13 | Kristen Yoder | Soil to the Oil

Kristen Yoder is the bullshit detector of the cannabis industry, with experience in retail, growing, distribution, marketing and management. Founder of Soil to the Oil, she now advises companies bringing cannabis-related products and services to market. In this episode Kristen shares her no-bullshit perspective on what to expect as the legalization movement unfolds.

Transcript

Kannaboomers:       00:00 Two years after the vote to legalize cannabis in California, the black market is thriving in Los Angeles. Why is that? Kristen Yoder knows she's going to tell us. She calls herself the bullshit detector of the industry, founder of strategy shop, Soil to the Oil and named by Marijuana Venture magazine as one of the 40, under 40 to watch in the cannabis industry. Kristen has deep experience in every aspect of the business from retail to growing to product development, testing, marketing, really everything to do with cannabis and not just the business, but also the cultural, legal, and even personal aspects of cannabis. If you really want to know what's happening with weed, you're going to love this episode. So let's get to it.

Kannaboomers:       00:37 This is. Let's talk about weed, the Kannaboomers Podcast, CBD, microdosing, and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.

Kannaboomers:       00:50 So Kristen, where are you today?

Kristen Yoder:      00:51 I am sitting in my living room and lovely. And Venice Beach, California.

Kannaboomers:       00:57 Nice. Venice is a renowned as kind of a crazy hot spot.

Kristen Yoder:      01:01 Oh yeah, definitely. For cannabis, for culture. And now we have over 140 tech companies in Venice alone. So it's got the nickname Silicon Beach now.

Kannaboomers:       01:14 So you have a lot of experience in the cannabis industry going back to around 2005, I guess.

Kristen Yoder:      01:20 Yes. Uh, I started right when I was 21 right after I got my doctor's recommendation for cannabis and I went into a dispensary and was just blown away that they even had stores where you could buy weed. It was freaking amazing. So, um, the next time I came back I'm like, Hey, do you need help? Like how can I get a job here? And they did need help. And that's the beginning of the end of my. Over a decade of being in the cannabis industry.

Kannaboomers:       01:50 What condition were you treating?

Kristen Yoder:      01:51 Uh, anxiety. I mean, to be honest, I just like to smoke cannabis. And I, I was the only person I knew where to get it from was my ex boyfriend. And so I was looking for any other way to get it. And you know, we all have our own issues. I could say anxiety, I was an anxious person, but really I was just a fan of cannabis

Kannaboomers:       02:15 For some people it just works. I mean some people, it makes you anxious.

Kristen Yoder:      02:20 Oh, for sure. It's not for everybody, that's for sure.

Kannaboomers:       02:23 In the right amounts. I mean, we can all microdose nowadays too, which is sort of a recent understanding and um,

Kannaboomers:       02:30 Yeah, it's almost like we're going back to the old days of not that strong of cannabis now. It's really taming, taming the beast that can be the most potent, most strongest extracts or anything like that. It's good to be able to micro dose.

Kannaboomers:       02:47 Yeah. We may see breeding for other cannabinoids, right? Rather than just thc from that day you walked in and then you helped all that dispensary. You've spent time in other parts of the industry learning how to grow, learning how to make extracts, all that stuff.

Kristen Yoder:      03:05 So I was at the dispensary for five years and I followed that with two years learning how to grow cannabis indoor and outdoor under a master grower. Uh, and then I followed that with three years at one of the largest edible companies in California and I started out doing supply chain management and then pretty much took over product development r and d immediately, uh, and I was in charge of handling the extract and getting it tested with the testing lab that after being at the edible company for three years, I went to work for the analytical testing lab that I had worked with at the edible company. And uh, I was with them for a year. I did project management and um, while I was there they came up with a terpene training kit and I would help growers come up with Terpene, formulated a vape cartridges up in Washington. So, um, after that I did a year of management consulting, which I really didn't like because it wasn't anything to deal with cannabis really. It was more a formal business documentation and boring things like that. So I am now an advisor, a strategic advisor for people, entrepreneurs, investors in the idea phase of cannabis. And I helped them, um, I do viability analysis or helping them figure out, is this something you can do in, is this something you want to do? Is this something you understand what you're getting into, that type of thing. So.

Kannaboomers:       04:43 Well, and it sounds like you almost created your own curriculum. I mean, you, you went through retail and growing and testing and managing projects and training. So you really have a depth and a breadth of experience across the industry

Kristen Yoder:      04:57 from the soil to the oil and beyond. Yeah. Yeah. It's very unique. I haven't met very many people that have been, not just like a small part, I mean I was the operations for every single sector in the industry. So having such an intimate relationship with the supply chain from start to finish, you just can't understand what this industry is like until you've had to put out fires at every single step along the way. And you know, I think the best way to learn is through trauma. And I have definitely had that.

Kannaboomers:       05:36 That's the thing you always hear as well. It's the wild west. I mean, you know, there's all kinds of CBD companies. There's legalization happens, but it's not like an overnight thing. Right. It's evolving all the time. What are some of the insights you've derived from your varied experience in the industry?

