Utah in the Weeds Episode #45 – Utah's Medical Cannabis Laws are Broken with Bob Waters

What to Expect in this Episode

Utah has come a long way since the ballot initiative to legalize Medical Marijuana was first passed a few years ago. That being said, there is still a long way to go. Episode 45 of Utah in the Weeds discusses where the law is currently broken and how it might be fixed. Tim and Chris’s special guest is a man named Bob Waters.

Waters is a former Navy man and media specialist. He is also a student now as well, going to school to learn horticulture so that he can eventually become a grower. He is very passionate about making Medical Cannabis available to as many Utah patients as possible. [03:04]

Tim, Chris, and Bob had a lengthy discussion about some of the most troubled parts of Utah’s Medical Marijuana law. [20:13] They focused particularly on growing. [21:15] Because of the way the law is written, the number of growers and the amount of product they can produce is limited. Home growing is also prohibited in the state.

Waters believes the time for allowing regulated home growing has arrived. [27:04] It could both lower the cost for patients and remove the need
for some to cross state lines in violation of Utah law. Tim, Chris, and Bob all agreed that something needs to be done on both fronts. Prices need to come down and access has to increase.[45:04]

This podcast is for you if you like to mix discussions of Medical Cannabis with celebrity name dropping. Bob Waters has met some pretty interesting people as an advocate. He mentioned some of them in this podcast. [55:25] Primarily though, the boys talk about how state law affects patients and growers in a way that leaves a lot of room for improvement. The underlying theme is to be patient. Things will get better in time.

Resources in This Episode

Podcast Transcript

Chris Holifield: All right. I think we got the recorder button where the mics are hot. We’ve got the levels good, and let’s welcome everybody out to episode 45 of Utah in the Weeds. My name is Chris Holifield.

Tim Pickett: And I’m Tim Pickett, medical cannabis specialist with utahmarijuana.org. And this week we have an interview we recorded with Bob Waters, a friend of mine that I’ve known for a year, with a deep knowledge of the cannabis space and some good opinions about what is wrong with the law and what needs to change. Yeah, Chris?

Chris Holifield: Oh, he was very opinionated, and I couldn’t believe how vocal he was. I don’t want to give too many spoilers here, but he was basically like, “Hey, I want to grow, and I don’t care what you think about it.”

Tim Pickett: Yeah. And you know what else is really interesting about him is the way he got into cannabis, his knowledge of what works for him as a patient. So he has both this activist side and this patient side, which it’s an interesting conversation. I like Bob a lot and he’s helped me expose our business. He talks to a lot of patients on Instagram. What is he? He’s Bob Waters World 420?

Chris Holifield: Yeah. Yeah, on Instagram. So go give that a follow, and also I want to mention that we talk about a few famous people that he got to partake of cannabis with. I don’t want to give any spoilers.

Tim Pickett: Oh, yeah.

Chris Holifield: So make sure you listen in for that, right? You got to-

Tim Pickett: Right up until the end, Chris.

Chris Holifield: Oh, yeah.

Tim Pickett: Because he’s got that surprise at the end.

Chris Holifield: Oh, yeah.

Tim Pickett: Also, before we get into the interview, we have a Discover Marijuana YouTube channel and we’re going to start posting. We have educational videos there that I do with Blake Smith from Zion Medicinal, and Chris and I are working on doing video for the podcast and going to put some stuff on there hopefully shortly. So I want to give a plug out for that before we get into this interview.

Chris Holifield: Absolutely. And make sure, utahmarijuana.org/podcast is where you can listen to all the podcasts on the website, as well as just subscribe on any podcast player that you listen to podcasts in. Also, go on utahmarijuana.org. I don’t know if you mentioned this, Tim, you’ve got tons of great articles on there as well for people that want to get educated, learning about the laws here in Utah as well as even how to get your card, what to do once you get your card, so on and so forth.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. Excellent.

Chris Holifield: Let’s get into that interview though with Bob Waters. I don’t want to hold people up here too much. Anything else you want to mention about this?

Tim Pickett: No. Thanks, Chris.

Chris Holifield: I’m excited to play it.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, this is a great one.

Chris Holifield: All right, guys. Here we go.


Bob Waters: I told my family that I wanted to go to California. I wanted to get into the cannabis industry, and I wanted to hang out and smoke weed. And wouldn’t that be cool if I could hang out with Dr. Dre?

Chris Holifield: Now, how long ago was this?

Bob Waters: It was 2018.

Chris Holifield: Okay, so just a couple years ago.

Bob Waters: It was early 2018, yeah. Yeah, yeah. At that time I was working up at the Standard Examiner, at the newspaper. So I’m working in the newspaper, and I was a little ticked off. I was a little ticked off about how the cannabis industry was going. The VA was telling me cannabis is the way to go for my conditions. Cannabis just starts coming at me, you know what I mean? And I’m talking to my family and I’m seeing 4:20 on the clocks, like the crazy weirdo in the movies. And I’m telling my mom, I’m like, “Hey, hey.”

Bob Waters: So fast forward through all that, I try to manifest this job, and I get a call from the publisher… Not Ogden Publishing, rather, it was in Ventura. He gives me a call and he was like, “Hey, you want to come down and be associate publisher of Culture Magazine?” I say, “Well, yes.” So I go home, and I tell my family I’m going to go down there and be the associate publisher of Culture Magazine.

Bob Waters: The instance with Tommy (Chong) was a meet and greet that we had set up. It was at a dispensary down in SoCal. It was South Coast Safe Access, one of my favorite dispensaries down there. They love the veterans. Great discounts, great variety. We set up with Tommy. So his publicist come in, and we set him up there. The pictures I got on Instagram show me with him. He’s hanging out with my wife and we’re talking, and he’s pretty laid-back, right? He’s incredibly high, and he’s been high for a while.

Chris Holifield: His whole life, right?

Tim Pickett: Yeah, pretty much for a while.

Bob Waters: So if you can understand, I don’t think he has a tolerance either, but he’s moving forward. So I’m trying to talk to him, and I’m saying, “Hey bro, can I get your autograph?” He’s like, “Sure. Okay.” So I grab a joint, one of his prerolls. I’m going to have him sign the joint. In the pictures he’s arguing with me. He says, “No, man.” What did he say? He said, “No, man. We smoke them. We don’t sign them.” I’m like, “No, bro. You sign this one. This is for my kids. This isn’t for us. We could smoke another one. I’ll go buy another preroll, bro.” So he signs it, so now I have this little preroll signed by Tommy Chong, which I love, right?

Chris Holifield: Nice.

Tim Pickett: Cool.

Bob Waters: I’ve been tempted to smoke it a couple times up here in Utah since I got back.

Chris Holifield: During those hard moments you’re just-

Bob Waters: Yes.

Chris Holifield: Now, you mentioned Ventura. Man, that’s my home town.

Bob Waters: Oh, right.

Chris Holifield: Did you live in Ventura, or this just happened that this thing was in Ventura that you had to go to?

Bob Waters: Right. So they do like the City Weekly’s, the publishing company out of there.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: And I was actually living down in Irvine at the time, working. The publication Culture was located out of Corona.

Chris Holifield: Okay, okay.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, you just mentioned Ventura, my ears perked up. I was like, “Oh my gosh.”

Tim Pickett: That’s cool.

Bob Waters: No, Ventura, beautiful.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: Love the coast. We love going down through Malibu and then looping around the horn there and dropping in, just going through the bays and all that in Ventura. Love it.

Chris Holifield: Now, I imagine your history with cannabis goes back further than 2018, right?

