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What to Expect in This Episode

Cannabis patient Vanessa Nielsen is a middle-aged breast cancer survivor still on the road to recovery. She is also a cannabis artist and a major proponent of Medical Cannabis in Utah. Her journey with cannabis began as a teenager, growing up with parents she described as “hippies.”

Nielsen went from recreational use to self-medication when her husband died in a car accident. [12:46] Between PTSD and depression, she needed something to help her cope. However, she did not want to take Valium or Xanax because these prevented her from working. She decided to use cannabis instead. She has been using now for 30 years.

Following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2019, Nielsen underwent a bilateral mastectomy. [03:23] She could only take the post-surgery pain medications for three days before she couldn’t deal with their side effects. So instead, she asked her doctor for an ibuprofen prescription and then combined that with her own cannabis use. Nielsen says the cannabis allowed her to recover from surgery without any additional narcotics. [16:47]

One thing Nielsen talked quite a bit about was the fact cannabis actually doesn’t eliminate pain. [21:48] Neither do narcotic pain medications. All of them just help you deal with the pain better. Nielsen prefers cannabis over narcotics because they still allow her to fully function.

Tim, Chris, and Vanessa’s conversation briefly turned to different types of products and Utah’s expensive pricing. [32:56] Pricing and Utah regulations are two things leading Nielsen and her boyfriend to leave the state and take a year-long road trip while she continues cancer recovery. [37:23] Nielsen will be selling her cannabis-based art as they travel.

You are going to love this episode if you like to hear from patients with no medical training or political bent. Vanessa Nielsen is just your average patient trying to get by.

Resources in This Episode

Podcast Transcript

Chris Holifield:

All right, let’s get going. This is episode 65 of Utah in the Weeds, the big 65, Tim.

Tim Pickett:

How long have we been doing this? A year and a half.

Chris Holifield:

About a year and a half now.

Tim Pickett:

So episode 65, it is Independence Day coming up. Happy Fourth of July to everybody from Utah in the Weeds.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah. There’s parades going on this year and fireworks. So get out and enjoy it. And don’t burn down the mountains-

Tim Pickett:

Don’t use a flame to burn down the mountain. Maybe the flame law in Utah was a good thing, because now we’re in a drought.

Chris Holifield:

Who’s on the podcast today? Vanessa Nielsen. This is a heck of a story on the podcast today, Tim.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. This is a serious one. I was fascinated with the conversation with her. She is somebody who suffered from breast cancer, has history beyond that.

Chris Holifield:

A PTSD history. Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

PTSD history, but has been a longtime cannabis user. And I like the evolution of her story with cannabis and how she was using it and learning so much more about cannabis. This is good for people to hear because she’s somebody who grew up here. And people didn’t know-

Chris Holifield:

That she was using cannabis.

Tim Pickett:

That’s right. It’s great for people to talk about and she feels much more comfortable about it. It’s just a good conversation I’m excited to have people listen.

Chris Holifield:

We’re going to be going on a new podcast schedule. For releases, typically we release every Friday at 4:20 AM. For the summer, at least, we’re going to go to an every other week.

Tim Pickett:

Yup. It’s been exciting that all the pharmacies have been coming open, and we’ve been talking to so many people. And I think this will be good for us to do in every other week schedule for a little while.

Chris Holifield:

I think I’ll allow listeners to even catch up with some of the back episodes. It will allow Tim and I to get out a little bit more. Because I don’t know about you, but last year I didn’t really have much of a summer. So this year, I’m getting out and going to enjoy things-

Tim Pickett:

Going on a couple of trips.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

So it’ll give us a little bit more freedom. And everybody, just know, we’re still here, just going to be great episodes every other week for a little while, at least.

Chris Holifield:

Utahmarijuana.org, go spend a lot of time there because, I mean, you can go to slash podcast, obviously, and listen to the old podcast, like Tim was mentioning, but there’s a lot of other articles on there too and a lot of other valuable information that can consume your time on those off weeks, right?

Tim Pickett:

That’s right. There’s 64 other episodes to catch up on.

Chris Holifield:

Exactly.

Tim Pickett:

So you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Chris Holifield:

Anyway, we’re in every podcast app out there. So make sure you subscribe, leave us a review. And if you don’t have anything else to say, Tim, let’s get into that conversation with Vanessa because this was a good one. I enjoyed it. So, here we go.


Chris Holifield:

You got any plans for Fourth of July?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Just put my studio in my trailer.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

Why are you putting your studio in your trailer?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m actually going on a year adventure.

Tim Pickett:

What the.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m calling it my healing journey. I bought a motorhome the beginning of April. It’s a 36-footer and a 28-foot trailer and I’m taking my art on the road to cannabis art.

Chris Holifield:

You’re going on this healing journey because of your cancer?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2019. And I went through a lot of really radical treatment to get to where I am now. I’m no longer in my career. I’ve had to retire early until I am stable enough to go back to work. So that’s been tough. So, I’m going to take it on the road. I’m just going to go travel around the US and see what happens.

Chris Holifield:

Do you have a goal in mind or?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I do.

Tim Pickett:

You have kind of mapped out?

Vanessa Nielsen:

A little bit. But I don’t want to be on a timeline, time constraints, or we have to be here at a certain time. I just want to take it easy and just go and see and be one with nature, do my art and be with my dogs and my boyfriend, and just enjoy things. I had a really close call with death during my cancer treatments, so that has shifted my world. I was in the same career for 30 years. Can’t go back to it, so now I’m moving forward. It’s what can I do now. So I do my art and I’m kind of I’m hippie, I’m kind of hood.

Chris Holifield:

So you’re going to sell your art on the road, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes, hopefully.

Chris Holifield:

Hopefully, that’s the idea.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. And it’s not to make the money. It’s just more to spread the awareness and cannabis. I mean, I don’t do just cannabis art but that is my forte.

Chris Holifield:

And you have a special Instagram or Facebook for your art. Let’s start right there.

Vanessa Nielsen:

It’s @UniquenessCreations.

Chris Holifield:

Okay.

