Dr. Brandon Thornton is Co-Owner & CEO of Steep Hill Arkansas a cannabis science company with a focus on analytical testing. He also provides pharmacist consultant solutions to cannabis businesses, including development of formulations, staff training on compounding methods, and creation of educational materials for patients.
He formerly served as the Vice President of Pharmacy Operations for Custom Pharmacy Solutions in Birmingham, AL from 2009-2017. While originally hired as the Director of Pharmacy Operations, his responsibilities expanded to managing the sales force, leading accreditation efforts, and serving as the compliance officer. He managed all aspects of a compounding pharmacy with a national licensed in 43 states with annual sales that have exceeded $15M.
He also served as the Pharmacist in Charge for Pharmacy South in Birmingham, AL from 2007-2009. His duties at Pharmacy South included supervision of pharmacy operations, developing and implementing policy and procedure, and addressing patient issues.
He was the Director of Pharmacy Operations for CHD Meridian Healthcare in Nashville, TN from 2005-2007. Selected to supervise pharmacy operations for a publicly traded, industry leading on-site health care provider, he managed 12 on-site pharmacies with staffing needs exceeding 100 employees. He was a voting member and medication discussion facilitator of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee, and assisted the pharmaceutical purchasing department with Pharmacy Benefit Manager contracting.
Dr. Thornton also has experience working in the Food and Drug Administration MedWatch program in Rockville, MD in 1999. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University and is licensed to practice pharmacy in seven states included Arkansas. He is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and has completed detailed cannabis training through their TCMI program. He serves on the Board of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association. He resides in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com
[0:00:08.8] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Stay tuned to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:26.1] KM: Thank you Tim. Like Tim said, I’m Kerry McCoy and it’s time for me to get up in your business. Before we start, I want to introduce the people at the table. We have who you just heard from, Tim Bowen our technician who will be managing the board and taking your calls. Say hello Tim.
[0:00:39.8] TB: Hello Tim.
[0:00:40.7] KM: Recording our show today to make a podcast available next week is our technician Jessie. Thank you Jessie.
[0:00:45.6] J: No problem.
[0:00:47.0] KM: If you’re used to watching to watching us on Facebook Live, which we always three minutes before the show and I tell everybody about my guest and we cut up and yak it up, then you probably noticed that today we didn’t do it, because son Matt can’t get it working. Did you get it working Matthew?
[0:01:01.5] M: Yes.
[0:01:01.9] KM: Okay. We are now on Facebook Live. If anybody wants to watch. Hey, everybody. What’s today’s date?
[0:01:09.1] TB: It is the anniversary of Columbine, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, George Takei’s birthday, Hitler’s birthday and a celebration of weed.
[0:01:21.5] KM: 4/20.
[0:01:22.2] TB: 4/20. All of those things are true.
[0:01:24.7] KM: Wow. He did a research today, you all. That’s really good. Hitler’s birthday in 4/20. Wow, I didn’t know that.
[0:01:33.1] TB: George Takei. I threw in a nice guy.
[0:01:35.3] KM: That’s good. In our 4/20, we have a really interesting guest today and I’ll tell you who he is in just a second. First, let me tell you about the show. Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy, it began with entrepreneurs in mind, a platform for me, a small business owner and a guest to pay forward our experiential knowledge in a conversational way.
As with all new endeavors, it has had some unexpected outcomes like the show has a wide appeal to everyone, not just business, but everyone, because we’re all inspired by every day people’s American-made stories. Another is that behind every one of my successful guest is the heart of a teacher. I didn’t know that about everybody, but it’s really true. Last is that business in of itself is creative.
I am trying to resist using the word art form, but it’s an art form. The entrepreneur’s vision begins in his mind, or her mind and I dream and each action they take is like a brush stroke on canvas, building and layering until one day they have created something that they’re proud of.
Today’s guest, Dr. Brandon Thornton is the co-founder and CEO of a startup, Steep Hill of Arkansas; a recently licensed cannabis science laboratory. His business canvas is completely blank, but his skill sets are far and wide. When reading about him, it appears that he has been training all of his life for this opportunity. Today we’re going to learn about Brandon, about the business of cannabis science and about how medical marijuana in Arkansas is going to affect all of us on today’s date 4/20.
If you’re just tuning in for the first time, you may be asking yourself what’s this lady’s story and why does she have a radio show? Well, Tim is here to tell you.
[0:03:22.7] TB: Thank you, Kerry. Over 40 years ago and with only $400, Kerry McCoy founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has changed and grown dramatically. From door-to-door sales to telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales and Flag and Banner relies heavily on the internet, including feature live chatting
Each decade required a change in sales strategy and procedure. Her business and leadership knowledge grew with time and experience, as well as the confidence to branch out into multimedia marketing that began with our nonprofit Dreamland Ballroom, as well as our in-house publication Brave magazine and this very radio show you're listening to now.
Each week on this show, you will hear candid conversations between her and our guests about real-world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that we hope you'll find interesting. Kerry says that many business rules like treat your employees well, know your profit margin and have a succession plan can be applied across most industry. What I find encouraging is her example that hard work pays off.
Did you know that for nine years while starting Flag and Banner, she supplemented her income with many part-time jobs? That just shows that her persistence, perseverance and patience prevailed. Today, Flag and Banner has 10 departments and I have 25 coworkers. It reminds us all that small businesses are the fuel of our country's economic engine and that they empower people's lives.
If you would like to ask Kerry, or our guests a question, or if you would to share your experience or story, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
[0:05:08.9] KM: Thank you, Tim. My guest today on 4/20, April the 20th is the pharmacist, Dr. Brandon Thornton, Co-Founder and CEO of Steep Hill of Arkansas, a laboratory for cannabis science and a medical marijuana testing lab that has been recently licensed to do business in the state of Arkansas.
Dr. Thornton received his pharmacy degree in 1999 from Sanford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, Alabama. Not long after graduation, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and became the assistant pharmacy director for Secure Pharmacy Plus, a company that manages and distributes pharmaceutical services to correctional facilities. I thought that was interesting.
While living in Nashville and working for Secure Pharmacy Plus, he was offered a better position at CHD Meridian Healthcare, a publicly traded industry leader healthcare provider. This career change taught him the business side of his industry as he made budgets, managed employees and served on committees that affected public policy in eight states.
Over the next 10 years, Brandon Thornton would move up the corporate ladder in his field building his resume in all aspects of pharmacology. Before moving to Little Rock, he spent nine years with Custom Pharmacy Solutions, where he managed their operations, learned to custom compound, test and comply with government regulations.
Today, he lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and is a leader in the emerging market of medical marijuana. Whether you're for or against medical marijuana in Arkansas, this is an exciting subject to talk about and most likely will affect all of us in some way.
