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Utah in the Weeds Episode #91 – Collin Mekan, Patient Experience at UTTHC

What to Expect in This Episode

Episode 91 of Utah in the Weeds features Collin Mekan, a beloved patient experience agent at Utah Therapeutic Health Center. Collin’s friendly demeanor, great sense of humor, and knowledge of Medical Cannabis have made him an invaluable team member at UTTHC.

We started this episode with a brief overview of Collin’s work experience within the cannabis industry. Before joining UTTHC, Collin worked in cannabis cultivation. [03:25]

Collin’s knowledge of cannabis and the human body’s endocannabinoid system help UTTHC’s patients feel comfortable with cannabis medicine. [06:23]

Collin spends some of his free time playing music. He said he owns several guitars and he likes to “folk out” now and then. He and Tim shared some of their memories about learning to play instruments as students. [11:57]

Next, they talked about cannabis and other plant-based medicines. Tim and Collin agree that Utah’s Medical Cannabis patients should have the legal right to grow their own medicine. [15:56]

Collin and Tim touched on the spiritual aspects of cannabis use – a topic that doesn’t often get discussed in a medical setting. Then they talked about some of the legal pitfalls Utah’s Medical Cannabis users could face. [20:04]

Collin told us about his experience turning 40, and Tim also shared a few insights about being in his early 40s. [23:29]

Next, they talked about the therapeutic potential of some of the lesser-known cannabinoids, like CBG and CBN. Both hope to see more non-psychoactive products available to Utah’s Medical Cannabis patients. [24:41]

Collin told us about his own use of Medical Cannabis, including the use of cannabis to deal with social anxieties. One benefit of Medical Cannabis is “layering,” or using multiple delivery methods to achieve the desired effect. [31:15]

Tim and Collin discussed the stigma and stereotypes surrounding cannabis, and how Utah is already ahead on that front. [36:18]

Tim mentioned the Discover Marijuana YouTube channel’s series of giveaways in March. This led to a discussion about Tim and Collin’s favorite dry herb vaporizers. [38:41]

Collin talked about visiting Scotland for his 4o birthday and some of his other travels with his wife. [41:30]

Next, they discussed the supportive atmosphere at Utah Therapeutic Health Center, which echoes the familial quality of Utah’s Medical Cannabis community. [42:32]

When asked about his favorite cannabis strain, Collin said it’s more important to focus on the cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid content of the product. [45:46]

We wrapped up the episode with a discussion about cannabis cultivation, and the opportunities Utah has yet to explore. [47:55]

Podcast Transcript

Tim Pickett:
Welcome everyone out to episode 91 of Utah In The Weeds. My name is Tim Pickett and I’m the host, here with you and Colin Mekan, a friend of mine, and I think the only person in Utah who has both experienced growing and worked in the patient side of the medical cannabis program. Very excited to share this with you because his perspective and his experience is unique.

Tim Pickett:
For those of you who want to get into this industry, listen to Colin’s experience when he talks about how far he drove and the sacrifices that he made and was willing to make in order to get into the industry, the cannabis space. Which is very heartening.

Tim Pickett:
Then his experience with the patients and how that experience helped him grow into, well, really one of our best experienced agents. And somebody who really cares about people and cares about that education and their health, helping them all along the way, transition from prescription medications to natural therapy and plant therapy with the cannabis plant.

Tim Pickett:
I Also want to mention that right now we have started the March giveaway series. We’ve partnered with DaVinci Vaporizers for March for our Discover Marijuana YouTube channel. You can go to Discover Marijuana on YouTube, subscribe, and then comment on this week’s Discover Marijuana video on our YouTube channel. You must be a United States resident aged 21 or older, or a Utah medical cannabis cardholder, to win. There are, of course, a few people under 21 that are medical cannabis cardholders here in Utah and they would be eligible as well.

Tim Pickett:
But we’ll announce the prizes during the videos launched on Wednesdays. Okay? That is the rule. Basically subscribe to Discover Marijuana on YouTube, comment on this week’s Discover Marijuana video on that YouTube channel, and you’ll be entered to win. Every week of March those prizes are going to increase and everybody who’s entered will continue to be part of that drawing and part of that.

Tim Pickett:
It’s really a cool program, we’re really excited to give back to the community here with some swag and some DaVinci products. They’re a really good medical vaporizer product for dry flower, if you want to use flower in Utah this is a non-flame state and will continue to be a non-flame state for the foreseeable future. There was no discussion in the legislation this year about adding flames, whatsoever. Anticipate that’s going to continue for years to come.

Tim Pickett:
Here’s this interview with Colin. Just a great guy. A lot of talk about the endocannabinoid system. I hope you enjoy this episode. Subscribe on any podcast player that you have access to, Utah In The Weeds. I’m Tim Pickett, thanks for listening.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, okay. Tell everybody your full name and what you do.

Collin Mekan:
My name is Collin Michael freaking Mekan and I am a patient experience agent here at UTTHC, working for UtahMarijuana.org.

Tim Pickett:
What did you do before this?

Collin Mekan:
Oh, at one point I was working for True North in cultivation, moved on-

Tim Pickett:
Our friend Brandon.

Collin Mekan:
My friend Brandon Alonzo, big shout-out to him, taught me everything that he knew. I was in charge of the mothers and their clones at one point, which I really enjoyed.

Tim Pickett:
Did you get to be involved in that, when they were in their new facility?

Collin Mekan:
I did. I was a big part of that move. I was working with them in Plymouth, along with indoor and outdoor Riley, who are now with Standard [crosstalk 00:04:13].

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, for those of you who don’t know Riley Meyer, you should listen to whatever episode that is, it’s probably in the 60s, 70s.

Collin Mekan:
It’s a good one, absolutely.

Tim Pickett:
It was a good one. Yeah, go back and listen to that.

Collin Mekan:
Yes. Riley’s incredibly knowledgeable. We would drive three hours a day back and forth, going to Plymouth in commitment to that job. But at one point we were just in a little warehouse out in the middle of nowhere and it was a lot of fun to help make that expansion.

Tim Pickett:
Was that the first thing you did in cannabis?

