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What to Expect in This Episode

Tim Pickett was recently a guest on episode 141 of the Travel Gluten Free podcast. He joined host Elikqitie to discuss the benefits of Medical Cannabis in helping people with qualifying conditions. It turns out that Elikqitie is a patient of Tim’s at Utah Therapeutic Health Center.

Tim began by discussing how the Medical Cannabis program is set up in Utah. He discussed how licenses are issued to growers, retail sellers, and medical providers. In Utah, qualified medical providers (QMPs) are licensed professionals who can only recommend cannabis to up to 275 patients. That doesn’t allow them to build a business entirely on the cannabis side of things, requiring them to practice standard medicine alongside recommending Medical Cannabis.

In addition to licensing, Tim and Elikqitie also talked about testing. Because testing requirements are so stringent in Utah, a lot of the early product was not usable. This has led to significant shortages on pharmacy shelves. But as time goes on and growers learn the science behind what they do, the amount of available biomass for making Medical Cannabis products should increase.

The conversation eventually turned to different Medical Cannabis strains and terpene profiles. Tim and Elikqitie discussed how different products were applicable to different conditions. Some products are better for pain while others are better for PTSD. Elikqitie herself is someone who micro doses, primarily to help herself sleep.

Tim and Elikqitie finished up by talking a little bit about how to get a Medical Cannabis card. Tim’s clinics are genuine medical clinics staffed by professionals who do more than recommend cannabis and help patients get their cards. If you like to know more about Tim’s clinics or obtaining a card, there is plenty of information at utahmarijuana.org

Podcast Transcript

Elikqitie:

Hey, my friends, this is Elikqitie, and I wanted to give you a heads-up on this episode. So, in episode 141, I talk with Tim Pickett of the Utah Therapeutic Health Center, and we talk about cannabis and all of the health benefits that it enables for people with autoimmune disease. So, just if you are not interested in having your children listen to this, or this is not the type of episode that you’d like to listen to, go ahead and just slide the slider all the way to the end, and then I will see you next week for 142. But if you are interested in how cannabis can help with autoimmune conditions and my experience with cannabis, then sit back, relax, and enjoy episode 141 with Tim Picket of the Utah Therapeutic Health Center.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Travel Gluten Free Podcast, where you can listen in on how to lead a gluten-free lifestyle with more fun and ease. Travel Gluten Free is like having a best friend by your side to give you the most up-to-date gluten-free traveler information. Let Travel Gluten Free be your number one source for tips, tricks, and advice you can use to safely navigate your next gluten-free travel adventure. Enjoy food, enjoy travel, and enjoy life. And now, here’s your show host, Elikqitie.

Elikqitie:

Hey, my friend, welcome back to another episode of the Travel Gluten Free Podcast. Today, we are going to have a special guest on, who I’m actually his client at his therapeutic center, and I’m super excited to have him on here. But before we get into the show, I want to ask you to share an episode of Travel Gluten Free with someone you know who would benefit from my show. The more you share, the more you can help others feel safe when they travel. If you have shared an episode of Travel Gluten Free, thanks for your support, and please make sure to rate and review Travel Gluten Free Podcast.

Elikqitie:

And while you’re at it, if you’re interested in checking out some of the really cool places I’ve been lately, definitely check out Travel Gluten Free Podcast on my YouTube channel. All right, today, my special guest is the founder of utahmarijuana.org and Discover Marijuana on YouTube. He is also a Pennsylvania native and is living in Utah, just like myself, and he specializes in medical cannabis for people that have qualifying conditions in Utah. He’s an avid lover of learning and has worked for six years in GI surgery, and has dealt with many, many gut issues with his former patients.

Elikqitie:

He loves to ski and run and watch his kids, and hanging out with his kids and do fun stuff with his family. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce Tim Pickett from the Utah Therapeutic Health Center. Tim, welcome to the Travel Gluten Free Podcast.

Tim Pickett:

Thanks. I’m glad to have this conversation with you.

Elikqitie:

I am so excited to have you on, because one of the things that I noticed before, not before, but after I’ve had celiac disease for a while, is one of the things that has been bothering me a lot is, I’ve had a lot of really bad joint pain and chronic pain, and one of the things I noticed since I’ve been taking the medical cannabis in Utah is that a lot of my joint pain is going away and it is definitely affecting me less on a daily basis than it used to, and so, I’m really excited about that, and I want to talk about that in a little bit. But before we jump into using medical cannabis for autoimmune conditions, let’s first start out with how you decided to get into medical cannabis, because you are an MD who was a GI MD-

Tim Pickett:

A PA.

Elikqitie:

So, you’re an MD.

Tim Pickett:

A PA, a physician assistant.

Elikqitie:

Oh, a PA?

Tim Pickett:

Yep.

Elikqitie:

Okay. And you were in just like a regular everyday practice. So, how did you go from being a regular PA to being a PA who now takes care of people with medical cannabis?

Tim Pickett:

That is a great question. And it started in basically 2019. Before that, I have a personal relationship with cannabis, I guess, like a lot of people do, but in 2019, I was talking to a good friend of mine, Shawn Hammond, who’s one of the growers in Utah, grows for Zion Medicinal, and we got into these conversations about patients not having access to medical cannabis as the program was developing in Utah, and we saw it as a good opportunity to help people. And I also have some family members and close friends that have had essentially life-changing experiences from cannabis use, and that was kind of the tipping point.