It is a pleasure to welcome to the table the ambitious and aptly-qualified businessman and pharmacist who is licensed in seven states, Dr. Brandon Thornton of Steep Hill Industries. Welcome.
[0:07:01.6] BT: Thank you. Thank you. Gosh, it's such a thrill to be here today.
[0:07:05.1] KM: Ain’t it fun?
[0:07:05.7] BT: It's fun. I'm so glad that you guys have a sense of humor about 4/20. I think that in the end.
[0:07:11.5] KM: I didn’t know if you’d like that or not.
[0:07:13.1] BT: I do, I do. I think it's great.
[0:07:15.3] KM: Okay. I got to do a few jokes. I can't help it. Then I promise I’m going to get serious about everything. The company that is your parent company is Steep Hill. It was founded in 2008 and you're a subsidiary of it. I mean, steep hill, you know what the synonyms for steep are?
[0:07:37.4] BT: I do Yes.
[0:07:38.4] KM: You heard that before?
[0:07:39.6] BT: I have heard that. It's actually, there is a hill in Berkeley called Steep Hill, and that is where it was founded.
[0:07:46.2] KM: It’s not for high hill, another word for high, the synonym for steep, dollar hill, lofty, high.
[0:07:52.4] BT: Right That makes sense, but it was actually founded –
[0:07:56.1] KM: It's a location.
[0:07:56.9] BT: It is a location. There were a couple professors from UC Davis that really were on the forefront of cannabis testing and analytical testing. They saw a need. Harborside was one of the first dispensaries in the country in Berkeley.
[0:08:13.6] KM: Who’s that? That’s not Steep Hill though.
[0:08:15.7] BT: Well, Steep Hill was founded by some of the same founders of Harborside. They had these patients, they wanted safe medication to get to these patients, and so they had to figure out how to provide, or how to test marijuana to make sure it was pesticide free to figure out what the dose was to get a consistent product to patients.
[0:08:36.4] KM: That's right, because you don't know whether it's going to get you real high, or just a little high.
[0:08:40.1] BT: That's right.
[0:08:41.6] KM: I mean, that's not what they're trying to do. They're like, is it going to get you really well, or just a little well. You sent me a resume all about your work career, but you didn't tell me anything about the man Brandon Thornton. I want to learn just for a second about you, because I know everybody wants to jump into this cannabis and Arkansas marijuana thing. How did you decide to be a pharmacist? Was your dad a doctor?
[0:09:02.7] BT: My dad was not a doctor. He's an engineer, but he's an amazing man, learned a lot. He actually encouraged me to go into pharmacy.
[0:09:12.2] KM: Wow.
[0:09:12.8] BT: Well, I was always interested in chemistry and biology. When I got to college, those are the classes that I really gravitated to. My dad's very pragmatic and we sit down one day and we went through my likes and dislikes and I told him about pharmacy and he was very encouraging. He's very encouraging – he would have been very encouraged about a lot of things, but that was what I liked and that was what he supportive.
[0:09:39.7] KM: I think that's more important to do things that you think that you have an aptitude for and that you already like. Also when I was reading your resume, you graduated from your pharmacy school in 1999, but then there was a gap until about 2004. I just want you to tell me, you struggled and floundered around like all the rest of us.
[0:09:58.2] BT: You did not get the complete resume. I gave you the abbreviated version. When I when I graduated – gosh, I didn't know what I wanted to do and I had certain hours I had to get after graduation before I could take my pharmacy boards to become completely certified as a pharmacist. I was completely broke. I mean, completely broke. I looked around the country. I found the internship to provide those hours that actually paid the most and it was in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I packed up everything I owned. I had a 90 – no, an ’86 Nissan Pathfinder. It was the one with those triangle windows in the back. Everything I owned fit in that. I drove out to Grand Junction, Colorado, didn't know anybody, found a cheap place to live, work there for three months to get my intern hours.
[0:10:53.8] KM: You worked in a pharmacy?
[0:10:55.5] BT: It was. It was in a –
[0:10:56.8] KM: Like retail, probably.
[0:10:58.0] BT: That's right. It was a retail pharmacy connected to a hospital, and it was a lot of great experiences, it was a new part of the country. I mean, I grew up in Tennessee, had never been out of Tennessee for an extended period of time, so that was new. Through that experience, knew some people in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that ran a pharmacy and talked to them about maybe coming and working for them. When I finished that, I was able to take my test, become an official pharmacist, moved to Jackson Hole and worked for a company there, which you guys are going to laugh, but it was called Stone Drug.
[0:11:39.7] KM: Get you some training all his life for this.
[0:11:42.1] BT: I guess so. You haven't thought about that, but that we sold a lot of t-shirts, because it's funny. The owner there was great. It was pretty wild. We sold guns, alcohol and drugs.
[0:11:58.9] KM: Only in Wyoming, or maybe Montana.
[0:12:00.9] BT: Yeah. It was a sporting goods store. My day he really was filling prescriptions, counseling patients, but then I might tie some flies to sell and then sell a gun, do a background check. It was really interesting, that the owner of the pharmacy was a really big Harley guy. He was a biker, went to Sturgis every year. You look at him and he looked like the meanest guy in the world. Big handlebar mustache, just wore a lot of leather, but the nicest guy.
What he would do, I was really into winter sports, I was really into snowboarding, still am, and he would allow me to take a lot of time off in the winter, maybe to go to Canada and follow the snow. Then in the summers, he would go off on his Harley and just camp and drive the glacier. I'd work a couple months at a time and cover the store. We would switch off. It was just a great arrangement.
[0:12:57.7] KM: Wow. That's the best story I've heard in a long time. The store sold drugs, alcohol and guns.
[0:13:08.1] BT: Cigarettes. I mean, if you wanted a party, we were the spot.
[0:13:12.3] TB: It's like the ATF, alcohol, tobacco and firearms, right?
[0:13:15.9] BT: Yeah, yeah.
[0:13:16.8] KM: Yeah, there you go. It’s altogether. All right, the next thing you did was you came back and you got a job working for a pharmacy.
[0:13:23.4] BT: Well, there’s actually a couple other gaps in there. I'll tell you really quickly. I actually worked in Atlanta during the Olympics for this company that did event marketing. That was that was 96 and when I was in college. When the Olympics came up again and in Salt Lake 2002, they were looking for people. They called me and they said, “Hey, were you interested in coming to Salt Lake? We heard you're out that direction.”
It was just a lot of fun the first time around. I really wanted to do it. I loved the Olympics, and so I went ahead and left, moved to Park City, Utah and worked for them for that month for the Olympics, and then stayed and managed a pharmacy in Park City and stayed there for probably another three years.
