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What to Expect in This Episode

Episode 83 of Utah In the Weeds features some of our favorite moments from 2021. In this episode, you’ll hear from a variety of patients, industry professionals, legislators, and others with a hand in the cannabis jar.

Valerie Blaylock, who uses Medical Cannabis for MS and other health conditions, engages in a discussion with us about the dry herb vaporizers we use. This is just a short piece of a long and interesting discussion about dry herb vapes.

Randyl Nielson, a PTSD patient, sets a good example as someone who takes cannabis medicine seriously and follows the state’s rules for Medical Cannabis patients.

Beverly Astin, the owner of Jilu, talks about destigmatizing cannabis, and helping to educate others about cannabis as a medicine.

Maddie Morrison uses Medical Cannabis for her PTSD and lower back pain. Here, Maddie offers her advice for newcomers to Medical Cannabis.

Toby Larson is a performance psychology expert who also works as a coach for MMA fighters. Here, he talks about how athletes can use cannabis as a performance-enhancing drug.

UT THC’s Adam Toller talks about his decision to start using cannabis for his own pain management, his first experience with the drug, and how his use of cannabis has made him a better QMP.

Former State Representative Brad Daw talks about some of the legislature’s resistance to raw flower, and what made him change his mind about it.

Medical Cannabis patient Amber Franke talks about her realization that cannabis is a versatile drug. So here’s why she started using cannabis, and some of the other uses of cannabis that she’s found.

Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost of the Utah Legislature talks about some of the changes she wants to see in the Medical Cannabis program. These changes include improvements for patients who are terminally ill, and improvements for patients with children.

Riley Meyer, one of the cultivation managers at Deseret Wellness, talks about some of the challenges of maintaining an outdoor cannabis grow operation in Utah.

If you’re new to the podcast, this is a great episode to start with.

We want to thank all of our listeners and guests for helping us spread the word about Medical Cannabis in Utah and beyond.

Podcast Transcript

Tim Pickett:
Welcome, everybody out to Utah in the Weeds. This is episode 83 of Utah in the Weeds. My name is Tim Pickett. I am your host, and here we talk about cannabis and cannabis culture here in Utah where it’s legal medically for 15 medical conditions. I’m a clinician. I see patients as a QMP here in Utah, and have been really excited to do this podcast, share a bunch of information with you, and talk to a lot of people. This episode is a best-of special with 10 highlights from some of our most interesting guests of the year. Hear from a variety of patients, industry professionals, legislators, others with a hand in the cannabis jar. If you haven’t listened to the podcast before, this is a great episode to get used to what we do and who we talk about.

Tim Pickett:
From a housekeeper perspective, remember that as of this year, January 3, 2022, coming up, 90 day cards in Utah are no longer part of the program. The first card will be issued for six months. The second thing to note is our Uplift program. Just a shout out to every partner involved, Deseret Wellness, WholesomeCo, Beehive Farmacy and Zion Medicinal. Just a great partnership there with Uplift. We will be adding at least two more partners, and I’ll announce those in January. We’re going to be able to see at least 15 to 20 patients our first month in January. Those are low income and terminally ill patients. So looking forward to a great 2022 with more access for more people as the legislative session gets underway. And we’ll be keeping you updated on activities and things that are going up going on the Hill.

Tim Pickett:
So let’s get into these clips and this 2021 best-of. The first one is from episode 40, Valerie Blaylock. Valerie uses medical cannabis for MS, other health condition. And we engage in a discussion with her about dry herb vaporizers. And this is just a short piece of a long and interesting discussion about dry herb vapes. Go back and listen to episode 40 if you want to hear it. What’s your favorite dry herb vaporizer?

Chris Holifield:
What are you currently using?

Tim Pickett:
All of them.

Valerie Blaylock:
Yes.

Chris Holifield:
Do you have a lot of them?

Valerie Blaylock:
I do, actually.

Chris Holifield:
That’s awesome.

Valerie Blaylock:
I do.

Chris Holifield:
That’s awesome.

Valerie Blaylock:
Yeah, I actually have two Fireflys, which you just started using a little bit too, Tim, didn’t you?

Tim Pickett:
Yeah, Firefly is super cool. And you are the one who told me that one of the reasons the packs isn’t, I don’t know, there’s a silicone thing in the packs. And so the silicone absorbs the flavor. And then the next round or the next bowl of flower tastes like the old one because of the silicone. I didn’t know that.

Valerie Blaylock:
Yeah. And you know-

Tim Pickett:
I didn’t know that before.

Valerie Blaylock:
It doesn’t bother. I mean, I know people in our clinic even who absolutely love the packs. And to be honest, the packs is really, really good for people who want just something fairly simple, fairly easy. And it’s really pretty easy to clean. There aren’t a whole lot of parts. It’s just pretty simple. I mean, I think honestly, all vaporizers have a place, even the crappy 30, $40 dry herb vaporizers that are going to give you maybe two or three bowls and then maybe go out.

Chris Holifield:
If that.

