Kristen Yoder 0:01
In California, we have 58 counties, like 400 something major cities. What about medical cannabis? Well, now it’s either your legal or your illegal period. So when they opt out, that creates an illicit market and to me like, you cannot have legalization without blanket adoption, everywhere. The state had to force delivery laws, which the counties tried to sue the state because they’re like, we don’t want it here. But it’s like, Dude, what about all the medical patients?
You’re listening to to be one be podcast for cannabis marketers? Were your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi.
Shayda Torabi 1:08
Hey, y’all. How are you doing? What’s been going on in your world? quick plug just to say hi. Hello. It’s me. Shayda Torabi, your host. I’m a real person. And I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to me on social media, slide into the DM, send me an email and I’d be more than happy to have a conversation with you. I want to create a dialogue and create that feedback loop. That’s the best part of all of this. So please connect with me and let’s make it a human interaction. Now with that aside, I want to touch on today’s episode, I am joined by Christina Yoder. She’s an industry expert on so many subjects. She’s held pretty much every type of role in the industry that one can imagine. She is based in California in Venice to be specific, and she has quite a reputation for calling out some of the fallacies in the cannabis industry. She’s the host of cannabis, a cannabis bullshit podcast. She is a consultant for soil to the oil, her cannabis consulting agency. And she really spends a lot of her time and energy and efforts helping people navigate the bullshit that exists in the cannabis industry and she’s not afraid to call it out. And so in today’s episode, we touch on some really touchy subjects, specifically, overdosing on cannabis and the side effects of too much cannabis consumption. We also touch on California’s cannabis legalization and what that has looked like for California over the years since legalization has been implemented. And what are some of the setbacks that she’s observed just by being in the industry, and probably the most touching, but most informative discussion is about federal legalization. Obviously, everybody wants access to legal weed. But as Kristen and I dialogue, it’s very clear that federal legalization isn’t really what everybody is expecting it to be. And so she definitely shares her thoughts to back up that claim. So I’m going to let Kristen introduce herself and kick this episode off. But my final two cents, and always a nice reminder is to stay open minded. There’s always more to the story. And the more that you learn, the more educated you will become. So let’s welcome Kristin to To be blunt.
Kristen Yoder 3:35
My name is Kristen Yoder. I am the bullshit detector of the cannabis industry. I like to say you can’t spell cannabis without the Bs, just a part of it. I’ve been in the industry 15 years in Los Angeles, I started off in 2005, managing the first dispensary in the city of LA for five years. Then I took two years off to learn how to grow indoor and outdoor at which point I realized that that’s like hardcore labor and I don’t do labor. I mean, God bless the growers like that I am not cut out for that. So then I went to one of the largest edible companies in California started off as Supply Chain Management took over product development r&d almost immediately and eventually operation management. And then I helped them start an edible company up in Washington. And I was there for three years until they got rated. And then they got rated again and by the second time there was no operation to manage. So I went to work for the testing lab that I use to do product development and testing of our extracts for formulation was at the edible company. And it was there that I learned sativa indica is bullshit, which was like, Are you serious? Like I just spent five years lying to people like I don’t do that on purpose like that, that kills me. So They created a terpene training kit. And I took that in as like I was a project manager and worked with cultivators coming up with custom terpene blends based on their genetics. And I started teaching terpene classes, and that was in 2016. And I’ve just kind of rolled with it ever since then. And then I left there after a year to try being a consultant, which I hate so much like my god who wants to do business plans, like I didn’t get into the industry, because I like formal business documentation. So my business partner was an accountant. And we just couldn’t like find a way to work together because I’m an operations person. And so I went off on my own, and I added veteran bs detector to my headline in LinkedIn. And it just stuck because I just started being me, who, having run businesses in almost every sector, which is why my website and company is soil to the oil, I’ve done it all, so to the oil and more, and there was just so much bullshit that needed to be addressed. And nobody talks about it, because it’s mainly financial obligations, or, you know, getting sued or something. But I’m like, I was so pissed after my time as being a young woman in the LA industry is especially corrupt and brutal, that I was just empowered to, like, say what needs to be said, and so I came up with my podcast can a BS detector, and just started going over all the different bullshit that entrepreneurs business people are dealing with in the industry. And then I started advising not consulting the difference between being, I’m not going to do your work for you, like you do your work. Like, I’m your best friend for hire. Like, I will keep everyone that you’re working with from your lawyers, your consultants to whoever, like, if you feel weird, or you have any questions, like I will bullshit check that I will research it like I can find the answers like for anything so but then the problem is, I just talked everyone out of getting into the industry, but they should be glad because there’s like not very many ways to go bankrupt once you touch the plant. And that’s like a really hardcore mistake a lot of people make and everyone wants to get into the industry. And guess what, it’s not fun. It’s fucking hard. So it wasn’t until this year that after like, I quit smoking cannabis and I went through this horrible drug reaction last year to a mood stabilizer I was on for my entire career that turns out, blocked my emotions. Well, I guess the right mood stabiliser, duh. But guess what, I didn’t need it in the first place. And no wonder, actually, I did an interview in 2019 with weed weak at the time, Donnie was working there. And Donnie came into the dispensary way back when I was just starting as a bud tender. And he had a video and like, I’ll send it to you. So you can share with this and I was just like, such a happy little stoner person, you know, and, and then, like, they literally titled it who hurt Kristen Yoder, and they’re like, the embittered bs detector. And it hit me last year, like, I’m fucking miserable. Like, you know, I call out bullshit, because it needs to be said, and it feels good, but I don’t feel good, bro. Like, I have a resting bitchface like, this is not working out for me, dude. And so I just like, fell out of touch with everybody. And then I went through that drug reaction. And then like, that was in August, in around November, I started noticing that I was getting excited, and like, laughing and stuff. And I’m like, holy shit. I have never, I don’t think I was capable of feeling happiness or excitement the entire time I’ve been in the industry. And then it’s like, That’s crazy. And then in February, I was just like, Bro, I need to quit smoking weed because it’s like keeping me down and like, I just, it’s not fun. I just felt dead inside all the time. So I quit for 10 days, and then I harvested my auto flower. And oh my god, it was so strong that it fucking knocked me on my ass for a month. And at that point, I was so butthurt that I couldn’t moderate my usage and that I couldn’t quit that. Like I quit my radio thing that I did for three years I again dropped off the face of the earth and I just slept and ate. And once I ran out, it’s like you know you’re gonna go on a diet you just eat off Your junk food to get rid of it. You don’t have temptation.