Vanessa Nielsen:

That was a name that my friends came up with after they saw what I was doing. And they’re like, “Why don’t you sell this stuff?” And what I was doing, I said, “Giving it away.” Every time I would make a piece, someone would come to that piece, I think of their name. My buddy Brad Wheeler did a great piece for him. And it was just to share it, because I was trying to fill my time with something that I could do when I couldn’t do what I was normally doing.

Tim Pickett:

So take us back to February 2019. What’s life like at the time before you got diagnosed with cancer?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Actually, prior to, I was working a lot of hours. I raised my kids. I have a daughter who jumped out right when I was diagnosed and was going to the U. So it was like, wow, okay, everything shifted. I was working 12-hour days, I was really burned out, I was really stressed, and that diagnosis took me sideways. I had plans. As soon as our youngest turned 18, we were going to move to Oregon, buy a 20-acre plot of land and I wanted to commercially grow. And because I wasn’t able to do anything about that in Utah, that was my go-to. We had an offer in on a property. And as of my diagnosis in February, everything, the bottom fell out from my job. This property up in Oregon, I mean, just everything imploded.

Tim Pickett:

How did that happen? Did you just go to a routine screening?

Vanessa Nielsen:

No, I actually found it myself. I’ve been very diligent. I lost my mom 16 years ago, she was 51, from the same breast cancer gene. Her sister also had it at 32. So, when I found this particular lump, I knew, I was mortified. I knew, I went to the doctor, and it all went really fast after that. I didn’t have any treatment prior to surgery. They wanted to do the surgery first. It had a pretty hefty growth rate. So that was concerning. I was stage three, grade three, and a proliferation rate of 67%. So it was moving fast.

Tim Pickett:

Did you already know you had the gene?

Vanessa Nielsen:

No. And the reason being is when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, 16 years ago, she was 50 when she was diagnosed, gene testing was so expensive back then. They didn’t offer what they offer now. They didn’t have the genetic companies coming forward and saying, “Hey, this family member is tested positive. We’re going to offer the immediate family these free tests so that we can give them the awareness that they may need moving forward.” So, I didn’t get tested. And there’s misconceptions out there. I didn’t really want to look at it, because I watched what it did to my mother in 11 months, she was gone. I mean, it just took her out. And she was healthy my whole life. So she got sick and died.

Tim Pickett:

At 50?

Vanessa Nielsen:

At 50. So it was pretty traumatizing. So over the years, my misconception in my mind, I don’t know if it was me trying to calm my own fears, but I thought that there was a genetic skip from generation to generation. And then I was worried about my daughter. But now that I’ve done all the research because it hit me, of course, then you really dive in and look at it. Yeah, it’s pretty scary.

Tim Pickett:

How old were you when you were diagnosed?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Forty-eight.

Tim Pickett:

So you’re doing self-exams all through really your whole life, probably, just because of the fear?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. Well, I started getting mammograms early due to my mom’s cancer, her being young, what it was. So I was doing my mammograms faithfully. I just hadn’t gone in yet for that mammogram for 2019. And so when I found it, it was interesting, because I had been so rundown and just so exhausted. My immune system was shy. I didn’t have the energy and the pickup that I had before.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So for a couple years, I was trying to figure out, I kept telling my doctor, there’s something wrong. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Little things here and there that would come up and it’d be like these symptoms. Why? I eat right, I exercise. I work hard. It’s not like I’m sedentary. And then all of a sudden, bingo, that came up. And they said it could have been growing for two to five years or could have been in my system ready to activate for two to five years before I actually found it. So that blew my mind. Maybe had I done some precursor work after my mom passed away, maybe I would have been in a better situation.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, it’s tough to say. So you go into treatment and surgery immediately?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I went into surgery immediately and had a bilateral mastectomy. It was torturous to say the least. And I had great doctors. I mean, they did wonders with me. And I did fairly well. They were shocked. And they used to say, “You’re so optimistic. We don’t get it. You come in here and your all smiles and you’re always kind to everybody and happy.” And I’m like, “What else are you going to be?” I’m not going to lie down and die. That’s just me. So, I had to do a lot of mind trickery through it to pull myself into a position where I could heal from it. I was scared to death I was going to die. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the 11-month mark, which is where my mom had passed away.

Tim Pickett:

Oh, wow. Yeah. I mean, you’re looking into the future and thinking, well, I’ve seen this before.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. And I was terrified, absolutely terrified, terrified to lose my hair… My mom absolutely would not do chemo. She refused. Hers was stage four. Her rate of recovery was so low that she just chose quality over quantity. So she didn’t do chemotherapy. She did radiation. But within that 11 months, just watching the cancer take over every possible portion of her body and the wasting away, and then they’ve come a long ways with surgery. I told my doctor, I said, if I have anything of an experience like my mother had with this mastectomy, I don’t know what I’ll do. I can’t recover from that. So they were very conscious when we went in. And like I said, they did me well. I had a lot of great doctors on my team but I think a lot of it had to do with the mind trickery that I would pull, the meditation, and cannabis use.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. Did your mom have cannabis?

Vanessa Nielsen:

She did not. Towards the end when she was immobile and not doing very well, I actually approached her about it. She’s from the ’70s. My parents were hippies. What can I say, they smoked weed back in the day when I was a little kid. So, she had gone away from that in her career. But once I introduced it to her, she said, “This stuff’s way too strong,” like it’s not what they in the ’70s. So it was hard for her but it helped. It helped to ease some of her pain and allow her to eat or be able to get out of bed and do different things that were okay the first six months, and then that last five months was absolutely not mobile.

Tim Pickett:

So you had cannabis throughout this whole period. I mean, I love Chris’ question. Usually he asks this question. Take us back to the beginning.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah, where it started, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Actually, my beginning with cannabis, I am an old soul, I’ve been probably 35 years. And it was introduced to me by cousins that were a little bit older. And back then it was here and there. But over the years, I did have some tragedies happen. I lost my husband to a drunk driver. And I think that that is probably when my heavy consumption really started. It was to numb it and deal with it without antidepressants or they wanted to load me up on Valium and Xanax so I wouldn’t feel.