Tim Pickett:

So, it’s a mix of everything. You could say, oh, yeah, I was really passionate about cannabis, which I am. And on the other hand, I like doing my own thing and running my own practice. And as a PA, you don’t get a lot of opportunities to do that compared to the doctors in Utah. So, here’s an opportunity where we don’t have different education than the doctors, the PAs, the nurse practitioners. Essentially, everybody has no education. And so, I can jump into it and be the expert, you can hear that in the background, but it’s-

Elikqitie:

Yeah, I do. My dog is often on the podcast too.

Tim Pickett:

Right? I mean, it’s just, it is what it is, right? So, yeah, I think, as we went through 2019, I started to write a little bit on utahmarijuana.org and blog a little bit about it, and just started to give people info that this is an alternative, it’s just another tool you can use to feel better.

Elikqitie:

Awesome. Yeah, and that’s how I love using it. It’s just, it’s such an amazing great alternative to a lot of the stuff that’s out there. So, how did you decide on Utah in Salt Lake to start? I mean, you guys were already probably here, so, what was the process for opening up your clinic? Because I know there was only-

Tim Pickett:

That’s a great question.

Elikqitie:

… so many clinics and growers that Utah gave licenses for.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. So, there are eight growers. There’s a difference between the growers, there’s eight licensed growers in Utah. You have to have a license to grow medical cannabis. This is different than a license to grow hemp or CBD strains. Then there are retail licenses where you have to have a license to sell medical marijuana or THC products. There are 14 of those licenses in Utah, both of those are kind of industry licenses. Then on the medical side, you have, and we are limited in a different way. So, becoming an independent practitioner, somebody who sees patients, that’s kind of the easy part. You got to get some medical malpractice insurance in a business, and hang a shingle, so to speak, and you can start seeing patients.

Tim Pickett:

In Utah, the requirements are, a four-hour continuing education class. You have to get a little license to recommend medical cannabis. You can’t prescribe it because prescriptions are, imply an FDA approval. So, we are recommending medical cannabis using our First Amendment rights. And once you start down this path, the statute limits us to 275 patients in total that we can make this recommendation to. So, it’s an extremely limited thing that you can do. So, they wrote the laws so that they wouldn’t have specialists, they didn’t want specialists in the state, and we have… So, you end up having to hire more part-time providers and teach them how to do this in order to see more patients. It’s not the greatest business to go into when you can only have 275 customers. Right? That would be a bad, just kind of a bad business model.

Elikqitie:

Yeah, that seems kind of limiting. And so, is it 275 per provider, or 275 per company?

Tim Pickett:

It’s 275 per provider. So, I could see 275, and a PA that we hire can see 275, but it makes it so it’s really difficult to become an expert, because you can only see so many patients. There’s not a real incentive to dig into the science, if I can only do this for 275 patients. To compare, a normal family practice provider might have three or 4,000 patients in their practice total, and so, it’s a disincentive to become good at it, which I think is a problem with the system but we’ll work on that as time goes on, and we can change the legislation.

Elikqitie:

And so, what I know, because you’re a PA, so, you can obviously become licensed to recommend medical marijuana in Utah, but besides a PA, what other types of medical-designated licensed providers can do the extra work to become a certified person who can recommend medical cannabis in Utah?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, in Utah, it’s called a qualified medical provider or a QMP, and anybody with a controlled substance license in Utah. So, that’s limited to PAs, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, MDs, and DOs, or people you would consider medical doctors. We can all do that. Now, there are specialists that can recommend to 600 patients. So, those include GI, endocrinology, neurology. There’s a few specialists whose practice tends to use cannabis a little bit more, and they allow them 600. For example, I see palliative care patients and hospice patients, so, I’m allowed 600 as well through the government system. But primarily, it’s 275, and then there’s this 600 limit for some of us.

Tim Pickett:

But I think if that’s what’s holding you back from getting involved as a provider, we’ve just got to work to change the rules, because it’s more important that we take care of people than it is, we worry about these types of things in the beginning of a program like Utah’s. Utah’s program is just so young. There’s just not that many people who even know cannabis is legal. Right?

Elikqitie:

I know. I was super shocked when I found out that cannabis was legal here. I found out about it because one of my girlfriends had gone to your Utah Therapeutic Clinic and she was having a really bad anxiety because she’s had a lot of personal things happen to her, and she’s like, “I sleep like a baby now. This is really great. I don’t feel so anxious during the day.” I’m like, “I need to check this out.” So, I came to your clinic, and it’s been really, really great. Just backing up for a second, I know we had talked about, because I came on your podcast, the Utah in the Weeds Podcast, and for episode, I think it’s 53 or 54, I can’t remember which one, but if you want to hear me on their podcast, definitely check out Utah in the Weeds episode 53.

[Editor’s Note: Elikqitie appeared on Episode 55 of the Utah in the Weeds Podcast, which you can listen to here.]