Shayda Torabi 10:03
That was me last night. I was in my field. I was like, I gotta eat all this right now because I’ve already started I already feel depressed. Let me just keep eating
Kristen Yoder 10:11
right. And so I just smoked the shit out of my weed and march 1 came, and I’m like, quit like just quit, don’t buy any more like, and then on the seventh day, because I had a fuckin out. It’s like, all of a sudden, I want to quit all these people send me weed. I’m like,
Unknown Speaker 10:31
stop tempting me.
Kristen Yoder 10:32
Why never in a year Did anyone send me weed until the day I want to quit. And so I have like, almost an ounce. And I gave it to my roommate because I’m like, get it away from me. But then on the seventh day, I find myself looking in her room for my weed, like a fucking drug addict. And I was like, I’m just gonna weigh it. And now I’m going to fucking sell it and get rid of it. But also, I’m going to smoke like a bull, you know? And so I like smoked Tibbles. And I took a shower, and I put on last dance with Mary Jane. And I had this realization of Tom Petty is like such life moves music. And I had a realization like, bro, you don’t need a tolerance break. You’re addicted. Like you need to fucking quit. And it was like, holy shit. Like, yeah, and after that, I sold my outs to the building manager, which, let me give y’all a tip. If you Oh backwards, just get the building manager super high, and then they don’t give you legal documents on time. So he’s probably still really high. But anyways, so it sucked, dude, it sucked quitting. I had every withdrawal symptom, like I mean, and that fucking shocked me because I thought the weed wasn’t addictive. Or it’s only psychologically addictive. I couldn’t eat for a week. I fucking lost 15 pounds last month, which Hey, like, I support whatever the fuck makes me lose weight. You know what I’m saying? But also like, I, I couldn’t sleep I had headaches. I had like, I cried the first week. Like, I went through all this shit. And I’m like, hold up. Like, I didn’t know that it was there were physical withdrawal symptoms like something is not right, dude. And then it’s like, I always knew that I had a major problem with concentrates. And so I mean, actually, I just released an episode today with Mr. chasen that Bro, I recorded all the episodes I released this week, like a year and a half two years ago. That’s and I was just too dead inside and like, we’re out to publish it. And I knew I had a concentrate addiction, like really bad. Like, I had to have people take all my shit away from me, like out of my house. And it just all the sudden was like, dude, I don’t think we’d ever was good for me. Like, I mean, I talked to my mom other day and she was like crying like, You’re such a fun person. Like, I didn’t even know I’m like shit. I didn’t know either, dude. Like, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know it was addictive. Like I didn’t know, there was a thing called cannabis use disorder. It’s like because we’re so used to battling Big Pharma and anti cannabis propagandists and all this shit that we refuse to accept reality that if you have a mind altering substance, it has potential for abuse, like sugar, like whatever, you know, but like when I look back, I mean, I got I was too high and PE and ninth grade. They’re doing tibo I got like, arrested. I was in Arizona, like everyone gets arrested for weed. I got kicked out public school like it just every time I’ve tried to work out as soon as I get high, I lose my motivation. Like, all these times I start looking back. I’m like, Dude, what the fuck? I still love the plants. And it is medical. And it is great for so many people. But not everybody and last year taught me when the fucking world was ending and there’s a pandemic, and the elections and all this political and civil unrest. Like I have zero coping skills, I don’t cope, I get high or I eat or I drink and like do shits not gonna get that much better in the future. I have to learn how to cope, you know. And so, once I hit 30 days without weed all the sudden I was like, holy shit, I feel so good. Like, I have all this energy. I also have mad rage, but that comes from accurate insight. And I wanted to bring that to the industry to be like, Don’t shit on people who have a weed problem because it exists and I’ve had more people in the industry reach out to me in my DMS During the comments that are like, yeah, I had to quit. We have to accept cannabis as a fucking fallible plant. It’s amazing for so many people, but not everybody. I fear for the future generations of people with really heavy usage are going to start seeing the negatives and then people are like, oh, but it’s pesticides. Tell me this. When you have a chemical and you add heat to it, it changes the chemical. So why would someone who eats an edible versus somebody who smokes have the same exact reaction? If it was pesticide it’s not fucking pesticides? Well, that
Shayda Torabi 15:41
was gonna be my question from your observation because I to be bluntly And personally, I’ve been a cannabis consumer for going on like 1415 years. I live in a non legal state so I don’t have quite as as you know, frequent access as someone like yourself coming from California market, but I’ve even gone through just aging your body changes the amount of cannabis that I consumed as you know, a mid 20 year old to now an early 30 year old is much different. My preference for what I consume is much different and then I think where my mind goes to you know, you don’t know who you’re buying from whether you’re buying in a black market, whether you’re buying from even talking about CBD, CBD is unregulated a lot of these people are an adult to AIDS very popular we sell adult to aid in our dispensary, but depending on where you get it from, it could not be quality and so I’m wondering from your experience, and from what you’ve researched and understood you know, is it cannabis in general just maybe for certain people is not good in excess? Or is there some attribution that the quality of those products isn’t properly research tested? that people are just over consuming? And maybe there’s bad shit in there like I’ve been concerned maybe buying weed maybe not from a licensed I’m using air quote dispensary, but certainly black market you don’t know what someone’s spraying on it, what they’re putting in there, how it’s grown.