Collin Mekan:
It is. I really have to make a shout-out as well to my friend Andrea Silva and Matt [Chiota 00:04:49] Vagabond, just for getting me into the industry once Proposition 2 passed. It was a great experience.

Tim Pickett:
Okay. Talk about that. You drove three hours?

Collin Mekan:
I did.

Tim Pickett:
Who in their right mind, for a job?

Collin Mekan:
Passionate people, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
Right.

Collin Mekan:
Very passionate, committed people.

Tim Pickett:
Okay. It’s like I set you up for that question.

Collin Mekan:
Yes, thank you very much, Tim. We were very passionate. We all felt the same, that the universe was taking us in a direction and we were just going with the current of it and all meeting each other while were doing. And really inspiring each other and piquing each other’s interest and learning from that.

Tim Pickett:
Do you feel like… What made you switch from cultivation then to the patient side of things? [crosstalk 00:05:32].

Collin Mekan:
I was relieved from duty at one point. I was working for Harvest as one of their managers and they made a switch. I found my position dissolved. Then I found myself without a job for a little while. I just twirled my mustache and thought-

Tim Pickett:
It’s pretty nice.

Collin Mekan:
Thank you. Unemployment and cat oil, ear wax, and human saliva, just twirling away. But eventually I kept educating myself through your videos, Tim, and it was very Utah specific. One day I noticed at the bottom of the website it said careers. I just pressed that button there and here I am.

Collin Mekan:
I like to say this, I feel like I’m on a different side of cultivation now where I feel I get to see this community grow. Cultivating a community instead.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Nice. That’s a really good way to look at it. I haven’t met anybody, except you, who’s been on both sides of this. Right?

Collin Mekan:
I love it.

Tim Pickett:
From the cultivation and the growing side and the patient care side. You have an experience and a perspective that nobody else, you’re the only one, literally [crosstalk 00:06:42]. Yeah, you really are the only one.

Tim Pickett:
Here, one of the reasons why I wanted to get you on this podcast was that perspective. Because you see patients and something, I don’t know what it is, some of it is the passion for cannabis as medicine, some of it is your knowledge it seems like. But there is something different about the way you talk to people than the way, really, everybody else.

Tim Pickett:
I love everybody who’s here, don’t me wrong about that, but there is something a little different about it.

Collin Mekan:
I can honestly say that stemmed from one of our original meetings that you were a part of, where you mentioned treat these people like they’re your family. Treat them like they’re your grandmother and that you have a great connection with these people.

Collin Mekan:
I really took that to heart, Tim, and I try to use it every day. I feel real passionate for these people and I’m excited for them on this journey. There’s still a huge stigma to it and I Feel like we’re breaking that every day.

Collin Mekan:
I also feel like one day we’re going to look back and feel like we were part of a movement rather than individuals getting their medical cannabis card. Because what better place to do this than here? It’s really working.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Walk us through what you do here. How do you talk to patients? When we worked in Bountiful, I’d do the visit, we’d talk through all of their medical history and the evaluation process and give them basically the key to the door. Then they come to you. What are you excited about telling people when you talk to them?

Collin Mekan:
I think that that’s my job. I try to get them excited about it. Recently I had somebody approach me outside of work and tell me that I got her her first card. I was very proud of that, and still I was able to give her some pointers and some tricks to saving some money.

Collin Mekan:
I just like to keep people pretty excited about their endocannabinoid receptor system. It’s pretty fascinating that we even have it, to be honest with you.

Collin Mekan:
But if I can get people excited about that and let them know what their options are, then we can really make the program succeed.

Tim Pickett:
For me with cannabis, it started out a lot about the plant and about the endocannabinoid system and choosing to use the right strains or the right products. There’s a lot to that now and we give a lot of education about that.

Tim Pickett:
But there’s also something that seems to be underlying and cannabis is really just the tool that we use. Because when you talk to patients, you’re not getting them excited, it seems like, about their endocannabinoid system almost as much as you’re getting them excited about learning something new. Right? And taking control a little bit.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely. They’re 100% in charge of this whole situation. I love to inform them of that because I find that incredibly empowering and kind of beautiful at the same time. Some of our patients, that’s quite a relief for them. You see that every day.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. I think that’s one of the most powerful things that we do. I mean it’s like Lance Armstrong wrote the book It’s Not About The Bike. I feel like that in some ways here, that it’s-

Collin Mekan:
That it’s not about the [bowl 00:10:00]?

Tim Pickett:
It’s not about the bowl. I mean it kind of is, but that’s just the key and the tool that we use to get people to wake up.

Collin Mekan:
Also I like to point out to people these new devices. A nice vaporizer really allows you to give new life and respect to your marijuana. Saves those terpene profiles, they’re known as precision vaporizers. Then you can stretch out your product by saving your AVB and really doing whatever you want with it.

Collin Mekan:
Once I realized that, I started eating my AVB, putting it on my ice cream at night. But I sleep the whole night through and that’s a miracle for me sometimes, totally uninterrupted.

Tim Pickett:
How much have you learned here versus what you were exposed to when you were growing or in cultivation?

Collin Mekan:
I’ve learned quite a bit here, because my focus was able to shift a little bit. When I was working in cultivation I was very plant oriented. When I was working with clones, I had a dream I was growing roots out of the back of my neck and that was very unnerving.

Collin Mekan:
But now that I’m working with patients, that’s very rewarding. I feel like I’m very connected to this community, where before working with the plants was amazing but my face was in a plant every day. Here I get to actually communicate and see how this is helping people. It feels like quite the blessing.

Tim Pickett:
Have you… You’ve used a bunch of different ways now, that you weren’t using before even?

Collin Mekan:
Yes. Well, for one I think putting-

Tim Pickett:
Consumed, I guess. What’s the term? Use, consume, whatever.

Collin Mekan:
My dosing method.

Tim Pickett:
Dosing method, right.

Collin Mekan:
I do a little bit of everything, in reality. But now putting fire to my flower seems kind of comical. I couldn’t even do it. One, I know that I’m wasting so much of my product, which costs me money. But then I’m also missing out on medicine which helps me sleep at night. Again, that’s a game changer for me.