Valerie Blaylock:
I actually, yeah. I actually encourage people, especially people who have smoked for a really long time. And even some of our older folks, like our older hippy people, that generation, which is not far from me. I’m 52. So I’m not calling anybody out on their age. Just saying. I think that once you get a vaporizer in somebody’s hand and they can actually experience it and realize that man, I’ve been smoking and it’s really harsh. And it’s like when I quit smoking, smoking and went to vaping. And then I would be around smokers and I’d be like, oh my God, I smelled like that all the time? So I think it really is about getting a vaporizer in somebody’s hand and letting them experience that.

Tim Pickett:
I really like this discussion with Valerie, as we talk about really just trying to get a vaporizer in patient’s hands. Because there’s a lot of people who still want to consume cannabis with a lighter and a joint. And personally, I would say more, I think that’s your decision. I don’t know that we should outlaw that. However, from a medical perspective, vaporizers are a healthier. So far the evidence is really that these are much healthier way to consume cannabis when you want to use raw flower. And additionally, once you try it and get used to, for example, the DaVinci vaporizers, they really are easy to use, and they don’t smell near as much like Valerie was saying.

Tim Pickett:
Okay, let’s get into Randyl Nielson. Now, Randyl Nielson’s episode 48. He is a PTSD patient, and I love his photography, by the way. But he really takes his medicine seriously and follows the state’s rules for medical cannabis patients. Let’s take a listen to what he has to say about it.

Chris Holifield:
I mean, no offense. It’s like this is Utah and people don’t know how to use cannabis and or how to even approach it.

Randyl Nielson:
How to even approach it. Yeah. And that’s why for me, I’m not judging anybody for smoking or doing anything that’s not spot on with the law. For me, I try to follow of the law as well as I can to the letter so that I’m promoting it as a medicine and not as somebody just getting high because that’s the big … The big argument from everybody against it was it’s just going to turn into recreational. In my eyes, if you’re posting on Instagram, you doing bong loads with the lighter, that’s smoking it. And you signed a document that said you weren’t going to do that.

Randyl Nielson:
And so I think being on point with it and following those rules and treating it like a medicine. That’s what brought my mom around and made her more understanding about it was saying, “Okay, Mom, here’s the law. This is what I can do. This is what is allowed.” And the fact that I wasn’t smoking it around her and stuff like that, I think it really had an impact and helped her understand a little bit better that people in Utah are trying to treat this as medicine, not just as a subversive way to get recreational weed.

Tim Pickett:
Again, can we call the Department of Health-

Speaker 5:
Just get a job.

Tim Pickett:
… And have you be their spokesperson? I just-

Randyl Nielson:
If they want to pay me, let’s go for it.

Tim Pickett:
A subversive way to get recreational weed. Very well spoken there. And that’s really not what the medical program is designed to do in Utah. And it is not what the medical program is doing in Utah either. I’m here to tell you that patients are using less prescription medication. They’re using less alcohol. 79% of the patients that we see and survey as they come back to renew are using less other medication. And he’s absolutely right. I think taking bong rips on Instagram, I guess it depends on who you are and what you want to represent. Right? That’s why you don’t see it necessarily on our Instagram, things like that. That consumption, because we really want to treat this as a medical product and just another tool in the toolbox from a medical standpoint. Right?

Tim Pickett:
Okay. Now, Beverly. Beverly is one of my favorite people in the industry, and I love her energy. And she’s always at all the events and so friendly, and her products are phenomenal. Beverly Astin is the owner of Jilu. That’s J-I-L-U. And she talks about destigmatizing cannabis in episode 56 and helping educate others about cannabis as a medicine. And her story is interesting because she comes from a place where she didn’t know a lot about cannabis before. She comes from the business side of things. So let’s listen to her.

Beverly Astin:
And I feel like Tim, like you, that people are looking for alternative medicine. They’re looking for something to different than a crappy opioid that makes them feel sick, that makes them feel constipated, that has all these side effects. The yucky feeling and side effects you get from Ambien. And just all of these pharmaceutical drugs that have just been shoved down our throat. People are sick of that. They don’t want it.

Tim Pickett:
It’s twofold too in my opinion. You say shove down people’s throats, which essentially is true. Right? We sit there. We listen to patients talk and complain about their ailment. And then we write a prescription. “Here, take this twice a day, or take this at night or whatever.” And people don’t don’t really have a lot of choice.

Beverly Astin:
They don’t.

Tim Pickett:
At least they didn’t feel like they do. And cannabis does those two things. It gives them the choice to experiment with their own health and to make choices on their own about their medicine and access to things that in the long run could be less harmful [crosstalk 00:10:57] in a lot of ways. And so it’s a fun industry to be a part of. And it’s fun to see the growth of the marketplace, right? Of the patient, growth. It’s fun to hear people’s stories.

Chris Holifield:
Oh, absolutely.

Beverly Astin:
Yeah.

Tim Pickett:
Right.