Kristen Yoder:      05:52 Uh, well, so I've been in Los Angeles for my entire career and Los Angeles in 2005. Had a few dispensary. It's in West Hollywood. And then the dispensary that I had worked at in Venice and that was it. And by 2006 there were like 500 dispensary's and by 2007 a thousand and they, it just blew up. All the sudden there were dispensary is everywhere. So in 2006, the LA city council created something called the Interim Control Ordinance and you'll see in Los Angeles a lot dispensary's we're saying, oh, we're pre ICO. That meant that they were a dispensary that existed before the Interim Control Ordinance went into effect, which was in I believe June 2007. So having seen that, the city basically didn't choose to regulate anything. They just chose to ban everything outright. And it they failed very badly because the thing is, if you're going to shut everyone down, you actually have to shut everyone down.

Kristen Yoder:      07:02 And they didn't. They didn't enforce it at all. So it's exactly the same as right now, except now they're being forced to regulate it. But a lot of the cities in California have decided to just ignore this and have a complete ban on commercial and medical cannabis, which in what that does is it causes a black market. So then you've got before when California was, I'm a medical cannabis state it, we called it the gray market because there wasn't any regulation or enforcement for the most part. But now once you get into legalization, it causes a lot more crime than it fixes because legalization is just. I mean the first word, the first part of that word legal. It's just an insane amount of laws. And the more laws there are, the more ways to break the laws there are. And I think that what people don't realize when voting for legalization or their state is going through possible legalization. And then they see the politicians continuously slacking off and putting it off and putting the vote, delaying delay, delay. That's what always happens. It's because they have an insane amount of laws they have to put together and put into action. And it's more expensive in the beginning for these states to get their acts together then than not. Um, so I think that's one of the things with legalization that people don't quite understand is it's not the end of prohibition, it's just a different form of prohibition.

Kannaboomers:       08:46 So I think I hear you saying a couple things. One might be that for producers or distributors, there's a gauntlet of regulation suddenly that they have to run and it might be easier for them to not comply and be our laws. Making laws is like making sausage is pretty ugly, right?

Kristen Yoder:      09:04 Yeah. And well I think too, um, it's the litigation aspect, so where you don't get screwed by regulations. Now we've got these lawyers that are literally putting together courses on how to litigate cannabis businesses. And so it's not even necessarily the enforcement of the state. It's being up to date on your own. I mean, the laws change all the time. Illegal cannabis business must have a compliance department because that's a fulltime job for at least one person if not many people to stay on top of it and there are so many ways that you're going to have to pay either through enforcement fines or whatever. If you don't have everything up to code or you know, depending on your competitors or consumers or your employers, there are ways to get attacked on the inside as well. I know I'm not making this sound like a positive thing, but I don't think people understand the complexity of legalization. It doesn't mean things get easier, like it gets much more difficult.

Kannaboomers:       10:12 Let's bring out your pseudonym, your Soil to the Oil is a very clever way to describe your expertise, but you're also known as the bullshit detector because there is so much bullshit going on here. Right?

Kristen Yoder:      10:26 And and seeing amount of bullshit and it's more. For me, the most bullshit comes from consultants. No offense to good consultants out there, but there is no lack of consultants that you express, Hey, I want to get into the cannabis industry. Everyone wants to get in the cannabis industry. Now, you just hire consultant who will help you follow your dream, whether or not your dream is realistic, and that's why I defined myself as a strategic advisor and not a consultant because I'm not here to tell you what you want to hear. I'm here to make sure that you understand exactly what you're getting into a from the cost to the amount of time to to every aspect, and then if you want to move forward, then I will support you in that and if you don't, you should be really happy that you talked to me because people don't also don't know. You cannot file for bankruptcy in the cannabis industry because you're in a federally illegal industry so your mistakes can stick with you and this industry is incredibly capital intense, so you need money and it's easy to lose a lot of money because there are a ton of people ready to take your money until you what you want to hear.

Kannaboomers:       11:42 It is the wild west. I mean,

Kristen Yoder:      11:44 Yes, it absolutely freaking is. Here's something interesting in the gray period, if an employee was pissed off at their employer, which happened a lot, they could threaten the, uh, threatened the employer that like, Hey, I'll, I'll call the cops on you and get you raided and shut down because it's gray industry. No one's, it's not regulated on employee has to do, is make something up to get their employer rated. Um, so now the difference with, um, with legalization is if your in a black market company, because that's what they're called now, which many of the medical companies from last year that can't get licensing, still operate. No one has a, the employers have no protections whatsoever. I mean, now it's like you could definitely go to prison if your employees say something. There's no protection on either end though because your employees most likely won't go to the police because they're doing something illegal as well.