Tim Pickett:
What do you do for furn?

Collin Mekan:
I like to entertain my wife actually. I love to make her smile and laugh and I love to cook for her. But I play guitar as well and I like to write a lot of music.

Tim Pickett:
Oh really?

Collin Mekan:
Yes. I’m very good.

Tim Pickett:
Electric?

Collin Mekan:
No, I play acoustic. I had to pin it down to acoustic folk Americana I suppose. I like to folk out every now and then.

Tim Pickett:
Nice. How many years have you been playing?

Collin Mekan:
I’ve been playing since I was 12. I went through that phase when you’re 12, people think you’re a phenom, adults see you sing and play guitar and you’re like wow, he’s going to go places.

Collin Mekan:
I did not. I did graduate from an arts academy. I went to Interlochen, which was one of the number one arts academies in the country at the time. Since there I find myself doing a lot of karaoke, which I find is a great form of expressionism and maybe therapy even. I guess those would be my pastimes.

Tim Pickett:
How many? Do you have one guitar?

Collin Mekan:
I have about five guitars right now. Lately I’ve been playing my acoustic bass quite a bit. Not one that I picked up very often for a while, so been picking it up, slapping it around, seeing what other gifts I have available to me I suppose.

Tim Pickett:
Did you play in a band?

Collin Mekan:
No. I do play with a friend of mine every now and then. But it’s mainly just for fun, a way to express ourselves I suppose.

Tim Pickett:
I mean now we’re going to need to hear it. I mean are you willing to bring it to the Christmas party?

Collin Mekan:
I would 100% bring it to the Christmas party, Tim. I even wrote a jingle for you. I don’t know if I’m going to be sharing today, because there are a lot of swear words in it, Tim. And it’s 15 minutes long.

Tim Pickett:
Oh, sweet.

Collin Mekan:
I do look forward to sharing it with you one day.

Tim Pickett:
I really have always loved music. I grew up singing mostly, played a little piano, played a little guitar. Everybody who sings and grows up playing the piano might play the guitar. Right? I can play three or four songs. I have one, I have a guitar.

Collin Mekan:
You don’t see pianos in many households anymore. You see universal, that universal instrument. Go over to a friend’s house, sit at the piano, play a few songs. Now it’s the acoustic guitar. You can go over to almost anyone’s house, see that acoustic guitar. I never see an oboe or a reed instrument.

Tim Pickett:
No. I played the clarinet.

Collin Mekan:
Like hey man, do you mind if I play that clarinet of yours over there?

Tim Pickett:
I played the clarinet in junior high, moved to the saxophone, played the baritone sax in junior high. Then I had an alto sax. That’s just an instrument that was very popular when I was in junior high, that age group. Kenny G.

Collin Mekan:
Oh really?

Tim Pickett:
Do you remember Kenny G?

Collin Mekan:
Oh my goodness, do I ever.

Tim Pickett:
Right? He played the soprano. [crosstalk 00:14:49] for those of you who are too young to know.

Collin Mekan:
Excuse me.

Tim Pickett:
Know Kenny G, I went to a concert, a Kenny G concert. That is a crazy [crosstalk 00:15:00] long, permed hair too. Right? That brings back some memories.

Tim Pickett:
I did not use cannabis at that time. I was way too young and yeah, that’s [crosstalk 00:15:13].

Collin Mekan:
Can we pop on some Kenny G now? Is that [crosstalk 00:15:16]?

Tim Pickett:
I’ll have Nate put the Kenny G, play it over the-

Collin Mekan:
Really set the mood.

Tim Pickett:
Yes.

Collin Mekan:
Oh man, that’s ridiculous. You know, actually when I was working with clones I started doing a lot of research on what they heard. Because I knew that they sensed vibrations, they’re hearing something as well was the idea.

Collin Mekan:
I started doing research on what instruments mimicked nature and it came down to string instruments. I started playing a lot stringed music for my plants and they were responding really well to it. I was thinking of thunder, [inaudible 00:15:51] thunder, how they respond to that. It seemed to work quite well for a while.

Tim Pickett:
Is growing at home something that is important to you, to try to work for?

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely. I mean just the idea of growing in general, I like to promote growth all around me, within myself and the people that I care about and run into every day. But I love my little herb garden. I’ve really came to respect the herbs over the years.

Collin Mekan:
That was one of the things that brought me into it actually. You’ve mentioned this a few times on your podcast or different videos, but that idea of aspirin being derived from the bark of the willow tree. I had a willow tree outside of my apartment at this point. I never made my own aspirin, but I remember making that connection and how close medicine actually was to us and all around us and that really piqued my interest.

Tim Pickett:
For example, van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, the theory goes that he saw it that way because of his heart failure and he was on dandelion root for a diuretic. They used to use, well I mean they still do, dandelion [crosstalk 00:17:02]. If you drink a lot of dandelion tea-

Collin Mekan:
I love my dandelion root.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Okay. If you’re ever in a weight loss competition [crosstalk 00:17:15] here you go.

Collin Mekan:
I don’t know if that is going to be happening for me, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
If you’re ever in a weight loss competition, the last couple of days you got to get some dandelion root at the GNC and you got to overload on the dandelion root and you’ll pee out three or four pounds.

Collin Mekan:
That’s gross, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
But it’s plant based medicine.

Collin Mekan:
All right then. I’m going to trust you and get some of that dandelion root tea. I actually love my home apothecary. I go to some of the local apothecaries around town and they’re amazing.

Collin Mekan:
One of them, you walk into it’s like a classroom in Hogwarts. Just full of all these mason jars, every herb and spice you can possibly think of, fungis, and this and that.

Tim Pickett:
This is something we don’t talk a lot about in Western. Western medicine is so allopathic. You have a symptom, oh yeah, we created a pill or a drug or something for that. Plant based medicine just not at all. Right?

Tim Pickett:
It’s one of the problems we have with cannabis, I think, is the doctors, the providers, they have a hard time using a drug that is so broad.

Collin Mekan:
Yeah. Figuring out how to actually dose with it.