Beverly Astin:
And what’s exciting to me is too is educating the state of Utah. And I feel I, as a woman, if we educate the women of Utah, we educate Utah. Women usually are the ones going to the doctor, calling for their husbands, for their prescriptions, calling for their kids. And I feel like losing that stigma of just THC or cannabis for getting high. I want that to be gone. Yes, there are people who need it that are suffering miserably with anxiety and depression that that stony effect, they need that to relax and to unwind as well.

Beverly Astin:
But it’s not just for everyone. Everyone doesn’t like that stony feeling. And so if we can offer both, that’s great. But I think if we can lose that stigma of cannabis just being around for people to get high. That’s not the only purpose for cannabis. And so I feel like women’s job in Utah will really be to let’s take, let’s back up three steps here and look about the history of cannabis. It’s our oldest medicine on the planet, and it was demonized mid-century 50, 60 years ago. And now we have to retrain people on a different way to approach cannabis as a healing drug, instead of just a get stoned [crosstalk 00:12:52].

Chris Holifield:
It’s something to buy in the back alley.

Beverly Astin:
That’s right.

Tim Pickett:
Right.

Beverly Astin:
Yeah. And I think we have a … I think we’re doing good though. I think Utah, I see a lot of people putting their feet forward to try to debunk all of that garbage and say, no, this is something that saves people’s lives, whatever you’re using it for.

Tim Pickett:
If we educate the women of Utah, we educate Utah. And yes, Beverly, you’re absolutely spot on there. And I love her energy about, and the passion about getting people off of other nasty prescription medications. I’ve been doing a lot of research on that because we’re expanding our services at Utah Therapeutic. And part of it is 69% of Americans, adult Americans are on at least one prescription. Damn near 70% of people. I mean, we have got to do something about this. Holy cow, we take a lot of medicine.

Tim Pickett:
Okay. So, you know what? Is next is episode, right after Beverly, episode 57. Maddie Morrison came on and talked about PTSD, as well as some low back pain. And she offers her advice to newcomers to medical cannabis. Let’s take a listen to this because this is exactly what we’re talking about, what we were talking about in episode 56 with Beverly. When you started to use this more medically, did you have a plan? Did you figure out the dosing first?

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah.

Tim Pickett:
Or was it like-

Maddie Morrison :
I just wanted to try a bunch of things, figure out the dosing right away, write it all down and figure out what works for me. So that way I have a solid set routine next year or something. So I want to have this first year. I want to keep experimenting with it because I mean, my body can change. The same things that helped me now could not help me in a year from now. So I think the biggest part of it is just keeping an open mind, trying anything that I can, and just making sure that I keep track of it and keeping an open mind. And then if I do get anxious, then I’m like, okay, that’s not for me. That’s fine. I’ll move on, or I’ll decrease the dosage or whatever the case.

Maddie Morrison :
Or if I’m like, okay. So that tincture helped me feel good for about an hour. But then after that, it made me feel really anxious. So then I know, okay, maybe I’ll decrease it by five milligrams or something. I’m very hyper probably because I’m a very anxious person. I’m very hyper-aware of my body, of things around me, of what I’m hearing, of what I’m tasting. I’m very hyper aware of everything. So whether I’m using cannabis or not, I’m always hyper-aware of how my body is feeling. So I think that definitely helps with my journey because I feel like I’m way more in tune than I used to be or than some people that I know who use cannabis.

Chris Holifield:
What would you tell somebody listening that just started using, and they don’t know where to go, where to look at. They just got their medical card. They maybe been to a pharmacy once or twice, but they’re still really, really new.

Maddie Morrison :
I would say don’t start with edibles because they, I mean, even five milligrams … If you’re starting, start with five or less or two and a half or something. Just start out with a good one to one of CBD THC start low, go slow. That’s the best thing with cannabis. But for me, I’m glad I didn’t start with edibles. I didn’t have an edible until I was 20. So I just smoked flower up until that point. And I feel like that was a good … By the time I had tried edibles, I had a pretty good tolerance with flower that going into edibles was a really easy transition for me.

Chris Holifield:
You had a good idea on how it worked, how it works with your body and so on.

Maddie Morrison :
How it might feel. Exactly. So I had quite a few more years to my cannabis history at that point by the time I tried edibles. So I feel like don’t start with edibles. Maybe start with a one to one tincture or one to 10 tincture, more CBD even. And just start with that. Start with a low amount of THC and just increase from there.

Chris Holifield:
Good advice.

Tim Pickett:
It is great advice.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah. And even if you want to just, if you want to get high, you want to feel that edible high, I would say don’t go there because that’s not a good mindset to … Don’t consume cannabis with the sole purpose to get high because once you’re there, you could be anxious. You’ll be like, “Oh my gosh, this is too much.” You’ll be very hyper aware of how high you really are.

Tim Pickett:
Yes. You’re hyper aware. Again, you’re over-emphasizing the present and that, it just makes you really aware of how things are going. And edibles, you’re in for a long ride.

Maddie Morrison :
Oh my gosh. They last so long.