[0:14:07.5] KM: Did you have your pharmacy license?
[0:14:09.1] BT: I did. Yeah. I was I was a ski bum, but official. I had a real job, but was still getting to ski a lot.
[0:14:18.0] KM: I love that. Then you ended up moving to Nashville, Tennessee and you got a job selling, distributing and working for the correctional services.
[0:14:27.1] BT: Yeah. We were a big pharmacy that did pharmacy work for prisons. Nashville has a few companies that are corporate prison companies and we work with them to provide pharmacy services for prisoners. It was challenging, because we had to give them a short supply at a time. They could only get about seven days, because that was just – that's just the rules, and so we filled a lot of prescriptions, like 40,000 plus a day.
[0:14:55.8] KM: Because you had to do maybe seven days.
[0:14:57.1] BT: That's right.
[0:14:58.2] BT: Yeah, you couldn't give them a 30-day supply. It was every seven days, probably because they'd overdose or something. I don't know.
[0:15:03.7] BT: Well, because they move around a lot.
[0:15:05.0] KM: Oh, okay.
[0:15:06.1] BT: You might get put in solitary and then all of a sudden you need different prescriptions.
[0:15:10.4] KM: Oh, okay. Then and then after that, you went to work for a healthcare provider. Was that an insurance company?
[0:15:16.1] BT: No. It was a company that did on-site healthcare for corporations. What we did was if you had a lot of employees in one spot – Toyota was my biggest client and they've got five or six factories in the United States. If you actually have a lot of employees in one place, it's cheaper for you to own your own pharmacy, have your own formulary and direct your patients to just to get their prescriptions at work basically. What we would do is set up that pharmacy.
[0:15:44.5] KM: That's big.
[0:15:45.5] BT: We'd go there. Georgetown, Texas is a big facility. We had a pharmacy on site and –
[0:15:52.2] KM: At the Toyota plant.
[0:15:53.1] BT: At the plant. It was right out in the parking lot and people would get off their shift, they would come through and pick up their prescriptions. Because of that, we were able to do a lot of great things. We could give away diabetic supplies and we could do things to encourage people to be healthy through their pharmacy benefits. It was a great job.
[0:16:12.5] KM: That is so interesting. Then the next job you had was you went to work for compounding company, I think.
[0:16:17.3] BT: Yeah. Well, so that company got purchased by CVS Caremark. At the time, I had the option of taking a severance, or moving to Maryland. I decided I didn't want to go to Maryland. Took the severance. I moved to Birmingham at that point. That was because that's where Jennifer, who's now my wife lived. We were dating and I wanted to –
[0:16:47.6] KM: Did you meet her in college?
[0:16:48.5] BT: I didn't. I met her through a friend in college. One of my really good friends recruited her to come to Birmingham to work at UAB. She's a physician and that's how I met her.
[0:16:59.4] KM: You moved back. Love conquers all, so you moved back and you got a job working for a compounding company. There you were actually in the laboratory. It seemed like you worked there on your resume, longer than you worked anywhere. I got the feeling that you really loved it, because you were in the lab and you were working in compounding and –
[0:17:17.7] BT: Kerry, you're very intuitive. That is very true. I always loved the idea of that and then once I got in compounding, I just loved it. Got a lot of training. I'd really love being able to take raw materials, manipulate those into tablets, capsules, trochees, ointments, gels. It was a lot of fun.
[0:17:37.8] KM: You had to do a lot of compliancy with the government probably because of that.
[0:17:43.8] BT: Yes, a lot.
[0:17:44.4] KM: Which really got you ready for what you're about to do here in Arkansas.
[0:17:47.1] BT: Yes, yes. I learned much about compliance then.
[0:17:50.3] KM: I'm telling you, your resume is perfect for what you're going to do here in Arkansas. All right, let's take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to continue our conversation with Pharmacist, Dr. Brandon Thornton, Co-Founder and CEO of Steep Hill of Arkansas, a cannabis science laboratory recently license to perform testing on medical marijuana in the state. We're going to find out things like the business side of it and then we're also going to talk about the user side of it socially and how it's going to affect us socially.
In addition, I got to tell everybody this is the last week I'm going to say this that it's time again for Arkansas Flag and Banner’s biannual publication of Brave magazine. If you want to receive your free copy, or if you're interested in putting an ad in the magazine, log on to flagandbanner.com’s website and click on the tab labeled magazine, to subscribe and get a copy, or to advertise. We are putting the magazine to bed next week, so don't wait. Also, you can call the Flag and Banner office. Tim, do you have that number?
[0:18:46.1] TB: I do. It's 501-375-7633.
[0:18:51.4] KM: You're listening to up in your business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. If you miss any part of the show, or if you would like to learn about Up In your Business, go to flagandbanner.com and click Radio Show, or subscribe through YouTube, iTunes, or SoundCloud, or your favorite podcast app simply by searching for flagandbanner.com. Lots of listening options. We'll be right back.
[0:20:26.7] KM: You are listening to Up In your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with Dr. Brandon Thornton, Co-Founder and CEO of Steep Hill of Arkansas, a cannabis science and testing laboratory for the emerging market of medical marijuana in Arkansas. The reason we're talking to him is because today is –
[0:20:44.8] TB: It's 4/20.
[0:20:45.4] BT: 4/20.
[0:20:48.4] KM: Before the break, we went over Brandon's credentials. I'm just going to recap really quick; early on, he counted and dispensed drugs to correctional facilities. That's retail. You were a director of operations and worked on the business side of pharmacology at your next job, you worked I thought what was considered a healthcare side of the insurance – healthcare insurance side of it, but it was actually again director of operations. You worked in a pharmacy that was a mail-order business and shipped –
[0:21:18.5] BT: Everywhere.
[0:21:19.1] KM: Everywhere. I mean, everywhere. Talk about sending drugs over state lines, that's got to be a logistic nightmare. Your longest stint was custom compounding for a drug company, where you managed the laboratory and staff and you introduced new products and you had rigid compliancy issues. This seems like the perfect prerequisite for the new CEO position you have at Steep Hill.
I want to read what Steep Hill says, because about itself online. Then we’ll jump in to the business of medical marijuana. Steep Hill says, “We are a network of license laboratories with extensive expertise in analytical testing, remote testing, cannabis genetics and research with our strategic partners around the globe. Steep Hill’s foundation was built on testing and analyzing cannabis to ensure compliance with public safety standards. In 2008, Steep Hill opened the first commercial cannabis lab in the United States and has successfully completed over a 100,000 analytical cannabis tests.”
