Pharmacist Brian Essenter discusses how pharmacists enhance Cannabis therapeutics, knowledge of its drug to drug interactions and why it joins other drugs in its Class II status–almost exclusively in Connecticut.

Join our Host, John Malanca as he interviews Brian Essenter, PharmD from Connecticut. After 15+ years working at Walgreens, Brian yearned to make a difference in patient’s lives. Counting pills, dealing with insurance companies, increasing government oversight and fading relationships with patients created a waning sense of professional fulfillment.

Now working in cannabis, his years of pharmaceutical knowledge, drug to drug interactions and his quest for learning revealed the startling truth about this remarkable plant. Brian is one of only a handful of a growing number of pharmacists who are lending their knowledge of chemistry, drugs to cannabis therapeutics while satisfying his yearning to be more involved in the health of his patients!

Transcript

Pharmacy and Cannabis 101. Pharmacist Brian Essenter

Welcome back, everybody. This is John Malanca with United patient group Be informed. Be Well, today’s special guest is a pharmacist Brian Essenter. He’s a graduate of Northeastern University, a pharmacist, and dispensary manager in Connecticut. Brian is also the owner of mmm console in Connecticut, where he counsels patients on the effects and side effects of medical cannabis possible interactions which we’ll discuss with other medications and consultants and he’s a consultant for businesses. Brian has also been a strong advocating voice for medical cannabis patients, and as well as equality in the medical cannabis industry. So, Brian, welcome. How are you doing today?

Brian Essenter 1:34
Very well. JOHN, thank you very much. I’m about to submit

John Malanca 1:36
a word whatever year 2020 with is COVID. I think we’re all just a little a little wacky here. But we met about three years ago it in New Jersey at Maryland Mathers patients at a time conference. And so, thanks for being on. You’re out of Connecticut. You’re a pharmacist. This is a topic that comes up and criminai we’re big advocates for farmers. It pharmacists being involved here in the state of California since I would say about 2013. And so keep talking about of how you got into this role because you work for a big brand change Walgreens for a few years ski talking about the mindset of being a pharmacy school. Did they ever discuss schedule one cannabis or schedule and drugs like cannabis? And did you ever think that you’d be in the business dispensing after after being in the in the block? box stores like Walgreens?

Brian Essenter 2:38
Yeah, well, john, thank you for having me. I appreciate it. I think this is a great topic to talk about. I think that pharmacists in this industry are integral parts. You know, for myself, I spent 16 years with Walgreens working in retail pharmacy. You know, I as most pharmacists do, you go to school thinking that you’re going to help patients you’re going to improve their quality of life and you know, make sure they’re taking the right medications at the right doses and everything. And as many people can can respect and understand their experiences at a retail pharmacy are a little bit different than that. And that’s where I think a lot of retail pharmacists have gotten just disenfranchised with it you spend more of your time arguing with doctors and pharmacists and insurance companies, pardon me with about what’s covered what isn’t and why then you know, you have patients that are upset about why it costs so much why it’s taking so long, you’re hearing from you know, your corporate bosses so that you’re losing hours and expecting to do more. And and those patients that do have questions that you’re there to help to, you know, help guide with their, their concerns or side effects, you don’t have the time to have that conversation with them. And after a process like that, they’re probably not that interested in hearing what you have to say anyway, with all the frustration and everything. So it really got away from helping patients and really having That be the The goal of the process. And when they started the medical marijuana program in Connecticut, you know, for me, I was I was pretty excited. I mean, they never taught us anything about it in college other than, you know, whatever recreational usage you might have had. You know, there I believe there was some discussion in our toxicology class, which I find rather amusing at this point. And ironic but, you know, there wasn’t any discussion of the endocannabinoid system or any of those kind of things. And you know, my desire to leave pharmacy and have actual patient contact and outcome effect was my biggest driver more so than my knowledge of the endocannabinoid system or anything like that. And when I got involved in the dispensary, I just absolutely fell in love. I got goosebumps on a daily basis still do. And that’s why we do it. I have actual direct effect on the patient’s quality of life, their outcomes. You know, you see people patients coming back to us with you know, without a wheelchair or a walker or a cane and you know, tears and high fives and laughs and everything that is, those are just feelings you can’t get anywhere else. And that’s that’s the reason we went to schools is to help those patients. So,

John Malanca 5:17
you know, isn’t it a humbling feeling when you do see people having success for this because it’s not for everybody and I share this all the time that it’s not for everyone. It’s not the golden pill, the golden ticket, you know, cure all I never used the word cure. But when you do see people that have had this stigma and the wall up their whole lives about cannabis bad appeal is good. You know, meaning Yeah, just taking going to the pharmacy and getting this and then realizing, oh my gosh, you know, I’ve been educated and doing these shows and thanks for coming on. I was talking about it like being a throwing a pebble in the pond and the ripple effects of education, education, education, and you stink, you know, hopefully, they were talking about having pharmacists involved here in California like they do. In the east coast, you know, having a pharmacist on staff, I think at the dispensary is very important. Is that still a requirement? Because I know a couple states out your way. That was one of the written in laws and then they pulled that back and then they were opened able to open without a pharmacy on staff. Is that what’s happening in Connecticut right now that a pharmacist has to be involved to more, I guess legitimize the business out there. And again, cannabis is not a one size fits all, you know, I was looking at age weight, current health condition, that type of ailment, sensitivity, but also more importantly, is the drug to drug interaction. There are drug to drug interactions and can you talk about that what you what you mean, like a daily intake, are you the person they see first when they come into your into your locations?

Brian Essenter 6:52
Yeah, some great questions. And I think the one of the things you said first is one of the most important points is cannabis is not for everybody. Yeah, you know, I mean, and I think people need to understand that just because we’re advocating for cannabis and discussing cannabis use and how it can be safe still does not mean that it’s appropriate for every single patient that’s out there. And that is not what we’re looking to do with any of this. This is simply an option for patients that feel they they may not be getting what they need, and there might be a possibility that this could help them as well. So for us on the dispensary side of things, you know, the patients they go and they get certified with one of the 38 conditions we have in Connecticut now, which is getting kind of ridiculous as well. We just got chronic pain added which was huge, huge addition that we got Finally, but you know, they see the doctor, they pay the state and at that point they they make an appointment at the dispensary that they choose. So when they make that appointment, we have them filling out intake paperwork, just the same as you would go into a doctor’s office, you know, your contact information. for emergency contacts, your condition that you’re certified for your other medications, what type of symptoms and ailments Are you looking for relief of you know, so we really try to you know, and we also want to get their tolerance level have they used cannabis in the past to what level that is such a huge huge aspect of it and apart that they’re a little hesitant to talk about as well. But um, one of the ways they did it in Connecticut too is they D scheduled cannabis to a schedule to in Connecticut. So that really makes it easy for the pharmacists to be able to discuss all of this with our patients and the doctors to not be completely, you know, not that they aren’t anyway, but many of them are not as freaked out that they’re going to lose their license and their DEA and this and that too. By making it a schedule to Connecticut is the one that that distributes all of the doctor licenses and the pharmacist licenses so they don’t have to worry themselves about doing anything illegal that way. So it makes it much more comfortable for For the professionals being involved, we don’t have to worry about losing a license in the process of having that discussion as well.

