25 | Rob Mejia, Our Community Harvest
April 8, 2019
The cannabis dinner party… it's an idea whose time has arrived. But where do you start? How do you make a dish that's both tasty and has the perfect amount of THC to make it a fun event for your guests? Rob Mejia has done so many times. The author of “The Essential Cannabis Book: A Field Guide for the Curious,” he shares his knowledge on how to throw a successful cannabis dinner party, and much more, in this episode.
Hey, I'm Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboomers podcast. For Episode 25 we have Rob Mejia of our community harvest. Rob Is an interesting guy. He has a couple of books about cannabis, general topic for education, but he's also really into cooking with cannabis, which for a lot of us we kind of scratch our heads and go, well, how does that work? You put flower into Lasagna or whatever. Rob Takes the time in this episode to explain a very simple method of extracting cannabis oil and getting it very precise so you know exactly what dose is in the single serving of the dish you have or the bigger dish. And he describes what sounds like a really fun time at parties where he cooks great dishes that are infused with cannabis. And invariably the guests ask him, uh, how do I do this at home? How can I have a party myself? So I think you'll enjoy this episode it. It gives us a lot of information about something that I think is going to be a growing trend and sounds like a ton of fun. Episode 25 here you go.
This is, “Let Talk About Weed” the Kannaboomers podcast, CBD micro dosing and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.
Well, I'd like to welcome to the podcast Rob Mejia, who runs “Our Community Harvest.” Hey Rob.
Hey Tom. How are you?
Doing great. How are you doing?
I am doing very well. Thanks.
So we were just chatting and you're in New Jersey?
I am. I'm about to 25 miles north west of New York City.
Well, Jersey is struggling with cannabis laws, right?
We are. It's kind of getting been back and forth and a lot of us were very excited because on March 25th it looks like there was going to be a vote, but the Senate was a few votes short and so they decided not to have the vote. And so it looks like we're in delay now. So one of two things is likely to happen. Uh, it looks like they might be another vote in May. If that doesn't happen, then it might go all the way until November with the possibility that it might go on to a public vote, which a lot of us are hoping doesn't happen. Because if we can do this by legislature like Vermont did, it gives so much more flexibility and you can make changes in the program. You can make fixes. It is just so much more efficient than if we do it by public vote.
Well, there's lots of learnings going on across the country with different states in different approaches. So fingers crossed that it goes well there.
Yeah, and actually what's interesting is New Jersey can actually be a leader if we get our stuff together here. So two of the big things that would be very different than any other state is that from the outset we would have expungement of, um, simple possession, uh, expunged from people's records. So it gets some people out of prison, we'd clean up their records. That would be a very big deal. And then the second thing is they're also planning for consumption lounges. So they would be connected to the dispensaries. So people would actually have some place to partake because, um, if you go to say Colorado, unless you go to somebody's, private residents, you can't smoke the sidewalk, you can't do it in a federal park. Uh, you can't do it in a hotel, um, apartment, federal housing. So you're very restricted as to where you can partake, even though you could walk to a dispensary as an adult and get whatever product you want.
Those are big things. I mean, you know, in California we were still struggling with a lot of rules that the dispensaries are kind of shackled with and it's turning out to be more big business friendly than little guy friendly. So it evolves. But, uh, hopefully in Jersey you'll, you'll take the right course.
Well we have a few of those issues with a big business as well. So home home grow is not going to be allowed and that's a big deal for some people. Um, and then also at least initially the licenses have gone to some of the bigger players and there is a provision provision for micro licenses that you still have to be pretty well financed in order to get what are those micro licenses and those are only going to be about 10% of the licenses that are available.
It kind of blows my mind that they wouldn't allow home grow. I mean it's something you can grow on your balcony or in your backyard. It's just kind of amazing that they would prohibit that
At what are the cannabis meetings I was at. I asked the director of health who's been running a lot of these and helping to set some of the regulations and his response was that, oh well people will sell the excess. And I thought, I thought, well that's a response for someone who's never grown before. They can then say being him because it actually takes quite a lot of, um, effort to grow and to grow so that you would have “excess.” Plus by the time, especially if you're growing indoors, by the time you pay for your electric bill, your water, all the nutrients you need, all the time you put into it, uh, it's a pretty good, it could be an inexpensive proposition.