Kristen Yoder:      12:51 And now we're going back into, um, I know of a lot of people that have been getting robbed, leaving cannabis events. They're called sessions and they're not regulated by the, uh, by the BCC who runs regulations in California. And a lot of people are getting robbed and they're not gonna call the cops because they're not doing something legal anyways, but that means that crime and robberies and all of this is going to get worse because now there's no, there's no backup, there's no protection. That's a side effect of legalization is you're turning a gray industry into a black industry

Kristen Yoder:      13:32 That's kind of scary. You're at the ground level experiencing this. If you take it up to 20,000 feet and look at this, are there things that you believe should be done? Are there ways to correct some of these imbalances? I mean, are there still a thousand dispensaries in LA that a majority that aren't complying?

Kannaboomers:       13:52 Oh yeah. So the thing with LA is, well first of all, LA has 98 cities in the county. Um, within the 98 cities. They're 15. Um, there are 90 neighborhood councils. Uh, then there are 15 city council members, each one representing like 15 neighborhood council members. Um, so to get anything done and not only that, then there's, you know, south south la or competent or areas like that that have just as much as say as Beverly Hills or west LA and these are all incredibly different neighborhoods. So to get anything done for the city of La is practically impossible and this is one thing that they've really been avoiding. And because of that I believe they've only, they have licensed less than a hundred dispensaries in the city about labor, much less than that. And what are they expecting all the thousands of dispensaries in LA to just shut down because they're not doing their job.

Kristen Yoder:      15:03 No. The thing is in LA is we've gone through this so many times that unless people truly feel that their profit or their freedom is in jeopardy, they will continue. It will continue and then the licensed companies will start telling on the unlicensed companies because they're like, hey man, we just paid millions of dollars to go through this process. Not to have some rogue businesses over there not charging taxes and siphoning off our money that we should be earning. And then it just turns into this big mess, you know, but the thing is, is if you're not going to offer a path to being regulated for, you know, an, an amount of dispensary is that will actually serve the city. I mean to have less than 100 in this city. That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. So as long as the councils are not doing their job, then yeah, these, these illegal shops will continue to go and make a lot of money because they're not charging taxes. And I can tell you I'm not paying taxes on cannabis. No. Uh, like, and there's a lot of people like me because I'm just not down with the state, really taking it out on everybody and being so against it until they can make money off of it.

Kannaboomers:       16:23 Right. The last time I went to a dispensary, I think I paid $35 in taxes. Um,

Kristen Yoder:      16:29 Exactly. So I'll be. Yeah, literally I will not, I will not even use it if that's what I have to go through. Like this is a moral principle thing for me.

Kannaboomers:       16:42 How do you see this playing out? I mean, there's not incentive to comply, there's a lot of disincentive to comply. There's not enforcement, so

Kristen Yoder:      16:53 if you're a company who went through the nightmare of getting a license, you have every, every bone in your body and reason that you live is to be compliant because you did not just go through that nightmare to like, you know, play around. Um, and it's going to be hard because these are not California cannabis business owners. They're not business people last year and I highly doubt that they're business people this year, but they need to become beyond business people. They need to become, you know, corporation people. They need to. I mean, it's a huge, a huge learning curve that's going on. And um, I, I think that for these companies to make it, the illegal companies, they, they can't shut down because then they don't have any money and they can't operate because then they're breaking the law. I don't, I don't really know what the solution is other than making all of these local governments regulate their industries instead of ignoring them. That's the only way.

Kannaboomers:       18:01 Well, you said something a minute ago about a pathway, you know, at least have a way to to go from non-compliant to semi compliant to compliant. I mean, I think we all agree things should be done the right way. Maybe the company's being compliant, they're. They're trying to do things the right way is the logs are the taxes, do they have to be that high? How do you get it to a point where everybody wants to comply?

Kristen Yoder:      18:26 Well, that's what I'm saying. When it for a pathway to compliance, you would have to regulate your industry in the first place. I mean two thirds of California is refusing to allow any sort of commercial cannabis activity. Two thirds. That does not mean that there's no cannabis industry. It just means that all of them are now criminals and they have no protections in operating and the state is still not getting any tax money and the fact that they are making the barriers to entry so high and it's so difficult to comply, that's just killing off all of the mom and pop companies out there because it's nearly impossible to keep up even financially with the regulations. For example, um, at first the California emergency regulations had said that cannabis packaging has to be childproof the actual packaging. And then they said, no, it doesn't. It doesn't have to be childproof. You can just use a child safe. Oh No, it's the opposite. They said your packaging doesn't have to be child safe, but the exit bag at the dispensary has to be. Then they changed it and said, you do need to have each individual package of cannabis products be an a childproof packaging. So all of these companies spent tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars coming up with these, if not buying an already created child safe packaging. Some of them creating their own designs have really cool creative patent pending type of packaging. All to find out that after the those regulations came out, the state changed it again because they had received so many complaints and now all of these packet or all these companies have packaging that wasn't even necessary. It's these changes, these little changes that can kill companies that didn't start off with a ton of money and that's most companies that are not backed by investors and I think from the 20,000 square foot view, what I'm seeing is the barriers of entry are so high that it's killing off the California cannabis culture and it's. It's making it a breeding ground for capitalist with a lot of money and most of them are coming from out of state because our state is a state that didn't put it in state limit on a investors or people in the state. So anyone can invest and open a company. In California.