Tim Pickett:
They last a long time. Whereas if somebody was, I guess, headed for that, maybe a vape cartridge would be a little bit better choice.

Maddie Morrison :
Vapes are great for like microdosing and-

Tim Pickett:
If you get a little over … Yeah. And if you get a little too much, it’s only going to be an hour or two.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah, totally. Yeah. I like vapes for that aspect because it’s quick onset. It’s discrete. It’s microdosing throughout the day. You could take one drag off of it and you’re like, okay. All right, I’m good to go again. It’s just like a little sip of coffee or something. I don’t know.

Chris Holifield:
Little get up and go.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah, exactly.

Tim Pickett:
I like that we’ve been comparing cannabis to coffee today.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah.

Chris Holifield:
Little stimulant.

Maddie Morrison :
That’s on me. I love coffee.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. I mean, there’s two of my favorite things.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah, same.

Tim Pickett:
They go together.

Chris Holifield:
Coffee and cannabis.

Maddie Morrison :
Coffee and cannabis. Yeah.

Chris Holifield:
Yeah. I’m so glad we got you on the podcast. I’m glad you reached out to come on. Was there anything else you wanted to talk about? Was there anything else you wanted to make sure to discuss or say on the microphones before we wrap this up?

Maddie Morrison :
Totally. Yeah. So I think my biggest advice, and I don’t want to put a heavyweight to advice. Just, I recommend going slow. Experiment, but don’t push yourself too hard. Don’t be too competitive with yourself to the point where like, oh, five milligrams, that’s not enough. And just lower your ego a little bit and have a lower dosage, and you’ll be okay.

Chris Holifield:
Be a cheap date.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah.

Chris Holifield:
It’s not a bad thing to have a low tolerance.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Don’t be competitive with yourself.

Maddie Morrison :
Yeah.

Tim Pickett:
Don’t get that ego.

Maddie Morrison :
Don’t try to compete with yourself.

Tim Pickett:
Good things to tell. Good things to tell people, Especially here. There’s a lot of people who are trying this for the first time, and I mean it’s really, it’s opening up, like talked about. Not everybody loves it, but there are certainly more people who want to try it than ever.

Maddie Morrison :
Absolutely. And also just have conversations with people. It’s a heavy topic. I totally get that, but just, I think it’s good to have these conversations with people and just be like, “Hey, what is your stance on cannabis?” Or, I don’t know. Just start a conversation with somebody and pick their brain.

Tim Pickett:
Maddie is so knowledgeable about her cannabis use and so aware, self-aware of what’s happening with her. And it really only comes from a real dedication to cannabis with intention. And that’s what I really liked about Maddie’s episode and talking to Mattie. And listening back over to that episode makes me really think, oh yeah, you know what? It really does get to be that way where you’re using it. Don’t use it just to get high. Just use it with intention. Right after that, there was another great episode with Toby Larson. And this is episode 59. So Toby Larson is a performance psychology expert who also works as an MMA coach and an adult athletic coach. And he talks about how athletes are using cannabis as a performance-enhancing drug. And this is right around, remember the whole Olympic trials and all of that sort of thing? I remember talking all about that as cannabis, is cannabis a performance-enhancing drug? Let’s listen to some of that with Toby.

Tim Pickett:
This is something I’m really into. And I haven’t talked a lot about it on the podcast, but I’m into physical training and performance, especially adult athlete type stuff I think is super healthy for people. Very, very motivating. Lots of things happen in the brain, the metabolism to make people better when they’re exercising. And one of the things that is for sure, anti-aging. Right? We want our lives to be a square. We want to go right up until the end and then just die. But in order to do that, you have to be mobile, right? You have to stay mobile. How does cannabis fit into that piece then?

Toby Larson:
Multiple ways. And in fascinating ways I’ve found. So obviously just the basic effect of pain relief at night is massive. Being able to get to sleep and stay asleep is huge for anybody doing anything performance related. That I think is generally accepted and thought of as a common effect that we’re going to see. But then if we start thinking about some of the psychotropic effects.

Toby Larson:
Marijuana decreases anxiety. That’s super excellent from a performance standpoint. Not only from a I’m actually competing today, maybe in a golf tournament and I don’t want to shank my putt. Probably will help you there. Most of the PGA tour players are on beta blockers. That’s why they putt better than you or I do. They never feel their palm sweaty during a tournament. Beta blockers help you do that. Cannabis has a similar effect, maybe not as strong as beta blockers and maybe better in a long term situation than beta blockers, especially for a performance purpose.

Tim Pickett:
Interesting. I didn’t know that about golfers. But it makes sense that you would want to manipulate. I mean, this is how you make your living. So you’re going to do everything you can to manipulate your physiology to maximize your performance. I know looking at okay, so switch gears to long distance athletics. Right? So I ran for a while, and I’ll be honest with you. I mean, cannabis, medical marijuana, whatever you want to call it, it is a super drug when it comes to long distance running really or long distance biking. Well, you think about it.