Vanessa Nielsen:

The thing is I just needed to numb enough to be able to cope and do my job and get through life. I can’t take Xanax and just have everything stop. So, I used a lot of cannabis and it got me through. It helped me emotionally. I had a little bit of PTSD from it from his accident and different things that have come up. So, it helped. And over the years, it always helped. So, I’ve never been one to take pain pills. I’ve never been able to take pain pills. So, my go-to versus Xanax or pills or antidepressants has always been cannabis.

Tim Pickett:

Did you grow up here in Utah?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I did.

Chris Holifield:

So you’ve been consuming here in Utah then for 30 plus years?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely, yes. And that is hard for me to admit. A lot of people know me.

Chris Holifield:

Nothing wrong with that, though. I mean, I think a lot of people are coming out and talking about it and being open about it.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. I mean, we talk to people all the time who’ve grew up here in Utah, and they were growing it in the ditch or they were growing it in the mountains.

Chris Holifield:

Over a premium, right? What’s his face. Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. So it’s been here the whole time.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely.

Tim Pickett:

Right. And getting to know people, like humanizing the people’s use of cannabis, hey, that’s been around a long time, we’ve been using it for the same stuff we’re using them for today.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right.

Tim Pickett:

We were using it for 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago. And here you are. Were you open and honest with this?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Okay. So, here’s the curious thing with my doctors. Right directly after my surgery, they had put me on I believe it was oxycodone.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, yeah, I mean, I did it for years.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So, I came home and I was absolutely sick. I could not-

Chris Holifield:

Came home from?

Vanessa Nielsen:

From the hospital.

Chris Holifield:

Okay.

Vanessa Nielsen:

On those prescriptions and they said do not let this pain get ahead of her or she’ll be in trouble because of the mastectomy. And it was a major surgery.

Tim Pickett:

Oh, no. I’ve been involved in these surgeries in general surgery. We’ve had breast surgeons that have come in and they do these big bilateral surgeries. It is…

Vanessa Nielsen:

It’s heinous to say the least.

Tim Pickett:

It’s a bloody mess. It’s extremely painful for the patients. You’re really just tearing the skin apart, taking all that tissue out and just-

Vanessa Nielsen:

Scrubbing it down. I can imagine all the things.

Tim Pickett:

And then you’re just trying to let it heal on its own. It’s pretty bad.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So when I got home from the hospital the first couple of days, of course, my family, my boyfriend, bless his heart, he was dosing me every four hours. He’s writing it down, making sure. And I was so sick that not only could I not stay awake, which is probably a good thing, but every time I was awake I was heaving. I would heave and dry heave. So, it was about the third day in, I said, absolutely not, I can’t take this. I’ll take ibuprofen. I’ll take anything but these narcotics that are making me this sick. I ended up cracking a rib from throwing up. That’s just after my surgery.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So, when I went back to the doctor’s office, I just explained to him I can’t do this. They tried a couple of different things, Lortab, Percocet, it’s all the same for me. Same things happen. Some are worse. But I just told them I’m good. Just prescribe me some ibuprofen 800, I’m good, I’ll go home and I’ll just handle it. They look to me like, okay. And at that point, I was scared. I was scared to say, okay, so I have a backup plan.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And to you guys not knowing, cannabis is my backup. And it’s working. So, I just need some Ibuprofen. It took me probably six or seven months into treatment before I finally looked at my oncologist. And he said, I don’t know how you’re doing this. I had nerve impingements. I had frozen shoulder. I mean, it just went through the gamut of all the things that come with surgery and being immobile. And then starting the chemotherapy and stuff.

Tim Pickett:

You’ve got to get through the surgery. You’ve got to recover from the surgery to a certain point before you start chemo, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Correct.

Tim Pickett:

I mean, I think it’s important for people to understand that, too, because your immune system is not functioning really well. You don’t heal as well with this big cancer in your body. So they do the surgery first and then they have to let the body heal enough to start the chemo, because the wounds won’t heal if you start chemo too early.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. So I think I went four weeks in between my first surgery and then I started chemo. So within that four weeks, I took those pain pills maybe three days after, and then the rest of time I used cannabis. And that was a heavy cannabis use, I’m not going to lie. And that was-

Chris Holifield:

How heavy? What are we talking about? An ounce a week or two ounces a week or what?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’d say probably a couple of ounces a week.

Chris Holifield:

Nice.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And it was keeping things at bay. I wasn’t able to really get up and move around. I wasn’t quite mobile yet. So that was hard.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

But it kept the nausea down. Actually, it took the edge off the pain enough to where ibuprofen worked where I wasn’t losing my mind with pain. That was the most excruciating thing I’ve ever experienced. Even now, I still have a lot of residual pain from it. But wow.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, that’s a lot of pain.

Chris Holifield:

Now this was back in 2019, you said, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Correct.

Chris Holifield:

Well, you got your medical card here in Utah, you said pretty much right when it started-

Tim Pickett:

2019.

Vanessa Nielsen:

As soon I could-

Tim Pickett:

Did you have a provider that wrote you a letter?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I did not. I couldn’t find one. I had talked to a couple of my doctors and my one doctor, is still my doctor, I love him to death.

Chris Holifield:

He hasn’t dropped you? He hasn’t said get out of here, you pot smoker?

Vanessa Nielsen:

No. But he said, I’m sorry, it’s a gray area in Utah. I’m not sure I want to put my name on the line with this at this point because I don’t know… He says I don’t agree with opioid use and stuff like that. I’m very careful of what I prescribe to my patients. He said, but cannabis, that’s opening a whole another… Now, this doctor, mind you, back in the day, I’m sure back in college, I’m sure he had experiences. So, it’s not that he was close-minded but he was afraid, afraid to say-

Chris Holifield:

He had his license on the line. I get it, yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

… I’ll give you a letter.