Tim Pickett:
You’re trying to create a solution to one symptom, but you’re using something that affects multiple systems.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, it’s phenomenal.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Which is [crosstalk 00:18:35] for us, for you and I, this is why wouldn’t you?

Collin Mekan:
Why wouldn’t I.

Tim Pickett:
Why wouldn’t you do this? It’s not only going to help you with your pain, but your headaches and your attitude, your anxiety.

Collin Mekan:
I see our endocannabinoid receptor system, I know the way that it works with me when I use marijuana. But to see it affect the elderly, I feel almost like our CB system was designed for them.

Collin Mekan:
As you get older, I mean it’s hard to go through life without one of these qualifying conditions. To even have our endocannabinoid receptor system in the first place blows my mind. People say it looks like we’ve evolved side by side with this plant to actually have that system.

Collin Mekan:
But more likely than not we’ve just been eating the animals that will ingest it, I suppose. But the fact that it’s there for us to tap into as a processing unit, I find that fascinating. The fact that we can manipulate it with layering, I find once you start layering and manipulating your CB system, you really take control of it and it helps you process all types of things you don’t even realize.

Collin Mekan:
I mean I think of the analogy of walking to your car and then dropping your coffee just as you open the door and ruining your day and you’re crying. Or else dropping your coffee and laughing it off and saying typical. You know? How do you process your stress throughout a day? How do you process trauma without even noticing it? It’s so subtle, it’s quite beautiful.

Tim Pickett:
I like your attitude about the plant.

Collin Mekan:
There’s spiritualism to it, in a way.

Tim Pickett:
That’s something we don’t even hear. We don’t almost have time, it seems like, to talk about the spiritual side of cannabis.

Collin Mekan:
No.

Tim Pickett:
But these psychoactive medications and the plants that are so psychoactive, peyote and ayahuasca and these other-

Collin Mekan:
Shifts your perspective a little bit.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. When you talk about evolving next to the plant and the shaman or the medicine person in the tribe would help people use things like this, it wasn’t just about medicine. It really was about that spiritual experience.

Collin Mekan:
Connecting you to the earth, set in the setting almost. Setting intentions.

Tim Pickett:
It’s a whole ‘nother realm of cannabis as a medicine that we talk about quite a bit, I guess. It’s one of the reasons why I think people have a hard time getting away from, like rolling a joint. Right? Because it’s not just the joint, smoking the joint, that was [crosstalk 00:21:18].

Collin Mekan:
It’s the ritual.

Tim Pickett:
It’s the rolling, yeah.

Collin Mekan:
How tight it is.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. And that experience of grinding. I think we get that with the vaporizer.

Collin Mekan:
I find that we can. I mean it’s really hard for me to go back to that experience. I mean I feel like I’m wasting so much of it, and I also don’t want to get arrested, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. The law [crosstalk 00:21:39] we have had, in fact, I had a patient, I think it was a couple of weeks ago, who got a ticket for having papers in their trunk.

Collin Mekan:
Oh no.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah.

Collin Mekan:
No tobacco to go with those papers?

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, no tobacco to go with the papers and there you go. They got a ticket for paraphernalia.

Collin Mekan:
That’s quite unfortunate to hear those stories.

Tim Pickett:
Even though they had a card.

Collin Mekan:
But I mean we still have to be careful. It’s still a fledgling industry and people are still learning the laws. As we go, even some of our law enforcement, I suppose.

Tim Pickett:
Sure. Have you ever run into law enforcement with cannabis?

Collin Mekan:
No, I am lucky. I have always abided by the laws, Timothy Pickett. But I have been quite lucky. As I got older, I honestly had this… I was tapping into some of my privilege that I didn’t even recognize was there.

Collin Mekan:
Just by the look of me. I like to look fairly respectful to my peers and people that I meet, a way to honor them I suppose. But also I wasn’t somebody that you would really pin as…

Tim Pickett:
Pin as a lawbreaking-

Collin Mekan:
As an outlaw, [crosstalk 00:22:48] Tim. As an outlaw.

Tim Pickett:
As somebody who had two pounds of weed.

Collin Mekan:
Which I never did.

Tim Pickett:
[crosstalk 00:22:53] no, I mean well, I didn’t either. I totally agree with that privileged idea too.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, it’s embarrassing to look back on to now.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. So we didn’t get in trouble, which was good. Thank God we didn’t get in trouble. Right?

Collin Mekan:
Ironically too, I have a face that police officers do not seem to enjoy very much as I was growing up. All of a sudden they got a lot younger than me, that was a strange shift as well. When that cop walks up to your window and-

Tim Pickett:
And they’re younger than you?

Collin Mekan:
They’re like 20 years younger than me.

Tim Pickett:
How old are you?

Collin Mekan:
I’m 40 years old now. I’m a man. I’m a man now, Tim. I made it.

Tim Pickett:
You survived.

Collin Mekan:
Yeah, I was in Scotland for my 40th birthday, it was quite the experience.

Tim Pickett:
Congratulations on being 40. 40 was fun.

Collin Mekan:
It feels good, it feels good.

Tim Pickett:
40 was a fun year. It is a novel year, right?

Collin Mekan:
You’ve told me it gets worse after this. You say, “Wait until you’re 43.”

Tim Pickett:
[crosstalk 00:23:53]. Yes. For those of you out there, for those of you whoa re 39, 40’s great. It’s really there’s a novelty to it.

Collin Mekan:
You’re bringing me down, man.

Tim Pickett:
Yes. And 41 is even not so much worse than 40.

Collin Mekan:
Oh great.

Tim Pickett:
42, you start to think shit, I’m kind of knee deep in this.

Collin Mekan:
There is no birthday after this.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. And 43 and you realize what everybody says it’s true, Colin. As you get older, it is harder to recover.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, 100%. I keep convincing myself that the weather’s going to be changing any day now because I can feel it in my knees and my shoulders. They’re tight like rubber bands, Tim, it’s terrible. I need to stay medicated.

Tim Pickett:
I noticed when I hurt my back it took a lot more cannabis and THC than I thought it would to really dig in to severe pain.

Collin Mekan:
[inaudible 00:24:57] CBG, CBD, CBN, and CBC. A little bit of THC is great but they really work best in combination with each other. But those other cannabinoids, I mean that’s where the real miracles are happening.