Yeah. Well, I had a guest a few weeks ago talking about growing and, you know, it does seem very simple and fundamental on the surface, but as with anything, there's a lot of nuance and subtlety to doing it right. You know, what, what if people had access and sold it to each other? I don't get the downside of that even.
Yeah. What they, what they would say is that, well, the product has not tested, but if somebody's home grows, I mean, they know whether they've used pesticides, they know what they've done to, uh, make it a good product. So they could certainly let somebody who purchased it know about that.
Let's shift gears and talk about “Our Community Harvest” um, to tell me about what you guys do.
Sure. So “Our Community Harvest” um, the uh, second part of the company name is “A Cannabis Education Company” and that describes exactly what we're all about. So we're very much about um, educating people about cannabis. And I like to say that we're interested in, in forming, not persuading. And so the way we go about trying to educate people through cannabis is, first of all, I did spend a couple of years doing some pretty intense research and I wrote a book that is really a cannabis one on one book and it's called “The Essential Cannabis Book: A Field Guide for the Curious.” And it covers the history of cannabis both domestically and internationally, which is really intriguing. Covers some science, a little bit of botany, medical possibilities, methods of consumption, social issues. It has resources like annotated websites that people can go to. It has 70 bullet points. So even if you didn't want to read the whole book, if you read those 70 bullet points, you would actually get some pretty good cannabis knowledge.
And then because one of my passions is cooking, there's also a very good cooking section that will show people how to infuse oils. Um, how to use micro dosing as a technique and actually haw to do a cannabis dinner party. So all of that is packed into 140 oh, sorry, 184 pages. And it also includes uh 20 stories from people in the cannabis community. So we have profiles of the sheriff had Aspen, a nuns in California who grow and who heal people with CBD, we have medical patients. We have some really intriguing stories because I find that once people find out at the stories come from, oh, people who are your relatives, your neighbors, people you may have gone to church with people you play tennis with, that it really breaks down the barriers and you could see the possibilities of what cannabis might be able to do for you. So a book is kind of a cornerstone of what we're doing. I do have a medical journal coming out in the next couple of weeks that will help medical users track their usage and adult users. We also are doing online content for uh, universities. And then also I do a bunch of seminars and so I speak to groups, whether it's a, a bunch of retirees, college students, basically wherever I can, I can book to speak. I'm happy to do it.
Wow. You are a busy guy.
Yes. It's all good.
You got a lot going on. I liked it. You have the, the book as the cornerstone. That makes a lot of sense to me as a resource. And you know, and I love the fact that you have case studies in there from real people. I mean, that makes it real for you and I and our neighbor when they read about someone who's just like them, who discovered some of this about this plant. And it takes some of the stigma away.
Exactly. And stigma is such a big part of it. We've been taught all these lies for so many years, and it's become part of embedded in our culture that once you can actually open up somebody's eyes and say, you know what, actually between 1850 and 1937 if you wanted medicine, you could go to your pharmacist or your compounder. They would pull out their copy of the US Pharmacopeia and they could make you some cannabis for a lot of different conditions. And it was accepted medicine and big companies like Eli Lilly, Tilden's, Brothers Smith, they all made it and they all packaged it and then it was widely available.
Yeah. Our our great grandparents had access to it.
Yeah it's funny. I love seeing those vintage bottles.
Where can we find your book? Is it at ama- I'm sorry. At amazon?
It is. Amazon.com On Barnes and Noble. Target.com Walmart.com local bookstores. Actually quite a number of college bookstores.
Wow. You've got quite a reach. Tell me, how is the book opened doors for you? Um, do you have some measure of notoriety?
I do. And what's interesting is I love it when people reach out and they'll say things like, I was reading your book and I have this particular question. Or when is your journal coming out? Or, or how do I read a label on a CBD bottle, which is, um, very difficult for some people. So I know that people are using it, they're reading it and I think it's helping some people, which is fantastic. That makes me very happy.