Tim Pickett:

Right, it’s extremely common even now. I don’t know if I’m covered malpractice-wise. I don’t want the legal liability. I don’t know anything about it. So how can I prescribe or recommend something that I really don’t know how you can use?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

And then there’s the answer there’s no evidence to support it. Well, I don’t know. That’s not true.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And my doctor didn’t take the stand of there’s no evidence to prove that cannabis is helpful. I think it was more of his fear in the community of being a doctor and giving someone a letter saying, yes, I recommend that this person use cannabis. Since that time, he’s totally cool with it. He knows, he monitors. And he’s like, “How’s your pain?” Every doctor that I have on my panel, which is about six of them from the oncologists to the radiologist, all of them, at the top of my file, every single one of them says, “Do not offer gabapentin.” I have refused it for 18 months. I’m not going to start it now. Even though I had severe neuropathy and I’ve got severe nerve entrapment pain that comes and goes, I never know where it’s going to be, but…

Tim Pickett:

So when you’re using cannabis after surgery, you’re using it through chemo, you’re really just only smoking?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. And the reason why I smoked is because I couldn’t get out of a chair. I could barely get myself to the bathroom, make myself something to eat. So, I basically would roll a 20-pack of joints and I would smoke them all day long until I could just fade back and deal with… I call it mind trickery, a lot of people will call it meditation or praying or however you spiritually connect. But that was my mainstay, cannabis, and I did a lot of praying to the universe. That’s kind of my gig. I’m a spiritual gangster. But the cannabis, I don’t think I would have made it without it.

Chris Holifield:

Did you do any edibles? Nothing, no tinctures, anything like that?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Actually, once I started feeling better, I started chemo. That’s a whole another situation.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. Okay. And before we get to the chemo, there’s the pain and then there’s the suffering and the THC and the cannabis isn’t really controlling the pain. It’s putting the pain over there.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes, it doesn’t control it, but neither do opioids. Opioids, my doctor said, work on something in your brain, doesn’t work on the pain. It’s like you guys have got me wiped, absolutely wiped throwing up. I can’t think. I can’t keep conversations going on these drugs that you’ve given me that why am I in so much pain? I mean, the pain was nothing I’ve ever experienced nor would I ever want to experience again.

Tim Pickett:

Because I think that’s where people get misinformed that it’s going to take away your pain, and so they don’t have a good experience with cannabis or how is it working for you exactly? Maybe that’s a bad question because it’s different. It’s different than the Percocet.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely different. I could smoke a joint and be absolutely fine, carry on a conversation, keep my mind together and be in less pain. I take opioids and I cannot function, period. I have conversations that people come back and say, “Do you remember that conversation we had?” And I was like, “No.” And I never want to have one like that again. I don’t like that out of body feeling. I like to be in control and some people call it stoned or, “Oh, you’re going to get stoned and do all these terrible things.” That’s never been the case for me. I’ve always been high functioning. I’ve always kept a job. I’ve always worked my butt off. I own a home. I mean, I’ve always been super responsible. So tell me that I’m a stoner, that I had a lot of family and stuff come up and friends that would say that. The day that I don’t-

Tim Pickett:

Wow, you’re smoking a lot of weed here.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

They’re worried about you because you’re smoking a lot of weed?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Or that, “Oh, you shouldn’t be smoking daily,” or whatever their reasoning was.

Tim Pickett:

I have stage three breast cancer-

Chris Holifield:

You’re a drug addict. Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right. And a lot of my friends were blown away that I was actually able to function through just using cannabis.

Tim Pickett:

Got it. Okay. Now, see, this is key to people understanding, like the use.

Vanessa Nielsen:

It doesn’t take away your pain completely but it will make it manageable and it dulls the pain. As long as you’re getting the right dosage and you know what’s working for you, it keeps the pain under control to where I wasn’t in agony and tearful chaos all day.

Tim Pickett:

Right. It’s putting the pain aside. It’s disassociating you from the pain enough that you can concentrate on a conversation.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

That you can take a little nap.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

That you can eat something.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And that was huge for me. I wasn’t eating. I had no appetite. I don’t know if it was more from the surgery, but it was rough. I had no appetite and then, of course, you get sick when you don’t eat. So I mean, I was drinking Ensure and protein shakes and different things, just trying to replenish some of that. But when I would smoke, I was able to eat a little something.

Chris Holifield:

Give you the munchies.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. And I really counted on that because at first I had lost quite a bit of weight after my surgery, and I was concerned that I would rather have a little meat on my bones to fight this cancer than some of the people I would see in the chemo rooms and I’d be like, man, you don’t have a fighting chance in hell. You’re already thin. There’s not much to take away from you.

Chris Holifield:

Sure. And then you go into chemo. And what was that like?

Vanessa Nielsen:

It was scary. It was very scary. So, my mom towards the end of her treatment, she was in the hospital three days before she died. They gave her one dose of Red Devil, Adriamycin, and she died three days later. So I mean, it just really took over her body and just didn’t work. She’s already on her way out but that just compounded everything. So, going into the chemo knowing that I had to do the Red Devil, and it was six weeks, I was scared to death. I had to cut off 13 inches of my long blonde hair. That was traumatizing.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And then I bust my hair, because they said within two weeks, it’s right on the 14th day, all your hair is going to fall out. And I was like, “Mm-hmm.” No, it was 14 days and it was gone. So, not only going through the physical changes, the mental anguish from those physical changes, but then you’re sick on top of that, and pain. So, for anyone out there that’s going through those types of situations, the only thing I could do is use cannabis to keep my mind where it wasn’t overwhelmed to the point where I couldn’t heal myself, or at least function enough to think I might have a fighting chance.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And I smoked a lot. I mean, I had someone that would roll me packs of joints like a cigarette pack. They’d fill it up for me and just leave it every couple of days. And if I still had some, great, they can roll more, just so I always had it on hand. So that was huge to me. And then when the law is passed in Utah and it could only be vaped, I had to move over and transition once I got my card. That’s been a hard transition.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. I mean, I can imagine, because you grew up smoking.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes. So my tolerance is extremely high.

Chris Holifield:

Do you ever take breaks?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I do. And people say it’s the gateway drug gets addictive. I’ve never had a problem taking a break from it whatsoever.

Chris Holifield:

Really?

Vanessa Nielsen:

It might be a little edgy, because I don’t have that calming sense to me but it’s not like, oh gosh, if I don’t smoke, I’m going to hurt people or I’m going to rob, steal, and beat people up.