Kannaboomers:       21:02 What I hear you saying is maybe the big players, Philip Morris or the conglomerates have an opening here because they do have the deep pockets and the resources. They have lobbyists who can change laws.

Kristen Yoder:      21:13 I believe they are the ones behind it. I think that on the 11th hour of the regulations being published before it happened, there was, um, there was a limit on mega grows, any grow over 22,000 square feet. And the night before they published it, got the governor removed, he removed a section that prevented people from licensed stacking and licensed stacking is when you have a really big property and then you get a license per every 10,000 feet. But altogether you have a huge amount of the grill. He got rid of that protection which was there to help the small to medium farmers be able to compete on the same level instead of having these huge corporations come in and just wipe them out. That protection was gone immediately. I have to wonder who did that, like, who's behind that? Uh, I don't think our regulations were created for the mom and pop growers. California is the fifth largest economy in the world. You've got to believe that there are major players behind the scenes impacting the regulations in California does go around and have a comment period. Every time they released regulations to get people's input. I still think that lobbyists and dark money has more power than the actual people being subject to the regulations.

Kannaboomers:       22:40 Great. When something like that happens at the very last second and has a real outcome on the little guy. Yeah, that. That's bullshit.

Kristen Yoder:      22:49 If you look at Canada and the consolidation in Canada, that's California within five years, it's just going to be like for companies that have swallowed all the rest of them, so sorry everybody.

Kannaboomers:       23:03 We've talked about the business side of this and and the bullshit apparent. When you're at ground level in at 20,000 feet, there's also a cultural aspect to the bullshit around the stigma of cannabis based on 70 years of government propaganda. When they told us that this is the devil's weed, it leads to ruin. It's a horrible thing that is going to kill you. So the bullshit around this is not limited to business. There's, there's a cultural aspect to it as well.

Kristen Yoder:      23:31 Oh yeah. There's, I mean there's bullshit all over. I make a joke that bs is literally in the word cannabis. It's just, it's just a part of it. I love the plant, the sciences. Awesome. That's not the bullshit, but it is a cultural beliefs and when it comes to the prohibition, you know, in the 1930s and how it had an impact and how it still impacts today. If you look at the DEA, I mean they just, I think they just changed spelling marijuana with like a ‘j' instead of an ‘h' and I believe MPP sued the DEA for having 21 false claims on their website and actually got them removed off of the DEA is website, but there's still this Anslinger, that's the guy's name that was ahead of the DEA or whatever back then. They still have this weird relationship with cannabis as if it's like this horrible criminal plant and you hear I'm the attorney general, what's his name?

Kannaboomers:       24:38 Jeff Sessions.

Kristen Yoder:      24:40 Jeff Sessions. I mean, these guys are in power and unfortunately I think they truly believe what they say and the fact that we have a bunch of people that are still in that level. It's, it's difficult to get them to change their mind until somebody in their family gets sick. I think that's generally the way people's minds change about cannabis is when a family member gets sick and then they use cannabis and then they're like, “oh, it's not something that stoners that you know are stupid and lazy and eat lots of food.” Do. I don't think it has the demon we'd view anymore for the most part, just I'm just a negative view.

Kannaboomers:       25:26 Right. I think Jeff Sessions was on the record, is still saying, you know, good people don't smoke marijuana.

Kristen Yoder:      25:33 But they drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, you know, and take pharmaceuticals. That's the other thing. Cannabis is not legal for many reasons, but I think one of the main reasons is, is it will knock out a bunch of industries. It will take a ton of money from them. I mean, hemp and America, there have been a part of our history. I mean, are the, the sales of Christopher Columbus' ship were made from when the constitution was written on hemp, George Washington farmed hemp. The first American flag was made from hemp. This is not a demon drug. This was building supplies, industrial uses, you know, fabric. Now we have hemp seed oil, so that's for nutritional supplements or food and a bio fuels. Then for cannabis with high in THC, knocks out pharmaceuticals, affects the alcohol industry, affects the tobacco industry. All of these industries have lobbyists and they're all incredibly intertwined with our government and I think that they're probably part of the propaganda machine. You know, they're probably still whispering in the ear of politicians, you don't want to do this or this is bad, or look at this. I think lobbyists kind of run our government,

Kannaboomers:       27:02 Unfortunately. Yeah, I think you're right. Our audience is baby boomers. When we, in the seventies, we smoked joints and hit bongs and realize this wasn't the road to ruin. Yet the laws persisted for another 30 or 40 years while the science was being manifest. You know, the endocannabinoid system was discovered and there was some scientific evidence that we have receptors, we have CBD1 and CBD2 receptors and it reduces inflammation. It does all these things, but it takes so long for that word to get out. And then for laws to change and for the culture to change and to understand that this is not a substance that should be criminal.