Tim Pickett:
In fact, I’ve heard and never read that they’re trying to eliminate it from these 100-mile races because you can focus. Your perception of time is diminished, right? Here I got to go run five hours and it doesn’t bother me because I don’t know what time it is, and I get dry mouth. So I stay hydrated and hungry the whole time. And these are things that you need, is the golden egg for long distance performance enhancing.

Chris Holifield:
Wouldn’t it wear off though after the first hour though?

Tim Pickett:
Well, just take a little more.

Chris Holifield:
Yeah, that’s true. Just take it. Bring it along with you.

Toby Larson:
I’d say the other thing. Once you get your brain really going in that, marching in that direction, it’s easier to keep it going that way. The effects can wear off. And I can be in the middle of a long distance mountain bike ride going up just continuously pounding up hills, but I’ve already taught myself to have my brain in that mindset for the first hour, whatever it is. It’s easier to stay there. It’s getting to there that’s very difficult for a lot of people. If we think about obesity and sedentary lifestyle epidemics going on in the U.S. right now, the hardest aspect in exercise psychology is getting somebody to actually take that first step out the door, not getting them to run once they’re out the door. It’s just getting the shoes on and exiting the house. That’s the biggest barrier to exercise for most people.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. The barrier to exercise is just getting out the door. And that episode, I was so jazzed up to talk about performance enhancement with cannabis and the athletic discussion. And man, I need that episode right now, right? Because here it is the new year. I haven’t been exercising like I wanted. It’s such an important part of my life and yada yada yada. I’m sure that some of you can relate as we go into 2022, and we get going with these new year’s resolutions, right? These new year’s systems. So get up, get out there, get active. Okay. So we moving on to episode 68 and Adam Toller. He’s a great friend of mine and a really great QMP here in Utah. An advocate for the program, an advocate for patients and works with us at Utah Therapeutic. He talks about his decision to start use cannabis for his own pain management and his first experience with the drug and how his use of cannabis has made him a better clinician, especially with regard to the medical cannabis program and helping patients. Let’s give a listen to Adam.

Adam Toller:
When patients would ask me, “Well, have you taken it before?” I’d tell them no, but I’ve written plenty of prescriptions for GI medications. I know exactly what they do, and I don’t take them. And so that was my insight to it was. I know enough about it. And so I don’t need to take it just to have that experience. That was my approach to it. But I’m so glad that I actually got on cannabis. Not only because it helped my pain, but because I can understand a lot more where the patients are coming from, especially when you’re trying to avoid those negative highs where you start to have the world cave in on you and you get a bad panic attack.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. So you feel like, because I’ve always preached this, and it’s hard to say out loud in the medical community a lot. But there’s something about somebody who I understands the use and what’s happening in the brain from an experience standpoint to explaining it. Now you’re like, “Oh yes, I can totally explain this in a way that I understand a little bit better.” You feel like that’s the case?

Adam Toller:
Absolutely. I feel like not only can you explain it better, but you can empathize with people a lot more, and understand where they’re coming from. And I think that’s one of the most basic human connections that you can have with somebody is just that empathy. And so I feel like I can connect better with patients now, now that I’ve actually gotten on cannabis.

Chris Holifield:
Did you mention how did you … did you vape it or edible or what was the first … Let’s talk about time.

Adam Toller:
First time? First time was a vape. I remember doing the vape and going, “Oh my gosh, what did I just do?” That was my first initial reaction. I remember going downstairs, sitting on the couch and suddenly it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Just came in super strong, super fast. And I remember turning towards my wife and my eyes were wide and my mouth was a bit open. And I’m like, “Is it supposed to feel tingly?” And then all of a sudden I just started, my body got heavy and I started melting into the couch and I was just laughing, just started laughing uncontrollably. I don’t know how much I took. I don’t think I even took that much, but man, it definitely knocked me down pretty good when I very first took it.

Chris Holifield:
That’s awesome.

Adam Toller:
Yeah. Luckily I avoided any panic attack or anything like that. I didn’t get to that point. But oh man, I just laughed and giggled the whole hour that I felt it. And then it starts slowing down and got out of it. But when I came out of it, I was like, what just happened? Oh my gosh. It felt like a dream. And I’d never had that sensation before, being conscious and having everything feel like a dream or the time warp. Feeling like I’m just going to be in this present moment forever. I remember going to the bathroom and sitting there on the toilet thinking, am I ever going to get out of here? Am I ever going to get off the pot? Just going, oh my gosh. It was crazy. But again, good experience to be able to empathize with patients, and I can see why they want to avoid that.

Chris Holifield:
It’s important to share the stories so listeners that haven’t tried yet. They’re they’re like, “Oh, what’s that first experience going to be like?” But you’re a perfect example, Adam. I mean, even when you don’t know what to expect, you’re still smiling and you’re just chilling and relaxed and happy.

Adam Toller:
Yeah.

Chris Holifield:
It’s not like it’s painful or …

Adam Toller:
No, it wasn’t painful at all. Not at all.