Chris Holifield:

Or you just can’t sleep very well, that’s the thing I run into.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And I have insomnia.

Tim Pickett:

And a little irritable-

Vanessa Nielsen:

I have insomnia all the time anyways, even with the smoking or use now. I don’t know exactly where that comes from.

Chris Holifield:

So it doesn’t even knock you out at night, huh?

Vanessa Nielsen:

No.

Chris Holifield:

Really? You’re like Krissie.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, just-

Vanessa Nielsen:

No, but-

Chris Holifield:

Krissie on…

Vanessa Nielsen:

There is one thing, though. I bought a magical butter machine, the MagicalButter Machine.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah. How’s that working for you?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I absolutely love that thing.

Chris Holifield:

Okay, let’s hear a review. Let’s hear about that.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I made tinctures, I’ve made butters, I’ve made oils. And when I was going through the different things, I use the actual tincture oils that I made for salve. I used it on my wounds. After they had healed enough to where I was in the safe zone, I started using it as a salve, too. And I think personally that those oils absorbed through my skin and helped with some of that pain, especially the nerve pain that was going on.

Chris Holifield:

I’m sure they did. Yeah.

Tim Pickett:

I’m sure they did.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So, I did find with that MagicalButter Machine once I learned how to make it, decarboxylate, everything.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Go through the process and never to really quite dose like know how much was going in there, whatever. But I would make baked goods and they worked like a charm. I could eat a half a cookie and be totally good to go, like I had smoked a full joint and off I go. So, there were different times that I had to use baked goods as well. Rather than just smoking, I would eat a little bit like a banana bread at night just to help give me that little extra so that I can hopefully sleep for at least a couple of hours. My sleeping has gotten back on track. I sleep about five hours a night now.

Chris Holifield:

Oh, you’re still using that machine? Is it still working for you?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely.

Chris Holifield:

Just because I know that we had to leave O2 but it broke two times on us.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, the magic butter machine seems like it’s a little bit more robust.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yeah, I’ve never had any problems with it. It works great. I’ve used it several times.

Tim Pickett:

Plenty?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yeah, I’ve used plenty to know that it’s good product. Chris Whitener is the guy who founded the company and the product. When I was down in Florida, a summer before, I was like, “Oh, you’re the magic butter guy.”

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And he’s like, “Wow, from Utah.” And I was like, “Yes.”

Chris Holifield:

Who would have figured, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

And all the things with cannabis, I mean, being a hippie, whatever, over all these years, I can’t say that it’s never just been for recreational, because I enjoyed it. But when I came down with the breast cancer and found that the medicinal could really help me, I think it helped me all along. I just didn’t realize that it was helping me to that magnitude.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah. Did you go back and look over your cannabis use over the years and realize, “Wow, I’ve been using this as medicine the whole time?”

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD three different times over 25 years. The first one was when my husband was killed by a drunk driver. I had a lot of really weird situations. Anyways, neither here nor there, I think that I self-medicated all those years because I couldn’t take antidepressants and I didn’t want to be wiped on Valium or Xanax. I had a full-time job, I had a kid to raise, didn’t have time to mess around. I’ve always paid my own bills, always been super responsible. So, it’s hard to admit back then that I was that heavy of a pot user, because people would judge me and be like, “Oh.” I’m like, “But if you didn’t know me and you met me, you’d never guess now, would you?”

Chris Holifield:

But it probably would have been okay if you would have been that heavy of a drinker.

Tim Pickett:

Oh, yeah, right? You could have drank that much.

Chris Holifield:

That’s— “She just goes through a bottle a week, it’s not that big a deal because it’s okay because it’s legal.”

Vanessa Nielsen:

And that’s frightening to me.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Nothing good ever came from a bottle for me. I have the same intolerance to alcohol as I do to opioids. Every time I’ve drank, got myself into really bad situations and things have happened where you just go, “Wow, was I really there?” And I don’t like that out of control feeling, never have. I can smoke weed and I can go skydiving, I can go hiking, I can go swimming, I can go kayaking, I can do whatever I want, and the memory is there. I’m not going to go, “Wow, what happened? Did I make an ass of myself?”

Chris Holifield:

Blackout.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right. So for me, I believe that I’ve been self-medicating all these years for different reasons avoiding antidepressants and the different things that are so heavily prescribed in Utah. You go to your doctor and say, “I’m feeling kind of blue,” and they’re like, “Oh, here have some Prozac.” Well, wait a minute. Is this a situation that’s at hand or is this long term? Is it bipolar? They’re just too quick to write out a prescription for an antidepressant.

Chris Holifield:

Yeah. Do you have a favorite strain?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I do. Sour Diesel is a good one for me.

Tim Pickett:

Just a straight sativa.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I absolutely love sativas. I’m not a big indica fan. But we know, everybody knows now, everything is pretty hybrid. But my preference has always been sativa. And it’s because I am loud and obnoxious and I’ve always got a lot of energy and I’m outgoing, talk to everybody. But it’s just always been my go-to for preference, the sativas, for sure.

Tim Pickett:

When it switched and you could get it here in Utah, I mean, do you feel that the system has worked for you?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely not, unfortunately.

Tim Pickett:

So I mean, 2019, you have cancer. You go through the surgery, you’re using cannabis for the pain, you go through chemo, you’re using cannabis really as medicine at that point, using a lot of it, smoking it, started to make some edibles with the magic butter machine, and you’re having to get it from wherever, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes, unfortunately.

Tim Pickett:

You have to have a lot of people helping, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

At that level of consumption, I mean, it’s probably gonna take… it takes a pretty serious commitment to keep you in your medicine.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes, it does. And that’s hard because my first trip to the pharmacy, which I did a little review on my Instagram, you know what, they were great over there. It was grand opening. The place is nice. It’s beautifully decorated. But bottom line is, is when I left there and got home and opened my package of product that I had spent close to $300 on, I was furious. I went back down to the pharmacy and said, “I know you can’t do refunds, but let me tell you a little something. I’ve been doing this for a long time and you sold me popcorn bud that absolutely disintegrates. It’s just turns into dust. Smokes real fast, isn’t very flavorful, but bottom line, it doesn’t do me much good for what I need.”