John Malanca 9:08
I did not know that it was a schedule two is that are you the only state in the nation that has the schedule to schedule to? And that?

Brian Essenter 9:15
I want to say yes, but I’m not 100% sure on that. I’m not positive. I believe we may be one of the very few if it’s

John Malanca 9:24
the first of the first that I’ve heard. I mean, I want to talk about epidiolex in the schedule five, but I had it so can you talk about for our listeners, what the schedules are, what what they mean, and where cannabis currently is now in the other states besides Connecticut?

Unknown Speaker 9:40
Absolutely. So fairly cannabis is a schedule one substance which means that it has, you know, no medicinal value whatsoever, and that it’s highly addictive and has significant side effects, which we all know to not be the case and that’s just a matter of getting the right research done. By the Right people I guess for the government to accept that different conversation for a different day. But the schedule two medications it lands in the same group with your your Percocet, your oxy cotton. You know those type of medications that are highly addictive do have medicinal purposes to them, but they need to be controlled because of potential side effects and everything else. So that does make it legal for physicians to certify patients because we can’t prescribe because prescribe is defined federally so they cannot prescribe medical marijuana until that is scheduled federally but so net for now they have to certify patients. But being that you call it certifying patients out here we call it recommendations. We can’t say prescribe prescription or prescribing we can say record recommending yeah in Connecticut they they use certification was the definition that they put in our regulations. So it’s you know, you get a certification there’s not an actual written prescription for it or anything, and it’s only within the Connecticut system that it actually occurs. So it makes it really good as far as that’s concerned. But one of the biggest aspects for the clinicians especially because it’s a schedule two, it shows up on their prescription monitoring profile as well. So along with all of their other, you know, Xanax and oxy cotton and biking in and you know, benzos and everything else, if a doctor logs in to see Oh, what’s my patient taking, they will see it we’ll get into this in a minute to a lot of random names they’ve never seen before, but some of them will say medical marijuana, it does list their medical marijuana card as one of the prescriptions that are on there, something that they’ve received, so any doctor in the state of Connecticut can see that they’ve been using cannabis as well as part of their therapy. So that’s, that’s one of the big ways that that the clinicians can be a little more comfortable because They don’t have to worry just that the patient is disclosing the information, honestly,

John Malanca 12:05
is that affecting a lot, they will record a lot of pain groups outside of the cannabis industry out your way actually. And a lot of these pain patients are forced to take drug test to get obtain a prescription for pain meds, and they see if they have cannabis in their system. They’re declined. And so it’s just a you know, does that does that affect a lot of patients?

Unknown Speaker 12:31
Yes, it has. We’re seeing Am I kind of turn a little bit the other direction now though. Okay, um, for a couple of reasons. So yes, there were we had patients coming to us constantly saying, I tested positive at my pain management clinic, they’re discharging me. We need to you know, do you know any pain management doctors and you know, I mean, we had relationships with a couple of them who we knew were seeing patients who were okay with it. They got very quickly overwhelmed with all of the patients that were being discharged from all of these other locations. Fast forward about two years, when Connecticut along with the rest of the country in the opiate epidemic, decrease the total number of pills that could be prescribed to any one patient for opiates. benzos muscle relaxers. So now by default, the same pain management clinics are having to certify their patients. Because these patients need something they’ve had them, you know, consistently on unbelievable dosages of opiates that are completely outside of guidelines and everything else. And they need they just had to cut them off cold turkey because they weren’t allowed to prescribe anymore. Well, at that point these patients, what are their two options? Well, I can go get it somewhere else. Or maybe we can. Yeah, they end up on the black market, which typically means heroin because it’s a lot cheaper than what your opiates are. Your pills are on the black market or we can certify them for medical marijuana and we can try to help that be a bit of a softer landing for them. So they became a little bit more accepting. Now that we just passed chronic pain, we’re really Fingers crossed, that’s a game changer for us, but them that they originally

John Malanca 14:15
came out of the gate with about 1112 qualifying conditions. And now, you know, we work with a lot of Connecticut patients and they’d say, Yeah, I don’t I have pain and but it’s not on here. You know, and and that’s tough. And there were other states that didn’t have cancer on there, but they had pain and so the doctors are writing recommend your you have pain with cancer, yes. Okay, this one I’m, I’m gonna I’m gonna put that on your record. And so again, like you said, turn the blind eye group that you know, the gray zone with that. And so now you said there’s 34 how many how many qualifying conditions 38

Unknown Speaker 14:51
qualifying conditions and we have 10 pediatric so 1018 and under that that qualify as well. Are those kind of a bit of a headache for us as well. Because the we have to do everything through our legislative process. We don’t have any ballot measures or anything like that. So even adding conditions to our program has to go through a Legislative Review Board to get added on, which is just a headache. In that process, though they built in this board of physicians that are some very esteemed doctors from Yale University and others around the area, that we have to present these these conditions to this board, who will then decide whether or not they’re going to give their blessing and pass it on with their blessing to the regs review the pharmacists are you the patient out there, the patients are the ones that have to do it, but the patients have to provide these doctors with all of the study information and everything else. So a lot of the times it’s more, you know, patient groups or doctor groups or something that are doing this, but when when we were actually testifying in front of the legislature at one point to get some of these things proved, they had no idea that opiate use disorder and chronic pain. Were on the list of condition in many other states right around us, let alone across the country. And they’re like, no way. That’s not true. I’m like, It’s here. It’s here. It’s here. And they were just looking at me like I had seven heads and I’m like, Guys, we need to wake up. This is this is happening, you know. And, you know, I think they started to with the opiate thing they started realizing patients needed a softer landing, at least then then in the streets for heroin and everything else. So we’re receiving easier access. I guess.

John Malanca 16:36
It’s tough. You know, Chris and I have been part of the neuropathy groups. We spoken rock with the group for years and both with cancer and diabetic neuropathy, and where they’re used to taking you know, four or five oxys a day is like you and I would take a breath mint. And then they said, let’s look into cannabis. cannabis is popping up everywhere and they would take 5 million grams of cannabis of a capsule or however they took it. And next thing you know they were climbing the walls there so stone they said yet, Louis cannabis didn’t to me I’m not going to do this and it’s like, no, it’s actually a drug to drug interaction. And there are a lot of doctors that have spoken and pharmacist spoken that it can intensify. A pharmaceutical, you know there, there was a one of the cannabis documentaries I had been playing around, you know, for the last 688 years and they’re talking about they’re interviewing this this grower up in the northern California Humboldt area. And he was talking about all his different different farm plants, you’d making any use in this plant? This plants great if you mix it with a pharmaceutical it will double the high. And so that’s the part that scares a lot of patients and doctors and medical experts. I think government you know, institutions when they say, okay, what’s the reason is it is it for healing, or is it for the high? I mean, are we looking at it? I think it’s I think and I don’t want to I’m not bad mouthing recreation versus medical. I think it’s very beneficial. We, you know, we have a lot of pain patients that need that, you know, the combination and they find find success with pharmaceuticals. And so can you talk about the benefits of combining safely combining we’re say they’re taking 50 milligrams on a normal basis and they add cannabis now they can take 25 milligrams and get the same same effect as a 50 milligram pharmaceutical or whatever wherever they’re at. Can you talk about how the benefits of safely combining cannabis with the pharmaceutical

