gorilla), one that’s indica-dominant (Purple Queen) and then I have two hybrids (Royal Gorilla and OG Kush). I have four different varieties this year. I will definitely do more next year because people are a little bougie about their cannabis – it’s really crazy. They want certain strains and certain effects.


How do you choose your strains?

I read about them and get them from California. There’s so much information you can get online. I try to go with the highest THC because that’s what most people want. I really go through and find what sounds good. People do seem to want a variety of a sativa, indica and hybrid. Some customers come in and get one of each.


How far do people come to buy your clones?

I just had someone come from Albany the other day, which is crazy. They read about me in FLX420 and when they found out that I was based in Manchester, they were like, “Oh, it’s so far away.” Then a few days later they said, “I’m making the drive.”


The Budtender’s Facebook page mentions that you also are a consulting agency. Is that still available?

I offered that the first couple of years and had a couple clients, but I have gone solo with just the cannabis clones. This year, I don’t have anyone who I’m consulting so far, so I’m concentrating just on my clone business – I think that’s where I’ll continue to focus. Most people want to ask a few questions and want to try it themselves; they don’t want me there growing it for them. I’m making more money off of the clones, anyways. My focus has definitely changed over the last three years.


What tips do you have for homegrowers?

I fertilize with all-natural stuff. I don’t use chemicals, Miracle-Gro or anything like that. I’m a big fish emulsion fan – I use it twice a week – and I suggest it to everyone. I think about what’s going into my body, so I try to be very organic and chemical-free.


What do you enjoy most about growing cannabis?

I’m a big horticulture nerd, so I love to watch everything grow. I do like the fact that I know where [my cannabis] is coming from. I use it, cook with it and make my own edibles. I know everything about the plant and what went into it – that’s what I love the most.


Cathy Abbott can be reached through The Budtender’s Facebook page and website,

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