Collin Mekan:
They’re all antiinflammatory, almost all of them help you fight against pain and process that. It’s pretty amazing. I wonder what the rest of the cannabinoids are going to end up doing in the end. I wonder if we’re going to cure brain disease. I don’t think we’re that far away from it, in all honesty.

Tim Pickett:
We might not be [crosstalk 00:25:26]. For those of you who don’t think there is enough evidence for cannabinoid medicine, I think you’d be… I just don’t think… Well, I don’t agree with you.

Tim Pickett:
This is definitely a plant that’s been studied more than probably any other plant that’s ever grown.

Collin Mekan:
It’s one of our oldest medicinal plants, yeah.

Tim Pickett:
Right. And used probably as much or more than any other plant has been used as medicine, ever to grow. That’s a pretty big statement, I guess. I guess I don’t know that for sure.

Collin Mekan:
But, Tim, I am apt to believe you. I feel like I trust the things you say. I’m going to go with that.

Collin Mekan:
With the way that we can dose now too, it amazes me. As I started to educate myself, I like to tell people I found that this is truly the ideal way to be dosing when it comes to flower. I mean still, I mean rolling the joint, passing it around with your buddy, honestly there’s nothing more communal than that. It’s such a unique, personal experience.

Collin Mekan:
But there’s nothing [crosstalk 00:26:28] the peace pipe. You create a circle, you pass it around. I think it’s very communal. Something that [crosstalk 00:26:36].

Tim Pickett:
COVID has ended that too.

Collin Mekan:
Sure.

Tim Pickett:
Not only the flame laws here in Utah, but I mean-

Collin Mekan:
Yeah. People are less apt to pass on a-

Tim Pickett:
Lick each other’s lips, pass it around the circle.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, that’s what I miss before those COVID days, is licking each other lips around the circle. I don’t remember that very well, but I mean if that’s your pre-COVID. I do not judge, Tim. That’s one of the great things about our community.

Tim Pickett:
I love layering and we talk a lot about this with our patients. The oral, using an oral method first and then layering on top of that. I found especially with my back that, to your point about cannabinoids, CBC, CBD, CBG, you don’t get a lot of those with the oral stuff. Where you get a little more of the entourage effect with the flower.

Tim Pickett:
Which really seems to make layering more efficacious, is the word I would use. More useful from a medical standpoint. I hear you talking about that to patients all the time.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, I think it’s really key, is trying to find ways to fill up those receptor sites so you have that entourage effect with full spectrum of all those minor and major cannabinoids that are available to us. It’s really hard to do that because I mean usually your flower’s going to have some THC, maybe some CBD. Same goes with cartridges, can be THC with maybe one or another minor cannabinoid.

Collin Mekan:
If you can find a good non-psychotropic cartridge, I think that’s amazing for layering. I’d love to find some really nice non-psychotropic full spectrum tinctures that we could offer as well.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah [crosstalk 00:28:33]. When you talk about non-psychotropic, we have one, it’s made by Clean Leaf, Kyle Egbert. And Logan. Great guy.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely. Great job as well.

Tim Pickett:
He does.

Collin Mekan:
In it for the right reasons too, which is something that’s really inspiring in this community. I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but there’s a huge amount of people in this industry that didn’t get into it because of them. They got into it because of a family member or something along those lines, that inspired them to do so.

Collin Mekan:
It’s just really inspiring to see people want to do it because it’s medicine and it’s helping people and that’s their true motivation behind it.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. You describe these non-psychotropics and I think they’re really undervalued.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely.

Tim Pickett:
In the medical marijuana market itself, because I mean you come here, you come to our clinic for an evaluation for a card to use THC. A lot of our patients undervalue the other minor cannabinoids when they come here.

Collin Mekan:
That’s why it’s our job to bring it to their attention, Tim. If they didn’t know about these things, we can’t send them on their path correctly. I feel like it’s almost our obligation to bring these things to their attention, let them know what their options are really. That keeps them excited in the program, I believe.

Tim Pickett:
Over and over people who’ve used cannabis for three, four, five, six months will come back and then realize oh wait, there’s more to it. Right? Phase one seems to be learning how to associate when you get high and what’s that like and dealing with delta nine and that.

Collin Mekan:
Right. It seems so far away to me, I have to remember that it affects people this way.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Then seems like phase two, or phase three is-

Collin Mekan:
Dialing in your dosing.

Tim Pickett:
Yep. And figuring out that there’s, wow, there’s more to the plant than just the psychotropic effects.

Collin Mekan:
So much more to it. I mean I think that the THC gets you into it originally, if you’re younger. But man, [crosstalk 00:30:40].

Tim Pickett:
It’s the rest of the plant that really has probably more, well, certainly more of the actual healing benefits come from the other cannabinoids and things inside the plant, than THC.

Collin Mekan:
100%. I mean THC is lovely as well. I think of it as a vehicular molecule, in combination with all of them together it helps it travel up the central nervous system. Really, they do work best in combination.

Collin Mekan:
A low amount of THC, in all honesty, goes a long way when it comes to the healing properties of this medicine.

Tim Pickett:
You were saying, I caught there, that you don’t get high a lot.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, I haven’t gotten high in years, Tim. But I do stay fairly medicated throughout a day. Excuse me. I was just… I would say my tolerance is fairly high. My wife recently called me a pothead and I was… I won’t lie, that hurt. That cut deep.

Tim Pickett:
Cut deep.

Collin Mekan:
But I could probably utilize a tolerance break, but then I wouldn’t be able to move throughout the day as seamlessly as I do.

Tim Pickett:
What’s a tolerance break look like for you?

Collin Mekan:
Oh man. Sadness. I don’t know. For me it is very habitual, but also I’m very familiar with my body and how I try to fill up my receptor system. It wouldn’t be the same without THC.

Collin Mekan:
I also have crippling social anxieties, which I’m able to mask with this. It’s something that I overcome and I get to decide not to be socially awkward. I face it and just own the awkwardness of the moment. I live in an awkward world too.

Tim Pickett:
We all live in an awkward world.