Unknown Speaker 18:38
Absolutely, and I mean, that’s that’s probably my my biggest goal in all of this and what is awesome, you know, because coming from the pharmacy, where you find a lot of people that are pill chasing and everything else, part of the nature of the beast there, but in cannabis, you’re finding people that are looking to get off of their pills, they’re they’re sick of the side effects they’re sick of, you know, taking a handful have different pills every single day just to be able to get out of bed and function and they don’t feel like they’re a human being again or that they’re there physically, mentally. And most of that is because of this side effects of the medications. And as, as a pharmacist as a, you know, a science based person, I very much appreciate what prescription medications can do, they are absolutely necessary to keep people alive in so many situations. Now, you know, do they need to be at doses that they’re at consistently? Probably not? Is it safe to just go cold turkey because you started medical marijuana? Absolutely not. No. And that’s the first thing that I tell my patients because the process that we use, and you know, I mentioned it before, and you kind of did two five milligrams for one person and five milligrams for another person, or two very different doses in the cannabis world, whereas in your pharmaceutical world, they’re not considered to be that way. That tolerance has a big part of how much of an effect that has, but it’s also what is the outcome that patients looking for? Your question earlier is, you know, is it medicinal? Or is it recreational? My answer is yes. Yeah, no, I think it is. And and I think that you have two very different factions of people that are looking for it for both of those reasons. And we need to respect that as well. Those that are looking for the medicinal end of things that want to get off their prescription medications aren’t looking to be stoned all the time. Just want to be my favorite lines, they want to be an active participant in their life. Right? That’s, that’s my favorite line out there for patients. So you know if that’s what they want, well, we can give them that we can decrease the prescription medications, allow them to feel an experience and be a part of it. Allow them to roll around on the floor with their grandkids for an hour or finish a grocery store trip or whatever those simple things happened to be. But you know, we can do that very slowly and easily. And how it’s comfortable for them to. And by no means do we touch any prescription medications for the first few weeks, maybe months because I want them to get stable on the cannabis, then we worry about decreasing medications. I want to know what’s working, what isn’t and why. And let’s get you stable, then we can start worrying about decreasing other dosages, because we’re going to have to play with these dosages as well. So it just takes fewer hurdles out of the process that way and the doctors are typically much more receptive to that process than they are okay, we’re just getting rid of this and we’re not doing that. And we’re only doing this now today. So

John Malanca 21:38
that’s one thing I always should do again. You know, cannabis helps you, like you said, it’s very humbling. I got chills talking about this right now. Just thinking of all the people that we’ve met over the years that we worked at that we talked with, you know, senior groups, you know, tell you how many times we we go in and said I lost my spouse the first time, I’m able to go down to Get to be back in the group with people again who have used cannabis cannabis. I’ve been against cannabis my whole life. And I’ve tried. I’ve tried this and I’ve had success. And I will share with them too, is don’t like you said don’t go cold turkey, have a doctor involved. Have a pharmacist involved when you’re titrating let your doctors know that you are going to buy cannabis. Let your family members know if you’re going to try cannabis. My friends are chiropractor. And in his office it says pain is not a way of life. You know, and it’s just like, Oh, I’m in pain, but this is the way my life is I’m getting older. No, you know, right. Let’s try to see what you can drink. You can do it naturally. You can do it successfully. You can do it. Do it safely. Can you share any of your stories? I know you talked about you know, some of them would come in with wheelchairs and then down the way know they’re walking and they hug you and they and they have tears in their eyes. But isn’t that a great feeling to see when people have success with this? I mean, I’ve seen it all. side.

Unknown Speaker 23:01
goosebumps, like you said, Just thinking about it. Yeah, I mean, I can see the patients, I can hear them I can, you know, I mean, they’re their caregivers, their family members that, you know, will tell you that, you know, I have my spouse back, I have my, my mom back, my dad, whatever. And I think, you know, until you that changes their perspective as well, you know, they may have been against this, but now they’re, but you know, I mean, the a lot of the times a lot of the patients that I’ve noticed, have been say like your MS patients and your Parkinson’s patients. They just because the physical aspect of what those diseases can do to these people are so visually stunning, but you know, they’re very strong. And and those are the patients that you know, I mean, I would, you know, we have cameras everywhere, so you’re always watching who’s coming in and going and everything and when I you know, you see them coming up in the wheelchair and you’re like, oh, Jane doe’s here or whoever you know, And you’re happy to see them or whatever it happens to be. I mean, I can think of three patients that I saw walking up one time with with a cane. It was a Parkinson’s patients that hadn’t been out of her wheelchair in about eight months. And, you know, I mean, was it every day? No, it wasn’t so please don’t get it wrong they have in a flow, but to give that to them for just that day that week those couple of hours is it’s priceless man to see that that happiness that joy on their face, excuse me, the lack of pain that they’re going through those those simple things now, I mean, they’re not running a marathon they’re not you know, but but you gave them some freedom some ability to be a human being again and that is so priceless in so many of these situations where patients feel like they’re never going to get back there again.

John Malanca 24:50
But he like even had like a grandfather, you know, rolling on the ground with the grandkids. You know, so sure. I haven’t been able to do this for you mentioned about, you know, parents and and Kids talking about their parents having success. I’ve had more calls from buddies of mine from high school that will call me up and say, your mom was at church and talked about cannabis with my mom. And my mom called you. And we’ve been trying to get her to use cannabis for years. And of course they’re not gonna listen to us. But yeah, you don’t listen your kids Oh, and they’re the biggest cannabis advocate. Now I’m going, I’m sleeping better. I’m off my medications. I’m able to, you know, drive and be a babysitter for my grandkids and stuff like that. So I don’t know what you said to my mom, but thanks. You know, it worked and sometimes it takes that because, you know, it’s like, I don’t know Do you have kids? Yeah, sometimes I may listen to your to your their uncle more than you know. They’ll turn to you over over the mom and dad type of thing. Early. You’re talking about patience and a lot of patient pain patients that we work with on the East Coast, in the pain world, not like cannabis world that need their medications. For, I’ll see fibromyalgia pain sometimes will happen because there is a limit of what pharmacists sometimes can fill. I’ve heard the story saying the pharmacists will say, no Doc, we can’t give, you know, Sue. You know, these 30 pills is too many. Okay. He’ll call back in and do a recommendation a prescription from 29. Right hand hold, Oh, come on, let’s put you This is my patient needs this. Okay, we’re not, this is not some junkie that needs it. Yeah, I’m just a junkie but I mean, you know,

Unknown Speaker 26:36
that’s, that’s the mentality.

John Malanca 26:38
It is. And and a lot of these patients, they go in there thinking they’re guilty because I need this medication. And the people are looking at me like, Oh, are you just an opiate user? I heard of a husband that had to drive to another state to obtain his wife’s medication. And do you see Do you see that or do you have reciprocity in in Connecticut for cannabis patients like they do in Michigan and other states out your way.