Kristen Yoder 17:02
There’s no doubt in my mind that it could be possible that it’s like a build up of pesticides or something in combination with cannabis but like I grew up in Arizona, and I started smoking the fucking gnarliest dirt weed shit ever from Mexico. And like, I mean, look at these boomers Okay, like they smoked the gnarliest non our shit ever, and guaranteed mad chemicals in it for like, a couple years, I was making my own butane wax on my fucking roof. Like thank God, I didn’t blow up or get arrested or anything. But I look back and that butane is disgusting what I was using moldy shit. And then it was concentrated. I feel like I am guaranteed cancer like, How the fuck could we not. But at the same time. If it was pesticides, then why aren’t more people sick because I guarantee it’s on everything. Like I know there’s so much more to learn. But there are also people who grow their own cannabis that gets ch s and they’re not putting pesticides on it. It’s like edibles is another thing. Usually if you make edibles, you have to decarboxylase the cannabis or the THC a THC to activate it that burns off most of the chemicals. The way that you absorb it is different as well. But the only thing that is in common is heavy, long term use. So right now there are studies being done in Canada and other countries that are looking into CHF because more and more people are showing up in the ER with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. And I think that there are so many different chemicals out there so many different pesticides and molds and other things that why does it present the exact same in everyone when everything people are consuming? Isn’t the same? might not be the same chemicals on it might not be edibles might not be smokeable might be more this or that. Like, wouldn’t it have a different presentation? Like the only thing that is in common is cannabis. And so like, I can’t pretend that I know. But the more research they’re showing is how though, which is an anti psychotic drug is one of the only drugs that can help besides capsaicin for cchs when people come into the hospital, what are the mechanisms for that? I don’t know. You know, we have so much more we need to study But the only way you can study it is people that are sick and coming in and being forthright about it and talking about it. But I think that like, there’s more and more cases happening now. So
Shayda Torabi 20:12
what’s like you said, even just in terms of the research of is it even safe for us? Like there’s just not enough research being done for us to even know, what are the long term effects of this plant. And I think that you bring a really fair point up, obviously, everybody wants to benefit and profit off of the plant and just legalize it, it’s a plant, let’s have access to it without really thinking of the repercussions. And I do find that it’s, you know, most of us who have been consuming blindly sometimes over consuming that have these Wake Up Calls of like, wow, we I don’t like really feel good. So I personally have had to transition how I consume what I consume. We have customers who ask all the time, you know about vaping, and cartridges Oh, is vaping safe? And I kind of am like, no vaping is not safe. You’re smoking a person a product that’s been extracted with chemicals to it’s an a tiny little vial that is required to be heated up by a battery like no, that’s surely not safe. And so when I stepped back, I’m like, yeah, maybe I should stop vaping because I’ve been having headaches for the past, you know, a couple months straight. And when I stopped vaping, I felt better. And so it’s a very nebulous thing, because there’s not a lot of people talking about it. I think people don’t obviously want to, because I’ve had Alice on the show, she did an episode a couple weeks ago, a couple months ago, specifically speaking more on the PR side, not so much on what she’s dealing with from a health perspective, but just from knowing her story and listening. It’s like she’s gotten death threats from people. People are so
Kristen Yoder 21:41
hard cord you I’m like, fuckin smoke some weed and chill. Like, what? What is your problem?
Shayda Torabi 21:49
Well, what are you so afraid of? Like how if you can’t talk about these things, then there isn’t going to be any resolution. And so I get your perspective of maybe it’s not so much the chemicals. Obviously, that’s the problem, the chemicals in the pesticides, but maybe we need to talk about cannabis. But I guess where I also want to kind of maybe turn it over consumption, right? Where also kind of want to turn it is from your experience. Because what I observed girl inconsistency, just because you have a test result does not guarantee that your product is what it says it is. And so unfortunately, I see it more in the lab No. And there’s so inconsistent with from lab to lab. And so as a consumer, I think in a CBD world, consumers are told, ask for the CIA. So every now and then, you know, we get a customer who’s like, Can I see your test results? I’m thinking you don’t even know how to read it. But like, okay, yeah, I’ll produce it for you fine. Also knowing though, I try to make sure that every product on my shelf is what it says it is. I can’t speak for every other brand, or dispensary or business out there. Because I know people are doctoring test results. And I know testing is inconsistent. So what’s been kind of your observation in that regard, when you’re trying to match up the quality of cannabis, it’s like, we don’t even actually know what the fucking quality is. Because testing it
Kristen Yoder 23:05
preach. Like, here’s what I teach people in my terpene class. There’s a lot of like a terpenes are not new. They’re just new to us. But they’re in everything from like, the minute you’re born, you’re surrounded by terpenes and cleaning supplies and fragrances and your laundry detergent and your bath, soap and everything. It’s it’s all over the place. And they’re the natural flavors in all of nature. And we have studies that are related to terpenes. But none of them are related to vaping. The terpenes I mean, in cannabis, even the most sticky, icky, yummy balm shit, maybe in the flour, maybe 4% weight is the terpenes and the rest is all kinds of other stuff flavonoids, and like, I mean, all esters, tons of other things. So then let’s say there’s like 80 terpenes in one cultivars, and that’s 4% then there’s just such a fucking tiny, tiny, tiny amount of each terpene that like, even if you know what terpenes are in it, like we don’t know what they do, like I’ll teach you the studies like but it’s all irrelevant when you fucking light it on fire or use vape it in the first place so the only thing a consumer can rely on because again, yes, labs, they lie, they’re dumb. They’re complicit to cheating like you You cannot trust anything but your fucking self and your nose. So like literally just people like you want any cost to you. I’m like, Well, first of all, that’s bullshit. And then second of all, let me smell it like when I ran a dispensary we could have the bomb is looking stuff but if it had no smell It does not sell. We like aren’t even conscious that we are very driven by the smell and the flavor. Like I’m a flavor person, which is why I love dabs. Like, it was just that, oh my god, it tasted so good. I had zero control, I’d wake up and dab and like phone call dab dab all day, like, total Debbie Downer though. But anyways. So I just tell people like, you can get the lab results, and you can look at them and like trying to correlate