Tim Pickett:
No. And you’ve got, but you’ve also got somebody around you who, who cares about you, who kind of … you’re being honest and open about it with and I feel like that is probably some, if not most, of the paranoia and the anxiety coming from, oh my gosh, I’m not supposed to be doing this. Where at least you didn’t have that. And that kind of allows you to flow through the experience a little better.

Toby Larson:
Yeah. I definitely appreciated my wife being there for me. I remember apologizing a million times to her, but she just kept saying, “It’s okay. It’s okay.” Reassuring me. But yeah, that kind of support and coming from someone who loves me and who supports me in everything, that was a really big help. And I would say that if you’re trying it for the first time, have someone there. Someone that you trust and who can talk you through and help you just in case.

Tim Pickett:
I personally think that that lack of connection is one of the big causes in the decline of primary healthcare in the United States. And as we’ve gone towards a more prescription based medical society over the decades, and Big Pharma has been really active in medicine. I think that connection to patients has been lost in some ways and has been brought back in cases like Adam, where he’s a very, very empathetic provider, a sympathetic provider, and does a great job with patients.

Tim Pickett:
Former State Representative Brad Daw was on episode 71. And he talked about some of the legislature’s resistance to raw flower being allowed in Utah. And he talks specifically about what made him change his mind about it here. So what does the legislature have against the flower? Is it really just because … the argument I’ve heard that and that I tell my patients, frankly, because we’re a no flame state in the THC side is there’s a lot of lung damage that you’re avoiding by not using a flame. But is that the only argument that’s that was happening at the time? I mean, is it this image to, this image of raw bud?

Brad Daw:
It’s depends who you talk to. Law enforcement doesn’t like it because there’s no way to properly distinguish between legal and illegal marijuana. Right? I mean, that’s a problem for them. And people say, “Well, I can put in a container. Yeah. I can go buy a container and put my bud in it.” So that’s a problem for them. You can dispute whether marijuana should be illegal or not. But for law enforcement, since it’s still illegal, they have a concern with that. There is the notion that raw bud is just a little bit easier to abuse. I mean, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it seems at least to be more related to what you do recreationally, and it feels a little less like a medicine. So it’s kind of an image thing about it.

Brad Daw:
Now, I was concerned about it because it seemed you got real problems with dosing and accuracy. I mean, especially me as a novice, you take raw bud from two different pins and one of them makes you higher than a kite, and the other one makes you drowsy. And dosing a little bit tricky. Now, maybe it’s not. But I’ve talked to Ed Redd. He says, “Well, the fact is you take raw bud, and you measure pretty carefully and you know what you’re getting to begin with and you vape it right. You got a pretty accurate dosing.”

Brad Daw:
I’m a little less leery of raw bud. And really for me, the only angst I have left about it is it’s too, it’s kissing cousin to illegal use of cannabis. It was just kind of the same thing where we sell morphine. We don’t sell heroin. We sell morphine and pills and shots and that sort thing. We don’t sell the black tar that you heat with a spoon and then mainline. I mean, you know what I’m saying?

Tim Pickett:
Yeah.

Brad Daw:
It’s the concept of if it’s medicinal, let’s create genuinely medicinal forms. So if raw bud is a medicinal form, so be it.

Tim Pickett:
Got it. And it’s kind of heartening, frankly, to hear you say things that I would anticipate. I would hope that the legislature understands. I like that Brad Daw goes into the legislature and the thinking behind some of these processes. As somebody who’s involved in cannabis, I don’t see vaporizing or the smell. It’s become de-stigmatized to me. But there’s still that stigma surrounding smoking cannabis, smoking weed and the illegal, the recreational market, which Utah did not want to do, to get any closer to than they … They wanted to stay as far away from that as they could.

Tim Pickett:
Let’s move on to another representative, and we’re going to skip here one. Skip an episode that we’re going to go back to. But in episode 73, Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost of the Utah legislature talks about some of the changes that she wants to see in the medical cannabis program. And these changes is include some improvements for patients who are terminally ill and improvements for patients with children and protections and stuff like that. This was a great episode. Let’s give it a listen. Do you feel like Utah’s medical cannabis program is one of the better programs that you’ve seen?

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
I guess it depends on how you define better. I think it’s better than what we used to have, which was nothing. And going back to what you were saying about unscrupulous people taking advantage of desperate patients and stealing from them and tricking them. This was one of the main reasons we needed to have a medical cannabis program to start with. Because prior to that bill, that was what was happening. People were, patients were trying to get access to cannabis and they were meeting, getting money, hundreds, thousands of dollars stolen from them in parking lots. They were just hopeful that they might find somebody who could provide them with access to something that would help them with legitimate health concerns. Knowing that it was illegal, knowing that they had to break the law to do it and having no recourse when somebody stole something from them. And so the fact that this is still happening in the construct of our legal cannabis, medical cannabis program is deeply concerning. And it just tells me that we’ve still got a lot of work to do.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. I agree. What else are you working on?