Elikqitie:

And either we were talking about how in the beginning, Utah predicted there was going to be 6,000 medical cards issued, and there has been like 25,000 the first year.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, yeah. They definitely predicted much, much lower. And that was how much cannabis was really produced in Utah the first year. All of the growers were anticipating this lower amount of cards, and so, this isn’t like, you just throw stuff in the oven and you have what you need, you’ve got to build infrastructure to grow those plants, to harvest those plants. They have to be tested. There’s been a lot of batches that have been bad and they’ve had to get rid of. And so, it’s been an interesting year. But finally, now we’re starting to see the final few pharmacies open up over the next couple of months, so, we’ll have all 14 pharmacies open, and the product selection is getting better.

Tim Pickett:

The quantity of products are getting better, so, you can now go, like, you can go to Park City, and you can usually find the products that you want consistently now. There’s still some shortage of some high-end products like the resins and some of the hash products, some of the concentrated products that are super strong, but those aren’t very common for people to use. And we could talk about that a little bit more because I would say, those would definitely not be great to start out with GI issues or autoimmune issues for sure.

Elikqitie:

So, I know, on one of the episodes of Utah in the Weeds, you and Chris Hollifield had the producer from Jilu, and I can’t remember her name.

[Editor’s Note: Beverly Astin, the owner of Jilu Premium, appeared on Episode 56 of Utah in the Weeds, which you can listen to here.]

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, Jilu.

Elikqitie:

Yeah, she was really great. She was saying how it’s really hard to get product because there’s all these people that want product, but it takes so long to grow it, and as you said, some of the batches didn’t test out. So, if a batch tests and it’s rejected, what are reasons a cannabis batch would be rejected and you couldn’t use it to sell to a, not a producer, what I’m I thinking?

Tim Pickett:

Well, that’s a good question. So, what happens to these products as they go through? So, you grow a batch of medical marijuana, medical cannabis plants, and you cut them down, and you send them for testing, and let’s say they don’t match what you wanted for quality for a smokable product or a vaporizerable product. Well, then you have, that would be something that doesn’t look the right way, doesn’t smell the right way, or doesn’t meet the THC requirements that you set out to grow. In that case, you might take that product and grind it up and make something else, but Beverly brings up, her issue is, there’s not enough what they call biomass.

Tim Pickett:

There’s just not enough plant material to grind up to make her vape carts or to make the tinctures, to make all of that excess stuff. And that’s, I think that’s a bigger problem than the testing issue. The testing issue tends to come into play with the vape cartridges and things. The way they test and the amount of product they have to get to test is pretty high. So, now that they’re growing more product, it will be a little bit better.

Elikqitie:

And so, if you have a specific like strain you’re testing, and it tests negative for like vape cartridges, can you use it for flower, or is it just not good at all and you can’t use it for any type of product?

Tim Pickett:

Well, if you have a product, like let’s say you have some flower, some bud, right? You just, you have weeds you’re testing and it tests positive for a heavy metal, or you accidentally, there was some contaminant in that batch, it’s over. You’ve just scrapped the whole thing. And so, thousands and thousands of dollars have gone down the drain. That’s a product of the growers, I think. And I’m not the person who’s in the room, so, I’m not saying this is them being bad at their jobs. I think that as we go along in Utah, we’re learning the process, we’re learning how to keep our crops away from different things than contaminants. It’s just that process that takes time as essentially a farmer, a sterile farmer, right?

Elikqitie:

Yeah. And I’m sure everybody has a learning curve because although obviously people have been growing pot for decades, it’s not like a new thing, but it is definitely different when you’re growing it for medical marijuana because you have a lot more testing to do, you have to make sure it’s pure. And what’s the other thing I wanted to ask you? Hold on one second.

Tim Pickett:

Well, I want to add that the nice part about the testing is that you can trust the products in Utah. So, when you’re getting the products here, and you’re not getting them on the black market, you’re getting products that really are what they say they are on the label. They have a very good testing system in Utah. And even like if you go to California, there’s a significant number of dispensaries in California that are buying their product through the back door and selling it out the front door, and not buying it from reputable licensed growers. And you don’t really even know what you’re getting in some of the dispensaries in some of these legal states. California has a big problem with that, and I know that Utah did not want that problem. And so, they’ve cracked down-

Elikqitie:

Yeah. Well, that’s really dangerous because, yeah, one of the podcasts I write show notes for was talking about how like back 20, 30, 40 years ago, people just bought, like when you bought marijuana, it was marijuana. It wasn’t laced with things, it wasn’t dangerous. And now you buy some on the street and you can literally kill yourself in one dose because of whatever it might be laced with that you don’t know, or it’s not even your product, the list of things goes on. So, yeah, that’s pretty scary. And it’s really nice that Utah is so strict on the standards for the processing and stuff.

Elikqitie:

And the other thing is that I didn’t know when I first got into medical cannabis is that the state of Utah limits the number of grower licenses and the number of… So, can you talk a little bit about the licensing for growers and how many growers and how many dispensaries you talk and have right now?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. They started out with the idea to evaluate for 10 grow licenses in Utah, and the state decided to issue eight grow licenses with the option to issue two more later, if they need to. Right now, there’s about five or six of the growers who are growing full out. So, there’s a couple more growers who need to establish their process and build their infrastructure to grow. So, we’re not even up to speed with that yet. But there are eight growers in Utah. They have the ability to grow medical marijuana. Then you have 14 issued retail pharmacies. A few of those also have grow licenses, Dragonfly, for example, downtown, they can grow their own, they can process their own, and they can sell their own wholesome. And Bountiful is another example, they can grow their own product.