“With the goal of helping the rest of the world adopt best practices, the company also provides expert consulting services to legislators and regulators in many countries, states and municipalities around the world.” I want to say that medical marijuana is twofold. There is the business side of it, medical marijuana in Arkansas, and then there is the user side of medical marijuana and what it does and what it can do and help people. Let's talk first about the consumers.
[0:22:57.0] BT: Okay.
[0:22:58.7] KM: The societal changes that will happen and they will go into the business opportunities after that. Tell us what's good about it for the consumers. What you like and what you think it's going to be able to do?
[0:23:10.5] BT: Gosh. Well, the thing about cannabis is it's been used for thousands of years as medicine. It really predates us, it predates the FDA and how we get drugs today to patients. If you think about it, the traditional FDA model is maybe there is a plant somewhere in the world, we’ll just say somewhere in the Himalayas where you know that when people take it, maybe they don't have a tremor anymore, and so scientists might take that plant and synthesize that down and look at all the components and they will find maybe the component that will work for tremors. Then it goes through preclinical trials. Then the FDA gets involved. Then there's more trials. Then if they're lucky, if it's safe we'll be approved and it's going to go to customers.
With cannabis, really what happened was is we had thousands of years of stories like, “Hey, this works. People are using for these conditions.” Then prohibition happened back 30s and the 40s, and so we didn't really – we couldn't continue along that path to where –
[0:24:23.1] KM: It was legal before there right?
[0:24:25.2] BT: It was. It was actually in the US former Copiah, companies like Lillie and Wyeth, companies that you've heard of today that manufacturer medications, manufactured cannabis. They sold that, they marketed that.
[0:24:39.0] KM: Isn’t all medicine plant-based?
[0:24:41.8] BT: No, it's not, but a lot of it is. There are a lot of synthetic compounds that is not plant-based. A good example of that is Marinol, which is synthetic THC.
[0:24:52.7] KM: What?
[0:24:55.6] BT: There is a synthetic THC product that's on the market that's called Marinol, and it's used for – it has an indication –
[0:25:04.7] KM: That's legal?
[0:25:05.5] BT: That's legal, that’s legal.
[0:25:06.2] KM: Oh, I see.
[0:25:07.1] BT: If you're a physician you can write that – write for that medication right now. It doesn't have a – I guess a – it's not written for a lot, because it's not tolerated well. Patients don't really like it. I think part of that is there's a concept that's called the entourage effect, which really means that the plant itself and all the components come together to produce a medicinal effect. If you really take any of those parts out by themselves, they don't really work as well.
[0:25:42.6] KM: Yeah, and you end up with all those side effects.
[0:25:44.2] BT: That's right. That's right.
[0:25:45.7] KM: What is medical marijuana going to cure besides help with glaucoma?
[0:25:49.8] BT: Well, we've got 18 indications here and –
[0:25:53.3] KM: You’ve got what?
[0:25:54.4] BT: 18 different conditions, or indications that physicians can certify patients for here in Arkansas.
[0:26:00.9] KM: Can you remember them all?
[0:26:02.1] BT: No.
[0:26:03.8] KM: Glaucoma.
[0:26:04.6] BT: They're on, but if you go to healthy.arkansas.gov, there are –
[0:26:10.1] KM: A list.
[0:26:10.9] BT: - the list, the conditions and also how to get a card. If you’re a patient out there you want a card –
[0:26:15.1] KM: Can you get one today?
[0:26:16.6] BT: You can. You can get a card today. In fact, I would encourage people to do that, because even though there are some issues legally and the program's getting held up, right now number one, the Board of Health has time to go through and get that process done. There's not a rush, like there will be later on.
[0:26:37.9] KM: Oh, I see what you mean. Go ahead and get your card now.
[0:26:40.6] BT: Yeah, and maybe it'll help pressure your regulators a little bit if they see there's 50,000 Arkansans that need this and we're still waiting.
[0:26:50.0] KM: You said they can get the card and they can go ahead and they can't use the card though.
[0:26:55.4] BT: No. In fact, they can apply for the card and they can get approved for the card –
[0:26:59.7] KM: They can't buy anything. There's nothing to buy.
[0:27:01.3] BT: They can't buy anything. The Board of Health is actually not going to issue cards until 30 days before product is ready to be sold.
[0:27:08.4] KM: It helps with upset stomachs, right? Marijuana, THC helps with upset stomachs.
[0:27:12.9] BT: Well, it could. Okay, so let me make one more point about these conditions is that one of the biggest problems with cannabis is a lack of good research like we have with other medications, because of what we talked about earlier with prohibition. Right now, there are studies that happen, but the studies aren't great for a few reasons. One, is all the marijuana that is used for studies in the United States comes from Ole Miss, from the University of Mississippi. They actually grow marijuana there for studies, specifically for studies. The marijuana grow there.
[0:27:53.2] KM: No wonder everybody wants to go to Ole Miss.
[0:27:56.9] BT: The marijuana they grow there is known to be a completely substandard. If you test it, it comes in at about 8% THC. If we all packed up and drove to Colorado and looked at Spencer, we could find 25% THC cannabis. We also don't know what else is in that marijuana from Ole Miss. We don’t talk about the –
[0:28:20.1] KM: Are they not testing like crazy on California? I mean, Colorado?
[0:28:23.3] BT: They are testing, but you can't use that. We're talking about test for medical conditions, clinical trials. Those tests, they are not allowed to use the good stuff. They're stuck with the Ole Miss marijuana.
[0:28:40.1] KM: Colorado doesn't have permission from anybody to grow and test for medical reasons in Colorado?
[0:28:46.0] BT: No, they do. They do that. Really what I'm getting at is your question on would it be good for upset stomach? Well, to know that we really need a good study, a clinical trial from a major university.
[0:28:58.0] KM: Oh, it has to be from a university pretty much.
[0:29:00.3] BT: Well, it has to be a double-blinded clinical trial that we could present to a physician, present to someone in the medical community and say these are the reasons why this works.
[0:29:10.0] KM: All those clinical trials pretty much have to be done in an academic environment, it seems like?
[0:29:14.4] BT: Yeah. A lot of those are sponsored either through the state, or through drug companies.
[0:29:21.8] KM: Yeah. Lillie or something.
[0:29:23.2] BT: We just don't have that with cannabis. That's what is really hard is we have a lot of anecdotal evidence about what works and what doesn't, but we don't have this hard evidence that we would have if it wasn’t –
[0:29:32.3] KM: Why don’t they get pot out there in Ole Miss to test?