but we can’t even really trust the labs, what you should do is start figuring out like, What is this, like, Oh my god, that was good, what is the smell like, and then just seek out other things that smell that way. There’s that’s it like, we are so individual and what works for us because it’s not just the cannabinoids and the terpene profile. It’s also our disposition, our environment, it’s so many different factors that like, it could be the same thing. And there’ll be a different experience just based on your mood that day or whatever. So just use your nose. You know, I tell people assume all marketing is bullshit. Just assume that just disregard it, like have your friend, go buy you four different flavors, and take it out of the packaging and smoke it and then write down how you feel and then compare it to their marketing. Because Another thing I realized is like placebo effect is strong, and a dispensary whatever I told people they would feel they would feel. And then I learned I didn’t even know what the fuck I was talking about. I was literally just like, Oh, this has 70% skinny leaves. So I’m going to call this a 7030 sativa hybrid. Totally fucking irrelevant. And but I believed it bro. Like, I believe it. And everyone who listened to me believed it because I was the authority. And, and that’s what marketing is, is essentially telling people, it’s like, um, it’ll come to me, but this one brand, all they call their stuff is like energy 101 or like bliss, whatever, which I fucking know. dosis Yeah,
yeah, um, does this. And should it starts with this, a cannon something which is like everything. But that’s what people want to feel or like, when I was people would be like, Oh, well, what does this do? What does this do? I’m like, I don’t know, what do you want it to do? That’s what it does. Yeah. And that’s what it would do. And then I’m like, What the fuck does we do? If people just feel whatever you tell them. I mean, doctors figured this out a long time ago. So in the end, I’m just trying to turn out a bunch of skeptical people to just like, avoid buying into it. And another thing is, is like, I know, you’re seeking out something that will make you creative, but most people just get high. They don’t even pay attention to how they feel. They forget. And so what does it fucking matter? Just go for the flavor.
Shayda Torabi 28:09
So that’s an interesting point, though, because we’re kind of at that intersection, right? Where putting the consumer hat on like, the consumer wants to obviously be told, I mean, you just articulated very well. We just want that we want people to tell us what to do. We want Okay, you had a good experience with this type of product. Great. I would like to try that product. And then unfortunately, you have the brands that are obviously smart marketing, maybe smarts, not the right word, but they’re clued into that. And so they’re then producing products that speak the same bullshit language over and over again, like as a marketer. I willingly know and accept that indika and lativa are bullshit. I say it all the time. But do I have products that articulate indika and sativa? Yes, because the consumer comes in and they’re there. It’s just like, it’s legacy history. They’re being told these things and so I’m, I’m like, at what point does it change? At what point do we are talking about it?
Kristen Yoder 29:10
When the brands that stop being fucking lazy, like, in my opinion, it’s so much more cool. And there’s so much more creativity if like, there’s this company chemistry, I think their websites trade chemistry calm. I love their packaging, because they say all the cannabinoids, all the terpenes, where it was grown, like what environment etc. To give you everything, and it’s like, that’s so much cooler. Like, why not play off of the chemistry of the plant instead of bullshit, because as long as I mean, look, I was so like disappointed with jungle boys and cookies. These like people who are so about the plant. Their bud tenders know nothing. They don’t have terpene results. They’re not shit. It’s just marketing. It’s just like cool graphics and like rappers and stuff. But I mean swag. Yeah, if you’re so about the plant, then fucking educate your bud tenders. But the thing is, is as long as brands are defaulting to indicus ativa, then how are consumers? Because even when I teach consumers, they’re like, Yeah, but I go in there, there’s no terpene results, and like, everything’s into Kosta, tiva, whatever. And then another thing is, like, worth placebo works, and they get what they think they’re getting the what’s the problem, but the problem is, is consistency. So you’re not going to feel the same thing. Every time. If someone tells you, you’re going to feel something else, like how do you replicate a consistency, especially in flour, it’s more possible when you are pre mixing your terpenes and distillate are something you have like a template right there. But in flour, how do you get something consistent, which is Gorilla Glue, number four, GG for I knew those guys, they were my homies and I know Kat, she runs that. And the reason why they trademarked it wasn’t so they could sue people it was so that they could license out the genetics to guarantee that when you buy something from GG for that it is GG four and that you get the same genetics every time, which it’s like when you go to the grocery store, a green apple is a green apple every time like some people are like, oh, IP law goes against whatever. But actually, if we really think this is medicine, we have to have consistent genetics. And when it comes to flower, even consistent genetics can come out differently based on the environment that it’s grown in, and by the growers. So it’s like, it’s tough man. There’s so many active chemicals that it’s like, this is why pharmacology is based on the least amount of chemicals to get a consistent thing where you know exactly what does what, and that seems to be the antithesis of cannabinoid medicine. But that’s why they do that, because we don’t know if there’s like 100 200 active constituents in cannabis. What does what for who and when and why? It’s like so different and difficult. Um, Dr. Mary, from Israel, he did a talk about how he was working, because in Israel, they have clinical trials where they connect the growers with the patience and they’re able to track and this one grower ran out of a specific cultivar they were using for these autistic kids. And so they had another one with similar THC CBD. And they were like, well use this in the meantime. And it was horrible. Like, some of these kids had really bad reactions. And their whole point is figuring out what are the top three for cannabinoids or active chemicals and cannabis, that work and like really whittle it down. It’s not big pharma. It’s fucking medicine. You know, like, you’re working with so many different things and plant science for medicine is inexact. It just is so
you know, people want to know, what does this do for me? I don’t know, man, try it. Like I wish that people could get little sample kits that come with a number 12345 and that’s it. And you don’t tell them shit and they go and they try it. And then they come back and they say one was awesome five headache. Like two and three, I don’t know four knocked me out. Then you can look at the lab results and be like, okay, these are similar to one and whatever, or something like that. But that goes against marketing and or and dispensaries are not clinics and people selling it are not doctors and they’re not pharmacists.