Tim Pickett:

Beehive, for example though, and Deseret Wellness, they do not have grow licenses. So, they are simply a retail operation. They have to buy their product from the growers and the processors to sell it. So, there’s a mix of different players in the marketplace, I guess, which should benefit patients because it will increase competition in certain ways, but it also keeps the ability to have kind of tight control by the state for all of these operations because there’s not too many operators in the state. It’s different than a lot of states. I’ve heard in Colorado there’s roads where there’s 20 dispensaries. Imagine 20 dispensaries down State Street in Salt Lake. Utah’s not ready for that.

Elikqitie:

I don’t know, I guess I’m ready for that. Just kidding. I don’t use it that much, but yeah, no, that was really interesting when I first got in because I thought like, oh, anybody that applied could do it, but apparently, that’s definitely not the case. And one other thing, I didn’t actually know that there’s also some dispensaries that are also growers, because when Beverly was on the Utah in the Weeds Podcast, she had talked about, she also applied to be a grower, but they didn’t give her the grower license, they did give her the… Oh, gosh.

Tim Pickett:

Processing license.

Elikqitie:

The processing license.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. She has a processing license with Jilu, and that’s J-I-L-U. And so, that’s another player in the space. Those people, those businesses like Beverly’s, she has to negotiate to find biomass from one of the eight growers, and then take that product in. She then can process it, make her own products and then sell those to retail outlets, who may or may not be growers on their own, in their own right, or they may be just retail operations. So, she’s kind of in the middle, having to deal with both sides and work that out. She’s having some trouble finding enough biomass too. Boojum is another operator like that, they’re up in Heber, and they’re constantly looking for plants to make their products.

Elikqitie:

So, is Utah going to be issuing any more growing licenses this year?

Tim Pickett:

Not this year. They’ll look to get all of the eight, from my understanding, talking to the Department of Health, they’ll look to get all of the eight growers up and running at full capacity, then evaluate the market and see the growth of the number of patients, what they’re purchasing, before they make that decision. They’ll try to stay ahead of it, I know that, but there’s no appetite in the legislature to add more pharmacies or dispensaries or add more growers until they’re up and running and full.

Elikqitie:

So, they want to see the full capacity of what’s licensed now before they add some more on?

Tim Pickett:

Yes. And they want to make sure that, one of the goals of the Department of Health is to make sure that everybody in the state, all four corners of the state, or I guess there’s six corners of the state, isn’t there?

Elikqitie:

Yeah, because we have that little like…

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, we have the little notch. So, yeah, they’ve got to get all of the people in Utah access. That’s one of their main goals. We have access in Salt Lake, we have access in Summit county now with one dispensary, but really, you need to get Iron County more access, you need to get the Moab, that Eastern part of Utah access. That will happen with home delivery, which is starting to get a little more developed.

Elikqitie:

So, I know there’s a process for the state deciding where the next dispensary is going to go, and so, I think, was it Moab who was next on the hit list to get a dispensary? Because that’s pretty far out, but it’s a populated enough place where they could get enough business.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. I think there’s three or four counties that are eligible to have these last pharmacies. So, this spring, they added the legislation so they could have a 15th pharmacy focused on a rural area. They’re limiting it to these areas. We anticipate that that pharmacy will go in Moab because it’s the most densely populated of those counties. And then that company will likely have a home delivery system up and down the Eastern side of Utah to deliver to the rest of the rural areas. There’s a pretty big gap in some of these spaces. The furthest South from the Northern dispensary is Payson, is the furthest South, and then you don’t have one again until Cedar City. So, there’s a lot of thought of space between there.

Tim Pickett:

There’s not enough users to put one in between, but there’s enough users that home delivery needs to be a key part of getting people their medicine. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out this year, and how that works, because there are some problems with home delivery, they don’t allow them to take cash in home delivery, you have to pay digitally, and you cannot buy weed with a credit card.

Elikqitie:

Oh, I did not know that. That’s why I always have to go to the ATM before I hit the dispensary.

Tim Pickett:

Exactly. And that’s why most of the dispensers have the little ATM inside the dispensary because they can’t accept… there’s no banking for these companies.

Elikqitie:

And so, that’s a Utah law then.

Tim Pickett:

No, that’s a federal law. So, Visa will not allow, because the banks are multi-state, they can’t accept transactions with a federally illegal substance.

Elikqitie:

That’s what it is.

Tim Pickett:

And it all falls under that federal guidelines. So, we’re working on some products. There’re some ways that people are getting creative with ATMs, basically having an ATM transaction inside the pharmacy. You just never see the cash. Yeah, that’s one of the ways they’re getting creative to do this, but that hasn’t quite taken hold in Utah yet.

Elikqitie:

Okay, it sounds good. Well, friends, we’re going to take a break right here, but when we come back, I’m going to talk to Tim about how you can find out how to get a Utah medical cannabis card through Tim’s organization, and also, what strains of cannabis are really good for joint pain and other autoimmune conditions.

Elikqitie:

Hey, my gluten-free friend, this is Elikqitie, and I am so excited to introduce to you The Guide to Traveling Gluten-Free. In its new format, over 200 pages of awesome information on how you, your family, your children, and your gluten-free friends, can all travel safely without having to worry about getting cross-contaminated and constantly getting sick. In my new Guide to Traveling Gluten-Free, you’ll get information on how to choose a restaurant, what questions to ask, gluten-free friendly cities, how to cruise gluten-free, how the camp gluten-free, how to roadshow gluten-free, and I talk about some of the countries that I visited, and which ones are gluten-free friendly, and which ones aren’t so gluten-free friendly.