Vanessa Nielsen:

Now my tolerance is not their problem. So say someone’s coming in new, maybe that product would be okay for them. But as somebody who has been familiar with it for years, I’ve been around grows. I’ve been in almost every aspect of cannabis that there could be and to see what was coming out on the market, I was appalled. I was like, Utah, get it together.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, you’re not alone. And I think that this isn’t coming from you being a connoisseur of cannabis or somebody who just is been into it their whole life. This is just because you have been somewhat of a user, in my opinion. We’re not talking about you going to Colorado and becoming a grower and then coming here and complaining. We’re just talking about you being a patient.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Correct.

Tim Pickett:

You being a normal medical patient who just requires us better than average, bigger than average supplies of a better than average product.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I think that the supply that they’re allowing in Utah, that’s great, if someone can afford it. The cost of what I paid for in that store lasted me a week and a half, and I was like, “I can’t do that, $300 a week, you’re going to break the bank.” I’m not working. I have medical bills. I mean, these cancer treatments were costing me $10,000 for the after-shot. So I mean, in my mind, I’m thinking, okay, I’ve got to be frugal here.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So, it was tough for me, because I’m like, how do you stretch it that far? I also got two vape carts. The carts were cloudy. I did a review on that and the manufacturer actually reached out to me and tried to make it right. And they said, “We don’t even know how to take care of this because you can’t return the product. We can’t give you product to replace it. So we’re really sorry that this happened.” But basically you’re shit out of luck. And I was like, “You know what, $65 a cart, not happening.”

Vanessa Nielsen:

So I had to steer away from that. And what do you do when your medicine is costing you that much, when opioids are on the market for 2 and $3? You can go fill a 60-pill bottle. It’s just like that’s been really tough for me to swallow here because cannabis should be regulated, absolutely. I believe it should stay in the medicinal for patients. If it goes recreational, that kind of shifts gears, but it needs to be affordable.

Tim Pickett:

How has that evolved for you over the course of now we’re a little over a year in? Is it better, the same, do you still-

Chris Holifield:

With the price, is it still the same?

Vanessa Nielsen:

The prices were still the same.

Tim Pickett:

I mean, we’re recording this on the last day you can legally have out-a-state product. I mean, so-

Chris Holifield:

So, smoke it all tonight.

Tim Pickett:

This releases on-

Chris Holifield:

July 2nd, this would be released.

Tim Pickett:

And as of the release, we will not be able to have out-of-state product in Utah or purchase out-of-state product here.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right.

Tim Pickett:

How do you feel about that?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m leaving.

Chris Holifield:

She’s on the road, man. She’s out of here.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m on the road for a year and I do plan on spending a lot of time in the cannabis-friendly states. It’s hard in Utah. I would love to say that I’d love to stay here and grow and get really into that, because I think it could be a niche for me. But by the same token, I’m stifled by the regulations, you’re not able to use flame. I’m sorry, but all these vape products that I’ve spent money on a G Pen Pro, it didn’t work. I took it back, the guy said, “Oh, I’ll give you another one.” It didn’t work.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So then I moved over and bought a different one. It worked for two weeks and then blew up. I went camping, I was so mad. I went camping, I had my flower, I had my vape, and guess what happened? It didn’t work. I spent two days up in the mountains and ended up using a Coke can and poking holes in it and smoking it like a teenager.

Chris Holifield:

And you know what? Those work so good.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And you know what, I had to. It was that or go home, because I couldn’t get the medication and I was starting to get the pains, the kind that bring tears to your eyes, and they’re debilitating at different times for me. So, to get up there and be in fear that the park ranger is going to come and if I’m smoking a joint, I’m in trouble. You know what I mean?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, we’ve run into this with patients who’ve got tickets for joints now.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right. And that’s tough because I tried to consume at home only. But if I’m on the road and I’m legally allowed to vape it, then I should be able to legally go off where the smokers are or wherever and do what I need to do to medicate and then move on with my day. I do understand being a parent, I wouldn’t want to walk through a situation out in public with my kids and have them smell it and see people over there smoking and thinking, “Oh, they’re druggies,” or just exposing them to that side of it. They’ll be exposed eventually. Usually by sixth grade, they’ve been exposed. Most of them have tried it or they have friends that are doing it at that age. So, that’s a tough one for me.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, people who don’t think your sixth grader or their sixth grader has been exposed to it are not… There’s good surveys. There’s actually good data to support that.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right. And I believe being open. I’ve always been open with my kids. They know. My daughter has always known. So, I think it’s best to be open with your children but educate them that it’s not just to go get high or you go out and get high with your friends. There are legitimate reasons for cannabis. And I think that goes way back to the beginning of time. People have used it for eons for that purpose.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So I think education is huge, especially for the generation coming up. You don’t want them to think that it’s a gateway drug to heroin. That always blew my mind that they would even put those two together. It’s a gateway drug, you’re going to end up… No, man. I’ve smoked cannabis for years. I don’t do meth. I’m not a crackhead. I don’t take opioids. I mean, I’m not a drinker.

Tim Pickett:

It didn’t make you one day wake up and say, “Gosh, I want to do some heroin,” right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Or if I couldn’t get marijuana, what is it I’m going to do? Well, go out and get a fit? No. So I think that the education needs to be there. And I’ve seen it worked miracles with children, children that are autistic that have different things going on, a seizure disorder. There was a little girl that I followed her story and it blew my mind. And these people ended up moving out of state because they’re like, we can’t get it here. I mean, they moved out of Utah. But what it did for this little girl was absolutely amazing, phenomenal. And as a parent of a child that’s that sick, even if you’ve never experienced cannabis or your LDS or your religion or your social circles don’t agree, there is a basis to the medical use of it. So, I think education is huge.

Chris Holifield:

What would you tell somebody who’s listening that might be on the fence? They might be a little apprehensive about trying cannabis, they’ve never vaped it, never smoked, did nothing but they have a similar story as you do. What would you tell them?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Honestly, I would try to inform them, give them information. Let them make their own decision. Would you rather be wiped out on OxyContin or be able to ingest a little bit of cannabis and get the same effect if not better for pain?