Unknown Speaker 27:05
Connecticut no Rhode Island allows for reciprocity from Connecticut to Rhode Island masses fully rack they don’t i don’t think you you’re you reciprocate to mass yet mainly resiprocate to New York’s a whole different program itself and everything too. So it we do not accept anybody as we like to think we’re kind of special in Connecticut and you know, the way

John Malanca 27:32
I think about your way and I had Michigan, which is a quite a few states, but I’m talking from California out that way. Because I know I know exactly where you guys are when they’re big. I mean, it’s so tight, you know, of all the all the states there. Let me let me go into schedule, the different schedules again, but also, do you want to talk about the patent US government that affect you guys at all of how you mentioned no medical schedule one? No. No medical benefits but they have a schedule one but they have a patent on as cannabis or CBD as a neuroprotective with medical benefits. Is this kind of you know, I’m just I like it I knew nothing I didn’t know you guys were scheduled to and yeah, I’m gonna read I mean that just blows my mind and I would like to get into you being a pharmacist talking about pharmaceutical legal besides Marinol which is a synthetic form of THC for cancer patients for nausea I guess a little pain to because I know a lot of doctors that will record prescribe Marinol in states that the cannabis is not legal to hopefully help a patient that way and they’re finding that they do have success. But where I’m going with this is going to the schedule five and having epidiolex in there. Do you have any experience with epidiolex? Or do you do you need it because you’re living each You’re working in a dispensary and, and, you know, there’s no need for that option, I guess.

Unknown Speaker 29:07
So I have, I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about epidiolex for a lot of reasons. I was very happy that it went through the entire process that it did and proved to be effective and safe and everything else. I believe the schedule five listing is still too strict and should be you know, I mean, it should be just as any other prescription. It’s essentially just CBD, you know, but I love that it is from the plant itself. It’s not synthetic, it is actual legitimate CBD that they’re obtaining. To me the biggest advantage of the epidiolex is the consistency. And that is the biggest disadvantage to the cannabis industry in general right now is the lack of consistency. And, you know, we talked about, you know, cloning And isolates and all of these other things that we can do to get that and that takes away a lot of the entourage effect and the whole plant effect which epidiolex gives you at least some of that not to the extent that true whole plant does but it’s much more so than say Marinol you know, and some other options that we have. Um, you know, so I really think that especially for kids, having that consistency in the dosing and knowing what you’re going to get every single time knowing the strain knowing everything that is is so important, the each chemo var, each strain can express itself very differently from one batch to the next from, you know, your your strength. You get, let’s just say Blue Dream, for instance, in California, and you get it in in Massachusetts, and it might be from the same Seed Company, which you’re going to get two very different phenotypes even if they’re grown indoors and everything else. It’s just it’s Mother Nature has its way of doing that. gw epidiolex says has found a way to do it consistently. And I am very impressed with that. Yeah. And that’s probably my biggest thing I always talk to our patients about is that you know, the biggest headache is the constant, you know, trial and error that you’re going through the constant changing of strains because of availability or the potency of this tincture versus that tincture, which is the same strain but it’s a new batch, so it’s more potent, less potent, different CBD ratios or whatever to epidiolex gives you that consistency, so doctors can be much more comfortable with it as well. Yeah,

John Malanca 31:43
and I hope and I share and I’m not a big fan of strain names because if I like you said if I grew Blue Dream out here and you had the same seat, I sent it out to you and you grew it. It would be completely different from the way I grew the pH and the water, the heat etc. And so when I hear patients say, Oh, I need to get this, you know, it’s not consistent. It’s not which you do the one thing about epidiolex that a dear friend of mine, she’s 19 and she’s tried all the different cannabis products and she has autism. She’s autistic but graduate high school works you know, functioning autistic and there neurologists out here said, okay, you know, they actually they went to the neurologist said, if you’re not crazy about us using all these different cannabis products, then write a prescription for me for epidiolex and I was so anti, you know, epidiolex coming in here and with my own eyes, I’ve seen success with her with her the one thing that they’re not crazy about is it the strawberry tastes the flavoring like it’s a regular candy and and so they’ve written to epidiolex and spoken epidiolex like What was that? What was the purpose of this? And I think it was more just to disguise that taste, but not everybody wants to have that sweet Strawberry tastes in there either too, and I was shared with patients, mix it with applesauce and you know, if you don’t like it you don’t like the taste. So anyway, that’s on that that side. Let’s talk about you and what you’re doing and how, what you what really brought you in today. Are you a patient and I don’t mean to go into any personal so you don’t have to answer that. But what brought you into this? Did you see something your life like crinan I cannabis was not our lifestyle. And I don’t want to say we were forced into us but we were we kind of her father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer metastasized to his brain. We knew nothing about cannabis, knew about it in high school in college, but just not the medical benefits of this and he was given two weeks to live. We came across a study that showed 40% of cancer patients passing malnutrition, before cancer takes over the body wasting syndrome just like with AIDS patients. And so I wheeled him into his oncologist office and make a long story short, he was a 24 seven oxygen and we asked how much They said, two weeks weeks through tears, I said, What can we do? He said, we give you morphine ease and my knee pain. I said, What about I look at Korean and she was I was the boyfriend, then I wasn’t the husband and stuff. It’s like, I don’t mean to cross any boundaries. But what about, what about cannabis? And they looked, they said, we’ll try anything. And I said, For appetite, and we didn’t know the benefits of that plant then, and make a long story short, he’s still alive today. That was 2011. And that’s why we started united patients group for that reason, because we knew a million other families out there like us. Maybe cannabis wasn’t their lifestyles, and they needed the education information to come and feel safe. And, you know, so we worked with patients around the world doctors and medical institutions around the world government institutions around the world, and just getting the information out. And so that’s how we I guess we’re adopted into this industry. And so so I didn’t know if the if You had a similar story, but let’s talk about again, you know what your what your business has led from pharmacy school working for, you know, Walgreens and now? dispensary.

Unknown Speaker 35:12
Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, is in college I experimented as many of us do you know, and the one way I always talk about cannabis use to my patients, especially I am a patient, you know, as well at this point. But one of the ways I always talk about cannabis use is just like anything else, like like alcohol or anything else when you’re younger, if a little bit as good, more must be better, you don’t know limits, you don’t know, you know, you don’t really feel consequences because you’re invincible at that age anyway. So you know, as you get older, your goals change your your reason for using, it probably changes. The goal isn’t to get high, it’s to, you know, be able to, you know, go out and have a nice meal with your family or whatever it happens to be, but it really changes Typically from recreating to Medicaid and you know, when you start using it because we have responsibilities, we have jobs we have kids we have you know, it can’t just be an all day every day Doritos and Mountain Dew and video games kind of a thing. So you know it’s that’s where I believe we changed to Medicaid and we’re using it for sleep we’re using it for pain we’re using it for you know, a lot of other things. And that’s where that that recreational medication line starts, you know, then you start jumping into your, your chronic patients and everything too, which is much more than medical side. But for me, it was about getting out of the pharmacy. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was burnt out. I wanted something new I wanted patient contact in this industry. I’m like this is just awesome. I get to get in an industry on the ground floor and you know, try to build something up and I was thrown into the mix. I was in about a nine months after the program started. I started out They had lost their manager and I got thrown into a disaster at the time. And for me, I was so excited. But the biggest problem I had and as many pharmacists you’ll meet, we have pretty big egos. We like to think we know everything. So you know, when I have patients that are coming to me teaching me about this medication that I’m supposed to be explaining to them, that was a huge hit to my ego. I didn’t, I didn’t like that everybody else can tell me more information than I know. And I’m supposed to be the expert in the area here. So I threw myself into it. I really just found everything I could to, you know, educate myself. I felt like a 16 year old kid looking at pictures of weed all day, every day wondering if the government was going to be tracking me and everything but as you get into it, you just get so much more information that you’re like, it makes me question all of my education in pharmacy, school and everything else because I just drank the Kool Aid man. I didn’t No any better. I didn’t know there were other things out there until I started really searching for it. And you know, I mean, you Google cannabis and you’re just looking for a whole mess of stuff you’re not interested in. But if you have a clue as to what you’re looking for, or directions or a way to determine which is giving you good information, bad information, accurate, inaccurate, whatever, you’re able to get to so many, so much more. And I mean, honestly, one of my biggest things was when I met you at patients at a time there, I I have never felt more uneducated in a situation like there’s just so many experts in one area. And I tell people all the time, like I felt like by being there, I had to learn just by osmosis. There’s just so much intelligence and conversations going on around me that I’m like, Oh my god, like I never, ever knew never thought never anything and it’s just, it drives me that much more to know that much more to help my patients that much more and everything to