Bob Waters: Yeah. Probably when I was about 11 years old. That’s when I was-

Chris Holifield: So maybe five or six years ago then.

Bob Waters: Yeah, right. Quite a while ago. No, yeah. I was a kid. The first time I was introduced to cannabis we scored a nickel bag from a guy that was local in the area, probably about 11 or 12 years old.

Tim Pickett: Oh wow.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: Did you grow up around it after that? Did you notice it was everywhere in the community you were in or was it just like kind of everywhere else? Where were you? Where did you grow?

Bob Waters: My family had the album Up In Smoke, right? So, it was played on the stereo. You grew up around it. Roaches are in the ashtray.

Tim Pickett: Got it.

Bob Waters: So it was really more like this was normal in my family anyways, cannabis is normal in my family to some extent, and if not directly in the household, in the community. You meet those they meet, you get to see things like that.

Tim Pickett: Because I remember when we were talking one time, and you and I have known each other just barely over a year now, but we were talking about RSO, right?

Bob Waters: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

Tim Pickett: Because I have a patient that needed some RSO and we were talking about it, and you had said when you were growing up the adults around you, when you were introduced to RSO they were like, “Yeah, don’t mess with that shit. That’s medicine.”

Bob Waters: That’s correct. That’s correct. Well, because it’s just so strong, the potency and the concentration too. When I was growing up anything outside of the whole plant, any concentrate was kind of frowned upon, it was something you were taking it to a different level. You didn’t want to be the dude at 2:00 in the morning sitting in your underwear in the bathtub with two hot butter knives and a toilet paper roll in your mouth burning honey oil. You didn’t want to be that guy.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, that’s intense. That’s intense imagery right there.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: You don’t want to be that guy.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: So, concentrates are frowned upon, and RSO is like the granddaddy, the grand poobah of concentrates.

Tim Pickett: Sure. It has a place but really only, in my opinion, it kind of only should have a place in the medicinal type regimen.

Bob Waters: I would agree with you.

Tim Pickett: Right. It’s just I just don’t see that any … I’m of the opinion that any substance that’s that strong, that concentrated is probably not good for human consumption in general, unless there’s a specific reason, RSO would fit that.

Bob Waters: I would agree. I think once it’s manipulated outside of the whole plant, then we’re taking it to a different place.

Tim Pickett: Sure.

Bob Waters: And then where are we going? Obviously I think Bob’s condition let’s say versus Mary’s condition and what she might need and he might need, and the variables thereof, that the whole plant can provide perhaps what that individual needs, because I mean, we have this system to embrace the cannabinoids. So if it’s there and she’s ill, and the plant can fix that at a concentrated level, I think that’s awesome, and that’s a one-off case I think, it should be partnered with obviously their medical provider, and it’s something they work together on. So RSO can do that. RSO can put you high as a kite for a year and a half and cure cancer, it can do that. Somebody that’s dealing with PTSD is not dying from cancer. It’s not that it’s not …

Tim Pickett: Yes.

Bob Waters: It’s not anything other than noncomparable scientifically.

Tim Pickett: Right, right. You talk about RSO and curing cancer, and yeah, there are cases we had talked about this with Blake Smith at Zion Pharmaceutical that there is, it’s like about one in 1,000 cases where RSO will shrink a tumor, at least what we know of.

Chris Holifield: Now, when you say an RSO, Rick Simpson oil.

Tim Pickett: Rick Simpson oil.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, yeah, yeah. For people that aren’t familiar.

Bob Waters: Right, right, yeah.

Tim Pickett: Right. It’s a really, really concentrated cannabinoid product. It’s not available in Utah. (*At the time this podcast was recorded. RSO is now available in Utah.) So what do you use cannabis for now medicinally?

Bob Waters: Well, medicinally I microdose through the day to deal with the pain. We got a storm coming because I couldn’t get out of bed this morning without smoking, and normally that’s not the case. I know a storm is coming, but I’ll microdose through the day because I had spinal fusions and I have a lot of heavy metal in my body. So the chronic pain that goes with that, the sativa hybrid allows me to function throughout the day to a pretty articulate level. I’m able to go to school, and function, and work, and all that good stuff.

Bob Waters: At night I’ll use a heavier indica. I suffer from PTSD, and when I say PTSD I really just mean I suffer from the nightmares of war that haunt me, and in order to put them to bed I smoke indica so I can sleep. I don’t want to dream, and I prefer that way, way, way over what I had chosen previously, which was alcohol.

Chris Holifield: Now are you drinking any alcohol?

Bob Waters: No.

Chris Holifield: You completely got off alcohol? All cannabis.

Bob Waters: Correct.

Chris Holifield: That’s awesome.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, you kind of have a trifecta there with the chronic pain, the PTSD, and the addiction —

Bob Waters: Oh yeah, and I’m a gastric bypass.

Tim Pickett: Oh yeah.

Bob Waters: It was like here, have a beer, we all have a beer, you have one, I have three, you have two, I have six. That was terrible.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: Terrible.

Tim Pickett: For listeners with gastric bypass, and I used to work in bariatric surgery for six years, and the effect of alcohol is absolutely-

Bob Waters: Devastating.

Tim Pickett: Just multiple times.

Chris Holifield: Is it get drunk faster, is that what it was or something?

Tim Pickett: Absolutely. Yeah, you can’t tolerate much alcohol at all. A lot of bariatric surgeons recommend people don’t drink ever.

Bob Waters: Yeah, you should never touch it.

Chris Holifield: So what would happen if you had a beer right now? You would just get so drunk?

Bob Waters: It’d be three beers.

Chris Holifield: Three beers, yeah.

Bob Waters: Three beers.

Chris Holifield: Hey, cheap date.

Bob Waters: Yeah. It’s awesome until you’re in the closet, right? You’re in the closet with your boxed wine because you can’t drink carbonated anymore and you can’t get it in your system fast enough. You’re drinking it as fast as you can but you’re puking it at the same time because you’re just full.

Chris Holifield: And this was you.

Bob Waters: It was like Caligula, only they weren’t tying off the end, you know what I mean?

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: It was just coming out of my mouth. No, that was me.

Chris Holifield: I mean, are your family and friends pretty supportive of you using medical cannabis then? I mean, have they noticed a change within yourself since you’ve used medical cannabis?

Bob Waters: Well, it’s hard to say because I did 20 years in the military.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: And I was on the straight and narrow, right? I didn’t mess with cannabis for 20 years, so the Navy told me not to. I followed orders.

Chris Holifield: Nobody was using cannabis in there?

Bob Waters: It wasn’t worth it. I was told not to, it was pretty simple. I was told not to. The Navy took care of my family and I took care of the country, and I’d just do what I was told. I mean, it was there if you wanted to. I mean, you could just write a letter home and get whatever you want on a ship. I mean, it was there if you wanted it, but …

Chris Holifield: But you weren’t messing around with it.

Bob Waters: I wasn’t messing around with it.

Tim Pickett: It just wasn’t, it just doesn’t … Not a part of your life, right? Like it is now when you got out.

Bob Waters: Right. Also my conditions weren’t as such, that necessarily or the true driving factors for why I participate with it. Because after I got out and retired, by that time I had been through the surgery, I had been into the alcoholism, I had had multiple spine surgeries, I was in a wheelchair, I was taking every opioid you can think of and I was nonproductive, right? So VA comes back and the dude just folds the folder and says, “Have you considered cannabis?” And I’m like, “I’ve considered cannabis, of course, but I don’t want to be a stoner again, dick.” You know what I mean? I was a little pissed off that this is what they decided, that I should just go get high. Oh, but by the way, you live in Utah, so you’re screwed.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. Okay, so now you get into … Is that kind of when you decided to get into the activism? Part of it, or did that take a while?