Elikqitie:

So, if you’re looking for a great guide to assist you in travel planning and enjoying your next vacation adventure, definitely get The Guide to Travel Gluten-Free, now available on Amazon, or check out my website at www.travelglutenfreepodcast.com, and click on Book. With over 300 downloads in the first two weeks alone, I’m super excited to offer this information to help keep you and everyone in our gluten-free community safe, happy, and have the ability to travel with freedom once again. Now let’s jump back into the show.

Elikqitie:

All right, we’re back, and I know I have my medical cannabis card, I got it in February, and I know there’re certain qualifying conditions, so, just anybody can’t get a medical cannabis card. So, on the list of medical qualifying conditions to get a medical marijuana card is HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, ALS sclerosis, autism, cancer, cachexia, which I… It says-

Tim Pickett:

Cachexia.

Elikqitie:

Yeah, extreme weight loss. I had no idea that existed. Chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, seizure, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, persistent nausea, muscle spasms, terminal illness and conditioning, conditions requiring hospice care, and other rare diseases which can be qualified under medical marijuana. So, I actually qualified under three, but I think I had to pick one, but it’s been really great. So, my experience with your place, Utah Therapeutic Health Center, has been really amazing. So, to get a medical marijuana card, I just called you guys up, came in for a visit. They did the whole interview process because you have to fill out all the forms, say what you had, and then you also have to say what you’ve already tried.

Elikqitie:

So, you can’t just say, “I have PTSD, I haven’t tried anything. I’m just going to come in and get medical marijuana.” So, like, for me, for my PTSD, I’ve done psychologists, I’ve done a few other things, and so, since those things did not fix my lack of sleep or whatever, then I was qualified for a medical cannabis card. And that’s been really great because I’ve been taking medical cannabis to sleep at night, and it’s literally the only way I actually do sleep at night anymore, which is really great. And then I’ve also been taking it for joint pain. So, I take the one to 10 for joint pain, and that’s been really awesome because I also take the naltrexone on top of that.

Elikqitie:

And I actually noticed lately, I can skip taking naltrexone every day, I don’t have to take it every day, if I take my one to 10, which has been really awesome. And then also another thing that’s a side effect of celiac disease is depression, and so, I’ve been taking the lemonade during the day, micro-dosing it for depression. So, that’s been really awesome. So, when someone comes to you, Tim, and then you guys go through the interview process with them, and then they get approved for their medical cannabis card, and then you have to pay the $15 to the state for the card, and then you guys have your services that I pay for. And then you have to get the renewal at three months, which I just did, but it’s been a pretty easy and streamlined process.

Elikqitie:

So, when people come to you for medical cannabis cards, what are the most common issues that people come to you to get a medical cannabis card for?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, great question. The very most common thing that people use medical cannabis for across the nation and Utah is no different, is chronic pain. And in Utah, they define the chronic pain as pain lasting longer than two weeks, that is not well controlled with the traditional therapy or intervention. So, even something like, “I’ve got knee pain, I injured my knee in a car accident or in a ski accident, and it’s been bothering me. I can’t sleep as well because of it. I’ve tried ibuprofen, but it hurts my stomach over time. They’ve done x-rays, I did a little physical therapy.” That’s a qualifying condition, all the way up to somebody who has fused discs, has had multiple spinal surgeries, and that type of chronic pain.

Tim Pickett:

So, there’s a really wide variety of people using medical cannabis for chronic pain. And the definition of chronic pain is very… it really is kind of easy qualifications in Utah with the two weeks of pain. The second most common is definitely PTSD. That’s the only mental health condition that Utah allows medical marijuana for. There should be more sleep, it should be on the list really because it’s-

Elikqitie:

Sleep should definitely be on the list.

Tim Pickett:

It should just be on the list, right? PTSD is studied, there’s a lot of night terrors in people with PTSD. And like we’ve talked about, THC is good at suppressing dreams. So, using it to help with those dreams and to help people get to sleep, it’s a game-changer for people.

Elikqitie:

It’s definitely been a game-changer for me because if you’re one of my friends, Gluten Free friends listening, definitely go back and listen to episode 53, because I definitely suffer from PTSD from childhood trauma, and I had been through the night terrors and nightmares and all that crazy stuff. And yeah, it definitely helps us when I take my indica to sleep at night, it definitely have had a huge reduction in the amount of nightmares and bad, negative things that happen at night, and I feel more relaxed and better during the day. So, that’s been really great. But what are some, like, I take the one to 10 for joint pain, but what are some other strands or strains of medical cannabis that people have taken to control some of their autoimmune conditions, maybe like digestive issues or other things that are really good for joint pain, that kind of thing?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, great question. There’s new research on, there’s two forms of THC, well, there’s multiple, there’s more than two, but there’s THC delta-9, that’s the THC that gets us high, and then there’s THC delta-8, which is derived from cannabis, but it’s not found abundantly in the plant when it grows. So, some of the new products that you’re finding in our pharmacies include more delta-8 THC, and those can be, we find that they’re more absorbed in the gut tissue, and they’re more absorbed peripherally. So, while they don’t get you quite as high, a lot of people don’t like to be high, they help with nausea, and they help with gut health, and there’s symptom reduction in the gut, better than THC delta-9.