Shayda Torabi 34:15
But that’s that’s that’s fucking it. That’s like literally the scariest part is people are obviously coming in wanting some sort of medical effect. But then they’re really being marketed to into an experience and we try to the collective we I shouldn’t say we do at our dispensary. But in the industry, it’s like I want to talk about terpenes I love seeing more brands talking about terpenes. But again to try to I mean, you set it to create that consistency, like it’s just so unique to that one person’s biochemistry, that unless you are finding a brand who has In my opinion, they have to have the finances to be able to afford consistency. Otherwise, I think that it is really inconsistent. And so it just kind of we’re at the mercy of that. And then I want to kind of deviate a little bit to something else that you brought up on LinkedIn the other day because I, I really want your thoughts. I want to kind of hash out that conversation because I have a lot of thoughts around national legalization. And part of it is it’s just it’s really scary. You look at kind of state to state right now we’ve already highlighted there’s so much variance between how states are operating, there’s obviously in consistencies when it comes to products and consistencies when it comes to testing and then again, the consumer i think is so naive in the sense of like, Oh, I just want legal weed I heard weed is good. I just want to be able to go buy it and so they then fight for that legalization not realizing what I mean personally speaking, I’m not totally pro legalization. I’m pro having access to the plant I’m pro us being able to grow it I’m pro more research I’m pro decriminalizing and I’m pro removing it as a schedule one drug, but I think when you open up interstate commerce, you open up just a big scary can of worms for this plant to be further exploited and maybe not in the right way to help better research it and understand it but in the let’s keep marketing to consumers and dupe them with more bullshit.
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast. Restart CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin, Texas, we operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm. Again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt. I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode.
Kristen Yoder 36:43
It’s tough to like, I think that California is the picture of national legalization. We had a booming industry, before legalization, it was decriminalized for the most part, and it was gray. And it had compassion because it was made the compassionate use act. That’s it was medical, we called our medical industry, the gray industry. And essentially, if you made enough money to get a good enough lawyer to come up with a creative enough defense, you could get out of a lot of stuff. But once prop 64 happened. The problem with California is like we have too much democracy. You can’t have propositions that say, lower taxes and the propositions that say improve infrastructure because we’re going to lower taxes and want to improve infrastructure the How the fuck do you pay for it? Right? So in California, we have 58 counties, like 400 something major cities, and then unincorporated county areas. And in the law, it said that cities and counties had the right to opt out of regulating cannabis. So two fucking thirds of the state opted out which what is medical cannabis? What about medical cannabis? Well, now it’s either your legal or your illegal period. So when they opt out, that creates an illicit market. And to me like, you cannot have legalization without blanket adoption everywhere. We I mean, the state had to force delivery laws, which the counties tried to sue the state because they’re like, we don’t want it here. But it’s like, Dude, what about all the medical patients? And once they made it legal, it’s like, well, you can’t give out free samples. What about the medical patients like, oh, by the way, cap everything at 100 milligram potency. But what about the medical patients now they’re paying a shit ton of tax. They’re getting much less potent edibles which they need stronger edibles for their medical issues. It essentially got rid of medical. And I think that all federal legalization is going to do is open up banking, and make it safe for real big cannabis Bayer and other like multinational corporations to come in agribusinesses, and explain the fuck out of the industry. I think there should be two different markets like you go to the grocery store, you have organic produce and conventional produce. We know that there are pesticides and shit on the conventional produce, but it costs less money. And if you don’t care, then you buy that. I know that when people are broke, they buy what they can afford, not what they want, right. So if we’re going to have medical cannabis, that should be held to a higher standard in every way. I don’t support national legalization because the only time the plant gets legalized is for tax revenue. It’s Just pay to play. And that’s not fair. And I want to see like a truly equitable industry and I don’t think it’s possible in America, because this is not capitalism is not equitable, period. People are cheering for the death of their fucking industry, with their blind optimism. And I’m just like, you know, no wonder republicans love cannabis. If fucking pacifies people, you know, like, Who cares? I’m high. You know, like, come on.
Shayda Torabi 40:32
Just go smoke your shit. Yeah, be cool.
Kristen Yoder 40:34
Exactly. So I will take that rage on for everyone else if I have to?