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And the stigma that comes with it, that’s huge. I think that’s the worst part of it for people. I have a friend whose mother who recently passed away, she came to me and she said, “Vanessa, I know that you have the magic butter machine. Help me.” I don’t want my mom high. She needs to be able to eat. She had COPD, really bad. So what happened is I ended up making her butter. I donated this butter to this 85-year-old woman. Guess what? She was up and moving.

Vanessa Nielsen:

She’d get out of her chair. She’d go outside and go for a little walks and stuff. And she said that she couldn’t go without the edibles at that point. And I was like, this poor woman, she’s been religious her whole life. She’s got COPD, she never smoked, and now she is using cannabis and she likes it. And it works for her and it’s keeping her alive and happy. So information, I think, is the biggest part to get out to people. Try it. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s great. But I would much rather see somebody tried cannabis than opioids or end up with a huge addiction. And that’s scary to me.

Chris Holifield:

Absolutely.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Too many people have ended up on the wrong side for me using opioids.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, that’s what I think we still need to work on is that idea that it’s a choice. It’s just another choice. You can try this, you can try benzos, you can try cannabis, you can try opioids, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right.

Tim Pickett:

Just lay it all out there. Here’s the risks, here’s the benefit, but it’s just another tool. And it’s okay to try it.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I really wish that physicians could take a better stance and be more educated as well. Because when they’re giving these patients these opioids and starting these addictions that, yes, I’ll get you over this hump, but what happens in a year from now when these people are so strung out that they’re committing crimes to get their drugs? You know what I mean? So, if a doctor could say, “Hey, I do prescribe opioids, but have you ever thought about using cannabis,” it might help you in ways, but that just isn’t a topic of discussion for most physicians.

Chris Holifield:

Hopefully that changes soon, especially when the whole descheduling and…

Tim Pickett:

Right. I mean, there’s so much information now about this descheduling movement and moving the federal legislation along so that we can talk about it more openly. It seems to us, though, I think, and probably you too, that everybody around us is talking about weed, talking about cannabis.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Correct.

Tim Pickett:

But we live in this world, right?

Chris Holifield:

We live in the weed bubble.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Actually, I don’t know if we have magnetism to other people, but this is the funny thing. In the last 15 years, you meet people every day, the majority of people that I met smoked. And I’m like, wow, they wouldn’t guess I smoked. So it’s out there, it’s just that stupid stigma that comes along with it being, what, a class one?

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, it’s a schedule 1.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Schedule 1 drug like heroin. I’m like, “What?”

Chris Holifield:

Yeah.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So I mean, the stigma that comes with it not only for patients, physicians, just people in general. I’m hoping that this is opening it wide open so that people can make that choice, and maybe have better success and not end up, excuse me, on the streets. We had a really good family friend who suffered something, some surgery went through that, ended up hooked on opioids, and he ended up getting shot by the police in an attempt to satisfy his cravings for his habit.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And how sad is that, he left behind five kids and his wife. And he was still in pain. So, what good came from that? Absolutely none. It devastated and destroyed a family over a very short period of time, maybe two or three years of his becoming addicted to these opioids and not being able to get… He got cut off from the pain clinic. What do you do at that point?

Chris Holifield:

Try cannabis.

Tim Pickett:

Still a lot of work to do.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right, absolutely. I think cannabis, though, I’m so happy that it’s more of a conversation piece these days and that people are seeing the benefits of it, not just the old hippies or stoners or whatever. It has its place.

Tim Pickett:

Sure. So you’re going on this journey.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

I mean, it’s really not a trip. This is a journey.

Vanessa Nielsen:

This is an absolute healing journey. The name of my motorhome happens to be Journey.

Tim Pickett:

Journey.

Chris Holifield:

There you go.

Tim Pickett:

And you do this art that is a lot of it is cannabis themed?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yes.

Tim Pickett:

There are these big, circular mandala type.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Correct. Well, this is how it all began. I sat in a reclining chair for four months trying to recover. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t wash my hair. I couldn’t do dishes, feed myself. And as I was sitting there, my boyfriend kept saying, “Why don’t you pick up your jewelry wiring again? Do something so you’re not just sitting here.” I wasn’t able to wire jewelry anymore. The neuropathy was so bad from chemo that my fingers don’t work. So then I was like, wow, I had a lazy Susan piece of wood, a 15-inch piece of wood sitting on the end of my counter. One day I looked at it and said, “Huh, I’m going to paint that.” And I did.

Vanessa Nielsen:

And the funny thing is I did a bunch of [inaudible 00:47:17] now and just being my weird hippie self. And everybody that saw it was like, “Wow. Hey, I want one of those.” And so, it turned into this thing where it was an outlet for me to stay creative but to help shift the troubles that were coming with the cancer. Loss of my job and loss of relationships and loss of body parts and my hair and all these different things, so I pretty much put my energy to that art and I was giving it away.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I don’t do just weed art but that’s my favorite one. And I don’t know if it was my frame of mind at the time. And they just legalized and I just got my med card in Utah and I thought why not? So that’s how that started. And it just carried over from there. I think that’s what I’m going to do. I would love to hit 4:20. I don’t know if I want to do Colorado or Washington, wherever I end up, but I believe that I can sell my art but it comes with a message for me. Because look what I’ve done through the worst of the worst and the damage that the chemo did to me, I can still be creative. So that’s been huge for me. It’s been a great outlet.

Tim Pickett:

That’s awesome.

Chris Holifield:

Such an inspirational story. I mean, at least for me, hopefully others find-

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, me too. I mean, you have gone all the way through the story of the things that have happened to you, the things that have happened with you, and through you are just unbelievable. It’s really inspiring.

Vanessa Nielsen:

It’s been a journey, for sure. But now I’m going on the healing journey. So, I planned to continue to use cannabis. I’ll probably be the granny on the porch or have the grandkids come over and go, “Grandma smokes weed.” And you know what?

Tim Pickett:

Here’s my grandma.