Tim Pickett:

So, we’re finding like vape cartridges like Lemon Dream from Zion, Jilu makes one, Forbidden Fruit is another name of a vape cartridge. They have some delta-9 in some of the tinctures that Zion makes. I would say Zion is more, they’ve been making products with more delta-8 than some of the other producers and processors, just because they’re into this variety of different versions of THC. When it comes to joint pain and autoimmune type stuff, the terpene profile, which is things like this called beta-caryophyllene, that’s a strain that’s high in Girl Scout cookies, or it’s a chemical high in Girl Scout cookies, the strain. And it tends to be high in Banana Kush, or these Kush strains, or purple strains, or Haze. If you hear those names, they tend to be better for pain.

Tim Pickett:

And it’s because these different cannabinoids that are in them, and the terpene profiles that are in them, they tend to be more indica strains. Those tend to be a little better for people with physical pain. And then the delta-8 seems to be better for that nausea and those gut issues. Now, you can add a little delta-9 in there, some people really like that uplifting effect, right? And I’m not saying that it’s bad, everybody’s got their own preference. So, playing with that and keeping a journal is really important. But those are some of the go-tos when I talk to patients.

Elikqitie:

So, just for people who are listening, because I know when I got into this, I was like, “There is way so much information, I don’t understand it.” I knew there’s three main varieties, so, there’s the indica, there’s the hybrid. So, the indica is what I use to sleep because that’s the one that helps you put to sleep, and then there’s the indica hybrid. And then what’s the other mainstream-

Tim Pickett:

Yes, sativa. So, you have sativa, which is more uplifting. I took that this morning and I cleaned my whole house and rewarded myself by eating a whole chicken. That’s how I’d describe it. And then you have the hybrid, which is the in-between.

Elikqitie:

That’s pretty spot-on.

Tim Pickett:

And then you have the indica. Now, sativas, because of the way they are chemically, because of the chemical compounds and the variety of chemicals and the percentages, they tend to act just slightly faster. They tend to hit a little bit harder, but they tend not to last quite as long. Indicas, why they help a little bit more with sleep, they tend to come on a little slower, like a slow burn effect, they tend to be more relaxing, and they tend to be better for some pain, but sometimes people, they’re associated with people watching Ferris Bueller and eating popcorn, right?

Elikqitie:

Right. Yeah. And we see, one of the great things about the indica is it does also help with pain because when I wake up in the morning, my joints generally don’t hurt at all, which is really great.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. They’re really the best strains for muscle spasticity, like muscle spasms, if you have restless leg or you have back pain, and you just need a rest, you just need to take a break and get some rest. The indica strains are great. Now, in today’s marketplace, almost everything is hybrid, because there’s been so much crossbreeding of the strains. So, you’re just having to look for things that lean more indica, or lean more sativa. And one of the best ways to do that, frankly, is just keeping a journal. Go down to the dispensary, buy an eighth, don’t buy an ounce, just treat the dispensary like a convenience store, get what you need, go home, try it, keep a journal. And then over time, you’ll find that you like certain effects better than others. You’ll find strains that are better for the daytime than the nighttime.

Tim Pickett:

You talked about lemonade, there’s a tincture with lemonade, and that’s a very sativa terpene, and it’s very uplifting.

Elikqitie:

Yes. And I actually use that micro-dosing during the day, so, when my head’s in that depression fog, and I take two drops or three drops of that, that’s like, it just, I can tell when it kicks in because it feels like somebody turns my head on.

Tim Pickett:

And it’s so interesting to hear you talk about that because you’re talking about dosing without the high. You’re using this in a way that’s just getting it on board, just getting it in the bloodstream, as if we’re using it for medicine.

Elikqitie:

Yes. And that’s the main difference. And it was really funny because my older daughter, who when I told her I got my medical marijuana card, she was like, “Mom, you’re so lucky. You’re just going to be able to be like, sit around all day and be high.” I’m like, “No, I have to work.” So, I don’t take it to be high, I take it to function on a normal level and actually sleep, because when I’m not taking, if I don’t take my indica at night to sleep, I’ll sleep maybe two or three hours for the rest of the night, and that makes for a really, really, really hellish day during the day trying to work and focus and do anything that requires any type of brainpower or focus.

Elikqitie:

And so, yeah, having the medical cannabis has definitely been a huge life-changer for me. I don’t think I could probably work still if I did not have medical cannabis because that’s given me the opportunity to sleep really well, and then I can function during the day. So, it’s been definitely a game-changer for me for sure.

Tim Pickett:

I think it’s really important for people to hear stories like that and to realize that we’re not in this business to just get everybody high. I get that everybody has their own decisions to make, they have their own lifestyle, and I’m totally not opposed to somebody using it as medicine all week, and then Saturday afternoon, hey, take that extra one or two, get creative, play the guitar, do something fun, enjoy yourself. That’s part of life, and that’s part of using what we have around us to, essentially, we’re taking advantage of the plant medicine around us to do what we want to do and to feel better.