Bob Waters: Well, I was in California for this introduction, so it was a no-brainer. I went down to Dr. 420, I paid. I was still technically … It’s a back and forth deal between Utah and California for a while, but the deal was while I was in California is when I went to the dispensary, a dispensary for the first time. California I picked up my first clone, right? That was the first experience since I’d retired from the Navy and been done. We moved back to Utah, which has been my home, but doing that I subjected myself of course to the laws of Utah, so I abstained from cannabis again. I wasn’t on the medications that they would rather me be on because I was resistant to those. So it was a volatile time for me and very painful time as well. But I got the job, I was working at the newspaper, and that’s when-

Chris Holifield: In California.

Bob Waters: No.

Chris Holifield: In Utah.

Tim Pickett: That was the Standard Examiner.

Bob Waters: That’s right. Then the VA, I’m back in with the VA and they’re telling me the same thing Cali VA is telling me because I’m telling them, I’m like, “Yo, bro. I was down in Cali and everything is working right.” And he’s like, “Well, this is the way to do it if you want to do it, but you can’t do it here.”

Tim Pickett: Right. We get a lot of referrals from the VA frankly. They have a good system up there and they take care of people.

Bob Waters: They’re great people.

Tim Pickett: And they know cannabis works.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: I mean, they can’t use it at all. Thank god there’s a law that doesn’t take away your veteran’s benefits.

Bob Waters: That’s right.

Tim Pickett: If you’re using within the state law, right?

Bob Waters: Right. Then there’s a law that was just put on the floor recently by a representative I believe of the House from Florida. I posted his name, I can’t pronounce it, but he’s putting in a bill to protect those rights again for anyone that’s prescribed. So abiding by the law, he’s not asking for the Federal Government to do anything other than allow the states to operate their program without fear of federal repercussion.

Tim Pickett: Yep.

Chris Holifield: For VA.

Bob Waters: For the VA.

Tim Pickett: For the VA.

Bob Waters: Right. Because there’s those in fear that want to step forward but they don’t want to lose their VA rights and benefits.

Tim Pickett: Well, there’s still a ton of vets who, they’ll even come in here with their spouse and they don’t touch anything with THC because they don’t know, and even when you explain it they’re like, “Yeah, no. I’m not going to risk it.”

Bob Waters: Yeah, my buddy Israel even advised me, so go back to your question about the community, totally embraced and whatever. No, not necessarily, right? Because I come from two different worlds, three different worlds really now. But those in the straight and narrow that don’t have that as an option for them as a medicine, the rules are set up to restrict that, and they’re used to that. So they just need to be told it’s okay, not be told, “Wink, wink, it’s okay.”

Chris Holifield: As long as they have their medical card in Utah it’s okay though.

Bob Waters: Correct.

Tim Pickett: Correct, yeah. I mean, as long as, and that is-

Chris Holifield: I just want people to know that listening, right? Like hey.

And there is a federal law that protects the veteran benefits from being taken away if you’re abiding by the state rules. Which means if you are smoking week outside of the law, if you don’t have a card, then you don’t have that protection as a veteran.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: So that’s the caveat, right? We’ll protect you, but therefore if you’re now outside of the law, then you might not be protected.

Chris Holifield: So it’s a good idea to get your card.

Bob Waters: So what do you do when the law is broken though?

Tim Pickett: Yeah, so talk to us about your opinion about that, because you wrote a letter to the governor about this.

Bob Waters: I have a very strong opinion about that.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, I mean, we agree on some of these things.

Bob Waters: And not all of them.

Tim Pickett: Even though I’m in business, I have this clinic, and we do, and it’s expensive for patients, and you and I have talked a lot about how to develop a program for low income, and this cooperative. Okay, what’s going on?

Bob Waters: Revenue is fuel.

Tim Pickett: Yes.

Bob Waters: We start there. Revenue is fuel. The industry needs revenue in order to fuel what it needs to do to progress itself. That’s the market, and that’s ever-present, without revenue. Normally it comes from sweat equity, it comes from private investors, it comes from people willing to put in their own money, people willing to run credit cards, all that terrible stuff. That’s normal in any new market, new industry, new market. For Utah this is a new industry, it’s a new market, and so it’s okay. Except that they’re using it improperly, or naming it properly, or theming it properly, or using the catalyst to the industry is based on the needs of patients, but the needs of patients aren’t being met because they’re governed by a law that is broken. Now, that’s my opinion, it’s not a fact.

Chris Holifield: So, explain this a little bit more. So you say you think the Utah medical laws are broken.

Bob Waters: I do.

Chris Holifield: Explain a little bit more. Not that I don’t agree, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bob Waters: So currently my doctor says I need Blue Dream.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: It’s my medicine. He also says that I need [amexopol 00:20:28], I need a stomach medicine.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: I go to Walgreens, I have no doubt that they will have my meds or they will have them within a day or so. I cannot get Blue Dream.

Chris Holifield: Cannabis.

Tim Pickett: Yep.

Bob Waters: Cannabis, yeah. I’m stuck.

Chris Holifield: So in most states is that possible? It’s like let’s say you had a card in, even a brand-new state that just opened up. What’s one of the newest states that just opened up? Say Virginia, right? Virginia is new, right?

Bob Waters: Oklahoma is going crazy.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, Virginia. Oklahoma is going crazy.

Chris Holifield: Would you be able to go there and get Blue Dream? I mean, can you-

Bob Waters: Well not anymore, the law has changed to restrict that.

Chris Holifield: This isn’t just a Utah problem though, right? This is a common thing in most states that open up.

Bob Waters: I can only speak from my own experiences on that.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: I use Blue Dream to set the hard example. What’s hidden behind that is the fact that the monopoly, the Utah governous monopoly over the restriction over the natural development of the cannabis market, it’s noncompetitive. It doesn’t allow for growers to come in, new growers to come in. They’re going to offer different varieties, they’re going to offer lower rates, they’re going to often discounts, they’re going to attract more patients. Now, this is all great for a retail market, but it’s a medical market, and so it has a cap. If we had the data, and I know the boys in Provo have it, but if we had the data that could show us there are X amount of patients within the State of Utah that suffer from each of these different qualifying conditions and they earn X amount of dollars per year. X amount of dollars per year and then just do the math, it stops there.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, you’re saying that basically if you were to take the actual medical data and say, “Here’s how many people in Utah suffer from chronic pain.”

Bob Waters: Right.

Tim Pickett: Because we know, we have all this electronic health data. Take all that information, then we can get an average income for all those people. Then we essentially know the potential market for cannabis for pain, for that condition.

Bob Waters: Unless I was trying to disprove that there’s a need for it, then I can use the data to skew it to say that this is a limited actual demand.

Tim Pickett: Interesting.

Bob Waters: Bob’s registered, he’s a member of the state, he uses an ounce a week, but it’s weird that he doesn’t buy an ounce a week. That’s weird.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. See, now you’re talking about … I think it’s probably a little confusing to listen to all this.

Bob Waters: Yeah, I know, because I go all over the place.

Tim Pickett: Because we’re here in person, so it makes a little bit more sense.

Bob Waters: I’m eager to talk about something, so I’ll jump on one and then I get a little confused.

Chris Holifield: Dude, that’s the joy of a podcast, man.

Tim Pickett: That’s right.

Chris Holifield: It’s all over the place.

Tim Pickett: That’s right.

Chris Holifield: I mean, the thing is we get so many different types of people that listen to this podcast, Bob. I mean, you’re one of the people. I mean, Tim, I mean all of us.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, all of us.

Chris Holifield: We got people that are listening that are new to cannabis, we got old timers, we got old school.

Tim Pickett: Sure.

Chris Holifield: So a lot of the people, that’s even why I wanted to clarify RSO and I want to clarify these things because a lot of people they don’t realize that hey, there are some people, like yourself, you said, “Hey, an ounce a week.” I mean, some people are like, “Holy schnikes, that’s a lot of weed.”

Tim Pickett: Right. Yeah.

Chris Holifield: But to some people that’s not, and the thing is people up on Capitol Hill, they might not realize hey, a lot of people might need an ounce a week, and if you were to go to the Utah dispensaries you’re going to be dropping 400 plus on an ounce if you were to buy.

Tim Pickett: We talked before we started recording, you’re a $24,000 a year habit.

Chris Holifield: Exactly, yeah.

Tim Pickett: Not a habit, but a medical need, right? It’s funny how we say these things like we’re-

Bob Waters: The state makes me feel like it’s a habit.

Tim Pickett: Right, that’s right.

Chris Holifield: But my question is, I’ve heard prices are pretty similar though to other states, and that’s where I’m like, I hear-

Bob Waters: Well, here in the city no.

Chris Holifield: … that the price is expensive, but when I hear that say Chicago or Pennsylvania is even more, for their medical they’re looking at like closer to 80, 85 for an eighth.

Bob Waters: Right.

Tim Pickett: Right, and then there’s this argument that we’ve heard from Bijan in Beehive that is, and we’ve heard it from Jeremy Sumerix at Deseret too. If you switch this market to retail and you start charging 20% tax on it, the $60 eighth here goes up to 80 bucks.

Chris Holifield: Right.

Tim Pickett: So we’re not getting the whole picture, but back to your Blue Dream point, growing keeps coming back as this thing that is missing from, and really it’s people like yourself maybe who are in this what I would consider legacy users or legacy growers. People who have experience with the product, they know what they want. They could probably grow a plant or two during the year, and whether or not that’s going to be your whole … It might not be your whole medical intake, but it would supplement. Think about if you could grow two plants a year and get four or five ounces, that’s a lot of money.

Bob Waters: Well, the offset too it’s you have the ability to supply almost your entire demand if the law is written correctly and allows you to have a continual growth cycle. As long as you have adults, adolescents and babies continuously, then you’re harvesting continuously.

Tim Pickett: Right, from a plant perspective, not a human perspective.

Bob Waters: From a plant.

Tim Pickett: Yes, yes, you’re right. As long as you have the ability to cycle through the plants and you knew what you were doing so you can pull the clones off and things like that. Do you think that there’s a time now? So I like the market now. I think there are some problems with it, of course, like everybody. But I’m in it enough to know, or my opinion is we should all just be patient with the way things are and let things settle a little bit more, but that being said, we run into patients who cannot afford, well they can’t afford the clinic fees, well they want to or they don’t want to go to their primary care provider. One, their primary care provider might not offer the service, two, they don’t know anything about cannabis and how to help somebody. So do you think that it’s reasonable not to allow growing for now?

Bob Waters: The law is so anti-Utah, it sickens me.

Chris Holifield: The law in Utah. So, let’s talk about this then.

Bob Waters: Yeah. I mean, let’s think about it. We as Utahns are a state of self-providers. We are taught daily that we should be able to take care of our own. If there is a way for us to have a garden, if there is a way for us to have a food stock pile, if there is a way for us to have a little bit extra so that we can give a little bit extra. If there’s a way to that, that’s the Utah way.

Chris Holifield: The industrious state.

Bob Waters: Right.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. This provide for your neighbor, the community garden. I remember when I first got married we had a ward garden.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: You know what though? They had to deliver the tomatoes to people before they went bad because there wasn’t enough people to go get their own damn tomatoes. It was terrible.

Chris Holifield: There was an excess.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, right. But this Utah way, you are absolutely.

Bob Waters: The Utah law is written, it restricts that. The Utah law is written, it says you cannot do that. You cannot do that. You will do it our way, this way, inefficiently, you will comply. It’s not a Utah thing.

Chris Holifield: But when you say not comply, that means growing, right?

Bob Waters: Correct.

Chris Holifield: Growing as far. Is that really the only part you have an issue? I mean, there are probably other things that you have issues with Utah laws.

Bob Waters: Well, there’s a lot of legalities.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bob Waters: So the first thing they changed recently in January when they restricted us from going to Colorado or outside the state, right? Previously to that the law was written that it forced us to violate federal interstate trafficking laws if we wanted to get the volume that we needed at the price we could afford in the strains that we needed. You’d have to cross the state lines, then risk federal prosecution.

Bob Waters: In January, that … What would we call that, Tim? That luxury went away.

Tim Pickett: Right. Well, the luxury to break federal law, right?

Bob Waters: Went away.

Tim Pickett: And you have this … Man, this is so complicated because there’s all kinds of things that go along with this, including they postpone reciprocity, so people from out of state can’t come, use cannabis yet until they developed that rule. If Rich Oborn is listening, Rich, I get it, you’re busy. That law took a little bit of time. We’ve waited 20 years, we can wait a few more months. But the issue with the buying cannabis in outside markets and then bringing it back or even having it here with COVID. Two things I’d say to that.

Bob Waters: Correct.

Tim Pickett: With COVID the amount of growing that these growers have done is much less than they could’ve done before. There’s less dispensaries or pharmacies open than would’ve been open. Had COVID not been the case we would’ve probably had St. George open by now, because the market would’ve been more developed a little bit. So there’s less product in the state than there would have been if there hadn’t been a pandemic, which makes your point more valid, in my opinion, right? Being able to bring it in would been a better thing, a benefit.

Bob Waters: But what triggered me having to break those laws, what triggered me to have to go to Colorado? What triggered me to have to go to Nevada? Ding dong, I’m trying to comply. You have flower? We have indica.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, for five hours.

Bob Waters: Well, I need sativa during the day, I need it every day.

Tim Pickett: Now, should I just say, “Bob, you’ve been waiting years. I mean, you’re just going to have to wait a little bit longer.”

Bob Waters: What do you mean waiting years? I wasn’t waiting. I was waiting for Utah to catch up with me.

Tim Pickett: See.

Bob Waters: Now I’m compliant.

Tim Pickett: That’s right. Right, you want to be-

Bob Waters: Compliant.

Tim Pickett: … compliant.

Bob Waters: So I subject to your law, I’m compliant, I go to your store. Ding dong, you don’t have anything for me. Sorry, why don’t you have an opioid?

Tim Pickett: So, the other point-

Bob Waters: What do I do? What do I do?

Tim Pickett: I know, this is true. And the other thing I was going to say about the bringing it in from outside is that when you do that, they have written the statute really protective of the Utah industry, right? Even if federal law changes our statute here says you cannot have cannabis purchased outside of Utah. So it doesn’t matter really if federal law changes, it’s more restrictive here and that will likely hold. I’d be a good question for JD.

Chris Holifield: Isn’t that the same in every state though?

Tim Pickett: I would imagine, right.

Chris Holifield: Technically you shouldn’t be crossing the state line with it.

Tim Pickett: No, but if they decriminalize it and they allow transfer of this product between states, that won’t matter in Utah because the law is written.

Chris Holifield: Wow, I didn’t realize that.

Tim Pickett: That you have to purchase it here.