John Malanca 38:58
that was my first conference, that kurenai true medical camp medical cannabis conference at crinan. I attended back in 2011. And we were like that too. We said, Oh my gosh, I cannot believe all the benefits and, and Marilyn, who’s actually going to be on the show next week? Awesome. She You know, it just opened our mind of all the different things because it’s funny, I’ll go to things because I now when I present I do a lot of presenting outside of the cannabis industry and international integrative oncology conferences. And I always have this slide and it’s a big roll of duct tape and people are like, Hey, man, you got the proc slide up there. And I said, You know, I put the slide up there because I don’t want to say cannabis is like duct tape with a million to one uses. But when you really get down to it, and at this conference, they had all these doctors from around the world and their life studies of talking about cannabis and this certain ailment to certain disease. I remember my father was a diabetic and he was a healthy diabetic, if you can be a healthy diabetic, but he was a healthy diabetic, and he, you know, diabetes affects everything, and he had had a heart attack. But he, but I remember listening to this doctor from Italy talking about cannabis and diabetes. And I remember just sitting there going into tears, and I remember looking at cringe, I said, God, I wonder if I could have done something for my dad, you know, and it’s amazing. And like you said, I mean, I just sat there notes and notes and notes and all this stuff. And I learned so much just from that one conference and, and a lot of my friends in this industry, the first time that they had ever discovered cannabis, and the benefits and their nurses in this industry was going to these events as well. Don Murray steenstrup I don’t know if you know her her husband, Eric, he’s out there away but in Maryland, and I was hurt. Eric took brought down to this and she At this same experience, she’s Oh my God, I’ve been a nurse. You know, how can I never learn this type of stuff? Let’s talk about Connecticut and your program, because it’s a pretty special program out there. And can you talk about why what other states can learn from your program? And I think a lot of these, you know, cannabis has been legal here medically legal in California since 1996. Right? And so I used to, I used to get this one doctor from the Department of Health that in New Jersey, he used to call me says, Hey, man, I’ve been put on the EEG and I’m like, kind of the black sheep of the Department of Health over here. And so they want me to contact other states of gotchas. And what can you help us do that we’re not doing out here and so I started talking to them, and the following year, he calls me up he goes, Hey, Meagan, you’re interested. Of course he goes, Okay, now that Colorado is recreation legal. They want me to fuck up and see what’s what’s what’s right and what’s wrong and help us you’re new to a new state New Jersey because New Jersey was legal for quite some time, but they didn’t have access right. Having it like Georgia, we did an article on Georgia doing the pretend state that we have a lot of Georgia in the US. Yep, you’re legal. But you can’t bring it in. You can’t grow it. You can’t buy it here. It’s like having a driver’s license here. You can drive Brian, but you can’t have a car. There’s no cars, right? No car. And so can you talk about what Connecticut has seen and done? And probably why? What you guys are what you can share with other states that, you know,

should I think truly should have a pharmacist on board? Talk about the drug drug interactions, no disrespect to the bud tenders. I know a lot of people hate that term, but it’s difficult going going in because I have a lot of seniors that will come home and they go, Hey, this is what i what i purchased. And they gave me a freebie on a brownie or a joint. What do I do with this? Or they eat the brownie? And they go oh, that was delicious. And then they eat it again because I don’t feel anything and now they’re in the ER and so you do see a lot of that and so I think that’s where the education comes in. Were role of a pharmacist or an educated bud tender because you don’t know like you said with doctors going to the pharmacy all these different products that are in the in the in the body and so a lot of times you don’t know Are they diabetic do they need to stay away from sugar the other day doctor at my mom said it was frustrating. She She was you know, has her girlfriend that she goes for a walk with and so she says she was asking about just this will gummy bears help with with arthritis and I said, Well, you don’t have arthritis. So what’s happening? So she shared about her friends she was she saw it on Dr. Oz did an article about did a show on and on gummy bears and I said Mom, the number one thing that hurts arthritic patients is inflammation. Sugar, right this frustrates me when you have a mainstream media and I’m a fan of Dr. Oz. You know, I wasn’t a fan of you know, goop there back in the day when he was you know with Headline News. Before he became grouped in in the cannabis industry, you know, you talk about the what Sorry, I’m all over the place, you know about why the the your Connecticut program really stands out and what other other states can benefit from from learning about sex successful programs in other states like like Connecticut. And then I talked about the education, you know, talking about don’t eat the whole edible, you know and what do you do when Nick when when people come into your location?

Unknown Speaker 44:34
Absolutely that’s one of the first things I tell them is we talk about edibles. We’ll get to that in a second Phil. So Connecticut’s program. It’s one that I’m very proud of. We have our issues just like every other program, obviously. But a couple of the things that I really like is we have the strictest testing of anybody anywhere in the country. They you know with the molds, mildews, heavy metals, pesticides, all that kind of stuff. It is the lowest Possible thresholds anywhere in the country to test for knows, they also require full cannabinoid and terpene profiles and everything on there too, which is great. But the the big thing that we’ve really been able to do with the producers that we have in Connecticut is really push them to all pure oils for all of their vape oils and everything to you know, we’ve there with all of the issues with the we never had any vitamin E or anything like that. There were some some pagg and stuff that they had used for flavoring for different things and whatnot, too. And, you know, I have always been one to educate my patients on what exactly they’re putting in their body. So, you know, if this is a decision you want because you need that route berry flavored vape Well, then, you know, that’s great, good for you, but understand what you’re doing to yourself. So, you know, I think that’s we use that as a huge talking point when we’re educating our patients is helping them to understand you know, less than ever Everything is tested to make sure that you’re not getting any of these other you know, natural things. Yeah. So you know and not only that the all of the the edible products we don’t have any gummies or any candies or anything like that because they’re too kid friendly. We do have cookies and brownies. Is

John Malanca 46:19
that a law in Connecticut or just in your Yeah. So what what products are available because some states say you can have flour but you can’t avoid other states will say you can have oil but you can’t have flour. So what are what products are you so Connecticut does not allow?