Tim Pickett:

And if Saturday afternoons, that’s how you play it, that’s totally okay with me. It’s just that we need to do more education on how to use it wisely, I think, so that people aren’t just thinking that that’s all we get out of it, is just, we’re just getting people high, because there’s just a lot to it, there’s a lot more to it. So, in our condition, in our situation, we spend a lot of time educating, and we spend a lot of time writing content at utahmarijuana.org, and doing the YouTube videos on Discover Marijuana, that YouTube channel, we talk a lot about it on the podcast, Chris and I, because that’s what ends up being the most important and reaching more and more people, to really just de-stigmatize it.

Tim Pickett:

So that you don’t have to, in 10 years hopefully, when we talk about medical cannabis, we talk about marijuana, we’re not getting that immediate response, “Oh, you’re just getting high all day.”

Elikqitie:

Well, yeah. And quite honestly, I tried several different medications to sleep, and I think I tried a couple different antidepressants, and the prescription stuff is usually addicting, it doesn’t work very well. You have really bad side effects. Like, I remember the one, I think it was the Lunesta that I took at night, and I woke up in the morning and I felt so… The only reason I did not get sick was because I actually had some Zofran there, which is the prescription, stomach medication to take, but I was sick all day. I can’t function like that. That’s not something I can live with on a daily basis, just feeling sick 24/7, feeling nauseous all the time. Nobody wants to feel like that.

Elikqitie:

So, I love it because, yeah, sometimes I do feel like if I take a little too much, I’ll feel like a little high, but that’s a way better feeling than feeling sick all day or feeling like your head’s in a complete fog all day, or pick one of the side effects that you get from prescription drugs. I mean, besides the fact that opioids are all addicting, and I think it’s like 80%. So, the recovery center that I were a percussionist for, they said 80% of the people who were in there started off on opioid drugs. And it’s for like people just taking it, like you said, knee surgery, and they take opioids because that’s what doctors prescribe, and they get hooked on them, and then from there, they take other stuff.

Elikqitie:

And so, it’s a way better option than what’s out there as far as side effects, and it’s not addicting and things like that. So, I think it’s really great. And one of the things that I love about going to the dispensary is that all the dispensaries in Utah have to have a pharmacist on hand. And I go almost every, not almost every time, but the first two or three times I went, because I was trying to figure out what’s working, what’s not working, it’s really great to talk to a pharmacist who knows the product, knows which products do what, and can actually recommend you a product. So, if you’re like me who has never tried medical marijuana, and I went in there, and I knew what I was trying to resolve, but I didn’t know what to take.

Elikqitie:

It’s great to go in, talk to a pharmacist who knows what she’s talking about or he’s talking about, and get a really great recommendation that you can try, and then if that doesn’t work out, you just have to like, you’ll go back and try a different strain and tweak it, which I had to do a couple of times, which you have to do with any medicine that you take, not just medical cannabis.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. You’ve really hit the nail on the head, and it’s just complicated. And so, if you’re not used to it, and you’re trying to figure this out, you buy a product and it does work, it doesn’t work, you want to try something else, the pharmacist model has worked out really well for patients, because you can go in there, and at any time you go in, you can just ask the pharmacist. And the pharmacist is going to know some of the interactions between the drugs you might be taking for, maybe you’re taking amitriptyline for GI stuff, and/or Bentyl, which are these common medications for GI issues, and then, you need to go in there.

Tim Pickett:

You can talk to the pharmacist, you can say, “Hey, I’m on this medication, what do you think? Is it going to interact?” And they’re going to be there to help you or to provide resources so that you can go find answers for you. It’s a different type of medicine. It’s very experimental. You have to give yourself permission to try it. Right?

Elikqitie:

Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

And in Utah, I think that’s a big deal. We’ve got to-

Elikqitie:

Yeah, it’s definitely conservative in Utah. So, I think it’s a little more like edge of the spectrum for a lot of people. But I know, for me, like you were saying about… Oh, my gosh, what was it? About trying and trying something new, it definitely has been a way better option for me as far as like all my autoimmune issues for sure. So, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, because I know that in order to get a medical marijuana card, you have to go through a medical marijuana provider, which you guys do, and so, if somebody’s interested but they’re not sure if that’s what they want to do, what would be their next step?

Tim Pickett:

Oh, that’s a great question. We have, go to utahmarijuana.org, you can read a little bit of articles, you can listen to a couple of podcasts. We have everything there. And that really explains the setup, the requirements for the card, the process of the card. You can then, you can call us. You can schedule an appointment, you can fill out all the paperwork. You can come down, you can meet with a qualified medical provider. And if it’s not right for you, there’s no charge. We’re just, we’re here to educate. And if cannabis is something that you and the provider think will be a good alternative or a good thing to try for you, then you can proceed down and get your card, and you can try it.

Tim Pickett:

You don’t have to feel like, hopefully, people don’t have to feel like they’re forced into it. Hopefully, we’re providing a service in kind of a non-intimidating way too. We really try hard not to… You’re not going to walk into a clinic full of stoners. Don’t worry. This is a medical clinic. We’re all professional providers, we abide by HIPAA, all of the things of normal medicine. We just listen to our patients, and we collaborate with our patients. We make decisions with our patients about what they should and shouldn’t be doing. We don’t make decisions for our patients.