You know, our, our audience I think runs the gamut, but we started out saying, we're for baby boomers who people my age have. We had experienced with cannabis 20, 30 years ago when we were in school maybe. And then a lot of us, uh, became social drinkers and didn't use cannabis as much. But now there's been so much science in the last 10, 15, 20 years that we know it is a legitimate medicine. Uh, we know we can do things like microdose. There's different ways besides, you know, hitting bongs and joints. There is a lot of education among baby boomers and I think all generations.
Yeah, you're right. What's interesting is when I wrote the book, I kind of had my, my mom and the back of my head and my mom, is 80 years old. She needs, she's open minded but also definitely skeptical. And so I thought what I want to do is make this information accessible and make it a brief enough and to the point and also acknowledge some of the potential dangers that might be out there. So I try to give a very balanced view. But, um, I do think that the book really is targeted towards primarily boomers and then also people who might have knowledge about one part of the process. So I do find that some of the younger people who read the book, they know a lot about vapes because they've grown up with it. Oftentimes they'll know more about vapes than I will, or they might know about the joints and blunts and things like that, but then they may not know about all the other, uh, types of consumption types that are available. They might not know a lot about CBD. They definitely know, don't know about cooking with it. So I think it actually hits a lot of, um, a lot of, a lot of uh br- it's a broad audience.
You mentioned dangers. Can we talk about that a little bit? About what are the things to look out for if you're stepping into cannabis for the first time in a while?
Sure.Well what's interesting is I do find that I had to address the very first question that is the most googled and that is, is it addictive? So that's the thing that people will ask right away. So if they want to try it, maybe even want to try CBD. Some people are very afraid because they might've had a run in with opioids or they've heard all these things about quote drugs. And if they think of cannabis as a drug, then they're afraid. So I did address the question of addiction. The other question that comes up is dependency. Then there is a driving while impaired. And then there's also, um, uh, whether insurance pays for the pays for the medicine. And then there's kind of the broad question of what about the kids? And you kind of have to get people to define what their concern is about children. So I do address each of those issues in the book.
And then as you said, sort of at the top, this is about informing, not persuading. You're not twisting anyone's arm, you're just saying, here's, here's what you need to know if you want to do this.
Exactly. And in, in some cases I'll say things like, well, if your family has a history of a bipolar or depression or schizophrenia, then maybe you want to try just with CBD to start and see how you do and then, um, take the low doses, move up. If you do want to try THC, maybe get a product that's a one to one ratio. And I list some of the strains that, uh, have that consistency. So basically my message is about responsible consumption. If that's something that somebody wants to choose.
Well, and makes a lot of sense then to introduce a journal to your readers so that they can track their consumption and really get smart about it.
Yeah, I think it's a little bit like, um, if you pay attention and you're very mindful about what works and what doesn't work, you can make good progress. And it's also often a longterm process because I have found that a lot of people in the, in the, when they look at cannabis, they have to become their own advocates because their doctor might not know a lot about it. Their nurses might not know a lot. Their neighbors, other people they really look to for information. And so they have to do the research and they have to basically go through the steps carefully to find out what works for them and taking those notes and noting what product they purchased, how much they used, how they felt five minutes into the process, 30 minutes, two hours next day. All of that really helps to, um, make sure that they have the best experience possible.
The word mindfulness, uh, you mentioned that and cannabis gets a rap as being very personalized. We all have different genetics. We might respond differently to different strains. Set and setting can make a difference. But you know, I had a guest a couple of weeks ago, Mara Gordon who said, you know, that's true of a lot of pharmaceuticals. Everybody has different responses to different molecules. So it's, it's not just cannabis, but if it does help you be more mindful about your health, that's a really good thing.
That's a great point. And actually I think especially for people who are, um, who are boomers, that they are starting to look at cannabis as part of a wellness regimen, which I think is fantastic. And so I think they realize that you do need things like a proper night's sleep. You do need to exercise, you have to take care of your nutrition, you have to make sure that you have friends around you because as you get older, social isolization is a big deal. And if people don't have a support system, friends to talk to families, et Cetera, it can take a big toll. So I'm seeing more boomers in particular that are adding cannabis to the mix and they're using it as either a sports recovery or to help them sleep better or to tamp down their anxiety. But really looking at it as more of a holistic, uh, product and process versus just just a using cannabis.
You know, you mentioned sleep and that makes so much sense for a lot of people. It's such as foundational aspect of your health in a lot of us, you know, if we're anxious or you know, there's a lot of reasons for insomnia, many of us might have, you know, reached for a cocktail that might help you sleep, but that doesn't always work either. So here's, um, you can try an Indica, try different strains and see if it helps you sleep. And from there then you're, you're more likely to wake up, ready to work out, ready to have a good day. That kind of thing.
Absolutely. There there's some research that shows that uh, the two biggest reasons that people will seek out cannabis. What is pain relief? And that also dovetails a little bit with people who might be using opioids, but we, we all get pain and uh, we all need to find out ways to, um, to take care of that, to mitigate it. And then also the second one is a relaxation and sleep. There are so many people who have sleeping issues and uh, it's been found that cannabis certainly is a great pain reliever and definitely helps people to sleep.
You mentioned cannabis dinner parties. I'm kind of curious about that and how you got into that and some of the, some of the aspects around that. Let's talk about that.
Oh sure. And that actually kind of dovetails into my story on how I got involved with cannabis in the first place. And that is, I was pretty typical. In then I used during high school a little bit college a little bit, but it really was not a big part of my life. And um a few years ago and I'm actually from a huge family. I'm one of 13 kids if you can believe that. Um, and, and from Denver. And so several years ago, my sister Theresa, who was in her mid fifties, healthy, exercised, ate well. She was not on any Pharma. She got uterine cancer and it spread pretty quickly. And she was put on a regimen of opioids to the point where she really didn't even know who or where she was. And then also she lost her appetite. And being a, being a Mejia and growing up in such a big family, we always had a lot of us at the dinner table and most of us are very good cooks. And so meals were such a big part of our life. And I felt kind of trapped because there, my sister was wasting away and I couldn't feed her. I couldn't nurture her. And so that, um, that really struck me. And so I, and so one of the things that I learned how to do was to cook with cannabis because I thought if I'm in this position again and someone who I love is suffering like this, I'll be able to cook with cannabis for them, which I know is going to help their appetite. And so I actually learned with a chef Lori Wolf and Laurie's out in Portland. She has done for remarkable cannabis cookbooks, including one of my favorites called “Herb” just H-E-R-B, um, which also has 200 amazing photos from her husband, Bruce, who's a professional photographer. So if you're interested, it's a good book. Um, but anyway, so she was nice enough to show me how to cook with cannabis and that's kind of how I learned.
Wow, that's a great story. So my wife is a great cook. I'm not, but uh, you know, I watch her and I learned, I chop some vegetables for her and stuff, but you know, she's got instincts I just don't have, but she knows that sweet and salty go together and you know, there's umami and when you are using cannabis, what flavors are you infusing into the food? And I, I imagine it takes some trial and error to get the desired taste. And then how about the psycho activity? How do you govern that?
Great question. So there's kind of two parts to that. So the first thing is one of the goals when you cook with cannabis is pretty much to mask the flavor. Um, so some people don't mind the flavor, some people actually like it a little bit. I personally do. Um, but if you can kind of mask the flavor with the complimentary spices and dishes that go well with it, that's kind of the goal. So a simple example is if you choose a, um, a sativa strain, which is kind of what you usually start your party with because you want people to have energy, you want them to laugh, you went up to their senses to be heightened. So they really enjoy the food, the music. So you might pick something that has a, a kind of a lemon terpene with it and kind of a lemon flavor. And so if I'm doing that, I'm going to pick dishes that go well with citrus. And so maybe if my main course is fish, for example, I might do a fish in parchment and I would use that kind of infused oil that has the lemon flavor to it to kind of compliment the fish. So basically what I do is I pick particular strains that have a particular smell and terpene profile and then I picked dishes that go with that. So there's some that are kind of mushroomy and earthy, so you pick earthy dishes. There are some that are kind of Piney. Um, and with those, maybe you go with something that has kind of a very bright, sparkly counterpoint to it. But anyway, so you, you mix the food so that it tastes good. You don't taste the cannabis, you start with a sativa and then, uh, by the end of the meal you get towards a, a nice indica dessert, send people on their way and they have a great night's sleep.
And what form are you using flour or are you making it into an oil or a butter or a how are you infusing it into your dish?
Uh, pretty much I infused oils and I'm actually a huge fan of infusing olive oil. I find that goes especially well for appetizers, side dishes entrees. I use infused butter or coconut oil for desserts. Um, and then I usually use two processes. So if I'm with people who are brand new and they've really never had edibles before, then I do a micro dose technique? And so basically what I'll do is I'll infuse olive oil and I'm very careful with my math so I know exactly what the potency is. And I also kind of pull the guests and find out what their experience level is and I start them at a very low dose. Some people come to the parties and they'll start at two and a half milligrams. And what I'll do basically is drizzle that into a complimentary dish. So if I make a despacho, for example, that already has a little bit of olive oil in it, so it's very easy to add another half teaspoon or a teaspoon of olive oil at two and a half milligrams, mix that up. It'll be very tasty people know exactly what they're getting. And then when it comes to salad, again, I do a little drizzle on a salad dressing if they want. So I pick a lot of dishes that I can kind of finish with the oil in a micro dose fashion. If somebody brand new, if it's a party where people are experienced, uh, then I do full dishes. But I also again do the math to tell them what they're getting. So it will say on a card, for example, if you eat one tablespoon of this hummus, you will be getting five milligrams of THC from this strain. So there, there is a lot of careful calculation that goes along with this.
Yeah, a lot of planning and making the oil itself and then even having cards that notify your guest. That's a great idea. And the technique you're describing so you can do this by a single serving or the overall dish.
Yes And actually the other thing that I'd like to point out is when you infuse oil, if you're in a state that, um, allows legal adult use, you can do the traditional method where you basically take, and I'll give kind of a little formula, especially for people who are brand new. If you're brand new to this, take a quarter ounce of a sativa strain at 15%. You want to crumble, cut, tear, put it in a single sheet on a, uh, on a little cooking dish. And you actually put that in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour. Or you can also do it at 240 for 40 minutes. That decarboxylated, which is a fancy word for slow roasting. And that slow roasting is what activates the THC. So once you do that, you take that out, you let it cool, and then you take two cups of your olive oil, put that on a very low simmer. You wrap up your slow roasted, uh, cannabis in a little cheesecloth. You put that in the olive oil, let it simmer again about an hour. You press it every so often. Uh, you take out your little a sachet, cheese cloths, sa- sachet, a squeeze it again, and then you basically have your infused oil right there, two, two cups worth. Then you strain that and put it in a mason jar and you mark it with the potency. If you start with a quarter ounce, seven grams of a 15% THC sativa, what you end up with is oil. That's um, who's potency is 25 milligrams per tablespoon or eight milligrams per teaspoon. So that makes it easy to dose. And, um, you have good product that will actually last you a while.
That's very detailed and, and not too hard to follow. Even for me. I think I can do that.
And, and the second technique I'd like to mention is actually called sous vide and sous vide means underwater. And so basically in the end, these are particularly good for states where adult use is not allowed or you don't want your house to smell like you'd exactly think it what smell if you, uh, decarboxylated weed for an hour. So basically I won't go into the full thing here, but it's in my book. But basically what you do is you set your sous vide at 200 degrees and you seal your cannabis in a plastic bag without air. You put it in there and again, you let it sit in there for an hour and that also activates it through kind of a cooking and water. And that's a technique that a lot of restaurants use. And then from there again, you take it, you take it out, put it in cheese cloth, and then you simmer it in oil in the sous vide with a lid on the mason jar. So again, no smell escapes. You do that for an hour, squeeze it again, take it out. So you've almost produced no smell, but you've also infused oil, um, at the same potency that I mentioned with traditional method. So sous vide is pretty cool.
We have one of those. It's great for cooking steaks perfectly. Um, but yeah, there's another use. So I might have to try that. So when you throw parties, who comes, I mean is everybody a cannabis enthusiast? Are they Luke warm to the idea. What does that look like?
It is a very mixed bag. I call them all the Canna curious and so it, and so what happens is people invite me into their homes and then they invite friends who are interested and it's anywhere usually from about Oh eight to 20 friends who show up. And I make it as much educational as I do a dinner party. So when people come in, I have non infused appetizers and I tell right away these appetizers are all good. You're going to nibble. We're going to talk about what this experience is going to be like. Ah, you'll be educated and then you can decide to eat some infused food if you want or not. Cause I always make not infused dishes so someone can actually come to one of these parties, uh, hear about everything, learn about everything but not try it if they're not ready. And the other thing I do too is I go to the host's home early and actually show them how to make the oil. And I show them how to dose and I do it in a sous vide so it doesn't smell. So they get a lesson on infusing, they get to keep half of the oil at the end of the party. And then at the beginning of the party, again, I tell people, here's how animals work. First of all, if you take some, you're not going to feel anything for 30 minutes up to two hours. And it also doesn't seem to matter whether you're extremely fit, tall, short, um, uh, you know, somebody who's an occasional user, somebody who's a regular user, it just hits when it hits. And so I give them that bit of information and then we talk about dosing that I recommend. If you've never done it started two and a half milligrams. If you want to go a little more by the time you get to the meal, uh, you might want to do another two and a half milligrams. Um, and then we talk about dessert will be infused with an indica that's usually more relaxing, especially with certain terpenes. So you can have your Brownie all abode. And then I'd recommend you get home within about an hour and then you can go to sleep. So I, and actually during the courses, people ask so many questions and it's as much as seminar as it as a dinner party.
So it's a social event, really it's and educational event. And I imagine it gets fairly relaxed as well.
Absolutely. It is so much fun. And then what happens is 90% of the time, if not more, someone from that Group of Eight or 20 will call me separately and they have their own group that they want to do it again and people often reserve it for special occasions, 50th birthdays, retirements Bachelorette parties, you name it, they know that it's kind of a special occasion and I make it a special occasion for them.
This is a nice little a referral business you have going.
Yeah. Yes it is.
So do you draw a line between recreational and medicinal? I mean the story you told about your sister was giving yourself a tool for medicinal purposes, but you've just described sort of a very recreational, a manifestation of your technique?
You know, it's funny in some ways I think that all cannabis use is related to health. Even if you're “a recreational user” or an adult user, I think oftentimes if not always, you're still looking for some kind of relaxation. You're still looking for some stress relief. You might be replacing that use for alcohol use or for other things. So I think, I think mostly it really is, it really does come down to medical. Um, and I do have, I'd say a little bit more interest on the medical side, but on the adult use side, I really think it should be just treated like alcohol. And if somebody chooses to use it in whatever form they want, 21 and over, they're not hurting anybody else. Go for it.
Well, in the scenario you described people aren't going off the deep end and unless you're a really big eater and you devour the whole dish, but it's measured, it's not hitting a bong 12 times, it's, it's more discreet and measured.
Yeah. I think that's part of the experience is to find out where you're at kind of at your level. So I actually encourage people not to drink alcohol during the infused parties or just a little bit so that they don't combine the two and they don't know whether it's, they've had too much alcohol. So that's the effect or whether it's cannabis. Um, and then I also add, tell people they should probably refrain from smoking in between courses too because that interacts so quickly with your body that they should just try it as an edibles experience and find out where they are. And so for me personally, I know that I'm like 53 minutes to an hour 10. That's when it happens. And it feels like a, um, kind of a nice warm blanket that goes over you and it's kind of a body high and a head high, very comfortable and uh, and safe. I've actually never overdone it because I started, I started low. I know my doses, I know my time is and so it's always a good experience for me.
Do you have favorite dishes?
I do. I'm always say, um, well I'm always a big fan of seasonal ingredients. Being here in New Jersey, I will say that, uh, once the tomatoes come in a spot, you know, gazpacho here is kind of unrivaled. So it'll always be a big fan favorite. I do like a fish in parchment for small groups because it's a very fancy meal, but it's also very easy to do. And easy to time and easy to infuse. Um, I'm a huge fan of key lime pie and deep dish pizza. I make deep dish pizza all the time.
Those all sound fantastic. So essentially you're, you're sort of a custom caterer.
Yes, I definitely am. Oh the other dishes I should mention too is a Mexican food. Coming from a big Mexican family, I make home made tortillas. I make Spanish rice, I can make enchiladas, Reno's, whatever. And um, Mexican food is really good for infusing
Uh Huh? Well, in San Diego, that's a large staple in my diet. We eat a lot of burritos and a, I'm going to have to try this. And, and the guests, it sounds like you make a lot of converts, you open some eyes and, and you get good feedback.
Yeah we do, I mean what's interesting is, um, a lot of the conversation does turn towards CBD high find. And that's either for individuals at the party who have some kind of aches and pains are often they're asking for their parents or friends. And so it's, it comes to a conversation about CBD. And then also there's a lot about sort of policy or what's happening in New Jersey. You know, how many dispensaries are going to be open, what, what's the price of an ounce of cannabis? All kinds of just general questions about if this really happens, kind of what can I expect, where can I get it? Um, how can I consume it? But I do find there are some kind of common themes that come up,
Well, I don't want to say this too loudly, but you're sort of underground right now, right? It's not, it's not quite legal there.
It is not quite legal here. Although we do have a medical program. And so the bulk of my clients are a medical patients and it's actually a big service to them to teach them how to dose their meals so that they can incorporate that into a healthy lifestyle. So I'm only a little bit underground. I really do try to keep things as transparent as possible. Work with medical patients. They always get the product. It's not me getting the product. Um, and then also what I do the adult use dinners. They are in Colorado, Oregon. I've done California, Uruguay and Columbia.
Wow. So you've taken the show on the road, typically you, you show up in someone's kitchen with a bunch of ingredients and a, I mean, are you packing your knives and everything when you, when you go off to Uruguay?
I don't pack any knives and I do use the kitchen center, available to me and every now and then it does get a little tricky because some kitchens have a limited, uh, pots and pans or whatever. But, um, but I'm also pretty creative my friends sometimes actually call me “McGuyvez” cause I can sort of get her bike, I can do a lot of work arounds. And so I, I've not been a star B did a kitchen yet and I hope to keep that going.
You mentioned CBD and I'm curious, um, we've all seen CBD oil is pretty expensive, so I mean, your guests are curious about it. Do you actually cook with it or are you more strictly, uh, using cannabis oil?
It kind of depends on what type of party it is. So at the very beginning some people will designate that they do want it just to be a CBD and so it and so that's all we focus on. And then there are other people who do want THC. So that's, that's the route that we go in terms of expense. And then it's kind of interesting because CBD is, and it isn't, I mean per per dose on average it is about $2. Um, which if it is a new expense for somebody and especially someone who's old that can get pretty pricey. And so I am looking forward very much to the day when insurance will pay for some of that. I had done, one of my clients who is an 80 year old woman who had arthritis and she was using CBD to good effect her dose was a little bit larger than normal, but it was a new expense for her and she couldn't pay for it. And so she went back on Pharma where she had a $5 deductible and got whatever she wanted for the month. And I thought that is such a, it's such a shame that has to happen.
Yeah. When you have a plant based alternative to something that is readily available, have you ever had a guest say they didn't like the experience? I had a negative reaction to it.
Yeah. What's kind of funny is you, you read the crowd just like anything else. So you see sort of who's, who's responding well, every now and then you'll see somebody who looks a little startled or it looks a little uncomfortable and you know that that person is probably having a bad experience. Um, in my book I do talk about what to do when you get too high. And so when I see somebody like that I do often just pull them aside and talked to him a little bit and I try to help them out. Some of the things you can do is there's a hydration you can try to distract them, uh, with a walk or something. You could actually use CBD drops or CBD gum works pretty well. A pet peppercorns, either chewing them or smelling them also helps out a little bit. And then also just assuring them that it's going to be time and that there'll be okay.
I would love to go to one of these parties. So if you get off San Diego, you got it. We'll have to set something up. I like to ask my guests and kind of in general, what excites you about the state of cannabis right now?
Wow. There are a lot of things that are pretty exciting right now I think. Uh, is that, um, I think that the area that I've chosen, education is a good area and something that's growing and something that's necessary and something that I'm passionate about. So I think my future prospects are good and whether that education continues to be more books, which I will continue to write. Um, I also do a column for the spokesman review in Spokane on kind of their “Dear Abby” of cannabis. So every month I do a Q and a column. My first one ran last month and it was on CBD and dosing. The second one, which is coming out in a, in a day or two here, April 1st, that is going to be on edibles. Um, and then I'm also doing profiles of people. So I have, uh, you know, a little page interviews with people in the cannabis industry. So I'm excited that I'm, I'm doing what I like and I'm educating people. So I think I am making change it and a little difference in that way. And then the other thing that I'm pretty excited about is that I'm part of an industry that's getting shaped from the ground up. And so we have amazing opportunities to include people of color, women, vets, people have been wronged by the criminal justice system and to build an that is more equitable, that is helpful to people and that can actually, um, slowly change the world. So I'm excited about a lot of that.
I'm aligned with you and a lot of that, I mean the opportunity to spread the word about, as you said earlier, something that has been kind of misrepresented for almost a hundred years now and really get the truth out there and remove some of the stigma is such an exciting thing. I know you're on Twitter, I've seen you there and we'll con- continue to share some of your stuff and especially, uh, you're column in Spokane. Uh, you're, you're on both coasts so that's great.
Yes. Trying to try to expand my reach as much as possible. And my website is ourcommunityharvest.com and the one thing you'll find they're too is if you're a cook, there's actually a dosing calculator. So if you can't get flower that's at 15% you can actually get at whatever percentage it is and you plug in the numbers, you plug your plug in, the servings, how much oil you're making and it will tell you the potency. So I worked with us on another chef and I'm actually kind of proud of it. And now I think it will be very helpful for people because I have to say the first couple times when I was doing this and trying to figure out, all right, so this strain is 18.2 so what does that mean at the end? I'm going to tell you it's a lot of steps to get there, but now there's a calculator on my website.
That's an awesome resource. So I guess we should mention, I mean if you're a home growing you would have to test your, your harvest to see, uh, what the percentage is. But if you're a legal state, it's going to say on the, on the packaging what that percentage is and that's going to factor into your, your processing. Right?
True. I mean the one thing I have found it by people who home grow, often they don't test because there are not a lot of resources for them to test, which is kind of a shame. When I was in Uruguay, they had this convention and they had this awesome truck that pulled up and people lined up and they had their home grow. And for 20 bucks, what you did is you get, you gave it to the person in their mobile lab, they tested it and then you got your results back in 10 or 15 minutes. Uh, so in-expensive, accurate. And I thought someday in the U.S. That will be so nice when we have home grow and you can have a truck that will pull up, test your product in the front window and then maybe sell tacos out the back.
Yeah I love that idea. Now Uruguay went legal a year or two ago right?
Yeah, they've actually been legal. I think they're going on like four years now. But what's it, what's interesting is when they started the program there, president, uh, Jose, uh, Mojica was very much behind it. And so he developed a program where the product was very inexpensive. It was like a dollar a gram. You could buy 40 grams a month at a local pharmacy. Uh, but what happened is a lot of the pharmacies couldn't sign on because they were tied to the American banking system. And as we know, American banks are tied to the FDIC federal and so federally cannabis, even CBD, if you look at it in some ways it's still illegal. So that really slowed down everything that was happening in Uruguay. And then they got a new president, uh, Jose, uh, Vasquez I think it is. And he was an oncologist. He was not excited about the program, didn't really want to implement it, so it kind of dragged his feet a little bit. So they're just kind of get getting going now. But if you're looking at um, international countries on the move, certainly Canada, but do not overlook Columbia. Columbia has a, it a lot of their country, it's 12 hours of sunlight, 12 hours of night, nighttime, which is perfect for growing. And then they have courts, they have Carta Haina which easy trip to get up to a Florida and the east coast. Go through Panama Canal. You're in Europe, you go south and you're in South America. So I predict that Columbia is going to be dominant in terms of a cannabis production, distribution, et cetera going forward. And who knows? I may go live there someday.
Definitely in the 70s. We were always excited about Columbian. Maybe it hasn't changed so much. True. Well, rob, you've given us a lot of great information and I know our listeners are going to be really excited about this and, I'm excited about giving it a try in the kitchen. Uh, you really spelled out step by step how to proceed. So I'm excited and I want to thank you for sharing your expertise and, uh, look forward to seeing you online.
Absolutely. This was my pleasure and I'd be happy to do it again at anytime.
You've been listening to “Let's Talk About Weed the Kannaboomers podcast with Thomas J for more on medicinal cannabis for baby boomers. Visit us at kannaboomers.com.