Bob Waters: Oh, that’s a big deal.

Tim Pickett: But that was a smart lobbying, in my opinion.

Chris Holifield: So they knew what they were doing.

Tim Pickett: I mean, if you were somebody who is investing millions of dollars you would’ve wanted a protection like that in case the feds decriminalize it. So I can see both sides, right?

Bob Waters: Well, if I had a couple of fiduciaries with me I’d tell you we could figure out based on patients what the market cap would be, based on Social Security and disability.

Chris Holifield: We were talking to somebody, I don’t know if this podcast has been aired yet, about how originally they were only planning like 6,000 patients. Now we have like-

Tim Pickett: Oh, with Katie Barber.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, 20,000 patients.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, with the state. Yeah, 6,000.

Chris Holifield: It’s like let’s catch up.

Tim Pickett: In fact, we had talked to Zion about this too.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: That they had really … There were some projections of 16,000, but when the growers come and talk to us on this podcast, they were told six, 7,000 patients the first year. That’s how much product you have to grow for.

Bob Waters: And that’s what they’re growing for.

Tim Pickett: And really they’re probably … Yeah, I mean, maybe six or 7,000 card holders could, there’s enough product out there for them. I don’t know, maybe.

Bob Waters: Well, that is a little skewed because there’s a secondary market for that product. So, there’s a lot of repeat patient user buyers that aren’t the users themselves.

Tim Pickett: I suspect that that secondary market is bigger than people are willing to talk about. So the state max you can buy in Utah is four ounces of flower a month. That’s only if you’re a provider like me, if I say, “Bob, you’re my patient, and you can access the state maximum, so four ounces.” And I don’t do that very often because people don’t use that much very often. The average user is not using four ounces a month.

Bob Waters: A think a lot more would like to, it’s just expensive.

Tim Pickett: Maybe. Well, there’s all kinds of reasons. But people are increasing their purchasing so they can give it away.

Bob Waters: I wish I used less.

Tim Pickett: Right.

Bob Waters: I wish I used less.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. Okay, so you bring up a really good point again there. The people who are actually using that much want to use less. The people who are using an ounce a month, they’re buying three. I mean, they’re probably not making a profit, and if they are making a profit, boy, it’s not very much. But they’re giving it or selling it away to their friends and family.

Bob Waters: Well, the secondary market here in Utah is screwed up right now because CBD flower’s been introduced into it.

Chris Holifield: Oh, in the black market they’re selling CBD flower as regular flower.

Bob Waters: Correct, right.

Chris Holifield: And people are getting ripped off, huh?

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: Ooh, really.

Bob Waters: Yeah. So what happened is now you go outside the state on the border stores, you can’t get anything but nugs the size of eraser heads, tight like rocks. So the growers shrunk, they shrunk the buds into tight little rocks, you can’t make a hemp flower like that. Hemp flower is too big, big fat indica buds, right? Those big monster ones they show you on Instagram.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, the Matterhorns. I mean, they’re huge.

Bob Waters: Yeah, big things right there. So we know those are no good now. So, they put a big den in indica but sativa was safe. So even the indica now you’re getting it small, and they’re forcing smaller buds because smaller buds mean safer transactions.

Tim Pickett: Interesting. I don’t follow the secondary market much.

Bob Waters: Well, it’s hard to spend $24,000 in the store on weed. My wife would frown upon that.

Tim Pickett: Yeah. When you’ve become a student again as well, right?

Bob Waters: Correct, correct.

Chris Holifield: You’re taking some classes?

Bob Waters: I am. I’m a registered student in Utah State University’s horticulture program.

Chris Holifield: There you go. You’re going to learn how to do some growing?

Bob Waters: I am, I am. I’d love to own a nursery someday.

Tim Pickett: Okay. Was it really the pandemic that kind of … Did it force you back into this or did it-

Bob Waters: It did. It did. My last opportunity got heavily affected by COVID. I’m not a victim kind of guy, so even though it sucks and it’s whatever, it’s how do we be productive. Interactions are limited right now and restricted. I felt comfortable using it as an opportunity to take a step back and go to school, study up and learn a new trade.

Tim Pickett: Cool. Are you able to use veteran benefits to help?

Bob Waters: I am, I am. It’s voc rehab.

Tim Pickett: That’s super cool.

Bob Waters: Yeah. It’s beautiful. I love the VA.

Chris Holifield: That’s awesome, man.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

Bob Waters: I love the VA. I love the State of Utah.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: So I will risk my livelihood, I’ll risk anything to be here.

Chris Holifield: Well, that’s what I was wondering. Why not move to Colorado or Oregon or something? It seems like it would be a lot easier.

Tim Pickett: We have people like this all the time, right Chris?

Chris Holifield: I hate saying that, like, “Get out of Utah.” But it’s like-

Tim Pickett: I know, but this …

Bob Waters: Well, here’s the problem. Utah is a great place.

Chris Holifield: Well, it is.

Tim Pickett: It is.

Chris Holifield: That’s what I was excited about.

Tim Pickett: I mean, I think the question … Chris is asking the question. I would ask the question in this way, like what about Utah makes you stay here? Because everybody stays. There’s just so many people who want to be here.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: For whatever reason agree or disagree with parts of this cannabis law, or frankly other things.

Bob Waters: Yeah. I think-

Tim Pickett: I mean, the cannabis is not the only thing that forces people to —

Bob Waters: Yeah. I sent a very candid letter to the governor, Governor Herbert. I sent a very candid letter to the governor, outlying a point paper of things that bother me. I brought up a lot of the things we’ve talked about today. I would say that his response was very eloquent.

Chris Holifield: Oh, so he responded.

Bob Waters: Not him, his office.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: Let me say it’s his office, but from his constituents’ office. The response back I got officially was that they recognize that the problem exists with the laws, the program, and that we’re working on it. Basically it was saying be patient.

Tim Pickett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Holifield: What would help more growers? Do you think that would help the law, or home grow?

Bob Waters: Well, I think unfortunately you either have to decide that you want a retail market or not.

Chris Holifield: Or not, yeah.

Bob Waters: If you got BOGOs, if you got specials, if you got red lights, if you’ve got vans out front with the flappy little things, if you’ve got that, that’s a retail market in essence.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: That’s not a medical market, and a true medical market can’t support itself.

Chris Holifield: Those are the examples I guess I needed to hear because I didn’t realize that. That makes sense to me because I’ve heard this time and time again. I’m like, well, what is it about it that people aren’t considering a medical market? And I see that.

Bob Waters: Yeah, and it’s non-supportive. The State of California tried that with the Compassionate Care Act. They tried that, they used that as a springboard, they had patients. That’s a standard rule. Okay, we run a cannabis program, what do we do? Okay, let’s show six trembling kids and babies, the voters will say yes.

Tim Pickett: Yep.

Bob Waters: And then that happens. Well, in California they used AIDS patients, HIV, cancer, babies. Congratulations, you got a Compassionate Care program, Compassionate Care Act, that rolls out, that transferred into a retail market and the patients were left behind. Now, the medical program in the State of California doesn’t exist.

Chris Holifield: There’s none.

Bob Waters: It doesn’t matter anymore.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: The retail market is so beat down by the black market and the prices are very affordable, and it’s reasonable. You can go in on any given day and find somewhere where you can get an eight, $10 gram.

Chris Holifield: That’d be nice.

Tim Pickett: Right.

Chris Holifield: Wow.

Tim Pickett: So here-

Bob Waters: There’s top-shelf, bottom-shelf, mid-shelf, but that’s just the walk-in price. 10 bucks, 12 bucks, no problem.