Shayda Torabi 40:39
Uh, no, I’m right there with you. everything you just said, is just everything that I’ve unfortunately heard and a little bit don’t want to accept, obviously, coming from a non legal state. I mean, people don’t like that. I have this opinion either. But Texas’s MediCal program is really very limited. And so when you look, yeah, not a great reputation. But when you look at obviously California, it’s just like, Oh my God, my heart just aches because we’re just a bunch of small business people who love the plant who want to have help other people love the plan who want to just create a good nice, you know, business for our families put food on the table. Yeah, I want legal weed. I don’t want to be a criminal. I want to be seen in society, if my girlfriend’s can go off are happier with wine. If I want to go out into the back patio and have a joint I should be able to do that and not be stigmatized. But oh my god, again, kind of going back to one of the earlier points I was trying to say is the industry is dealing with so much shit and then consumers don’t realize that and then they are just blind like, ooh, yay, legalization, or how dare you? You talk bad about legalization? You’re in the industry. Why do you hate legalization? I’m like, Listen, if you knew what the fuck I know, and see, and it’s really just opening your eyes and ears because it’s these stories are consistent.
Kristen Yoder 42:06
But the people are so in jail, and people are so going to jail for it. And it’s like, you know, it’s I’ve heard people of color say that it’s easy for white people to shit on legalization, because they’re not the ones in jail for it. And that’s a fucking valid point. Which is why I just feel like this is such a nuanced conversation. And it’s like, I do not want legalization that doesn’t get all non drug all nonviolent offenders out of fucking jail, automatic expungement. You know, home grows, these things have to be included, because I just saw a thing. Andrew D’Angelo was saying now we have to pressure governor Newsome and I’m like, oh, here comes the dude who fucking push prop 64 and fucked everybody. And now he’s saying let’s fix it. And he’s like, yeah, bro, it hurt me too. And I’m trying to work on it. But the problem is, is it’s too fucking late, dude, you know, and, and so I don’t know the answer, because it’s true. People are gonna go to jail as long as it’s illegal. Um, and maybe they’ll get out of jail once it’s legal. But for the business, it’s not a good thing. But then it would be illegal. I don’t know, man. It’s I don’t pretend to know the answers except that we need to demand specific things in our legalization to let it pass. You know, like another thing California fucked up well, multiple things is immediately allowing out of state investment into the state. Okay, so you just totally fucked everyone in the state by letting big money come in. Another one was, oh, we’re not gonna allow mega gross for the first five years. But then you allow license stacking which is a lot next to each other, which is a fucking mega grow and they threw that in at the last minute. And it’s like, ever since citizens united past it’s all just shit tons of money impacting our politics. It’s lobbyists paying the government to do what fits them. And everyone else Eat shit. So it’s like I just want people to fucking demand better read the small print like stop buying things up
Shayda Torabi 44:33
that sound good because my god if it sounds good, there’s something wrong with it. You know, like for real? Oh, as you bring up such a good point. And I just want to echo it for people listening because this is really this is the fucking point of having these conversations is a lot of what you’re saying exists in my brain and I don’t get a chance often to communicate with people at your level who also get it and see kind of behind the glimmer and glamour of cannabis like yes, again. versus fun is disruptive. It’s really cool to see all these fun brands pop up as a marketer, I love seeing, you know, just the creativity. But then you talk about legalization right? And so I’m paying attention I’m looking at Okay, New York’s legalizing, okay? New Jersey’s legalizing, okay? New Mexico, Virginia, what do their legalization laws actually say? Because just because a state goes and legalizes doesn’t mean that it’s again, yeah, like you highlighted to the benefit of the small business or to the consumer. I started hearing Florida is requiring vertical integration, their medical only, but they’re also limited licensure. So it’s like, big, you know, clap your hands for Florida, they’ve got medical marijuana, but good luck getting in the industry, if you’re not one of the you know, 13 people at the top who has the license, or you have the funds to go set up vertical integration. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, you hear about states, like, you know, Colorado, I think Colorado has a good reputation. Again, I’m kind of using air quotes, because I don’t personally know this to the nth degree. But you see, hey, you’re taxing? Well, the taxes are going back to the city, you know, your roads are improved, your infrastructures improved. Okay, so maybe Colorado is a good steward of the plant in that regard, where they’re actually setting, you know, a precedent of, yeah, we’ll taxi but then we’ll put that money back into the state. But then you hear the horror stories, and you’re articulating it about California. It’s like, I don’t know if that tax money is actually going back into the state. Oh,
Kristen Yoder 46:21
I’ll tell you where the tax money goes. enforcement, it goes to enforcement. It’s just so frustrating to see like some 1970 style war on drugs in a fucking legal state. It is not what people think it is. And now what like, what, what can anybody do with your city council, then it’s like other cities, there’s been so many cities where city officials are getting caught and pay to play schemes, where you literally are like having to pay all these people for licensing. And another crazy thing is, is like, I don’t know if it’s like this in other places, but in California, you have to have the building the location and get it compliant. Before you
Shayda Torabi 47:06
can apply. I think people need to be prepared for this. I mean, I definitely don’t think that I was properly educated or aware. But part of that is because the industry is so new, like despite it existing, obviously, in the gray area that has been California and even like the Emerald triangle and things like that. From a market perspective. It’s very new. And I think that we’re all like toddlers trying to figure out our shit. While a group of other toddlers is like demanding, I want a product from you. And you’re like, wait a minute, we don’t even know what we’re selling half the time to even have a market.
Kristen Yoder 47:44
It takes a sociopath to kill it in this industry. Period. Because good people struggle, man, we struggle because we don’t break laws, and we don’t cheat. And we want to treat people fairly, and we want to pay people fairly. And guess what, that’s not attracted to investors. And guess what investors are some shitty people to dude. And it’s like, I compare it to a marriage without love. And like, What the fuck is a marriage without love? Not very happy. You know what I’m saying?