Collin Mekan:
Thank you. Thank you, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
I’m surprised that you feel like you have this anxiety.

Collin Mekan:
That’s because my tolerance level, Tim. See? That’s manipulating my endocannabinoid receptor system right there.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. If you are listening to this, Collin is a perfect example of what you can do with a cannabis blend.

Collin Mekan:
However, I did start younger than I feel like I should have. I probably started smoking around the ag of 16 and my brain hadn’t fully developed. And look at me now, Tim. Look what it did to me.

Tim Pickett:
When was the first? Take us all the way back to the first time you were exposed to cannabis.

Collin Mekan:
I was breaking into the artistic world in high school, trying to develop my bravery I suppose. I was learning that I can sing, I was feeling pretty artistic. While building my confidence, I had my art friends, I suppose, and I tried it on seven different occasions.

Collin Mekan:
I thought I was immune to marijuana. Then we were on our way to see The Big Lebowski and I remember driving downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan and all of a sudden there’s a joint in front of my face and I took two hits. I remember the spatial, what you call, all of a sudden my seatbelt grew in size immensely and I did not know what was happening.

Collin Mekan:
But it turned out I was just falling towards the seatbelt. In my vision, it was growing as I was getting closer to it. After that I remember thinking it was like walking through a crowd of people at the movie, like I was in a dream and moving so fluidly.

Collin Mekan:
Afterwards I heard that it was because I was walking around, moving my arms like I was underwater. Back then the THC had a really strong effect on me. It was like I was in a dream and I was pretty hilarious I suppose. I made a fool of myself quite a bit.

Collin Mekan:
But I am so far away from that I forget that it has that effect on people. That’s, I believe, part of the stigma about marijuana too. People believe that the effect that it has on them is the same effect that it’s going to have on everybody. So if it made them a fool, they think that there are a lot of stoners out there walking around in a daze.

Collin Mekan:
I found the other side of that. I forget that it has such a strong effect on people because I know the effect that it has on me. That’s knowing your body, I suppose, and really exploring your different methods.

Collin Mekan:
Oh, come back to this. You had mentioned earlier how I dose. I like to utilize everything with layering. I love having a tincture, I really like those non-psychotropic items. I think this is one of the only medicines that layering is actually an option.

Tim Pickett:
It is one of the only. I mean there’s certainly no other medication that I’ve prescribed that you think about. You know what [crosstalk 00:35:29] you should do, is you should take half a milligram of this and then you should-

Collin Mekan:
Drop some under your tongue and see what that does.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. And then inhale it. Well, I mean take an inhaled method like albuterol. You’re not going to layer albuterol in a pill form and then an inhaled form. No. Your heart rate, for one, would just go through the roof.

Collin Mekan:
[crosstalk 00:35:50] it made me feel weird.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Or your blood thinner, your blood pressure medication, your insulin. I guess we do layer diabetes medication. We take metformin and then some people take insulin on top of that, if their diabetes is bad enough. But that’s just not a great example, compared to cannabis.

Collin Mekan:
There’s not a lot of things to compare.

Tim Pickett:
There’s just not a lot of, yeah. When you’re talking about how you felt when you first used or you first felt the effects of THC when you have that joint in high school, and I feel the same, that same stigma. Not only for people who use it themselves but for also people who’ve seen one other person high or one other movie with a high person, with that stereotypical on the couch. Pineapple Express comes to mind.

Collin Mekan:
It can happen, though.

Tim Pickett:
[crosstalk 00:36:51] yeah, those definitely can happen. But that’s not the baseline. There are 45,000 Utah patients. You think all of them are-

Collin Mekan:
Intelligent professionals, caring, empathetic people.

Tim Pickett:
[crosstalk 00:37:05] who really want to feel better.

Collin Mekan:
The Uplift program has been such a success. I find that very inspiring, to see that this community, I mean if not generous, we want to share this experience.

Tim Pickett:
We had a patient [crosstalk 00:37:16] today give $104.20.

Collin Mekan:
104.20, yes.

Tim Pickett:
104.20.

Collin Mekan:
Gentleman right after her gave 50, so it’s-

Tim Pickett:
Very committed community.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely.

Tim Pickett:
Not only of people here who work here and work in the industry, like you and hopefully people say that about me and the providers that we have. But all of the staff here seems like they’re not only just employees but they’re really activists. We have [crosstalk 00:37:45] talked about this.

Collin Mekan:
Well, this is your team, Tim. We’re all into this because we’re real passionate. At least I know I, for one, am definitely into this because I felt the universe bring me here and I feel incredibly passionate about that. I want to share that with other people.

Collin Mekan:
It gets me so excited just even talking about it. I love it. I feel like we’re really going somewhere with this. You’re quite an inspiration to a lot of people, seeing how you’re doing this correctly.

Collin Mekan:
I think you’re setting a template for other states that haven’t been able to do this quite yet. The success that we’ve seen in Utah has been phenomenal, it’s been crazy. I mean they expected 10,000 cardholders. What, we’re at over 40?

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, 4, 45 plus thousand and rising. Yep.

Collin Mekan:
Then your podcast. I mean your YouTube, Discover Marijuana. I know that’s over 2,000 listeners at this point.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, over 2,000 subscribers [crosstalk 00:38:38] I think. As of right now when we’re recording this. In fact-

Collin Mekan:
Well, hopefully we can bring that up.

Tim Pickett:
For those of you who are listening to this and on the release of this podcast episode, if you’re not subscribed to the Discover Marijuana channel, we are doing a giveaway in March.

Tim Pickett:
This week I think it’s a micro, DaVinci micro. It’s a glass stash jar, medicine jar. It’s a t-shirt I think. I don’t know, what the heck are the rules? I don’t know. Somebody knows the rules. If you go to Discover Marijuana on YouTube or you follow us on Instagram. Go to our website.

Collin Mekan:
Tim, do you not [crosstalk 00:39:20]?

Tim Pickett:
There are rules to win. Okay? There are rules. I can’t do this all by myself anymore.

Collin Mekan:
Put me in the running. I could definitely use one of those DaVinci micros.