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
So I’ve of course got a medical cannabis bill file open. And one of the things that has come to my attention that I really hope we can focus on is to eliminate situations where in custodial issues, parental custodial issues, that a patient who has a medical cannabis card who is legally using medical cannabis, the other parent cannot use that cannabis use as a reason to limit access to their children. I’ve heard some really harrowing stories of a father who has a significant pain problem, well controlled on medical cannabis. But his ex-wife insists that he have a clean drug screen before he can have unsupervised visitation with his own kids.

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
It shouldn’t be that way. If he is under the care of a physician and receiving a medication. If he was on massive doses of opioids, she wouldn’t be able to do that. And I would like to see an end to that. So that’s really one of my priorities right now is to make sure that people can’t weaponize prescribed cannabis against other people, especially in custody and child and divorce cases.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. I have a personal relationship with that type of case as well, and could not agree more.

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
It’s a travesty.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. That we’ve got to figure out ways to educate those people because like you say, you could have your Percocet bottle, your benzos all over, and that’s totally fine. You have a jar of cannabis flower on the table and now everything just changed is based on what? I feel like we [crosstalk 00:40:00].

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
It’s nonsensical.

Tim Pickett:
Yeah. Do you feel like you’re going to get pushback from that?

Jennifer Dailey-Provost :
Probably.

Tim Pickett:
Do you get pushback from everything just because of the [crosstalk 00:40:07].

Brad Daw:
Pushback on everything just because the D, yeah.

Tim Pickett:
You’re like, oh, you have a D.

Brad Daw:
It’s pretty rare that … Yeah. I have a D by my name. I admittedly I run some, I run legislation that really pushes the envelope. Like I said, I feel like representing the district that I do, I think I have an obligation to run legislation that really takes people out of their comfort zone, that looks at really new policy areas. I run legislation that I willingly inherited from Representative Chavez-Hauck and that is end of life prescription options for terminally ill patients. This is the policy that I really believe in and runs up against a brick wall. But if we don’t run these bills, if we don’t have these conversations, we’re never going to get there. And so I think that this custody issue with regard to medical cannabis is definitely going to be a heavy lift. But in a state that claims to be family friendly, if we’re putting up barriers to parents who want to see their kids, the problem that we have in society is deadbeat parents, not parents who finally have found pain control through medical cannabis and are legally using it, losing access to their children.

Brad Daw:
I am divorced and remarried and I have two kids with my first husband. And it is critical to me that my kids have a healthy relationship with their dad. And that everybody doesn’t feel that way. And this is me getting up on my soapbox and my trying to … I’m not trying to assert any moral authority, but the last thing that we need right now is for parents who want to be in their kids lives, have to put their kids through the trauma of weird supervised visits. And it just doesn’t need to be that way. And so I’m hoping that we can really push the narrative that, that this kind of policy is one of the most family friendly things that we can do. That this will absolutely lead to better outcomes for children in our state.

Tim Pickett:
I agree 100%. Cannabis use should not affect your access to your children, especially in custodial issues. And I was involved in … We’ve been asked to get involved from time to time in these legal battles. And it is just so hard to see somebody have to go back on Percocet because a judge says, “You can’t use cannabis if you want to see your kids.” So great episode there. And now let’s jump back to episode 72, because episode 72 is Amber Franke.

Tim Pickett:
Now, I did mention at the beginning of this episode that the audio was terrible, which was true, but her story was so great. Her story is so great. And her realization that cannabis really is a versatile drug. And here’s why she started using cannabis. And some of the other uses of cannabis that she’s found. Episode 72, if you want to go back and listen to this one with Amber Franke.

Amber Franke:
For me, I was taking … the reason I started taking it because I was going to, I was coming off my SSR. I was coming off my anxiety medication. So whatever the outcome of that looked like for me, I was going to [inaudible 00:43:40]. The main reason I tried it … what I told myself, okay, I’m going to allow myself to try it for this specific reason to see if it helps. The excuse that I gave myself was my TMJ because I was breaking two teeth a year and having to call the dentist and go in for an emergency dental visit when my teeth are splintering, my molars are splinting, clenching my teeth [inaudible 00:44:05]. So for me, it was like, I’ll just use it at night. I’ll just use it for sleep. And if I break a tooth and I have it for pain. So that’s why I qualified under. That’s how I got my medical card.

Amber Franke:
And it wasn’t until I started to experiment, because I tried the flower. I tried the capsules. I tried the tinctures. I tried the stuff you rub on your jaw, the balms. I try out the vape, I tried all of it. And that’s when I noticed, holy shit, this is actually helping my anxiety. I wonder would happen if I use it during a panic attack. And so I would try it that way. And I think that’s when I was like, oh my God. This isn’t just a party drug. Just actually … and there’s so uses. There’s so many different things that this is helping with.

Tim Pickett:
Amber Franke and the cascading effect of cannabis. Once you start feeling better, and I’m not going to give credit to all the credit, to the cannabis in that story, because I think once Amber started feeling better, it was really just a cascade of things that started to improve medically. I just love that episode and her story.