Kristen Yoder:      27:44 You. That makes me think of something, a problem with the scientific, the medical aspect is the endocannabinoid system isn't even taught in medical school. There are still doctors that do believe that cannabis is a demon. We'd, um, I had a psychiatrist when I was like 21, which is when I got into the industry and for seven years I brought him all kinds of reports and studies in psychiatrist basically just give people drugs. That's what they do there. Who the psychologist sends you to to give you medications. So there, especially against cannabis for the most part because they're like, oh, well I've seen people go crazy and whatever. But it's like, yeah, because they probably had mental issues in the first place. But that's beside the point. It took me seven years until he actually started writing cannabis doctor recommendations for some of his patients and I think that if I can turn a psychiatrist into a doctor that will give a cannabis prescription, it's not completely impossible to teach doctors, but doctors have to be willing to see it as a legitimate science. I mean, if a doctor doesn't know about the endocannabinoid system, you have a very difficult argument on your hand a with the doctor, you know, the fact that it's still not taught kind of blows my mind like what century are we in that we don't recognize this? This has been proven and it's continuously proven in all of these different studies. And I mean you mentioned the CB one, CB two receptor. There are lots of other receptors that we're finding out about and there are more cannabinoids then we knew about and then we add terpines and all these other chemicals that we're still figuring out. I think it's, how can we even expect medical professionals or anyone really to be on top of it. And that's the other thing. I teach terpene classes and once people learn about terpene, it makes everything more confusing, so that's another problem is we have a new science that we're still finding the answers to. It's hard to convince others when the science is so young and change

Kannaboomers:       30:10 It's not black and white. We've talked about this on other shows where people have different reactions to different strains in my genetics aren't the same as your genetics. Even within Australia there might be variations. It's a very complex personalized medicine in it. If you're going to really use it as a medicine, you have to take some responsibility for discovering on your own. Maybe in conjunction with a enlightened medical professional. What's gonna work for you? But I, I hear you, I mean I've had conversations with oncologists and you know, ‘is it okay to take CBD?' And the guy, he's, he's a doctor, he says, “Well, yeah, there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, it increases your appetite. It helps you sleep.” All the things that THC does. He, he didn't even know about CBD. You know, he in his. Yeah. There's just a huge lack of knowledge and I don't know if there's a willingness to learn it either. I mean like you say, if pharmaceutical companies that are out there pushing their products and giving away free samples, you know, is a doctor really going to recommend cannabis on until the cannabis model becomes that and you have a sales rep showing up with a bunch of bud and handing it out.

Kristen Yoder:      31:24 Yeah. The. See that's never gonna happen. So this is the biggest problem with cannabis is I went to the cannabis science convention a couple months ago and there's a doctor from Israel, Dr Deedee, Mary, I always mess his name up but that's, that's close enough and he runs the oncology cannabis center or something like that and Israel and I didn't know this, but in Israel they only have like 16 growers for the entire country and everything. That growth goes through this main system so that the country can keep track of exactly what strains are being used by what patients to what affects and to what degrees. And he was talking about these autistic children that were taking a specific strain that just have these amazing results, but the grower ran out of that strain. So he said, here's another strain that has the same cannabinoid profile for the most part, um, let's put them on this until I have more. And the kids had really bad reactions. I'm getting violent, hurting themselves or others. And he was talking about the fact there's over 144 cannabinoids over 200 terpenes in cannabis. We will never be able to have a solid, will never be able to prescribe cannabis if we don't figure out specifically what is doing what in the person. And like you said, everyone has different chemistry. But when we're working with over 300 plus molecules, it's not, it's not possible for people to just smoke a specific bud and get the same effect every time when even buds grown on the same plant can have different amounts of terpenes are different amounts of cannabinoids, uh, from a different stem. So I think the key is unfortunately is we have to figure out and what Dr Mary was saying, we have to figure out the three to four molecules that are doing something, but we cannot be using just the plant for people in a hospital or something. It's going to have to come in a pharmaceutical form and then we will have pharmaceutical companies in the cannabis industry, which is already happening. GW Pharmaceutical with Epidiolex or um, Insys Therapeutics. Here's another example. They created the Fentanyl patch, I believe it's the Fentanyl patch and they're in Arizona. Arizona had recreational cannabis on their ballot last year and Insys Therapeutics spent $500,000 in a campaign against the legalization. And then news comes out after legalization failed in Arizona that insys therapeutics had just gotten their CBD drug approved by the DEA. So obviously it's not in their best interests to have a cannabis legalized before they can control it. And I think that's when we're going to see it is when pharmaceutical countries have a choke hold on the industry when it gets to schedule too.

Kannaboomers:       34:47 Right? Wow.

Kristen Yoder:      34:49 Oh, and the other thing for pharmaceuticals generally people have to try, I mean like antidepressants. You try different meds until you figure out which one works, so it's not that strange that you would have to do that with cannabis, but fortunately with cannabis you only have to deal with side effects for a day two at the very most versus antidepressants which you have to take at least two weeks and then you have actual withdrawal chemical issues going on with your brain. It's just kind of part of figuring out what works for you in. Luckily it's pretty benign.