Tim Pickett:
Micros, it is so small. But I use the IQ2.

Collin Mekan:
Yeah, me too.

Tim Pickett:
It’s really become my favorite vaporizer.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely.

Tim Pickett:
The taste is good. The taste is as good as the Firefly but that seems like for some reason the pull is better.

Collin Mekan:
I will miss the Firefly, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
I do love the Firefly [crosstalk 00:39:52].

Collin Mekan:
But the DaVincis are lovely, the 10 year warranty is amazing.

Tim Pickett:
Have you used the phone app?

Collin Mekan:
No, I don’t have enough space on my phone.

Tim Pickett:
You have to download… Okay, it’s a little bit clunky because you can’t download the DaVinci app in the App Store, from an Apple phone. So you got to download this browser.

Tim Pickett:
I downloaded the browser and then you can connect it to your IQ2 and then you put in how much THC percentage your flower is, if it’s a new loaded bowl in the DaVinci, and it will tell you how many milligrams of THC. I mean it estimates it based on how much you pull on the thing.

Tim Pickett:
But surprising how… And it doesn’t even need to be accurate to the milligram to give you a sense of how much you’re getting, because let’s say you inhale up to where it says 30 milligrams. Well then, all you got to do next time is inhale till it says 30 milligrams again.

Collin Mekan:
Wow. That’s what makes it the precision vaporizer that it is. It dials in the temperature but also you can really see how you’re dosing. It’s pretty amazing.

Collin Mekan:
For somebody like me, I wouldn’t really utilize that very often. I don’t want to say technology is intimidating to me, Tim, but I’ve worked in cultivation for a while and I’ve always leaned away from technology. Up until now I suppose.

Tim Pickett:
It’s you’re more of the dirt grubber type?

Collin Mekan:
Oh absolutely. The friendly fungus in there, helps fight depression and keeps you happy.

Tim Pickett:
When you… What’s your favorite place to go? You went to Scotland for your 40th birthday?

Collin Mekan:
I did. My wife and I travel fairly often. I wouldn’t be able to do this at all without her in my life. But our family lives in Scotland, so we got to go over there and see them.

Collin Mekan:
It was beautiful, it was amazing. But we were also locked down. My birthday is the day before New Year’s, it’s December 30th. We wen there for Hogmanay and we’re not able to really experience Hogmanay. But I do have some heritage there, I got to follow that ancestry line and it was fascinating. It was a beautiful experience.

Tim Pickett:
Where’s the next trip?

Collin Mekan:
We are going to Costa Rica. Yeah, it’s my wife, the amazing saleswoman that she is, she got top sales and won us a trip to Costa Rica. Last time she won us a trip to the Bahamas. So I need to request a little time off, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
Well, if it’s to Costa Rica, there you go. It’s fine. Take all the time you need.

Collin Mekan:
What a guy.

Tim Pickett:
You know? Health and happiness in the team has got to be… We are literally in that business. If you don’t live it on the employee side and on the team side, I think that would be pretty hypocritical.

Collin Mekan:
This is a pretty amazing job, Tim, because of those reasons. It’s a job where you really feel as an employee that you matter. You can give you some direction and helps motivate you. At least me I know. But I really appreciate [crosstalk 00:43:05].

Tim Pickett:
Thank you, Collin. I think that you get a lot of that from everybody else on the team too. I think we-

Collin Mekan:
Oh, we uplift each other. Right?

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. We do. I’ve never worked at a place like this. When I worked in surgery, people were always pissed off at us for all the pain and suffering we caused. We did solve a lot of problems for people, surgically.

Tim Pickett:
But here it seems like everybody’s happy when they leave. Not only the team is happy but the patients are all happy. Before COVID hit, I mean I would get a hug from two out of three patients.

Collin Mekan:
I’ve gotten a handful of hugs. I used to gauge my success of the day on how many hugs people would try to give me.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Go into another area of medicine and that’s just not the case. For most people who are here, they’ve never worked in any other part of medicine. They came into this because of the cannabis draw.

Collin Mekan:
Sure. Something about it’s appealing. I don’t know what it is. It’s specialized, I mean [crosstalk 00:44:07].

Tim Pickett:
We get to bridge both worlds. You get to bridge something that you love already, that you’re into already, you want to share with everybody else, the cannabis part. You get to work in medicine where you’re part of something that’s an industry that’s really been run by the pharmaceutical companies for so long. It’s like a movement against… It’s like the anti-medicine.

Collin Mekan:
Yeah. What do you call it? An exit drug.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think we’re doing a pretty good job in Utah. And thanks to this program, thanks to what we do, I think that’s the case.

Collin Mekan:
I’ve been reading up a lot on this, Tim. We are the people that keep ourselves educated. I know that California got the ball rolling but the way that Utah’s doing it, ironically, I mean what better place to do it for one. I mean reeducate, remedicate, and destigmatize.

Collin Mekan:
I mean the success rate of this is pretty amazing here in Utah. I give it up to our community. We’re destigmatizing it every day, just by sitting in front of each other and educating ourselves.

Tim Pickett:
Talking about it out loud.

Collin Mekan:
Out loud.

Tim Pickett:
As if it’s not illegal.

Collin Mekan:
The fact that it’s so patient oriented too, that we’re excited for these people. It’s not just about pushing the medical card. It’s about assisting them and giving them the tools to succeed and want to continue with the program. That’s why the program is working in Utah, I believe, is we’re doing it right somehow.

Tim Pickett:
It seems like there’s a lot of good things happening. What’s your favorite strain?

Collin Mekan:
Ooh, I love this question because I’ve really come to realize it doesn’t really come down to favorite strain for me. They’re all hybridized as it is. It’s all about terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids, Tim.

Collin Mekan:
Once people start paying attention to that, they can believe that they love Bubba Kush and Bubba Kush has never done them wrong. But in reality they probably loved one of those harvests, because every harvest and every batch is different from the next.

Collin Mekan:
Unless you’re paying attention to that one did you right, let’s see what the THC level was, let’s see what the terpenes involved were, once you can dial into that I think then that’s what people are really into, I believe.