Tim Pickett:
Shifting gears a little bit to episode 78, Riley Meyer and a recent episode here. And Riley Meyer is one of the cultivation managers at an outdoor grow for Standard Wellness. So he talks about some of the challenges of maintaining an outdoor cannabis grow operation in Utah and his opinion about the program. And we really dig in to the growing cannabis outdoor. And then his product dropped here locally, Standard Wellness’ flower dropped, and we have a review coming out about those strains, those three strains, what type of effects they have, the quality of the flower, that type of thing. Stay tuned for that. So let’s listen a little bit of this discussion that I had with Riley Meyer. Okay. Yeah. This gets into outdoor indoor. What’s the difference really? Other than the plants grow outdoor. Do you grow different strains? Is the process different?

Riley Meyer:
Yeah. 100%. You’re at the mercy of mother nature obviously when you’re outdoors. So whatever she presents to you is the quality that you’re going to get out of that plant. But you can still get really high quality flower out of outdoor just as you can indoor. It just depends on your location. Utah I truly believe is an amazing place for outdoor cannabis. We obviously have a short growth season here. So it comes down to the strains cultivars that you pick because they have to be early finishers. Right? If you want to beat that frost, then they have to be done before fall comes rolling in and freezes your whole crop. But yes.

Tim Pickett:
So an outdoor, are you … I mean, is it like growing tomatoes? You got to wait until the frost, the frost risk is gone or do you start these plants indoor and then move them? What’s-

Riley Meyer:
Yeah. It all depends on how you want to go about it, but at Standard for our first year, last year, we germinated early. So what we did, we got a late start, because it ended up being a little bit of a hail Mary for us this last season. Future seasons are going to be a lot more dialed, but this last season we propagated or germinated, I should say in early April, somewhere in that first week of April. And they had all that time inside before we threw them outside and leveled them up pot size to pot size. We started in a red solo once they were popped. Red solo cup, that is to one gallon to five gallon. And they ended up in big 45 gallon pots. And that first day to you can put them out is usually around May 20th that they’re good. The temperature’s consistent enough to let them hang out overnight.

Tim Pickett:
Right. It’s always like when you plant your home garden, you got to wait till Mother’s Day, then you can plant. And in Utah that seems like that’s about right. Mid-May and then you’re away from that frost risk.

Riley Meyer:
Right.

Tim Pickett:
You just throw a bunch of weed out in the field, all these plants. They’re all out there. What’s the fence? What’s the security situation like where you guys grow?

Riley Meyer:
Yeah. So we’re totally, we’re enclosed. We’re dialed. Our security’s awesome. So don’t be trying to come.

Tim Pickett:
So it’s like fences. The only other one I’ve seen and I haven’t been to your facility, but there’s fences up. There’s barb wire at the top of the fence. It seems like it’s pretty secure, but still, I mean, I guess somebody could break through the fence or something. But are you in a pretty remote area? We won’t discuss where exactly these places are really because even though I don’t think a lot of people would go there, might as well not. Might as well not tell the people. I mean almost out of respect for the neighbors.

Riley Meyer:
Right. Yeah. Right.

Tim Pickett:
People driving by, trying to figure out what’s going on.

Riley Meyer:
We’re definitely out in the boonies, man. Yeah. I will say we’re northern Utah, but we’re out there. Good luck trying to find us, man. But yeah. As far as concern for people breaking in, I mean, there’s always that concern, but those people I feel like wouldn’t know. If they’re trying to come in and clip a bud off or something, there’s a whole process that goes into getting that final product off of the plant. You got to cure it. You got to dry it. You got to cure it. That takes a while. That’s in itself two weeks dry and usually in two weeks curing before it’s a final product. So it’s not a huge concern, but yeah, we’re definitely, we’re aware that that could potentially happen.

Tim Pickett:
I love that conversation, and I like growing tomatoes in my own home garden. And I know that I could get really into growing cannabis plants in my yard and hopefully one day we will be able to as things progress here in Utah. That does it for the recap, the best-of 2021 and some of the interviews and stories and discussions, conversations that we had here right here in Utah. Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast. Utah in the Weeds on any podcast player that you want to listen on and subscribe on YouTube. You can listen to this podcast on YouTube on the channel. It’s called Discover Marijuana and subscribe there.

Tim Pickett:
I’m Tim Pickett. Thanks for an amazing year. Thanks for all of the patience and the stories and the people who came on the podcast, the guests. Could not obviously do it without you. And we learned so much here in Utah from hearing your stories and listening to these discussions. I think it’s so important for our state and region to be having these discussions. Special thanks to David Wells, who helps with the production of Utah in the Weeds. I certainly could not do this without him. And Nate Brown, our audio engineer, who does all of our audio editing. You can find him at rocketskatesrecording.com. Well, everybody, 2021 is gone, and let’s bring in 2022. You know what I’m going to say. Stay safe out there.

 

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