Los Angeles native and flower host, Centeria Hall, is ecstatic to be part of the historic staff at the ground-breaking Lowell’s Cannabis Café in Los Angeles.
“It’s just starting to sink in – the greatness of the place, and the importance of the work I’m doing,” she says from her home in Los Angeles.
Different from a food server, the flower host visits your table and helps you have the best recreational and/or medicating experience ever by pairing the finest flower with food, all while keeping customers safe and level headed.
“I have to be thoughtful on how I approach our customers,” she shares. “Just like in budtending, we can’t give medical information, we can’t diagnose, and we can’t lay claim to the benefits of the plant—even if we know from personal experience that cannabis might work for a certain symptom.”
Medicated, not high, is key, as each human body varies in dosing and protocols, depending on lifestyle and diet. The flower host must be mindful and attentive. What each flower host brings to the table matters, not just in product, but in their own life experiences, combined with their own personal use and knowledge of cannabis.
At Lowell’s, Hall’s focus is for each customer to have a relaxing and enjoyable evening; and if a sore muscle is healed in the process, it’s a moot point. It may be a bonus, but not the intent. Not having a bad outcome is the ultimate goal.
Self-Medicating for Stress
Hall was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended Mt. San Antonio College, majoring in Sociology, with a focus on Marriage and Family Counseling. She wanted to be a recording engineer, but found it to be too expensive a calling.
Home life was tough; her mother struggled with symptoms from bipolar disorder and was diagnosed when Hall was a child. It was her mother who she observed self-medicating with cannabis for the first time. But the first time her mother caught her smoking weed at 17, it was not met with acceptance.
“She was not happy about it, and made me smoke a whole blunt to myself as punishment,” she shares. “I didn’t like it and decided not to do it again. She was smoking weed all the time, but she wanted me to be straight-edge. It was confusing.”
At 19 she began helping the family pay the bills, and says she started smoking cannabis to combat stress, with no pushback from her mom.
“Safe to say I have PTSD from a childhood of emotional trauma. Cannabis helps me get through it—it still does. I’m still getting through it,” she says.
The Nose Knows
Hall was working as a pastry cook at Beauty & Essex in Hollywood when she answered an ad from Greenhouse Herbal Center, also in Hollywood, where she honed her skills as a budtender.
“At Greenhouse I learned about genetics and gained an understanding of the fragrance of certain cultivars and what that means. Knowing all of this also got me more in tune with my own body and what I need, personally. I know now, I’m drawn to berries – Blueberry crossed with Haze is a favorite. I don’t care for tangy citrus, but like sweet citrus.”
Hall says not liking a certain scent in a cultivar almost feels like an allergic reaction, and the scents we are attracted to have benefits our bodies crave.
“I really disagree with someone choosing a cultivar just for the high THC count,” she explains. “Choose your cultivars with your nose – if you don’t like the way is smells, it’s not for you. Your nose knows what your body needs.”
The beneficial compounds of the plant are found within the fragrance—within the terpenes, so it bodes well to follow your nose. Humans have a symbiotic relationship with plants based on scent.
Aside from delivering pre-rolls, vapes, and bowls, Hall’s services as a flower host include rolling joints if the customers don’t know how, and teaching them if they’d like to learn, bringing samples for perusing, and advising on dosing limits, depending on their stated tolerance. Starting low, and going slow is always the general rule of thumb, whether you are medicating or using for recreational purposes.
“I approach people differently because of my background in sociology,” she says. “My level of help is more personal, and I like having a relationship with my customers. Right off the bat, I say I’m not a medical professional—that’s the fine print. I can only recommend based on my own knowledge, from my own experience, and working with other customers as a budtender.”
The dosing of cannabis is an art, not a science, but it’s also a simple practice in terms of using plants.
A Simple Stash for this Flower Host
Her own stash is a minimal one. She mostly smokes to deal with triggers from PTSD and to chill at the end of the day.
“My grinder is from Flow Kana, and I swear, it’s the best grinder and gives the perfect consistency every time,” she shares. “I typically have an eighth of whatever special the house flower is wherever I’m shopping. Makes it more affordable and I like to be able to share with friends.”
She enjoys ingesting with fruity Wally Drops CBD lozenges, stating there’s hardly any ganja flavor, which is a plus.
“I love the Cannalocks container, it keeps everything fresh with its little air-tight, pump lock on top. I like to keep larger amounts of flower in there for that reason. Right now I have some Death Star I’m enjoying in there,” she chuckles.
Hall says she used to be a Swisher smoker, someone who always rolled tobacco with their weed, but now she’s trying non-tobacco alternatives and smoking mixes of other beneficial herbs with cannabis.
“Collecting Clipper lighters is an obsession, and now I’m collecting rolling trays,” she says. “I’m not big on vaping, but I do like abx’s Dart because they have great live resin pods.”
A stash favorite is prominently displayed among her accoutrements: the Rogue Paq, with an unusual monogram, “KOISC.”
“I had someone constantly making fun of me, calling me a Koi Space Cadet, and it stuck. So, I said, fuck it, and went with it—I am out of this world, buddy,” she laughs.
Not pictured are assorted tinctures she uses for back pain. She added that she also medicates at the end of the day to relieve stress and to help her sleep.
“My end-of-the-day rituals are also a good way to socialize with friends,” she said. “And that’s really what it’s all about for me. It’s tribal to sit and partake in a dope setting. It’s mind, body, and soul being fed now, and I’m really happy to be a part of that.”