Tim Pickett:
Do you think that having the consistent flower choice is important for patients? Or do you think patients should be using multiple strains and that’s just an evolution? There’s some people in some camps who are like I want the same strain every time, that’s what I need and want. And then there’s this reality that a mother won’t last forever, a cannabis mother plant won’t last forever.

Tim Pickett:
So that is just not [crosstalk 00:47:08] a realistic expectation. When you talk about every harvest being a little bit different too.

Collin Mekan:
Also your CB system’s always changing. Every day you wake up it’s a little different than it was before. I really think it is great. Keep a journal, we bring this up quite a bit. Keep a journal of what’s working for you and go back to it.

Collin Mekan:
But as your tolerance builds and you can utilize [inaudible 00:47:35] a little bit more, it’s always changing. It’s as unique as we are and just as we’re changing everyday so is our endocannabinoid receptor system. I just love saying it, it’s a beautiful beautiful thing.

Tim Pickett:
It is. It’s funny to hear you say it too.

Collin Mekan:
I’ve really figured it out. I say it trippingly off the tongue.

Tim Pickett:
What about if you could grow any strain? Would you be able to pick one or would you just grow a bunch? Would you grow some 73 dayers, some 62 dayers?

Collin Mekan:
If I could, I would grow the longer.

Tim Pickett:
Why the longer [crosstalk 00:48:12] ones?

Collin Mekan:
I think that with these shorter cycles, unfortunately there are some strains that we’re never going to be seeing in Utah because of that. Unless there’s some cultivation companies that take it upon themselves to do these longer strains.

Tim Pickett:
[crosstalk 00:48:26] I know I hate to bring this up, but there’s some production. There’s a lot of just straight up production happening in Utah. They’re limiting their strains to not even [crosstalk 00:48:39] yeah, not allowing the full maturity. Right? They’re not letting clear, they’re to getting clear on the trichomes.

Collin Mekan:
Sure. Well, they go from clear, they get a little milky. It’s a beautiful thing. But also I understand why they’re doing that right now. As the community grows every day, these companies are still trying to expand and keep up with this growing community.

Collin Mekan:
Right now there’s not… I mean they’re doing the best they can. I got to give a shout out to all those cultivation companies, because I’ve worked for two of them and I can honestly say they are amazing. Buy locally.

Collin Mekan:
I think of it like local honey curing your allergies for the season. The closer to your backyard the better. I think the same thing about these plants. They’re breathing our air and drinking our water and they’re in the same environment that we are in. I think they help out quite a bit.

Tim Pickett:
I think the intention actually does make a difference in the medicine. That’s one of the reasons why I think homegrown would add that different level of care. I think if you are growing your own medicine in your own backyard, I think that would change your experience a little.

Collin Mekan:
You say production-wise too, I can say I know that these cultivationists, they put their heart and their soul into it. And they love these plants. I would go in and greet my mothers every morning, say good morning, ladies, how is everyone today. How was your evening? I’d tell them my dreams and ask if they had any nightmares from the night before.

Collin Mekan:
I loved these plants, though. When they’re tending to them, they take great great care of them. They truly do.

Tim Pickett:
They do. Well, just like everything else in this industry, you don’t get into… You get into it because you want to get into it. Right? I don’t feel like there’s very, if any, people I’ve met in growing, production, that literally just got in it because they were-

Collin Mekan:
Look at me now, Mom.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah.

Collin Mekan:
Shout out to my mom, by the way. I love you, Mom. And look at me now.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. I mean we want to be a part of this movement.

Collin Mekan:
Absolutely. I feel really passionate about that and excited to see where this is going to take us. I don’t know. I feel good about it. Like something’s telling me stick with it, you’re making a difference. I get to see that in these patients almost daily and it’s really inspiring. Makes me feel like I am doing something right and that I truly am part of something that’s bigger than me.

Collin Mekan:
I feel like I’m part of this community and helping it grow all the time.

Tim Pickett:
You certainly are, Collin.

Collin Mekan:
Cultivating the community.

Tim Pickett:
This has been really fun. It’s fun to chat with somebody face to face. I don’t do the podcast face to face very often.

Collin Mekan:
It’s always a pleasure to chat with you, Tim.

Tim Pickett:
It’s really fun. Is there anything else that you think we missed, you wanted to talk about that we didn’t?

Collin Mekan:
I’m probably going to listen to this later and I’ll be in the shower putting in my conditioner in my hair and thinking why the hell did I say that. You know? Shame, right?

Tim Pickett:
Too late, buddy. Too late.

Collin Mekan:
Let’s discuss shame in the cannabinoid.

Tim Pickett:
It’s totally fine. Just switch over to CBN or use some other cannabinoids. Reduce that anxiety and-

Collin Mekan:
Layer.

Tim Pickett:
Layer.

Collin Mekan:
There it is. Stay safe out there, Utah.

Tim Pickett:
I’m going to let you… Okay. There you go. For the sign out today, before we sign out or we sign off, Utah In The Weeds podcast, if you’re not subscribed and any podcast player that you have access to, please subscribe. Go to Discover Marijuana on YouTube, subscribe there. You can listen to the podcast there, that’s a great place.

Tim Pickett:
That’s actually a better place, in my opinion, because one, I can see it. But two, if you have questions you can comment and we answer all of the comments.

Collin Mekan:
Please comment.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Please comment, because your questions are questions that somebody else has and we can answer them and we don’t have to keep it a secret just between you and I, Collin.

Collin Mekan:
Isn’t that a way to get in the running too?

Tim Pickett:
It is. I think commenting on the videos plus being a subscriber. Again, there’s rules to giveaway and I don’t know all the rules. But I promise in the intro I will give you all the rules.

Tim Pickett:
Utah In The Weeds, thank you for being here Collin.

Collin Mekan:
Tim, it has been a true pleasure. Thank you for having me, absolutely.

Tim Pickett:
Everybody-

Collin Mekan:
Play the Kenny G. Oh, yes. Stay safe out there, Utah. Did I say that right? Is that… Thank you, everybody.

Tim Pickett:
You just… Perfect job, Collin.

Collin Mekan:
Appreciate it.

By UtahMarijuana.org
Published March 7, 2022
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