Kannaboomers:       35:27 Two different paradigms. There's this sort of the Western medicine foundation have you isolate this molecule in the laboratory and then you know the effect it's going to have. I mean again that that will probably depend on someone's genetics, but with cannabis you'd have to decode the genome and understand that there's 142 cannabinoids and then there's 200 terpines and all those combinations are astronomical and then you know, how are all those different combinations going? How am I going to react to them and how are you going to react to them? So yeah, there's a lot to unpack there, right? I mean it's, it's astoundingly complex.

Kristen Yoder:      36:08 Yeah. The less, you know,

Kannaboomers:       36:12 it's an organic medicine and it's never killed anybody, right?

Kristen Yoder:      36:16 I mean, why are we okay with taking Ibuprofen, which we know has serious side effects on our kidneys and our liver is why we've been programmed it take a pill for practically everything. I don't know why it's so difficult for us to take a plant, you know, if you take Ginko Biloba, like who knows if you're even actually taking it because the nutritional supplement industry is not regulated. Um, so who knows what you're taking, but why is it easier for you to take that then a plant, especially like a literal plant, you know, people drink tea, guess what, he has pesticides on it. Hate to tell you, but you're like steeping, pesticide and water. What's wrong with using cannabis? It's just a plant. Something you can grow in your backyard, you know, not in a lab somewhere.

Kannaboomers:       37:06 There's a lot that we're not going to figure it out today, but another astounding piece of bullshit is that the US government has a patent on CBD, right?

Kristen Yoder:      37:16 Yeah. So what's up with that right?

Kannaboomers:       37:20 Patent 6630507. They know it's in. It's in. Is that for the anti inflammatory property?

Kristen Yoder:      37:28 To be honest, I am not. I am not well spoken on this patent. I just know of it and that the government has it and to me that's like, yeah, you guys know that it works medically. You have the patent. Why is it still a schedule one drug?

Kannaboomers:       37:45 Yeah. They had enough foresight to understand that it had value. So they tried to get a monopoly on it or at least grabbed it. I, I don't know that they use it at all, but

Kristen Yoder:      37:53 There was a ton of cannabis medicine, so you know, you see the old pictures and they're like cannabis, indica, indica, and like more morphine type alcohol beverage tinctures or whatever back in the day before prohibition. So they know it has medical properties because was medically

Kannaboomers:       38:16 And then another aspect of it is CBD, which doesn't get you high, but it's being used for so many purposes. There some bullshit there too, because there's so many companies just rushing products to market that it's hard to know what's any good at all. Some companies are publishing test results and other companies will take a picture of those test results and put them up as if they're their own. So for the consumer, you have to be very careful to try and find a brand that you think is pure and good. Right?

Kristen Yoder:      38:49 Yeah. It's really tough. There are several aspects to the CBD industry that um, that mirror the TFC and distribute free legalization where you just don't know. And there's a ton of people in there trying to make a bunch of money and nobody's regulating it and you get what you get. But when it comes to CBD, we're talking about a global commodity. We've got all these other countries. Everybody's getting in on the CBD industry. And on LinkedIn alone, just people being like, ‘Hey, I'm looking for 10 million pounds of biomass, or you know, I need 50,000 kilos of CBD isolate' or just these ridiculous amounts of, of product that doesn't even exist and people trying to buy and sell it and you know, that it's just a lot of crap. Um, you might be getting CBD and from Canada or China or other places with less than savory manufacturing and, and lab testing issues.

Kannaboomers:       39:53 And then there's CBD isolate versus a full spectrum CBD oil.

Kristen Yoder:      39:58 And then there's the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil and Gas Company. They're now changing the labeling to instead of saying CBD oil, they're calling it hemp oil and then putting active milligrams instead of calling it CBD on the packaging so that they're not getting in trouble for selling CBD because they're trying to basically cover their ass. So it's really confusing to know what is, what I think the best way to bullshit detect on that is to contact the actual company and asked for a COA, which is a Certificate of Analysis to that specific company. And if you get it through a distributor, see if they can get a third-party COA. Some distribution companies will do that. Like CBD marketplaces online. We'll do third-party testing as well so that they're not selling you crap.

Kannaboomers:       40:55 Yeah. Because it is, it's a bio accumulator too, right? I mean it sucks toxins out of the ground. So.

Kristen Yoder:      41:01 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, but I don't know if any of CBD is a molecule and they use this to like suck up radiation out of the ground. What did you notice the radiated molecules in the CBD? I don't know. I'm not sure. I guess whatever testing equipment you're using, you would have to have radiation samples in the library to, to notice it anyways, I think. Um, but yeah, you, you don't know where it's coming from. And CBD isolate isn't always as effective for specific things as much as a full spectrum oil, which is a crude oil basically where they have all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant versus cbd isolate, which is just an isolated cbd molecule.

Kannaboomers:       41:54 So this is another area where we've talked about business and culture and we can swing into government, but is there a regulatory mechanism by which you could begin to protect consumers, penalize companies who are putting out bad product or do you just let the market solve the issue of bad product?