Unknown Speaker 46:35
No gummies no drinks, we have tablets and capsules. We have cookies, we have brownies, we have baking mix, we have honey we have all kinds. I mean you can bake your own whatever the heck you want to bake with the mixes you get you could make donkeys with it and everything too. So you know we tell patients Listen, if you really want gummies here’s some oil here’s some mix, whatever. Here’s the website to go to to how to do That but you know we get the Gumby yourself and put your oil on it

John Malanca 47:05
and he did that

Unknown Speaker 47:06
exactly what I tried I’m like you don’t even need to do that just take a you know you can measure out the oil so you know exactly how much is on every single piece. You put it on the gummy eat it you don’t need to make gummies now you can actually eat the gummies when you want them. You don’t have to worry that those are mommy’s gummies only or daddy’s gummies only you know. So those simple little fixes are just you know, beyond easy for patients to do. We do have syringe oils, I mean we have we have some full spectrum some you know RSO and stuff we have, you know, some MCT hemp oil oils as well so they can make their own capsules and stuff with that. We have all of your vape cartridges and everything too. We have flour all over the place there. I mean, it’s, we have a pretty wide selection. One of the things that I’ve been really proud of more recently that we’ve seen is I’ve started to We have CBN tablets, which are unbelievable. As a patient who needs them for sleep and muscle spasms and stuff. I love them. Can you

John Malanca 48:10
talk about something? You’ve done me cut you off there so far I listen to CBN with Brian mentioning is it just another cannabinoid in there? Yeah, sorry, the numbers. Some people say 120. Some people say 160. And so different cannabinoids are theirs there I’ll say 140 quid right in the middle. cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC is a cannabinoid CBD CBD is a cannabinoid and the CBN what Brian was mentioning is also a different type of cannabinoid, and each cannabinoid has their own. I guess benefits. CBN is a great benefit for sleep. And so and again, you don’t always have to smoke the product, you have to worry but companies will extract these different cannabinoids out. And then back to testing, Brian. It’s not up to you, the patient to go out and get your product and have it tested. In most states, and I’m assuming in Connecticut, it’s a regulation to have all products tested, they test for mold pesticides. Do you test for metals in your state?

Unknown Speaker 49:09
Yep, heavy metals as

John Malanca 49:10
well as the state. You know, just to make sure what you’re putting in your bodies exactly that is on on that on that label. And if a company if you don’t live in Connecticut or California or state that recommends that a requires it I say, always ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’d like to see these test results if they don’t have it. Go with another product and if that dispensary does not have it, go to another dispensary or go to the company’s website they should have nowadays. When you have a product that have a box here but a lot nowadays it will have the lot and batch number for that product that you’re taking. And just technology you can do a QR code or go to the website and they’ll show you exactly the test results. I would say look for test results about six months old. I was on with a gentleman the other day and he said actually 12 to 24 months still Depending on how they how they store it, you know, so it’s up to you. I think New newer is better just like food. It’s as simple as well. How easy is it for patients to become a pain patient in Connecticut in today’s like out in California, but before this law changed before recreational, you can become a legal patient in one day. And we have a lot of out of state patients, I would come here to obtain their medicine, they go and get a California ID with a US passport. Open up a p o box. I mean, to me when you’re battling something as severe as cancer, I mean, you’re going to do it, and then they can meet with a doctor and then obtain it back to that day. They can stand here for two days, two weeks, whatever, how they if they want to bring it back, it’s illegal. So I’m not advising anybody to break the law but but for a cancer patient. My father in law who was given two weeks to live, he was able to get his recommendation that day and get on his routine where I’ve had other other patients in other states that they’ve been diagnosed and say, well Brian, you know, You’re gonna have to wait two weeks to put all this paper is an etiquette that strict of a state where they won’t write a recommendation or what you call it again this nondescript certification, excuse me, it How quickly can a patient become certified in your state?

Unknown Speaker 51:16
Well, the process is absolutely improved over the last couple of years. We have many more clinics and doctors that are signed on to actually certify patients. So that has significantly improved access for patients. I mean, our program has grown over 20% in the last year just because we have more clinics to certify what one of the biggest things was a year and a half, two years ago now almost, they started allowing a PRN to certify as well. So that really opened up within a parent.

Unknown Speaker 51:49
Nurse Practitioner,

John Malanca 51:50
nurse practitioner, okay. Yep.

Unknown Speaker 51:52
So they, they, they allowed them to start certifying patients as well. So they didn’t have to go see just the doctor and you know, we had Connecticut’s a small state but I think we have like five doctors that were known as the pop Doc’s in Connecticut. Right now we have just about 43,000 patients, chronic pain just went live not one month ago tomorrow, oh boy so that

John Malanca 52:16
my number will double here.

Unknown Speaker 52:18
We’re expecting that to double triple over the next year and a half or so. So you know that that’s a big part of you know, the the growing pains that we’re going to have there. But right now, for patients, once they get certified, they, once the doctor does it, then they have to pay the state another hundred dollar fee right now, which we’re trying to get eliminated might go through hopefully sooner rather than later. But they pay that then they have to upload their proof of residency. So you have to have like a recent bill or a piece of mail or something like that. So that’s the one hurdle compared to California we have to but they they’re only allowed two and a half ounces in a month as well. Okay. So that’s that you can lobby for more, some doctors will put that paperwork in. But you know, if you have a patient on a cancer regimen, two and a half ounces is not getting it done. Yeah. So can we legally

Unknown Speaker 53:12
author?

Unknown Speaker 53:14
No, no grow rights. That’s the other thing we’ve been pushing is, if not, not necessarily grow writes, but patient grow writes, you know, if you’re a cancer patient, you should be able to, you know, even as part of their study to see if growth rates are okay, well, why not let patients have that, you know, grow rates are higher rates are more of an idea than they are a reality for most people. I think, you know, most people aren’t capable of growing anything of medical quality at all. Yeah. But you know, it does limit those patients as to what they can access and everything as well too. But it’s about a two week turnaround from once they send in their paperwork and everything right now. It used to be that renewing your card was the exact same process for a long time. They were running 30 days up to six weeks for patients to get even a temporary card to go in and make their first purchase. With COVID and everybody being at home. Yeah, they’ve, they’ve actually improved that process significantly. All renewals are going through within an hour. Patients are approved. So what was happening before because they were waiting 30 to 60 days to approve the new patients, patients would have expired, like let’s just say I expire in 30 days, I would have to go get an approval today, but that my new license is from the date of certification by the doctor. So I would lose the next 30 days off of the second half. So you’re paying for 11 ish months of, you know a card before you have to renew. They’ve significantly improved that process for patients. So what is it?

John Malanca 54:50
What’s up what is the cost for a card?