Vanessa Nielsen:

That’s okay because it doesn’t change me as a person. I’ve always been the same person. And so, when I went through the cancer, it was quite the eye-opener. A lot of people turned on me like they didn’t want to talk to me or deal with me. And some of that has to do with cancer but a lot of it had to do with my cannabis use because everybody’s like, “Oh. She’s smoking all day long.” And I was like, “Yeah, but that doesn’t change me as a person. You liked me before and guess what? I was stoned then, too. So, really?”

Vanessa Nielsen:

So, I am a cannabis definite connoisseur and I use it now more medicinal. And I’m glad that Utah and all these people like you guys doing your podcast, I’ve learned so much and there’s so much more information on terpenes and all the things that have always interested me but they were so deep into the scientific side of it. Everybody’s like, yeah, it’s just weed. And then the heavier strains would come up and different things. It’s fascinating to me. And especially because it comes from the earth, and I believe that God intended it to be used as a medicine, period.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, it’s definitely here for a reason, for sure. And it does sound like you have become much more intentional about your use over this whole process than you were before.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I think you were much more intentional, and I’ve had an epiphany that all those years that I was treating different things from depression to PTSD, fibromyalgia, the different things that I had going on, just from day to day stressful life, and I didn’t realize that I was medicating myself until now all of this stuff has come up and people are really delving into what makes it work, how does it work through your body and the different systems.

Chris Holifield:

Now back to this journey, are you going to be documented any of it on Instagram?

Vanessa Nielsen:

I am going to vlog everything.

Chris Holifield:

Awesome.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m not really down with taking selfies and stuff.

Chris Holifield:

Sure.

Vanessa Nielsen:

That’s not my thing. So I’ve got to get into this video.

Chris Holifield:

Because I was going to say our listeners should connect with you somehow, like what’s the best way to connect and-

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, we’ll definitely follow along.

Vanessa Nielsen:

That would be awesome. I have @BluntnessinUtah on Instagram and I also have my @UniquenessCreations, which is my art page. And then from there, I think I’ll probably start doing TikToks, YouTubes, because not only am I going on a healing journey and I’m going to smoke a lot, but I’m going to make it fun. And I’m going to go do the things that could have been snuffed out for me a year ago.

Chris Holifield:

So awesome.

Vanessa Nielsen:

So before I get too old or I can’t, I never want to be in a position where my body doesn’t work like that again because it was frightening. I thought there was many times when I laid there in the middle of the night and thought, wow, I’m on my way out. I’m going to die from this shit. But I made it through. And I smoked a lot of weed to get there.

Tim Pickett:

Well, you deserve all the happiness and success in your trip, your journey, your art, everything.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Well, I would appreciate if people follow along and learn something, learn with me. If you’ve got things to share, that’s great. I love it. I always say that I’m happy to support different cannabis businesses, the CBD, I mean, all different cannabis businesses, I will support them along the road, also support their products and sales. So, I’m looking forward to it. And I have a feeling that when I get back from this journey, I’m going to be completely cancer free. And I think I’ll be able to decide what my next career move is going to be. And it’s not back into the finance business.

Chris Holifield:

Well, if you make it back to Utah, or even if you don’t make it back to Utah, we can even do a phone interview.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely.

Chris Holifield:

I think it’s going to fine in like a year or something to catch up with you.

Vanessa Nielsen:

It would be great. And I actually plan on going and seeing every place that has cannabis.

Chris Holifield:

Okay.

Vanessa Nielsen:

From pharmacies to dispensaries to whatever, festivals, I’ll be there.

Chris Holifield:

You should start your own little podcast on the road or something.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yeah, maybe I should.

Chris Holifield:

And you can interview and talk to people along the way.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Right? And my boyfriend’s just not down, but I said what if my trailer, this 28-foot behemoth of a trailer, it’s really sweet dragster ride, what if I have everybody put cannabis stickers on it along the way? And he’s like, “No.”

Chris Holifield:

Probably get pulled over pretty quickly, huh?

Vanessa Nielsen:

Not only get pulled over but-

Tim Pickett:

Don’t go to Idaho.

Vanessa Nielsen:

… it wrecks the trailer. And he’s like, “No.” And he said, “You can do whatever you want on the inside.” And I’ve already started. All of the places I’ve been, in Ogden or throughout the valley, OG cannabis products. I’ve got stickers. I’ve got all kinds of stuff. And of course, I’m going to promote them because I’ve been in there. I’ve got to know people. They’ve provided me with information along the way. It’s been great.

Tim Pickett:

That’s awesome.

Chris Holifield:

Any final questions you want to ask for Tim before we wrap this episode up? Anything you want to talk about before we wrap this episode up?

Vanessa Nielsen:

No, just no judgments, guys.

Chris Holifield:

No, no judgments.

Tim Pickett:

We’re out-

Chris Holifield:

This is a judgment-free zone. I mean, that’s the thing with this podcast. I’m going to say it now-

Vanessa Nielsen:

No, you guys are cool and talking about like my family and stuff.

Tim Pickett:

Yeah, because here it comes, right?

Vanessa Nielsen:

You know what? Love you anyways, but whatever.

Tim Pickett:

It is. You know what’s great, though, this is good for you.

Chris Holifield:

You got one life. Live it the best way you know how. I mean, that’s really all you can do is what you know, you know.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Absolutely. It’s YOLO.

Chris Holifield:

Exactly.

Tim Pickett:

YOLO.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Yeah.

Chris Holifield:

I haven’t heard that for a while.

Tim Pickett:

That’s right.

Chris Holifield:

How can people find out more about the podcast, Tim? I’m going to let you as we wrap this episode up.

Tim Pickett:

This podcast and all of our other podcasts are on utahmarijuana.org/podcast. You can join the community. Reach out to Chris or I on that website or you can reach Chris on his other podcast, chris@iamsaltlake.com. Be sure to check that out. We’re with you every Friday at 4:20 in the morning.

Chris Holifield:

Subscribe and listen and share. And if you have ideas, send them our way.

Tim Pickett:

Absolutely. Stay safe out there, guys.

Vanessa Nielsen:

I’m always there at 4:20 AM, so good for you.

Chris Holifield:

Awesome.

Vanessa Nielsen:

Nice. Thanks, guys.

Chris Holifield:

You bet.

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