Kristen Yoder:      42:15 So it seems to me like the government doesn't want to deal with it at all. So they're not. That doesn't mean that they won't in the future, but I think that it's almost like in LA it is blown up so much that I don't think the government could even fricking handle. I'm getting a reign in on CBD just yet. It seems like maybe they will, but right now there's all these rogue CBD companies that are doing whatever they want just like in Los Angeles, make your money and then hopefully either get out before you get in trouble or get a good lawyer in case you do get in trouble, but just balls to the wall with your production. So I don't know. I don't see the. I don't see the government getting into the street to take care of consumers. They just get into it to take money from consumers and then regulations are like a part of it, but I don't think that they care about the quality as much as they do getting the tax.

Kannaboomers:       43:14 Yeah, I mean if it became a pharmaceutical model where it was tightly regulated, that's one thing. But I guess it's like any other supplement. I mean, for you, you see a statement on the bottle, it says, you know, this hasn't been, these claims have not been verified or whatever.

Kristen Yoder:      43:30 Exactly. It's exactly the same situation. It's a hands off until you do something or you kill someone or something like that. I mean, even the chemical industry, the cosmetics industry, none of these industries have any oversight from the government. I mean the government, there was makeup back in the old days. They use radium, which is that, um, radioactive stuff that makes things glow like watch faces or something. They would have like mascara or something until people's eyes started getting tumors or whatever. Government doesn't. They're not proactive. They're reactive. That's just the way it is, you know?

Kannaboomers:       44:14 Right. Yeah. So it's, it's a buyer beware at world. And we all know that, so it's,

Kristen Yoder:      44:19 you know, if it's really, really important to you then take the initiative, spend the extra money and get it tested yourself. There are also websites out there, there's one I found theblacklist.xyz And it's for people to go on and post when they've been robbed or they've tested cartridges that came back with pesticides or whatever. It's the place where people warn each other about other things and other products. And it's really interesting to see how many lab test fails a lot of these cannabis companies get. So I think there needs to be more watchdog websites like that for consumers and for people in the industry. Theblacklist.xyz.

Kannaboomers:       45:08 And is it cannabis focused?

Kristen Yoder:      45:10 Yeah. It's like I'm turning informants thieves, a bad employers, bad medicine. It's bad people. And interesting. Yeah, it's, I mean we don't really have any other way of regulating the black industry, the black market industry, you know,

Kannaboomers:       45:32 You know, we've seen kind of the dark side of legalization what's the bright side?

Kristen Yoder:      45:38 What makes me excited. And so I realized that like, Oh my God, we can actually make our, we can keep our culture, we just have to start growing ourselves or knowing people that grow or supporting people that grow. What I'm excited about as well is I'm starting to get more clients that are in the hemp industry and I hear from like hemp veterans that are like, oh my God, there's so many thieves and crooks and the hemp industry, but I'm finding that it's almost a better quality of people that want to get into the hemp industry and want to create a product that helps people. It's not a product that's used for people to get intoxicated with. So it's almost, um, and more wholesome cannabis species maybe is a way to put it. So I'm, I'm excited about the future of hemp and the way that it's going to be a part of many industries. You know, it's not just for CBD, obviously CBD is a huge thing, but I mean you can grow different variety or different cultivars of hemp and get different aspects. So there are some people that will focus just on the seed oil or whatever it makes sense, but definitely CBD production. But even then that's still, I don't know, I think that's like a softer side of the cannabis industry because it's not the active drug.

Kannaboomers:       47:09 The growing factor. Um, do you recommend getting a clone? Do you grow from seed? What are your best practices for growing your own?

Kannaboomers:       47:17 Well, if you live somewhere where you could get a clone, clones are cool. I'm there. At least they've started, you know that they're female and generally if you know a place to get a clone, you can get more information about growing. If you're in a place where you can't get clones, then grow by seed. The thing is even if you get feminized seeds, generally they're female. I, I've heard of people that have gotten male plants out of feminized seeds, so I'm not really sure about that. But growing by seed is super exciting too because when you sprout it and the little root comes out and then the first set of leaves and it's a little bit more difficult depending on your growing situation. But if you can grow out doors than seed is pretty easy,

Kannaboomers:       48:07 So just find room on the balcony or in the backyard and put a seed in some paper towels and get it wet and we'll watch it for a few days and then put it in some soil. And there you go.

Kristen Yoder:      48:20 Exactly. Pop the seed and then put it into some soil and then water it. Not too much, but water it and watch it.

Kannaboomers:       48:29 Are you growing some right now?

Kristen Yoder:      48:31 No, I don't have the right place for it. I was trying to grow in my window sill, but um, that I ended up, I was trying, I thought I was growing an auto flower, which means that it will go into flowering despite the lighting. And that's really important because if you're growing regular cannabis then you have to go from an 18-hour light schedule down to 12 hours, dark 12 hours light and I don't have a place to put my plant. Would that lighting schedule like in my bathroom or something that doesn't work out. So I had to give my plant to a friend so that he could flower her. But I think for the most part, growing outdoors is the best way. If you're going to grow indoors, you're going to need to put more time and money into it. And I don't have either of those right now.