Unknown Speaker 54:52
It’s $100 every year renewals the same for that most of the doctor’s offices are charging around 125 to $200 for the doctor’s visit, if you can get it from your PCP that they can put it through as a regular office visit then by all means, that’s what we’re recommending. But you’re talking, you know, 250 $300 for patients just to come in and have that conversation of is this something that’s appropriate for me and what dosing and what products and how much is it going to cost? and everything else so it is our patients afraid now that now they’re in the shoes Can you always hear this you know, that I don’t want to be in the system now and you know, you get pulled over,

John Malanca 55:37
you know, in the officer and seize up. Brian’s a Medical Cannabis Patient now I have a reason to search or, you know, spend on you know, crud, I spent a lot of time in Montana, you know, and a lot of them, you know, they’re hunter that’s a way of life, you know, and a right to bear arms and they their cannabis patients, they said, I can’t I can’t do this because I lose My rights to you know, my hunting, you know my guns and so you know is because you’re in the system is that is that show up in the DMV record? No I mean that you have this or it’s so

Unknown Speaker 56:14
police officers when they pull you over if you have cannabis in, you know in your vehicle you’re allowed to have it in your vehicle as long as you’re not consuming it, but we always recommend put it in your truck, you know, don’t give them a reason to give you any trouble that you don’t need. Yeah, I’m just like they can pull up their prescriptions to see if they have been receiving narcotics that that might be have them under the influence. Okay, can see that PMP that they all they can see is that they have a medical marijuana card. Yes, they do have a legal medical marijuana card. They can’t see what they’ve gotten, but they can see that they have one. Um, as long as they’re not consuming they’re supposed to be left alone. Now the two funny things there is the majority of parole officers are Now recommending that the parolees get a card just as a CCIE. Wow. Because they’re like, Listen, yeah, violate you for doing something you’re going to do when you can just go do this. And I mean, for anybody who’s been in prison, there’s a PTSD diagnosis just like that, you know. So they’re like, go get your card, and I don’t have to violate you. I don’t want to send you back there for something. So you’re seeing a lot of a lot of the people that would be worried about being in the system are becoming much less concerned with being in the system because actually being in the system is benefiting them and causing them less headaches. Now it’s a show that sore

John Malanca 57:38
out Oh, sorry, I was asked earlier. And I said, I’m not going to ask and then we got into this and you’re talking about this. I was asked you can felons obtain a card?

Unknown Speaker 57:50
And it sounds like any card they just can’t work in the industry. Okay. Messed up is that is Yeah, yeah. Yeah, they can. That’s that’s not a problem. They’re just not allowed to work for Any cannabis company in the in Connecticut, which is nuts? But no,

John Malanca 58:04
I feel bad because I want to I wonder, have you talked about your business? Let’s talk about your business. Mm, mm console, Connecticut. And so can you share what your what you do on a daily basis?

Unknown Speaker 58:16
Actually, that leads in perfect because that’s exactly why I started my business was because I had, you know, beyond the amount of questions I get from people just about CBD in general and everything too. I get so many people that would say, you know, my mom wants to do this, but she just she needs to talk to somebody before she’s gonna spend 300 bucks to do it. She doesn’t know if it’s right for her this or that. So many professional colleagues that were coming to me with questions, concerns, issues, that you know, pharmacists that are seeing these prescriptions on their PMP and everything else, or sorry, certifications, medications on their PMP so I was getting so many questions and I my particular situation, I was Becoming a little disenfranchised with will say, so I decided I’m like, you know what, I am going to keep my pharmacist degree and what I’ve been doing in tact and go and counsel patients consult for, you know, doctors offices, you know, psychiatric offices, anybody who wants in services or has questions, concerns companies, how to deal with, you know, employees that are using their medication, and, you know, they still have to be within OSHA guidelines and everything else and how to deal with that. So that was where my company came from, was just the ability to get out there and talk to patients, you know, I was going out doing, you know, festivals and stuff like that to just setting up tables and saying, you know, we can talk about this no problem. And so many patients were like, Oh my god, I just, I don’t want to go to a dispensary. I don’t want to do this, but I want to know about that. And tell me about CBD and tell me about this. And so it really was just coming Have a natural progression for me I’m in the process I was asked to consult for the dispensary and then was just brought on there and you know just kind of fit so I’m able to see patients and help them there and and continually do what I do and still keep my business running to do that on the side as well.

John Malanca 1:00:20
Sure Are you part owner and dispensary Are you employed by the dispensary? How does that work?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:24
I’m just employed by the dispensary. That was kind of

John Malanca 1:00:28
thought about like I kind of wanted that in the beginning but then I also decided that I didn’t want to be locked into any one particular situation they can they can they can you work for a handful of dispensaries in your area as you being the pharmacy on staff. Like a lot of fun. Do a lot of pharmacists go from pharmacy to pharmacy? Is that still the same type of model that in this industry for you?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:51
Not exactly. The state has each. Each individual is registered to a specific dispensary. It’s not the same Is Walgreens where, you know, there’s 120 in the state and I think I worked at 80 of them throughout the time I was there. They, they just because of COVID actually started allowing us to be able to cover shifts for other dispensaries. If, you know if my owner calls your owner and they say, yeah, that’s cool, no problem. Because there’s a lot of individual ownership, they’re worried about proprietary information patient count, right, and you know, all of that kind of stuff. So it’s really kind of like your brother or sister dispensary is that you might be working with something like that if they really need a, you know, help covering that we can do that. We do. We have an academy of dispensary’s, that is through the Connecticut Pharmacists Association that was set up that we meet once a month and we talk about a lot of like, you know, our pediatric patients who’s got who and how they’re dosing stuff and whatnot as well. So we really try to bounce a lot of those type of ideas off of each other, you know, where this isn’t available. What have you guys been doing for that? Or you know, oh, hey, by the The way I checked this out in this work, you know, kind of like we’re talking about with the new cannabinoids and everything to, you know, really being able to bounce those ideas around. But I would say the biggest thing my company has done for me is it gave me the time. And the the desire to dive in so much deeper, kind of like what we were saying at a patient’s at a time. You go there and you’re like, Oh, my God, where is all of this information all year round, I need more time to absorb it all and learn it all. Having my own business and running my own business. I was able to take the time to do that, at the dispensary working a job. I don’t have all day to just dive into all the information, all the latest research and everything else that’s going on, which is why those conferences can be so amazing and valuable. But that was probably the biggest benefit is I gained so much knowledge and information. And the biggest thing was that I know nothing because every time I think I know something that’s industry changes on me, I learned go in another direction

John Malanca 1:03:00
I learn everyday we just done this this this podcast I’ve learned so much to you mentioned COVID you know, in our you are your dispensaries open I you know, how are you? how strict are you? I’m bringing patients in. I mean, how does that work right now?

Unknown Speaker 1:03:17
So we were still open, we were essential. Thank God, that was awesome. That was one of the first things that happened. We were deemed essential, which is, I think one of the biggest things for the industry in general is how many of us were deemed essential there and really that mindset changing about medical. We were allowed to do curbside pickup. We’re a brand new dispensary. We’ve just hit our one year anniversary. So we weren’t so busy that we had 45 patients clamoring out the door every day to get in. So we were able to maintain social distancing. We put up you know, a bunch of plexiglass, we were cleaning five, six times a day before after everything. We were allowing patients that did have significant chronic issues. That were you know, they were immunosuppressed for some reason to make an appointment early in the morning or before we or after we close at night so they’re not around any other patients or anything either you know we’ve had the majority of our patients are all doing pre orders or calling orders in so minimal contact in the store and everything to candidate doesn’t allow deliveries or anything like that. That’s definitely something we’ve been lobbying for. But you know, the curbside really gave us a lot more freedom there to be able to help the patient it’s outside and whatnot. Connecticut was scary in the beginning, you know, I mean, we were all freaked out with you know, everything from New York just it’s just a matter of time before it bleeds into Connecticut because of the amount of commuter people that work buddies mannequin they like sitting

John Malanca 1:04:47
said they commute back and forth, back and forth to the city, you know,

Unknown Speaker 1:04:50
absolutely. So you know, I mean, it hit us pretty quickly too. Fortunately, it wasn’t such a public issue. It was more like nursing homes and stuff. That got hit hard in Connecticut. So, you know, it wasn’t as significant as it was for necessarily New York City or some of the towns closer to the city. So we, I mean, and I’ll tell you our business has done nothing but pick up you know, not quite exponentially but significantly so with the stress the people are home have the medicate more the you know, they’re they lost their job. There’s so many things going on that people are medicating more because of, you know, and just trying to deal with all of it.