Tim Pickett: And here we’ve essentially what you’re saying is mixed the retail market and the medical market because we have those specials.

Bob Waters: Yes. Well, let’s just say that on a standard price, standard price on a gram is about 15.71. $15.71, that’s about standard price. The problem is with cannabis anyone that’s been using it for a while, you get deals on volume. If I buy a pound, I’m not going to pay the same per gram price. If I buy an ounce, if I buy a quarter ounce, if I buy an eighth, if I buy a gram. Kind of like, I don’t know, but that’s just the way the industry’s been ran.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: And that’s the way. So the people we bring in, we import people from other markets, we bring in habits, we bring in styles, we bring in people that are operating multistate operations. Multistate operation trade, do you think they’re going to write a SOP on everything for Utah and then an SOP for every different state? So they got standards and things happen, right?

Tim Pickett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bob Waters: But going back to that. Where were we at? The pricing.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: Pricing variances, they’re just high. Now, if I’m a true patient. Well, let’s just say your standard patient in the State of Utah that’s on disability, what do they make in a month?

Tim Pickett: Well, it’s like $800.

Bob Waters: Let’s go big, let’s say 1,200.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: 1,200 bucks a month, that barely pays their rent. Barely pays the rent. They’re already out.

Tim Pickett: That’s right, they’re already out. This is the conversation that you and I have had many times, is how can we get the cannabis into their hands to reduce the prescription medications that they have to take?

Bob Waters: Correct.

Tim Pickett: This is not about getting cannabis into their hands illegally so they can use it on top of their medications, this is changing their life for the better.

Bob Waters: This is people breaking the law.

Chris Holifield: That don’t want to. They don’t want to break the law, they just want their medicine.

Bob Waters: They want to be compliant.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: They can’t afford it because Utah is making enough money. What are they making? $3 on a transaction?

Tim Pickett: Yeah, three bucks on a transaction, but most of the fees that the state makes are-

Bob Waters: Are back end.

Tim Pickett: … all on the back end not of the front end.

Bob Waters: Right.

Tim Pickett: It’s the licensing fees, and the testing fees, the Department of Ag, those testing fees I think are high. I don’t know what they are. They’re getting their fees somewhere.

Bob Waters: It costs about $5 to put a seed in the ground, right? If you buy it in bulk, let’s just say five, 10 bucks to put a seed in the ground. If we were to try and do cost analysis on where is the restrictive on this whole pipeline, where would the restrictive chokehold be, it’s going to be between the growers and the state.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: That’s where the money is at. Okay, that’s fine, but then they also limit the amount of growers, so they’re limiting their revenue. It’s just …

Chris Holifield: They’ll figure it out though.

Bob Waters: It baffles my mind.

Chris Holifield: They’ll figure it out, I think. I mean, I want to hope they do.

Tim Pickett: So you and I talked about-

Bob Waters: More square feet. The growers need more, the solution is more square footage.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, and isn’t that on the hill right now, 100,000?

Bob Waters: More square footage.

Tim Pickett: More square footage is on the bill right now, and I think there’s some pretty hard push to get them more canopy.

Bob Waters: Well, if the deal is if they restrict, if they don’t let them export and they gave them all the square footage they need, we’d have enough cannabis.

Tim Pickett: Oh yeah, they’ll grow enough, I mean.

Bob Waters: Yeah, they’ll grow.

Tim Pickett: Come on, right? Tryke, Zion, Wholesome, Dragonfly.

Chris Holifield: They’ll grow.

Tim Pickett: They’ll grow as much as we need.

Bob Waters: As much as they can sell.

Tim Pickett: They’ll grow as much as they can sell, that’s true.

Bob Waters: So are they willing to drop the price to sell more? Man, that sounds like a retail market.

Tim Pickett: It is so true.

Chris Holifield: Have you noticed prices are actually going up since they’ve opened? Because when they started, when Dragonfly started they were selling an eighth for about 50, 55, and now it’s tough to find anything for under 60.

Bob Waters: Oh really?

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, it’s interesting.

Chris Holifield: And it’s interesting that-

Bob Waters: I knew they had options before.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: And then I came in one time, and you could get … And I love them.

Chris Holifield: Sure.

Bob Waters: I hate on them a little bit only because they represent something that I have angst with, but them themselves I love them. They’re great people, they’re trying their best with what they got.

Tim Pickett: They are. To Dragonfly’s credit, I met with them, their owners last week, and they really are devoted to quality.

Bob Waters: I believe that 100%.

Tim Pickett: Which is just, I mean, that’s a good thing. They really are devoted to quality.

Bob Waters: Their distillate is top-shelf.

Tim Pickett: It is. They don’t use anything to cut it down with, it’s a big deal to them.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: So, how do we get these people … What’s the idea of getting these lower income people into the system if we can’t change the law? We’ve got to have some way for the dispensaries, and these pharmacies, and these growers to offer … I mean, what have they got? They’ve got to offer something, I’ve got to offer something in the clinics. We all essentially have to team up to have a sliding, essentially like a sliding scale program, like a membership program if you’re on disability.

Bob Waters: Yeah. I’ve tried that. I’ve tried something like that, I wired it up. I had a few people that were interested. Basically what it was is that if you were a member, member of our union.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, the union.

Bob Waters: If you could afford like a monthly fee of say 50 bucks, or maybe we make it income based, right? If you remember that, what we did is we had a partner dispensary and a partner medical provider so that we could bypass some of these fees that are cost restrictive to access to care. Not a lot of interest.

Tim Pickett: The two things I think about are everybody’s … There’s a lot of people busy, right? The growers are busy expanding, the pharmacies are busy expanding, just trying to keep their head above water, not above water as far as the financials, but above water as far as the build out, and I’ve got to open, and I got to see all these patients.

Bob Waters: Yeah. It felt like I had a grower that was like 100% down, right? Or we’d have people that were into it, and it’s cool, but overall. Then we’re talking to actual patients. I went out and talked to people that are breaking laws right now. They go out and score their $20 in Liberty Park every day, right? I ask them, “Why do you do that?” He’s like, “I ain’t got 250 bucks.”

Tim Pickett: Right.

Bob Waters: And he goes, “But why would I do that? I’m getting this for 20 bucks. How much are you getting what you’re getting for? I don’t have that money, I can’t afford it.” It isn’t about want to be compliant, they’re cost out. They’re just cost out, so he’s doing his transaction. Sometimes just be able to say, “Come on, just sign up 50 bucks a month. You’re paying $20 a day.” What a deal.

Tim Pickett: Right, right, what a deal.

Bob Waters: What a deal.

Tim Pickett: You can get an indica, you can get a sativa.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: You don’t get a ton of choice out on the black market.

Bob Waters: You don’t get arrested.

Tim Pickett: You’re not going to get a ton of choice in the dispensary because they’re going to give you whatever they have.

Bob Waters: Bottom-shelf.

Tim Pickett: Bottom-shelf, but that’s what you’re getting out on the street probably.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: At least half the time.

Bob Waters: Yeah. At least it’s clean. At least it’s clean and legal, right?

Tim Pickett: Yep.

Bob Waters: Clean and legal. If it was affordable. And I ask them, I say, “If it was the same price, you can go to the store, talk to the nice person behind the counter every day and spend your $20, or you could go spend it in the park in this illegal transaction. Which would you rather do?”

Tim Pickett: Sure.

Bob Waters: They go to the park.

Chris Holifield: Why do you think the State of Utah is afraid of home grow? Why do you think they don’t want people growing here?