[0:29:36.1] BT: Well, that I can't answer. Maybe they just – they have bad genetics, that the way they grow isn't great. If you look at California, some of these cutting-edge facilities I mean, the science that goes into growing marijuana is amazing. I mean, they've got geneticists that are coming up with seeds that are very resistant to –
[0:29:57.2] KM: When you start your lab, are you going to get to do that? You’re going to get funding to find out some of these medical – or are you just going to test it to see the level of THC, so people know whether to put it on the shelf that makes you laugh, or the shelf that makes you go to sleep.
[0:30:11.4] BT: A couple of things; one thing I'm doing now is partnering with some people to do a cannabis journal club. We've met once. We met a couple weeks ago. It's really just a group of scientific individuals, medical professionals that can look at studies objectively and find out, hey maybe marijuana has a place with upset stomach. Through that, we hope to do a couple things; one, potentially find ways to do studies through local university. we've got a great group at University of Arkansas, Little Rock that just do amazing work with drugs.
[0:30:53.3] KM: Really?
[0:30:54.1] BT: Some of those people are coming and participating in our journal club. The other focus of the journal club is to maybe find conditions that we can go to the state board and petition to get them added as conditions. Because really that's what we want is what works. I mean, with cannabis there's a lot of anecdotal evidence, there's a lot of myth. I mean, what we want to do is figure out exactly through hard science what works and what doses and how we can get the best result for patients.
[0:31:26.5] KM: There's got to be some statistics on whether it's good, or bad societal, like crime. Does it reduce crime? Does it reduce the amount of people in jail if they legalize marijuana like this? I mean, there's statistics about how it's going to affect Arkansas socially?
[0:31:43.8] BT: Well, there are. You can look at other states. The thing about statistics is that – and studies is that it's really hard to find one that's really unbiased and comes from a place where they're just looking at facts. At Colorado, if you really look into it, there's studies that say that it's horrible and it's caused homelessness and it's caused a lot of teenage addiction and it's caused traffic accidents. Really when you look at the actual data and the numbers, it's just not true.
I mean, really for Colorado what it's caused is just a lot of tax revenue for the state, a lot of new businesses and entrepreneurship. There's not a lot of people that are complaining there. I think it'll be the same with Arkansas. I mean, really when you when you dry up the black market, a lot of the negatives go away.
[0:32:41.1] KM: I think about that, about crime reduction if that would really reduce our crime, would really reduce the amount of people in jail. I think about healthcare improvements, if people could really get clean clinical THC to use. I know that you're excited about it, because you’re a lab rat. What are you really wanting out of it for yourself, for your new business?
[0:33:08.1] BT: Gosh. We really just –
[0:33:10.3] KM: I know you want money. Don’t pretend like you don’t want money.
[0:33:15.2] BT: We're definitely entrepreneurs. We want to do well. For us, I mean, what would be great is that here in Arkansas, we can start. Arkansas has a unique opportunity here, because we are the first state here in the south to actually have a workable medical program. A few other states have programs, but here in Arkansas we can have –
[0:33:38.4] KM: What's a workable medical program?
[0:33:39.6] BT: Well, a workable medical program to me has the right qualifying conditions, which I believe we have. It doesn't have restrictions on the type of products that can be sold. Here, we're going to we're going to have flower on the shelf, we're going to have oils, waxes.
[0:33:56.3] KM: What’s flower mean?
[0:33:57.8] BT: A bud.
[0:33:59.7] KM: Oh. You’re going to buds on the shelf, you're going to have – you think UAMS is going to be – want to get involved in this? I mean, we’ve got UAMS –
[0:34:08.4] BT: They've been involved in some studies and research so far. I think that's probably what their involvement will be.
[0:34:15.1] KM: What do you say to people who say, “I don't want this in Arkansas”?
[0:34:17.9] BT: Well, I mean, I would figure out why and I would ask them what are your reservations?
[0:34:23.3] KM: What do you think their reservations are? They're just afraid everybody's going to be –
[0:34:27.1] BT: I think a lot of people are just like me and they grew up in the age of Nancy Reagan and prohibition and just say no. For me, it took – I was a skeptic. I mean, the way that I came to accept marijuana as medicine is along with – we talked about resume, also that an internship with the FDA before any of that and part of my job was to work with MedWatch, which is an adverse event reporting group. We would look at drugs that would have adverse events. Example, Viagra was my first drug. There were a lot of people having heart attacks when they combined Viagra with nitrates. Now that's a known thing and people watch out for that.
Through that, I read a lot of studies about cannabis. Going into that job, or that internship I was a real skeptic. I would see people or hear people and they would say, “Hey, I use this for sleep, or anxiety, or whatever,” and I thought they were crazy, or they were really just using that as an excuse to get high.
After doing some research, I thought maybe there's something to this. I would see studies and then the more research I did, I completely changed my mind. That's how I would really approach – I know everybody's not like me, but I think if you look at it from just a pragmatic place and without really these preconceived notions about what you've heard, but look at actual results, you'll come around. Then when you start talking about tax money and you start talking about just what it does for a community –
[0:36:09.2] KM: I think people are afraid of it being a gateway drug. That’s what’s called.
[0:36:11.6] BT: I agree. There’s studies out there that show that that's just not true.
[0:36:16.4] KM: Really?
[0:36:16.9] BT: Yeah, it's just not true. If anything is a gateway drug, in my opinion it's alcohol.
[0:36:22.0] KM: Well, that's true. I can't deny that one either. I’m skeptic a little bit, but I'm also excited at the same time because it is – it can really help a lot of people and takes the criminal element out of trying to find medicine that works for you that's got a natural ability.
[0:36:40.2] BT: That's right. To me, it comes down to – it's very safe. There's never been a single person to overdose on marijuana.
[0:36:49.6] KM: Ever.
[0:36:50.2] BT: Ever.
[0:36:51.2] KM: You smoke it, or do you eat it?
[0:36:53.0] BT: Well, you can do either. I mean, you can –
[0:36:55.0] KM: Does smoking hurt your lungs?
[0:36:56.5] BT: It does. It does.
[0:36:57.4] KM: You should eat it. Does it hurt your stomach?
[0:36:59.6] BT: Does not hurt your stomach. You can vaporize it. That's like smoking, but there's no combustion, so you're not actually smoking.
[0:37:07.9] KM: Is it those vapes, those cigarette vapes, is that like you put in your vape?
[0:37:10.7] BT: Yeah, could be that. It’s an oil.
[0:37:12.4] KM: Okay. This is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with Pharmacist, Dr. Brandon Thornton, Co-founder and CEO of Steep Hill of Arkansas, a cannabis science laboratory recently licensed to perform testing of medical marijuana in the state of Arkansas.
It's time again for Arkansas Flag and Banner’s biannual publication of Brave magazine. If you want to receive your free copy, or if you're interested in putting an ad in the magazine, log on to flagandbanner.com’s website and click on the tab labeled magazine to subscribe, or advertise. We are putting the magazine to bed next week, so don't wait. Or you can call Flag and Banner’s office and the number is –
[0:37:46.1] TB: 501-375-7633.