John Malanca 1:05:35
It’s a new definitely a new way of life. You know, I don’t have to have kids. I think you earlier said you you do you have kids, right? Yep. Yeah, daughter, or so. How old is she? She’s 11 Sure. Are you confident like I tie this conversation my friends All the time. I said, I don’t know if I had kids. If I had sent him back to school or it’s split down the middle. The other ones are like we want Come out of here after after homeschooling for so long. Sure. Are you confident?

Unknown Speaker 1:06:06
I am. So my wife is a teacher. She’s an elementary school. Wow. So I mean, we got it both ends there. I don’t know, I don’t know what to say. I don’t I really would want to see the plan, I guess as to what they’re doing and how they’re planning on doing it. Um, I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t I feel like it was a disaster last year for these kids and for the teachers because nobody was. It wasn’t possible for anybody to prepare, in the slightest bit of appropriate way for any of it. So everybody was just struggling teachers, kids, everything, you know, parents trying to keep their kid like, you know, if you’re an essential worker, where are my kids gonna go every day, you know, and if I’m an essential worker, it means I’m exposed. I was an essential worker. So I am you know, I mean, I basically quarantined in my basement every day for You know, three, four months before things started to calm down around here. And you know, so I mean that for me personally was a little difficult. But the kids going back to school, I think they need some social interaction. I think that helps a lot. And and I think I’m the person to make that determination. I think she wants to go back to school, but like, because my wife’s a teacher, and because we’re fortunate enough to have only one kid. I know, we can make sure she does what she needs to do to keep up. Yeah, I don’t think most people have that, that luxury. And I completely respect the patients that are saying we want our kids to go back to school because my wife is a teacher will be the first person to tell you that being able to teach a child and look in their eyes and see if they’re understanding or not to see if they have other issues going on or not, is something that you can’t do virtually, you know, if my wife wasn’t even able to do any zoom teaching or anything like that, because they were actually concern that something might happen in the background there might be drug use a gun at the house, I’ll language at the, at the kids or even at our house for instance, right? That you know, I mean you’ve seen the videos of the dad walking in behind the the lady on zoom in his underwear something silly you know. So they just they were concerned that something happens that because teachers are forced to report to the CFO or whoever that now they have to know and that’s not something that is really relevant to what’s going on but because they saw it they have to. So they decided we’re not doing any zoom at all. So these kids had zero face to face with their teachers or their their fellow students or anything. I mean, that’s huge for these kids that are second third grade. It ain’t huge for everybody, you know, and I and I do feel that a lot of people will be going through PTSD on this, you know, oh, yeah. I remember the first time my mom you know, she’s very healthy. Not On would you know but I’m

John Malanca 1:09:01
I was like I know I’m taking you this tour I mean I’ll go to the store I’ll do there so she and I for a walk and you know and and but about a week ago we went to the store she’s Can I go I said let’s go mom yeah she walked around like this I said don’t touch anything but she said this was really weird being on public you know but anyway anyway new late new way of life and Brian I, before we go, do you have any? I want you to how can people find you one and and and I love it that you’re hand holding because that’s one thing that Chris and I pride ourself on still pride ourself on is his hand holding, being that, you know, helping patients avoid the tangled web in this industry. You know, when you’ve been diagnosed with something as severe as cancer, and you only have a short amount of time. You don’t want them to go down the wrong Street, hit a roadblock and turn back and go God I just wasted six Seven Days rather than 14 days that I was given. And so we’re able to sounds like you do the same thing. These are the questions asked these are the questions that they should to avoid this is this type it that safe you know, and so it sounds like you do the same so how can people get a hold of you one and then if you want to, I mean, I was talking about how you get a hold of you name your dispensary and then any closing words for a group for a follow? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:10:24
absolutely. My Websites just mmm konsult ct.com you can email me it’s Brian at SRB period center SS e n t [email protected] is right where you can give me or you can email info at mmm konsult ct COMM And you know any one of those, I’m happy to help anybody with anything they need, whether it’s dosing, strain related, you know, delivery method, food, whatever it happens to be final words just, you know, make sure that You do your own research, don’t just listen to anybody because they think they happen to know something. And and try to make sure that you know, the research, the websites that you’re going are legitimate resources. You know, don’t just google cannabis and think you’re going to get some accurate information. You know, and if you don’t believe you’re getting accurate information, please feel free to reach out. I mean, you know, we have patients contacting us at the dispensary just because they want to know more and everything too. They’re not a patient, but they have questions and, you know, so I’m happy to provide certain websites and stuff but my website has a lot of resources on there, especially for Connecticut patients that I know are valid legitimate websites. I know that the United patients group has awesome resources as well for patients too and I think to make sure that we go to those places that have good resources is as important as anything because you know, you can Google it and any you know, soccer mom that’s out there can write a to blog about cannabis and what it does or hasn’t done, and you know, just because just like in the pharmacy, you know, they come to the counter, and they say, you know, oh, I have a cough, you know, and I have high blood pressure. And, you know, my cousin’s uncle said that I need, you know, this medication and we sit there and we’re like, Well, actually, you have high blood pressure, you know, and you’re a diabetic, we didn’t even mention that you really need to try this cough medication, you watch a walk over to the shelf, and they grab whatever their cousins uncle told them to grab, because they happen to trust them more Well, in this industry, it’s so easy to, you know, say, Oh, I have back pain too. And this worked for me. And well, I mean, I’ve heard you know, 22 year old kids trying to tell a 75 year old grandmother she needs to Deb because that’s going to help her back. You know, so just be careful where you get your information from try to find valuable resources. You know, and I’m always happy to answer any questions so that patients get some some more benefit and not the side effects and everything else that we don’t want.

John Malanca 1:13:04
Thank you. You mean that’s a hope you just had three more topics that we could have continued on right? dabbing more is not better is not a right so it’s all what works for me doesn’t work may not work for you you know and so these are all things that just like you know I always share share this is what I used to share with a pharmacist is your doctor is going to put on the pharmacy take one pill every eight hours not eight pills every one hour and the same thing with cannabis you know it’s more is not better and so you know going on to see you know, soccer mom Susie online saying take a gram a day. I’m not a fan of gram a day, you know, you know, I think less is more. Everyone’s different. And so anyway, Brian, and so mmm consult ct.com I pronounced your name center but you’re saying center.

Unknown Speaker 1:13:56
st I’ve been called so many different things. Yes. Same

John Malanca 1:13:59
my I think malaco and I and people go blank, I’m like no. Malanca So what is it? What is correct meditation center? center? So yep, right. Yeah, center. Yes. So much. I really, really, I actually I really enjoyed this, this podcast. And so, look forward to one day, see you again and giving you a hug or a handshake if that even exists in this life anymore. So but right,

Unknown Speaker 1:14:22
yeah,

John Malanca 1:14:24
be safe again. Thank you. Thanks again for your time. This is John Malanca, with United patients group being formed and be well we’ll see you soon. Bye bye. Thank you.