Tim Pickett: I mean, from a business standpoint I know why the growers don’t want people to home grow.

Bob Waters: Oh, I think they do.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, but I mean, really people aren’t going to … I mean, that would be like the grocery store afraid that we have a garden, you know what I mean?

Tim Pickett: That’s exactly what I was thinking right now. The farmer’s market is booming, and I can grow tomatoes in my garden for free.

Chris Holifield: But you still go.

Tim Pickett: But I still go down to the farmer’s market and buy expensive tomatoes frankly. Yeah, that’s a good …

Chris Holifield: I don’t know, I’m just curious what-

Tim Pickett: You make a really great point. And I would love to play with it, right? I don’t want to grow production.

Chris Holifield: No.

Tim Pickett: But I’m fascinated with growing a home garden, and I would be fascinated with growing a Blue Dream or growing a Pineapple Express, or growing something from a seed that I thought man, you know what? I did this on my own. I understand the process better and then I think I’d appreciate the medicine more.

Chris Holifield: Well, just some way to bring the price down, like you were saying, Bob. I mean, they could even sell us the plant. I better not give them any ideas, right? The State of Utah any ideas, but it just seems like there would be some way that they could still get some money from us, right?

Bob Waters: Yeah, they could track it, because they’re already tracking it.

Tim Pickett: Only let the growers be the nursery, right?

Chris Holifield: Yeah, something, I don’t know.

Bob Waters: So there’s a couple different ways. Probably the easiest way, and it can subsidize it so you’re buying a clone from the grower that’s tagged, you’re just buying one of their plants and you take it home. It’s tagged, it’s registered. I mean, so there is some restrictions on that, right? Putting your name in there, saying, “Hey, here’s my address. I have a cannabis plant. I don’t live within a 100 feet from a school.” Or whatever legislation.

Tim Pickett: I’m sure they can come up with something.

Bob Waters: Whatever’s in there, or you just go check the plant out. You rent a car the way you rent a plant, it’s the same deal. You just take it home, that’s the easiest way.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: The easiest way, but if you want to be like, “No, I want to order my seeds from Amsterdam and I want to be completely au naturel, and I want to pick everything, everything, everything.” Fine, then go apply for a tag and be willing to subject yourself to inspection.

Chris Holifield: Sure.

Bob Waters: The inspector comes in. How many plants are you supposed to have in this residence? One. Where is it? Right here. Oh.

Tim Pickett: Good.

Bob Waters: Good. Hey, it looks nice. Smells kind of stinky. Okay, your house is kind of stinky.

Tim Pickett: That’s funny.

Bob Waters: I mean, most people don’t want their house to the kind of stinky, I don’t know.

Chris Holifield: Yeah. You make it sound so easy, Bob.

Tim Pickett: I know, and we’ve kind of gone down the rabbit hole here. I like this discussion. It seems so reasonable to come up with solutions to some of these things that the government imposes on us.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Chris Holifield: There is a question I want to ask you, and this could be a big topic, but I think you’re the perfect person to ask this. PTSD, that’s currently what you use cannabis for, correct?

Bob Waters: Correct.

Chris Holifield: How do you feel about them taking that away from you as a qualifying condition?

Tim Pickett: Yeah, there’s some discussion about removing it.

Chris Holifield: I mean, especially we’ve been talking about VA. I mean, I know that’s a big thing used in the VA.

Bob Waters: My job was to end human life, that’s counterintuitive to how I think we’re wired as humans and causes some clinical issues. That’s different from getting hit with a bag of flour and now being afraid to go down aisle five. So, I don’t think lawmakers are well versed in what PTSD really is, and I don’t think they’re qualified to govern it. They should let the governing of medical conditions be left to the medical field, in my opinion.

Chris Holifield: Amen, yeah.

Tim Pickett: There you go.

Chris Holifield: I was just curious because I know we’ve talked about that probably in the last —

Bob Waters: That’s kind of dark, but that’s how I feel about it, right? But if I say I got PTSD. I got PTSD, I’m afraid of batteries. I got hit in the head when I was a kid by seven people that hit me with batteries. That’s a real condition maybe, right?

Tim Pickett: Right, yeah.

Bob Waters: And I can’t disqualify that per se, but I could say this. For me I have reoccurring nightmares. So every night I have these repetitive dreams of doing things that are terrible, in my opinion, and they’re there, and it’s all night, and I don’t sleep, and it’s just repeat over, and over, and over again. So, like I said, cannabis was an alternative to my first choice, which was alcohol. If you drink enough you can pass out and you won’t dream.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, but one of the benefits of cannabis is it works on the memory centers of the brain and it’s ideal for disassociating memories when it’s used appropriately.

Bob Waters: Yeah, it’s great.

Tim Pickett: It’s actually with PTSD there is some interest in studying heavy cannabis use right after an event that is people have a potential to develop a PTSD. So I’d like to see a study that gives heavy cannabis doses, heavy THC doses right after the event, disassociate the memory from the event so that you don’t form those connections.

Bob Waters: Amazing. That’d be like a rate.

Tim Pickett: Right, and then you don’t have to deal.

Bob Waters: Let’s say that was a rate.

Tim Pickett: It’s that type of premise. So then you can dose them with heavy THC, you limit the connections that are formed in that immediate period after, and then you can essentially reduce the PTSD trigger later. It’s a very interesting treatment theory for cannabis use. I mean, it’s not currently —

Bob Waters: That’s why we have to get it into the scientist’s hands.

Tim Pickett: Exactly.

Bob Waters: More smart people, smarter than me. They need smarter than us. Look, we end up making it kind of cool. We need scientists to take this plant to a different place. That’s what I think.

Chris Holifield: You were mentioning Blue Dream as a favorite strain. Is that your all-time favorite strain or what’s your all-time favorite strain?

Bob Waters: I use it as a favorite.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: Through the years though I look more for … And because it’s like what are you really getting, right? Hey I’m selling you some Acapulco Gold. Yeah, sure you are.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, sure.

Bob Waters: I’ve seen that. No, you’re not, whatever.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: But using the Blue Dream analogy or the specific profile, it comes down to that. What am I looking for in terpenes? What qualities in the terpenes? What quality in the plant that’s going to be bringing these certain effect? And as we know, each strain carries these different levels and concentrations of different chemicals, and it comes down to chemicals. Blue Dream, it makes me feel good. It makes me comfortable.

Chris Holifield: Sure.

Bob Waters: And I love it, but I can find some of those similar effects in a different strain.

Chris Holifield: Just a personal favorite.

Bob Waters: Yeah. So that’s how I feel about that.

Chris Holifield: Just curious. It’s something we ask people.

Tim Pickett: It’s a favorite question of ours.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: What’s your favorite strain? Well, this has been a great conversation.

Chris Holifield: Yeah. I mean, we could probably keep going. I don’t know, what other topics should we cover with you, Bob? I don’t know.

Bob Waters: I smoked a joint with Eazy-E’s kid.

Tim Pickett: Eazy-E!

Chris Holifield: Let’s talk about that. I’m a fan of the Eazy-E guy.

Bob Waters: You remember because it started with I told you why I got involved in cannabis.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, yeah.

Bob Waters: I got involved in cannabis because I wanted to have an opportunity to smoke a joint with-

Chris Holifield: Tommy Chong.

Bob Waters: Well, not Tommy Chong, it was Dr. Dre.

Chris Holifield: Oh, Dr. Dre.

Tim Pickett: Oh yeah, that’s right. It was Dr. Dre.