[0:37:50.9] KM: When we come back, we’re going to talk about the business of marijuana. Everybody wants to get in on it. We’re going to talk about the realities of that. We’re also going to be taking calls for our good doctor on KABF 88.3 FM, the voice of the people. Right after this break, Tim we'll give you the number, so get your questions ready.
[0:38:07.6] TB: You're listening to Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you miss any part of the show, or if you'd like to learn more about Up In your Business, go to flagandbanner.com and click on Radio Show, or subscribe through YouTube, iTunes, or SoundCloud. Your favorite podcast app can be found just by searching flagandbanner.com. Lots of listening options. We'll be right back with the phone number for calling in.
[0:38:30.9] KM: AM: Arkansas Flag and Banner is proud to underwrite Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. McCoy began this broadcast a year and a half ago with the intention of offering a mentoring platform for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Through candid conversations and interesting interviews with business and community-minded Arkansans, listeners gained insight into starting and running a business, the ups and downs of risk-taking and the commonalities of successful people.
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[0:39:57.1] TB: All right, we're back.
[0:39:59.0] KM: You're listening to Up In your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with Brandon Thornton. Somebody called in, wanted to know again what the name of the gentleman is I'm talking to. His name is Brandon Thornton. T-H-O-R-N-T-O-N. He's the Co-Founder and CEO of Steep, S-T-E-E-P, Steep Hill of Arkansas. Do you have a website?
[0:40:17.5] BT: We do. It's steephill.com.
[0:40:19.6] KM: There you go. They’re are cannabis science and testing laboratory and they're going to be part of the emerging market for medical marijuana in Arkansas. We’re going to talk about the business of medical marijuana in Arkansas in a minute. If you've got questions or think you might have a question, write this number down.
[0:40:39.8] TB: The number is 501-433-0088.
[0:40:44.7] KM: Say that again, Tim.
[0:40:46.0] TB: 501-433-0088.
[0:40:48.9] KM: You can call in and ask Brandon anything. If you’re shy, you can send an e-mail. Adrian, will you help me watch my e-mail, because sometimes I forget to look over there? You can send an e-mail to –
[0:40:58.6] TB: The e-mail is email@example.com.
[0:41:02.3] KM: That's questions with an S. At the beginning of the show, we talked about your extensive work history and your credentials. I have to say my confidence in this new emerging cannabis market has grown considerably after reading about you and your parent company Steep Hill Industries, I'm happy to say I'm no longer nervous. We talked about what medical marijuana means to consumers and the people of Arkansas and how it might affect their lives. Now I'd like to talk about the business opportunities.
Just to list some of the opportunities, people always think of retailers, but there's the growers and we’re an agricultural state. There's the harvesters, which might be a different group of people. There's transportation of moving the cannabis around. There's testing, that's what you're going to do. Then there's packaging. There's retail and then there's taxation. What do you think these all means for Arkansas's economy?
[0:41:58.8] BT: Well, I think it means a lot. There's also a lot of other things that are ancillary, that –
[0:42:03.0] KM: What’s that mean?
[0:42:04.8] BT: Just plumbers and electricians and IT people and accountants and attorneys. Right now, attorneys are probably writing Christmas cards for Judge Griffin on our latest ruling and our holdup with the process, but yeah.
[0:42:21.4] KM: What does that mean? What happened? What’s the process? What you’ve done about?
[0:42:24.8] BT: Well, right now there are some legal challenges to the medical marijuana commission and their scoring results. We're held up. We can't really move forward until those are complete.
[0:42:38.8] KM: They have approved it, that we can start selling marijuana. The people voted for it.
[0:42:44.2] BT: People voted for it.
[0:42:46.5] KM: People, a bunch of companies submitted their business plans.
[0:42:52.8] BT: Yes.
[0:42:53.7] KM: How many did? I don’t even know.
[0:42:55.0] BT: Well, there were 95 cultivation applications. The cultivators or who have been scored so far.
[0:43:01.8] KM: How many were awarded?
[0:43:03.1] BT: Five.
[0:43:03.9] KM: You were one of them?
[0:43:04.8] BT: No.
[0:43:05.6] KM: What?
[0:43:06.1] BT: What the cultivators are are the people that are actually growing the product.
[0:43:10.4] KM: Oh, I see.
[0:43:10.9] BT: Yeah. They're growing the product.
[0:43:12.7] KM: Have they done any labs, or testing labs? Have they approved it for any of that yet?
[0:43:18.5] BT: They have not. They have not approved labs.
[0:43:19.9] KM: You haven't even come up to bat.
[0:43:22.0] BT: Not yet. Not yet.
[0:43:23.8] KM: The harvesters, they approved five out of the 90, but now it's held up in court because of why?
[0:43:30.5] BT: Well, some of the people that did not get selected just took exception in the process and it was within their rights to challenge that and challenge the results and that's what they've done, and so we're just really waiting to that process.
[0:43:42.9] KM: Who’s going to make the decision? Is it going to a jury? Is it just a judge going to do it?
[0:43:48.2] BT: Well, right now it's in a Pulaski County Court. A judge has made a decision. It's probably going to go to the Supreme Court. The state has appealed that decision. I think that will come probably later on this summer.
[0:44:07.0] KM: Oh, that soon.
[0:44:07.9] BT: Yeah.
[0:44:08.7] KM: Then when do you get to go? When did they start talking about labs?
[0:44:11.1] BT: Well, the rules for labs are out there and we know what we have to do. The main thing for us is we've got to get accredited by an organization called ISO. It's tough. It's a big job. Luckily through our partnership with Steep Hill, they've gotten many labs ISO accredited, and so they know the process. We feel really good about that.
[0:44:33.2] KM: How many companies are there like Steep Hill in the United States?
[0:44:37.3] BT: I'd say there's nobody like Steep Hill, I mean, because of the – we’re the largest network of labs in the country. We also have some international facilities and we're really growing right now in Canada and Europe. Canada's ground zero for cannabis growth right now. It's completely legal up there and you can actually be a publicly traded company and working cannabis. It's really exploding. There are other labs, but nobody that has a nationwide footprint.
[0:45:05.1] KM: Well, if Canada is doing it, we ought to be able to get a lot of statistics on how to fix society and how to fix business and how to fix the tax base.
[0:45:12.3] BT: There’s a lot of happy Canadians today.
[0:45:17.0] KM: They don't know they're happy. Harvesters are in, transportation, testing, packaging, retail, we can't even talk about any of that, or do we even know how they're going to do the tax base?