Elikqitie:

Yeah, I really liked that when I came in, because I noticed, my medical provider at your clinic is Austin, and he was really great about answering all my questions. He was like, “Do you have any other questions? Have you tried this? Have you…” whatever. And so, he’s really great at giving suggestions and then answering all my questions, no matter. And I always have a ton of questions because I’m the person who’s always asking you the questions that nobody else asks, but he was super patient, very great, didn’t ever not answer my question or I never felt like I was being just pushed out really quick or anything.

Elikqitie:

I felt like it was a great amount of time for my visit, and I had all my questions answered, and it was really great. Everybody’s been so supportive at your clinic. And I want to tell my Gluten Free friends that you have a special, so, if somebody wants to come in to your office and they do want to get their medical marijuana card, you are offering a special discount for Travel Gluten Free listeners. So, would you like to tell the listeners a little about the discount you’d like to offer them for your clinic?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, absolutely. Travel Gluten Free is the coupon code. So, if you go to utahmarijuana.org, click the Reserve link, or you call us and you just mention that you heard us here talking about this on the Travel Gluten Free Podcast, the code is Travel Gluten Free, and it will be 10% off any new patient visit, new patient evaluation. So, the costs, our normal fees are $250, that includes your… This is essentially joining the club, so to speak. You get an evaluation, we walk you all the way through the card process. We take care of your 90-day renewal for free. We check in on you. That’s all included.

Tim Pickett:

You can visit with me, if you need to, you can visit with our other providers, really as much as you need. We don’t charge extra for any of these other visits. But if you use that coupon code, that’ll save you an extra $25 off that first visit.

Elikqitie:

Yeah. And that’s really awesome. And for people who are like, “Well, I have medical insurance, I might go to a regular medical provider.” I have medical insurance but I decided to go with you guys because it was just much easier to get my medical cannabis card through the Utah Therapeutic Health Center, and paying $250 to be pain-free and to be able to sleep is a no-brainer for me. There’s nothing in the world that could have substituted me being able to sleep. So, it’s been really great and I loved it. And so, Tim, I know you have four locations, so, can you tell us what are your four locations that people can come and visit you at?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. We have a location in downtown Ogden, on Grant. We have a location that is in the same building as Wholesome Cannabis Co in Bountiful, Utah. We have a location in Millcreek on 39th South, 7th East. That’s a great location to go. We have a location in West Valley, right across the street from Beehive Pharmacy. And we also opened up our fifth location in Provo. So, if you need to be seen in Utah County or South, that’s on Draper Lane, that’s in the same building as Deseret Wellness in Provo. So, we like to be close to the pharmacies, we think it’s a great integration, so that people can come, they can talk to us, they can get all their questions answered by us.

Tim Pickett:

If we can’t answer the question, the pharmacy’s right there. And so, it’s a good mix. And like you say, if you have insurance and your provider is somebody who doesn’t like medical cannabis or they’re not comfortable with it, and you want to go see somebody who knows a little bit more and can walk you through the process, come see us. Well, I’m not opposed to insurance, I want to bill insurance just like everybody else. We’re just dealing with a still federally illegal substance, and so, it’s almost impossible to get them to pay for these visits upfront until we change the federal law.

Elikqitie:

It’s time to write a letter to President Biden.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, it is. Get your aviators on and write the letter.

Elikqitie:

That’s awesome. Well, Tim, at the end of every interview, I always ask people the guilty gluten questions, but I know you’re not gluten-free, so, these don’t apply to you, so, I’m going to skip over those, but you’ve already told us where people can find you, so, what are your future plans? You’re obviously going to be working at the Utah Therapeutic Clinic and growing that. So, are you guys going to add anything new to your clinic in the future or are you just going to keep doing what you’re doing right now?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, we’re going to add a couple of things I would say is, we’re going to continue to add locations in different areas of the state to help people get access to medical cannabis. We’ll open this summer in Cedar City, right in the same building that Bloom Medicinals is in. Watch for that in July or August. St. George is another place that I’d like to be, to help people down there. So, we’ll continue to work on that. The other thing we’re working on is a patient series, where we do interviews with patients and then make one big, long playlist of patient interviews on Discover Marijuana, on that YouTube channel, so that people who are scared or they don’t really know, they want to hear a couple of stories like yours, about PTSD, and how you decided, “Okay, maybe this is for me.”

Tim Pickett:

And they just want to listen to a few of those stories and find out more. That’ll be coming out probably later this summer, maybe September, those patient stories will start to flow out. So, there’s so much to do.

Elikqitie:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, yeah, you guys have a really great clinic, and it’s really well-run. And like you said before, it’s like, not like a bunch of potheads who are in there. I mean, obviously, everybody who’s in there does take medical cannabis, but I was really impressed because when I came into your center, it was very clean, very well-run, very efficient, very professional. And I was really impressed by all the stuff that you guys have to offer. Well, Tim, this has been such a blast. I’m so glad you made the time to come on the podcast. So, thanks so much for coming on the podcast today.

Elikqitie:

And for my Gluten Free listeners, remember, you tell them when you call, either say you’ve heard it on Travel Gluten Free Podcast, or when you’re making the reservation online, use Travel Gluten Free, not podcast, Travel Gluten Free, to get your 10% off. Yeah, Tim, thanks again for coming on the Travel Gluten Free Podcast and chatting with my gluten-free friends today about how to use medical marijuana for autoimmune disease.

Tim Pickett:

Thanks so much for having me.

Speaker 2:

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