Bob Waters: Yeah, I did, because I like gangster rap. I’m a gangster rap fan.

Chris Holifield: I love it.

Bob Waters: Any who. Where else, if you’re a fan of gangster rap, where else or who else would you rather be smoking a blunt with-

Chris Holifield: Than Dr. Dre.

Bob Waters: Or Dr. Dre. Well, Eazy-E.

Chris Holifield: Eazy-E.

Tim Pickett: Eazy-E is pretty good.

Bob Waters: Eazy-E rest in peace, right? Eazy-E’s son.

Chris Holifield: So how did you talk … How did you get connected?

Tim Pickett: That’s kind of cool.

Chris Holifield: How did you find out he was his son? I mean, what-

Tim Pickett: It’s so funny. I could probably recite some of those songs from when I was a kid, Eazy-E.

Bob Waters: It’s beautiful. Well, I had the luxury of being introduced to Lil Eazy-E, and E3, and Big A. I got introduced to them through a company called Nugo. I had the opportunity to work with them for about six months. It’s a tech company, and they’re part of Rich & Ruthless Records. They were doing work together at the time. I put together a magazine for them.

Chris Holifield: Very cool.

Bob Waters: It was all great stuff, they’re a great company. Good people, and it was a wonderful experience. It really was cool.

Tim Pickett: That’s cool.

Bob Waters: That’s the story of my life. I survived a volcanic eruption, I’ve been in a volcanic eruption.

Chris Holifield: Like a real one.

Bob Waters: Like a real one.

Chris Holifield: A real volcano, not the volcano that you smoke out of.

Bob Waters: No, no. No vaporizer. No, we could go for days, but that’s funny.

Tim Pickett: Eazy-E, Chong.

Chris Holifield: Dude, that is so cool. I mean, I would ask you, I mean, do you want to get involved more in the industry at all or are you kind of happy the way it is what you’re doing right now just as a patient or what? Where do you see yourself going with all of this?

Bob Waters: Well, but first and foremost obviously I want to home grow, some type of home grow open up. I’m not beyond it being very restrictive because I think that there’s value, there’s a connection and value with growing your own food. Your own medicine is your own crop, your own, there’s a value to that. I think that’s really tied to a right that I should have. I think that’s being a little too restrictive. It can be ruled, it can be governed. Other states are doing it, it’s not that hard. They’re not going to lose money either. Most people don’t want a stinky plant growing in their house.

Tim Pickett: No.

Bob Waters: And even in the backyard, they can … It’s very aromatic, right? I enjoy it, but not everyone is situated, or if I’m next to a church, you don’t want somebody growing 30 plants on their backyard right next to a schoolyard.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: You don’t want that. So it needs to be controlled because humans need to be controlled unfortunately. That seems to be the case anyways. So just going back to that, that’s something I’d like to see something.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Bob Waters: Home grow, that’s important to me.

Chris Holifield: Any other questions for him, Tim, or should we wrap this episode up?

Tim Pickett: Not right now. We’ll bring you back around.

Chris Holifield: Yeah.

Tim Pickett: When the laws change, Bob.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, I mean, any final words?

Tim Pickett: And when the union gets up and running.

Bob Waters: If anyone … We’ll see. There’s a Cannabis Patient Union, it’s on Instagram. People can find it if they want to follow.

Tim Pickett: Is it Utah Cannabis Patients Union?

Bob Waters: No, just cannabis patient.

Chris Holifield: On Instagram you said?

Tim Pickett: Cannabis Patient Union.

Bob Waters: Just follow me.

Chris Holifield: That’s how people can get ahold of you too if they wanted, right?

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: Yeah.

Chris Holifield: Okay.

Bob Waters: Absolutely. And we’ll see, we’ll see what happens. People have to be willing to register, people have to be willing to partake. It’s going to take some early adapters I think initially, and some people willing to risk taking some chances. I unfortunately think that the lack of interest is going to be from the legislative side.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Bob Waters: They’ll shut us down. We’re creating an insurance company.

Tim Pickett: Essentially yeah, it’s what the union would do with this membership type program and everybody involved.

Bob Waters: Yeah. So that’s why I think it just came down to lack of interest.

Tim Pickett: What’s your handle on Instagram?

Bob Waters: Bob’s 420 world.

Tim Pickett: Bob’s 420 world.

Chris Holifield: Oh, that’s you. I know you. I follow you.

Bob Waters: Yes, that’s me.

Chris Holifield: Bob’s 420, that’s you.

Tim Pickett: Yeah, oh yeah. Absolutely.

Chris Holifield: Okay, okay, okay. Well, it’s good to meet you.

Bob Waters: Hi, a pleasure.

Chris Holifield: It’s so cool. Yeah, so reach out to Bob, get in touch with him.

Bob Waters: Yeah, please do.

Tim Pickett: Yeah.

Chris Holifield: Let him know you heard him on Utah in the Weeds. Let him know you heard this episode.

Bob Waters: Absolutely will, and I’ve been a little lazy to be truthful. We’ve been distracted by afraid of dying from COVID. I got to focus a little more on it.

Chris Holifield: Yeah, yeah.

Bob Waters: And I’ll put a push and let people know about the podcast here. I think this is great, and then we’ll see if we get some people interested we can move forward. I’ve had some interest from the growers. I’ve had-

Tim Pickett: I mean, we’re definitely interested and we have locations, a lot of places, going to St. George, going to … We’ll be in the areas where people need the medical side of it and the recommendations, and the talking to people like what they could try. All of that medical and education side we are 100% onboard for to help with that system, because I agree. I agree that revenue is fuel.

Bob Waters: Oh, let’s get together because I also want to make sure that we’re protecting you and what you’ve built.

Tim Pickett: Right, right.

Bob Waters: You’ve done some great stuff here.

Tim Pickett: Well, like you said in the very, very beginning. I mean, revenue is fuel, and you have to have fuel or else you can’t keep the lights.

Bob Waters: That’s correct.

Tim Pickett: Right?

Bob Waters: That’s absolutely correct.

Tim Pickett: But there is a growing number of people in this state who need help, right?

Bob Waters: Well, let’s do it. Let’s help them.

Chris Holifield: Let’s do it, guys. Really quick. I know we mentioned at the beginning how people get ahold of you Tim, but let’s run down that list real fast.

Tim Pickett: Really just utahmarijuana.org/podcast, that’s where the podcast lives. If you need to get ahold of us, utahmarijuana.org, that’s the best place to get ahold of me.

Chris Holifield: And reach out to either Tim or myself if you’re interested in coming on the podcast, patients, doctors, growers, whatever. If you’re involved at all in the industry, even if you’ve never been on a podcast, right?

Tim Pickett: Oh yeah.

Chris Holifield: Most of the people that come through, I’m sure Bob this is your first time coming on a podcast no, or you’ve been on a podcast?

Bob Waters: No, this is my first time being on a podcast.

Chris Holifield: You are a pro, man.

Bob Waters: Yeah. I was on Money TV once.

Chris Holifield: Okay, okay.

Bob Waters: I had a suit and tie, you never would’ve recognized me.

Tim Pickett: So funny.

Chris Holifield: So reach out, leave a review, and then go listen to my other podcast, I Am Salt Lake, and then everybody will be happy.

Tim Pickett: All right, everybody.

Bob Waters: I Am Salt Lake, I know that. I know that.

Tim Pickett: Thanks Bob.

Bob Waters: All right, you’re welcome.

Tim Pickett: Stay safe out there everybody.

Bob Waters: Thank you.

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By UtahMarijuana.org
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Published February 6, 2021

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