[0:45:29.3] BT: Well, yeah. There's some tax information in the amendment. It's not all set out yet. There is a medical marijuana commission that meets and decides exactly what they want to do.
[0:45:40.9] KM: It's not legal in the federal government, is it?
[0:45:43.7] BT: It is not.
[0:45:44.5] KM: How come people aren't going to jail? Federal prisons?
[0:45:47.7] BT: Well, mainly because under the previous administration, there was a few legal memos that were – before that basically said leave the states alone. If a state wants to have a medical program, or an adult use program, then let them do that. We are not going to use federal resources to go after these cannabis states. Really, I think they just see it as a low priority federally, because they've got actual criminals and people to –
[0:46:24.5] KM: That need to be focusing on – The barrier of entry into this new emerging market seems daunting to me. I mean, where do even get started?
[0:46:36.7] BT: Well, I'll tell you what, nothing's easy. You're going to have challenges along the way. I think that there is a lot of opportunity, but I do think that and I say Arkansas, you're either really limited on the amount of licenses that are out there. If you were one of those 95 cultivators that applied, you spent months and months putting together an application. You probably had a couple consultants that helped you with that. You found a facility, you did a survey, you put your heart and soul into a 1,500 page document, you submit it and you hope for the best.
[0:47:20.6] KM: You got to partner up with somebody with deep pockets probably.
[0:47:23.5] BT: Well, you do. You got to have not only financial resources, but also you've got to have the knowledge to know, if you look at how the commission score, they really put a lot of credit towards operations. Can you run a facility?
[0:47:36.3] KM: Like you have. That's why Steep Hill likes working with you, because you have great credentials for being able to execute and do a startup in this industry.
[0:47:43.6] BT: Well, I hope so.
[0:47:44.9] KM: What do you think the future for cannabis is in America as a whole? Do you think it's going to be in every state eventually?
[0:47:51.8] BT: I do. I think that people have seen these other states that have legalized and just how they're doing financially, and also –
[0:48:02.2] KM: It's like gambling. Nobody wanted gambling in your state and then all of a sudden, people started putting casinos everywhere.
[0:48:09.9] BT: Yeah. I could see that, but this is something that can truly help patients. I think that the difference is when right now we have 5,000 patients that have applied in Arkansas. Each one of those 5,000 patients once we have legal cannabis when they start treating themselves with that, they're going to have a story and they're going to tell their neighbor and then their neighbor, now maybe their neighbor knows somebody personally who it's affected and it's going to change hearts and minds. I just think that it's going to take time, but you go to other states where it is legal and it's really – it's not really a thought anymore. I mean, people would pour in their life.
[0:48:51.8] KM: You really do believe in the medical side of this.
[0:48:54.2] BT: 100%.
[0:48:55.1] KM: You really do. You think it's going to help patients.
[0:48:57.0] BT: I would not be doing this, because it's not easy. I would not be doing if I wasn’t a believer.
[0:49:01.2] KM: You believe in the power of THC to heal people.
[0:49:03.7] BT: Of the plant.
[0:49:04.6] KM: Of the plant. You believe in the plant.
[0:49:06.3] BT: Preach sister.
[0:49:07.2] KM: Preach sister. You love the idea of being on the cutting-edge of learning about it and being a researcher that gets to write a book and be –
[0:49:16.6] BT: It’s a lot of fun. Really just in Arkansas, there are great people that are involved in this industry.
[0:49:23.3] KM: I’d tell you, the only thing I don't like about it. Because when I'm in Colorado and I drive down the road, I can smell that skunk smell driving down the freeway and I don't like that smell. How do you going to do that? These are being grown indoors, I think. I think they’re venting.
[0:49:37.8] BT: I will get you an air freshener. One of those luxuries.
[0:49:42.7] KM: You’re going to get a big one. I mean, really you drive down Colorado, anybody that’s gone to Colorado, you can drive down the freeway and you just go through pockets of the smell.
[0:49:51.0] BT: You’re right, you're right. Here the in Arkansas, the cultivators said that the original five that got licenses before there were legal challenges, they're not down the street. I mean, these people are in rural areas.
[0:50:04.4] KM: Well, what if you’re in rural Arkansas in your neighbor and you’re downwind from the guy who puts in a marijuana farm? I mean, you just ruined your outdoor living experience.
[0:50:11.8] BT: Well, I think –
[0:50:12.7] KM: That actually happened to a friend of mine in California.
[0:50:14.7] BT: Yeah. I could see that happening in a –
[0:50:15.8] KM: They had a vineyard and some people put a pot farm up and they had to sell it, because I couldn't stand to go outside.
[0:50:24.0] BT: I could see that happen in other states. Here, it's so tightly regulated. You've got to be so far away from churches and schools. I can't imagine anybody put in a facility where it would be a problem.
[0:50:38.7] KM: When you live in the country, you never know what your crazy neighbors are going to do.
[0:50:42.0] BT: You've probably got other things out there, like cows, or a chicken house that might smell worse.
[0:50:47.9] KM: Yeah, that's right. You don't want to be downwind from the –
[0:50:51.2] TB: They put them in Pine Bluff, it might make it smell better, or West Memphis. Some of those terrible
[inaudible 0:50:56.1]. They already smell terrible.
[0:51:00.2] KM: People from Pine Bluff, I'm sorry.
[0:51:02.1] TB: Hey, I'm not saying that there's bad people. I'm saying there's a paper mill there.
[0:51:05.3] BT: We love you Pine Bluff.
[0:51:06.6] KM: That's right. All right, what's the biggest myth out there about medical marijuana? There's got to be one.
[0:51:12.8] BT: The biggest myth. I think that it's toxic. I think people put it in the same category as heroin, or fentanyl, or meth, or something that can actually kill you. There is a medical term called LD50 and it means lethal dose for 50% of the population. If you had a 100 people, what amount of something could you give them to where half would be toxic? For alcohol, that number is pretty small. Its equivalent of 0.4% blood alcohol content. For tobacco, it's 50 milligrams for nicotine. If you ingested 15 milligrams of nicotine, it would it would kill 50% of the population.
[0:52:00.3] KM: Dead gum.
[0:52:01.1] BT: For marijuana, it's 50 pounds.
[0:52:03.2] KM: Oh, that's a lot. You can’t ingest that.
[0:52:05.3] BT: It’s physically impossible.
[0:52:06.1] KM: You’ve got a phone call. You want to grab that phone call? Hello caller, you’re listening to Up In your Business with Brandon Thornton. Have you got a question for my guest?
[0:52:13.4] Caller: Yeah. Brandon, what’s the name of your company again?
[0:52:16.8] BT: It’s Steep Hill Arkansas.