Kannaboomers:       49:25 Yeah. You get into grow lights and all that stuff.

Kristen Yoder:      49:28 I can't grow half-assed. So I mean when I was growing back in the day, I had a six by six foot tent and I had the exhaust and, and like everything set up. It was actually super fun, but it can get really expensive and I mean if you're not going to sell it, then it's just an investment of money and time. I mean, you can't go on vacation or anything while it's growing either because it's almost guaranteed. If you let someone else watch your plants, they're going to kill them. So I don't know why that happens, but it does.

Kannaboomers:       50:02 Oh sure. It's a real relationship you have with that plant.

Kristen Yoder:      50:04 That's true. They really need you. It's definitely. I mean, it's three months of your life. You can, you can take a break. It's totally worth it.

Kannaboomers:       50:15 Yeah, that's, that's a great recommendation. I'm going to have to do that.

Kristen Yoder:      50:19 There's a company, by the way called a pot for pot.com. That's how I was growing. They're the ones who sell the, it's like a little home kit that you can do in indoor outdoor and you, they give you a coupon to get a seed of an auto flower and it makes it really easy to grow.

Kannaboomers:       50:39 That's a great recommendation. Where can we find you online?

Kristen Yoder:      50:44 Uh, well, I have my own podcast called the Cannabis BS Detector where I call out the bullshit and the cannabis industry and some of the episodes I've done were all the different ways you can get sued by everyone in every way possible. Um, I came up with so many good ideas on how to sue people. It was interesting and um, I did one about GW Pharma's Epidiolex and the clinical trials and some of the negative aspects of that. Um, then I have another dash radio show that is available on iTunes under Purple Haze radio called Story Time where I invite people in the cannabis industry to come on and tell their funny, horrific or crazy experiences in the cannabis industry because it's not all positive, like we all have these insane stories that it's kind of like war stories around a campfire type of thing. Um, then I have my website, Soil to the Oil.com all spelled out, no numbers. And um, my podcast is at Canabspod.com or on itunes. Um, what else? Oh, and then I'm also on the radio and San Diego on 89.1 FM KNSJ at 7:00 PM on Friday evenings.

Kannaboomers:       52:10 That's pretty cool. You have a lot of, a lot of exposure and a lot of experience of podcasting. So

Kristen Yoder:      52:15 yeah, it's fun. I mean I just, I can really bum people out, but I can also crack jokes and take the edge off hopefully. So it's not like a super, super negative thing. I just feel like someone has to tell this type of stuff to people in and I've elected to do it. Um. Oh, instagram, soil to the oil as well.

Kannaboomers:       52:37 Okay. We'll look you up. Oh yeah. Obviously, I mean injecting some reality into the conversation is very valuable in my opinion. Most of us are blithely unaware of the realities of this industry. Legalization is not just a binary switch that gets pulled. Obviously there's all sorts of things going on. Parties jockeying talking to you. It's obviously there's going to be a lot of growth in litigation, you know, if you want it to really take advantage of this, you'd become a lawyer. And,

Kristen Yoder:      53:08 and that's exactly how I ended that episode was like, Hey, if you're getting into the cannabis industry, you should be a lawyer because that's where the money's at.

Kannaboomers:       53:16 Yeah. A lot of conflicts and a lot of fights.

Kristen Yoder:      53:22 Well and also regulations never stopped changing. I mean just a couple of weeks ago, Washington state decided to ban a hard candies and candy in general and they didn't tell anybody, including all the companies that make candy is. And then when the company is just like freaked out, they repealed the ban, but it's like you're never safe. Things will always change. California will come out with regulations and then give a 45-day comment period and then change regulations and then do a 45-day comment period. And it's like nonstop changing. So you cannot, I mean it's just something you're always on your toes. If you're in the cannabis industry, you are obsessed with regulations or you will fail. Yeah.

Kannaboomers:       54:12 Basically people like you who are out there and watching this are going to help those of us who just want to be able to have access to a safe and effective medicine that, you know, maybe it takes some experimentation on our part as we've discussed, but you know, it is an alternative to Ibuprofen, to opioids to all kinds of things that do more harm. So that's, that's why I got into it this, this is about harm reduction and giving people an option to have a safe, effective organic medicine.

Kristen Yoder:      54:44 There is something I saw that's like, look, we don't have an ibuprofen system in our body. We don't have a Tylenol system in our body. But we do have an endocannabinoid system in our body. So introducing cannabinoids to it, it's complimentary science. It's not some alien chemical. We create endogenous cannabinoids. We are already creating them, so it's even more about balancing out our system then bringing in an outside chemical to it.

Kannaboomers:       55:18 Yeah, and it goes back tens of thousands of years. We have a relationship with it. Well, I want to thank you for taking the time to speak to our audience, so we've got a lot out of this show and uh, hopefully we can maybe have you back in the future.

Kristen Yoder:      55:32 Thanks so much for having me.

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