Shayda Torabi 48:13
It’s a business transaction. I can’t help but appreciate obviously, just like your candor about it, because it’s, it’s hard to confront it. Sometimes. I do think that people more than not have good hearts, about getting in the industry. They love the plants, and help them in their life. But they’re just like, how do you it’s, it’s overwhelming to navigate all the ins and outs.
Kristen Yoder 48:40
My advice. If you’re new and you want to get into the industry, get a job in a weed company first. Don’t start shit on your own unless it’s ancillary and even then, get a job and learn on someone else’s dime.
Shayda Torabi 48:56
If I would have known prior. I don’t think people realize the moment you touch a plant. You are responsible for so much more. I’m honestly envious of the like the accountants who are like Oh, there’s a business opportunity in cannabis. Let me go be a cannabis accountant. I’m like yeah, good for you. Or I’m a lawyer. I want to do cannabis law. Yeah, good for you. The last thing I wanted to kind of ask you and go back to just because I’m curious your thoughts on it medical cannabis. So presently, is there anything different about medical cannabis as is like, shouldn’t there be yes, there shouldn’t be better regulations, or quality assurance or certain you know, checks and balances to say this is a more medicinally pure consistent, whatever product, but from what I understand it’s the same weed as recreation patients are paying, paying and
Kristen Yoder 49:52
like in Colorado, Washington, California, our medical programs, there were no caps on potency. We had Killer and I mean like literal like death. No, I’m kidding not death, but like near death, potent brownie is there like 1000 milligrams. That was cost effective for patients who need that they need stronger products. But once you regulate it, and I can’t say I mean, as someone who’s cchs, and someone who has passed out on four different occasions from dabbing on an empty stomach, there should be some control over potency, especially if younger people are fucking with things. But now like, Oh, 15% concentrates or whatever, that’s insane. But like, if it’s recreational adult use, we don’t need crazy strong shit. There’s like no medical basis for it. But when we’re using medical cannabis, we should not be putting potency limits on things that people need stronger things for, which is why it should be more regulated. But it shouldn’t cost as much. And that’s the problem. I mean, look, Medicaid, how many cuts Oh, my God, my mom had a friend who got a ua a pee test. She has narcolepsy, she has to take gh B or something like that. And it’s super, super regulated. And her doctor, it was like in November, he was like, the next year there’s going to be a law passed that you have to get a pee test every month to keep track of your drug usage or whatever. So why don’t you just do it now while you’re here. So she did. Then our insurance said well, we don’t cover additional pee tests because you didn’t need to get that one. And the fucking clinic charged $12,000 for a piss test. So it’s like there’s all this Medicaid fraud. That’s what they do with pharmaceuticals. So it’s like patients have less money they shouldn’t have to spend more money for higher quality because it’s medical. We should have insurance which is a fucking scam in itself but insurance should be paying and they should have a deductible but they need to get higher quality, higher potency, more regulated like you know very consistent products. That’s just not necessary for the recreational market. I really don’t think we need 80% fucking dabs for everybody it’s not healthy dude. It’s not the way it was supposed to be consumed the only concentrate with medical research is RSO oil. Not Deb’s not to see a crystals not like that shit is not good for you. Period. So you know you might like it, but I know lots of dabbers that are like fucking junkies. I mean, I felt like a junkie. I burns on my arms from my torch. Like, it looks bad. I’ve had to explain on a first day like I’m not a drug addict, actually vaporizing safer lighting on fire. You know,
Shayda Torabi 53:05
my torch lighter out.
Kristen Yoder 53:07
They just like burn them. You just sit on my shit. I mean, I had an ex boyfriend. It was like, bro, like, cuz I told him I quit and he was like, yeah, you were really bad with that. I’m like, I know, dude. I was like, you know, I had to take abstinence breaks. It was just too much so
Shayda Torabi 53:24
I never got into dabs Thank the Lord. But I got on a bong hit for a long time. I was just like, bawling high and I kept getting bigger bongs. And then I was like, this is just really not good for me.
Kristen Yoder 53:35
Once I learned about cannabis use disorder, like one of the things is it takes more and more for you to get high and you don’t ever it’s like chasing the dragon. Like, look man, concentrated cannabis is narcotic level strong. It might not kill you, but it is not fucking healthy. And I know that that’s controversial to people but like, like, Who am I trying to impress here? You know what I’m saying? I got kicked out of school and like really fucking stoned and lost all my motivation on shitty weed. And now kids are dabbing. And like, yeah, vaporizers it’s like human pacifier. It’s a grown up pacifier. You just walk arounds. It’s so easy to hit, that you’re just sucking on that shit all the time. And it’s fun to get high in places you’re not supposed to get high too, you know, I get it. I get it, bro. And that’s why I can’t get vapes anymore because I’m like, super easy. No, and it’s funny that I was able to admit that I was addicted to concentrates. But I had this cognitive dissonance that I couldn’t be addicted to weed. We can’t be addictive, you know, but like, Look, alcohol and tobacco. They have safety campaigns and they have warnings. We need that with weed. We can’t just pretend that it’s all good and all safe for the sake of progress and then let people get way fucked up. Because the Addiction impacts people the same no matter what you know, and like, that’s what freaks me out. And that’s something that I’ve changed about is that we have to, like, have a support number or something that if you feel that your use has gotten out of control, you’re not alone. You know, it’s like, if you go to na as a weed person, like, Oh, well oxys almost fucking died. Like, you’ll we it’s nothing but like, Look, man, when I’m withdrawing from society and my professional life, and I’m depressed all the time. Like, that’s real. That’s legitimate. And I didn’t find support in the industry. I found it from other people that realize they had to quit too. You know, and that sucks. You know, I
Shayda Torabi 55:44
think there’s just a lot of isolation that happens and,
Kristen Yoder 55:47
and it shouldn’t be like that. Aren’t we like this inclusive? Health focused? Happy industry? No, we’re fucking hypocrites. And that’s what my podcast is about. Like, that’s what I’m here for is I’m going to say the ugly shit because someone has to and with my cute little voice, like, what the fuck else am I gonna do? Like, I can’t make money with this voice, bro. So like, it’s either this or, or cartoons? Yeah. So yeah, I
Shayda Torabi 56:14
vote this, this is much more helpful for the world at large. And people need to have these conversations. So thanks for having it. Like, it’s so needed. And thanks for letting me go off. Oh, my God, like literally please, anytime you want to go off, like I want to be a part of it. Because that’s the only way we’re going to learn is by opening our minds up and opening our perspectives. And if we just pick one side, then that isn’t really inclusive for this plant. And
Kristen Yoder 56:39
and it doesn’t help anybody?