[0:52:18.6] Caller: Oh, okay. Okay. Thought it might be an Anchorage Holdings, the one-time Boehner is on now, the advisory board.
[0:52:25.9] BT: Yeah, that was some interesting news to say.
[0:52:27.6] Caller: Yeah, it was.
[0:52:28.7] BT: Changed his mind on cannabis and actually get into the business.
[0:52:32.0] KM: What are you all talking about?
[0:52:33.8] BT: John Boehner who used to be the –
[0:52:36.4] Caller: Ex-Speaker of the House. He took a job. He used to have a position against medical marijuana. Now he's on an advisory board of Anchorage Holdings, a company that's going to either do lab work, or something.
[0:52:52.8] BT: I think they're more of a full-service company. They have grows consulting. They pretty much do everything.
[0:52:58.8] Caller: Okay. Well, I think it's ironic that the only reason marijuana is illegal is because of the drug classification Act of 1970, which the FDA only has to classify drug to make it a felony. They classified marijuana along with cocaine and heroin is a class one narcotic, which makes it a felony. It also is saying that there's no medical use. You can't use it for medical purposes either.
[0:53:36.2] BT: Yes. Sir, you're absolutely correct. I appreciate you call, because you're right and that's a good point.
[0:53:43.7] Caller: Well I mean, hey I think it’s ironic. I think it has medicinal purpose and it’s strange that these states have made it legal now for medical reasons and it has definitely proved itself to have medical benefits.
[0:53:57.8] KM: That's right.
[0:53:58.7] Caller: That's crazy. I mean, we, you and I have never voted to make this product illegal.
[0:54:07.2] KM: Oh, that's right. You're right. Then you mean the legislature did it all.
[0:54:09.8] Caller: Yeah. They empowered the FDA to do it.
[0:54:14.1] KM: There you go.
[0:54:15.0] Caller: The FDA whoever that mysterious body of people are, made it, classified it a class A narcotic. I didn't vote on it, you didn’t vote on it, but we did vote to make it legal.
[0:54:27.1] KM: That's interesting.
[0:54:27.9] Caller: It is interesting.
[0:54:29.4] KM: Listen, thanks for calling in. That's really good I appreciate that call very much. Thanks caller. I've never really thought about that before. I don't know if y'all ever watched AETN PBS my favorite station on the whole planet, but they did a documentary on marijuana and why it became legal, why it became illegal and it – have you ever watched it? Brandon, you’re nodding your head. It's radio, you can't nod your head.
Yeah. It says, it became – everybody was smoking it and it was fine until I believe it was the depression that they wanted to get rid of the Hispanics from Mexico, because they thought they were taking their jobs during the depression. They came out and couldn't figure out how to deport them, and so they came out and made marijuana illegal so that they could arrest them and send them back. Did I get that right?
[0:55:20.4] BT: Well, yeah. You're on the right track. It was Harry Anslinger and he was from the FBI, I believe. They really needed something to demonize a population of people and they used marijuana to do it.
[0:55:37.0] KM: To demonize Hispanics, so they could deport them and people could get there jobs back. Oh, my gosh. This last caller, this is going to be the quickest call in the world and then we got to go. Hello caller, you're on the air, you're on the air at Up In your Business. You have a call – you have a question for Brandon?
[0:55:52.8] Caller: I do. I’ve been in healthcare for about 25 years. I started out as a trauma nurse and we have rather see someone come in, have marijuana then drinking alcohol, because does them in your – so much depression. I’m all aboard, but I do have a question. Back in the late 90s, early 2000s, join commission, CMS other regulatory entities made a push for paying to be the first battle sign.
We encourage two things, to take opioids all these narcotics and different things. We did see a relatively new within research, where do you see us in 10 years? Are we just creating another monster, that will have to come back and regulate heavy, like we do narcotics now, or do you not see a risk in that?
[0:56:39.2] BT: Well, I don't. Mainly because it works in a different way. How opioids work on your central nervous system and they work in ways that can kill you. They can depress your respiratory system and particularly combined with alcohol and benzos and other drugs, are very dangerous and addictive. Marijuana doesn't have those properties. It's very safe in comparison. I really even hate to compare the two. In fact, studies have shown that opiate use and doses have been reduced in people that also are using cannabis. Meaning that you need less. There's also some evidence that cannabis can help people with their treatment, particularly with the symptoms of withdrawal and actually break that cycle and quit taking those altogether.
[0:57:33.1] KM: Wow, that’s interesting. Thanks caller. I appreciate that. Brandon, I have enjoyed this so much on 4/20 today.
[0:57:39.0] BT: This has been awesome. The highlight of my week.
[0:57:41.1] KM: Oh, thanks. Listen, we have a gift for you. I thought you were from Alabama, so I may have to trade this in. I've given you a desk set with a US flag and Arkansas flag, because you're here now and Alabama flag, because that's where you went to college, but –
[0:57:54.0] BT: I did. Thank you so much. This is beautiful.
[0:57:54.6] KM: You were born in Tennessee. We should’ve gotten him a Tennessee one.
[0:57:57.3] BT: Chattanooga is pretty close to Alabama. It's right on the border.
[0:57:59.8] KM: That's good. You need that in your new cannabis office, your new laboratory. Put that up in your laboratory. That'll be nice. Thank you so much. Hey Tim, who's our guest next week?
[0:58:08.4] TB: Next week is going to be representative Warwick Sabin.
[0:58:12.2] KM: I love Warwick Sabin. I've known him for a long time. In fact, I even went to his wedding.
[0:58:16.9] TB: He's running for mayor against a guest of the show, the current mayor –
[0:58:22.5] KM: Mark Stodola?
[0:58:23.4] TB: Mark Stodola who we had as a guest.
[0:58:26.1] KM: I love Mark Stodola. I hate that when my friends run against each other. That happens all the time. Yeah, I'm just not going to vote. I'm just going to stay home that day and I'm not going to pick sides. If you've got a great – you know what else about Warwick Sabin? He worked for Oxford American Magazine.
[0:58:45.5] TB: Okay.
[0:58:46.5] KM: He did a good job on that too. We'll talk about that. He helped turn that magazine around. If you've got a great entrepreneurial story you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Send a brief bio and your contact info to questions@upyour business.org. Finally to our listeners, thank you for spending time with me. If you think this program has been about you, you're right. It's also been for me.
Thank you for letting me fulfill my destiny. My hope today is that you've heard or learned something that's been inspiring or enlightening and that it whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence, or your life. I'm Kerry McCoy and I'll see you next time on Up In your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:59:34.0] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. If you’d like to hear this program again, next week a podcast will be made available online with links to resources you heard discussed on today’s show. Kerry’s goal, to help you live the American Dream.