Shayda Torabi 56:41
No, no, it’s just you’ve said it. And it just echoes further in the sense that we just we have limited information and we’re making decisions very blindly. And unfortunately, the consumer is taking the hit and everybody in the industry for you know, more or less is a consumer or at least have hope has been or would be a consumer and you just kind of have to resonate with that. It’s like, is this ultimately good for me? What am I selling to other people? What is that conversation? How do I bring that product to market? How do I bring awareness to market? How do I create a safe space for people to explore? I have a good friend in cannabis and we were smoking one day and he’s like, Do you ever think that we over consumed like you take one too many hits like you’re saying with a vape pen it’s so easy I can do wherever I’m in the car. I’m in the grocery store. It’s vapor nobody’s noticing. And he’s just like, you know, have you ever just taken one hit and put the pipe down or put the vape pen away? And then maybe enjoyed that experience of cannabis I was like No Why would I ever just take one or two hits and he’s like you’re like we’re literally creating these monsters of ourselves that maybe yes cannabis would be much more enjoyable maybe more people could find benefit from it maybe we wouldn’t over saturate ourselves our body the industry with it if we could just use it in you know small amounts but I think we don’t have a healthy relationship because it’s not talked out because it’s not researched. What is the right amount of cannabis it’s so much for how does it make you feel Oh, well obviously I like feelings to date is I’m going to keep sedating myself and chasing that high. So I would love to be a part of more conversations where it’s like, yeah, we use cannabis but a little bit of cannabis can go a long way like I’ve personally got into micro dosing. I love micro dosing edibles. I love two and a half milligrams five milligrams, it makes me feel good. I don’t feel super Stoney baloney, and I still can enjoy cannabis. But versus the me who’s chasing? Oh my gosh. vape part vape part vape cart just sucking it and in between classes on my way home from class, the grocery store. It’s just, it just becomes so consuming. And yeah, you just don’t realize the damage until you can kind of separate yourself from it and be like, wait a minute, like, I don’t know if that’s really good. That’s why it is problematic. Sometimes, obviously, I want people to benefit from cannabis. I want them to have access to different consumption methods. But it’s like educating people to know is vaping healthy. No, you should know this. And try your own risk.
Kristen Yoder 59:06
I think last year was really hard for a lot of people. I mean, I have tendency to go off the edge with negative news. Like who wants positive news? That’s not interesting. Like last year, I was like COVID fucking expert. Like I was terrified bro. And I started eating chocolate and candy and shit. And people are like, sugar is hard to quit. I’m like, yo, like, weed is hard. For me. Sugar is hard for you. Sugar is not hard for me. It’s different for everybody. Right? But like I think last year was a time of excess escapism indulgence. Yeah. And it’s like, if you want to know whether you have a problem with weed or not, then quit. If you can quit, and for a week or two weeks or three weeks and you’re fine. But if you’re a medical user, don’t quit like using it, do you whatever helps. But if you don’t use it for a medical reason, and you think that you can moderate your use, then try it. And if you can’t, maybe you should think about that, because that’s what I kept trying to quit. And I kept, it got to the point where every time I’d order weed, I felt fucking bad about myself, like, do you do not have the money for this? What are you doing? But then I’d also get that rash like, you know, go get my weed. And it’s like, drugs, bro. It’s like drugs. It could be any substance that I was going through this vicious cycle. And so yeah, lots of people are like, Well, I’m not addicted, then quit and see how you feel. See if you can do it. Because I guarantee that a lot of us in the industry are so brainwashed into all positives, that we don’t even recognize that we are abusing weed. It happens it happens to the best of us.
Shayda Torabi 1:00:58
I hope that episode didn’t spook you too bad. I think Kristin shared a lot of really refreshing thoughts and perspectives. I know that I share some of her beliefs and also challenge some of the things myself that are happening in the industry, especially as I’ve leaned into this podcast, I’ve uncovered so much information that just varies again state to state city to city. legalization isn’t a you know, one transaction, every word, there’s a lot of implications and making sure that things are done, ultimately to the benefit of the consumer of the community of the plant is really where I stand. And so having the best understanding of what legalization looks like both at a federal level as well as a state level is really important. So my hope is that this conversation was informative and can be a jumping off point for you to further educate yourself. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The To be blunt podcast. New episodes every Monday if this was your first time listening, thank you. If this was your second third or 10th time listening, thank you. And I’ll be back next Monday with a another episode. Bye y’all.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai