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E124 - CannMed 24 – These are the People in Your Neighbourhood Part 1


So many fantastic Canna-people to meet and talk to at CannMed 24! Here are the first batch of clips we got!

Ariane Williams & Megan Mbengue – Trusted Canna Nurse - There were so many nurses at CannMed 24! Our slightly biased co-host Kirk was ecstatic. He thinks more nurses makes every conference and everything else better! Ariane is the Director of Patient Services and “The Kind Nurse”. She’ll listen to your needs as a patient and guide you to personalized care. Megan is the Founder and CEO. She is a Social Media Content Queen with all things cannabis and runs the back end of Trusted Canna Nurse.

Jeff Smith -Professor, Strategic Partnership and Outreach Specialist at the Institute of Cannabis Research - Colorado State University Pueblo. The ICR is like the NIH (National Institutes of Health) of cannabis research in Colorado. The ICR funds research related to cannabis such as clinical research, biotechnologies, and economic development associated with cannabis in Colorado. Once the research is done, they publicly disseminate the results.

Clay W. Moore - Drug Discovery Scientist at Rare Earth Genomics. We first met Clay at CannMed 23. He is now a PhD student at Texas A&M. Clay needs bigger goals in life, because he is only trying to cure cancer with hemp extracts. He is also a part of Rare Earth Genomics (REG). REG wants to be your Swiss Army knife of hemp research projects. We talk to Clay about how REG could help Kirk with his potential Hemp-Crete dreams

Episode Transcript

Reefer MEDness_E124_CannMed2024 Part 1.mp3

Trevor: Kirk.

Kirk: We're back.

Trevor: I'm back.

Kirk: You're back? How are you? How was your trip?

Trevor: Oh, it was really good. You know, some of the usual travel things. Like I tried my darndest to lose my wallet before I even left Dauphin, and then some plane delays on the way back. But, you know, honestly, as weird travel delays go, really pretty minor.

Kirk: Well, you always want the delays on the way home, so you have an excuse not to make it into work. You don't want the delays going down?

Trevor: No.

Kirk: But tell me how you tried to lose your wallet.

Trevor: Oh, yeah. It's really, really exciting story. I have a center console in my truck, and I put my wallet there. And then, as Doris and I were picking up coffee on the way out, I was trying to sitting in the line up in the drive through, and I didn't realize my wallet was there. Open the center console to plug in a phone and then trying to pay for coffee. I don't have a wallet. Big panic. Doris pays to drive back to where we got gas. It's not there anyway because it was a, you know, 20 minutes of terror that I'm leaving town. I've already lost my wallet. The wallet, for the record, ended up in the garbage can. But I did not realize that when I opened the console of my truck.

Kirk: Okay. And of course, your passport's in there and.

Trevor: No, no, still have the passport. So, you know, I was ready to go to CannMed with a passport and Doris's credit card and hope for the best, but I didn't have to do that.

Kirk: So give us an overview. You're down in Florida. CannMed24. You're on the business panel's presenting, what again?

Trevor: Well, that was the exciting part. It, we were in the cultivation and chemistry section. A guy I'd still like to talk to. I talked to him briefly on Zoom. Travis Higginbotham, I think I've got his name right. Was supposed to be on the panel with us, and he was supposed to kind of be our star. He he talks about, he's done lots of things in cultivation, but right now, one of his main jobs is if a greenhouse goes, bank takes it over, goes into foreclosure, they call him in to figure out how to tweak it properly to get it back to profitability. So, you know, the bank can eventually sell it off. So he knows a lot about how to run a greenhouse and how to get the most number of, milligrams of cannabinoids out of, you know, square meter of light. So I really wanted to hear him talk. But and this is a, this sad thing, he didn't make it because just before CannMed his brother got into a car accident. I'm hoping everybody's okay. But anyway, so, suddenly on our panel, there is me, and there is, David Traylor, the guy who sort of invited me down there. And we had, another gentleman more from the investment end of the world. And, we fielded some cultivation questions, which, you know, way outside my zone of expertise. But I guess we did. Okay. We didn't have too many people throwing stuff at us.

Kirk: David Traylor Episode 110. We interviewed him, if anybody's interested. So you did one of these, These are the People in Your Neighborhood again, right? So we've got three stories we're gonna, we're going to share with our audience today.

Trevor: Yeah, today we're going we've got three stories. We've got, Megan and Ariana from Trusted Canna Nurse. We've got, Jeff Smith from the Institute of Cannabis Research in Colorado. And, we've got returning friend of the show, Clay Moore from Texas A&M. So, yeah, no lots of lots of you can't I know I say often can't shake a stick without hitting but yeah really at CannMed you can't shake a stick without hitting an interesting person in the cannabis space, they're just everywhere you turn, someone is doing something interesting in the cannabis space.

Kirk: Well, it's great to see nurses involved. You know, if there are self-employed nurses, were they working for a large organization or self-employed.

Trevor: Yes, yes to all of that. One of the nursing panels I did go to because it was during breakfast, they had four nurses up on the panel, and one of them, like, I think her title was literally she, she was promoting, nursing entrepreneurship and the two nurses you're going to hear from on ours. That is their company Trusted Canna Nurse is a company started by Megan to help people with cannabis. So, you know, they have formed a company and they are doing their thing.

Kirk: And this is really cool.

Trevor: I think I mentioned it before, and it's worth. Mentioned again, there was at least 20 nurses there. Like they had enough nurses there they had separate nursing panels.

Kirk: Well, considering nurses make up the bulk of the health care system, they should be well represented in any health conference, I think. And the fact that the self-employed nurses is fantastic and there and these people forget people sometimes mix up agency nurses as private nurses. These would not be agency nurses. These are nurses that have a business helping people with their cannabis. Right. I am I was listening to this interview that you did is very short, but I think people need to understand that in the nursing sciences there is something called a meta paradigm. And the nursing meta paradigm involves how we nurse and sort of we nurse the person, we nurse the health of the person. And for them to be at wellness, we nurse them within the environment in which we find them, and we nurse them by using a nursing care model. So there's it's a sort of a four paradigm. They talk about, the mind, body and soul, I believe. And I'm thinking these are nurses that really focus on the person. So they're focusing on on the people who are using cannabis and how they can stay well with cannabis. That's how I interpret this short little blurb that we're hearing.

Trevor: Me as well.

Kirk: Okay.

Trevor: And, you know, we've  got their contact info. I'm sure if you want to delve more into it, Megan is both of them were fantastic speakers, but Megan is especially someone who just kind of commands a room. And I will talk to you for hours about whatever you want to talk to. She.

Kirk: Yeah.

Trevor: Well if you're if you're dying to hear more, I'm sure we can track them down and hear more but.

Kirk: I do want to hear more. But let's hear this little blurb. This is good.

Trevor: Oh, hi. Trevor's here. Still here at CannMed24. Kirk, you're going to love this. There are more nurses you can shake a stick at at here at CannMed and we've got two of them here. We're going to talk to Megan and Ariane about Trusted Canna Nurse. We're going to start with Megan. And I'll just get you did introduce yourself.

Megan: Hi there. My name is Megan and I'm the founder and CEO of Trusted Canna Nurse, where we empower people to heal with cannabis and psychedelics. And we also formulated our own line of really high quality hemp products. And I just graduated with a master's degree in medical cannabis therapeutics.

Trevor: Very nice to meet you. Ariane, I'll get you to introduce yourself.

Ariane: Hello. My name is Ariane. I'm a Registered Nurse, and I am the Director of Patient Care Services. Trusted Canna Nurse. I'm also known as Kind nurse. And I've been doing this work for a few years, and I just really love sharing the plant with people.

Trevor: That's great. So, Megan, are we going to call you the founder administrator kind of person? What are you kind of doing day to day?

Ariane: Day to day I do a lot of, I'm kind of known as the content queen. I put out educational and entertaining content around plant medicine on social media, and that's how I've grown my business the last two years. So you can check me out on social media at Trusted Canna Nurse. And then that's where you'll see, like the short, digestible bits of information on both cannabis and psychedelics. And what that does is really challenges people's misconceptions and the stigmas that they have and gets them really curious about learning more about plant medicine. So I do that. And then I run the whole business from the back end. So I kind of bring in the clients, and then Ariane takes care of the clients.

Trevor: Right. That segue nicely. So, Ariane, I'm a client. I've walked into the clinic. What what are you going to do with me?

Ariane: Yeah. So what I do is I really find out, you know, what people's needs are as far as, their mind, body and spirit. I work from a very holistic standpoint, and cannabis is one of the tools that I use in my toolbox, but it really is like patient centered. It's a co-creative process of finding out what you need, what tools you have on board, and which ones I can bring in to help supplement you and what your health goals are. And that's essentially what it looks like is it's a one on one practice, when I work with people in that capacity and yeah, it's just about empowering and giving people back their right to live healthy and thrive.

Trevor: Thank you very much. So like I said, Kirk, at least 20 nurses here at CannMed24, and these were two of them. Thank you very much. It's nice meeting both of you. So, so we have lots of stuff going on in that little short clip. So Megan, sort of our entrepreneur and our content developer.  Ariane is sort of the patient care specialist, if you want to call it that. Yeah. No, they were they were lovely, bright people to talk to you.

Kirk: There's, there's a lady in, there's a lady in Edmonton doing something similar that I hope to get an interview on as well, helping people with their cannabis and the lady in Edmonton she needs to get a few more things situated. But she started her business, I don't know if I told you off camera, but she started her business after walking out of the hospital having a very poor day in the emergency department. Listen to one of our podcasts and said, oh my God, this guy's are making a living talking about cannabis, and he's a nurse working with cannabis. And I wonder if I could do that. And she started a business. She started a business helping people with their cannabis three years later. So anyways, I think there's more to be heard from this story trevor, I'd like to call them back.

Trevor: Yeah. No, I'm sure they would love to talk to you, but next up, we go to, PhD Jeff Smith from Colorado for the, Institute of Cannabis Research. He's a PhD, and the the, he calls his institute the NIH of cannabis for Colorado.

Kirk: NIH stands for.

Trevor: National Institutes of Health in the US.

Kirk: Let's go into it because I want to I want to talk about one of the studies you mentioned.

Trevor: Travis you fill that CannMed24 today we have Jeff Smith. Jeff, you've got a poster out there. Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about it.

Jeff Smith: So I'm Jeff Smith, I'm, a PhD in biomedical science and a professor at Colorado State University, Pueblo. And I am the strategic partnership and outreach specialist for the Institute of Cannabis Research, which is housed at CSU Pueblo.

Trevor: So tell us a little bit about the Institute of Cannabis Research. What, what are you guys teaching and what are you working on?

Jeff Smith: Okay, so the ICR is basically the State of Colorado's, NIH for all things cannabis. And so the State appropriates about $4 million a year to the institute, and we run a competitive, request for applications for research applications for people to do cannabis research. And we put up a peer reviewed, expert panel to vet the quality and rank the quality of the proposals that we receive. And then we award and do post award processing of the projects that are funded. We also sponsor the Journal of Cannabis Research, which is a journal about all things cannabis that is at Springer Nature, so very prestigious. We just got our impact factor. Right around the four range, so that was an excellent start. We run a monthly pair of webinar series one on plant cultivation and one on, just all things cannabis science. You can go to our website and it's, and you can see a rundown on the 20 different research projects that we currently fund. Looking forward to awarding a handful of new projects that will be in their first year, in fiscal year 25. So starting this late this, early this fall, late this summer. So that'll put us up in around 25 projects.

Trevor: So just to wrap this up, do you have a favorite, not quite the word, but how about a memorable project that you've you've helped bring to fruition so far?

Jeff Smith: Well, our projects are typically $100,000 a year for three years. And we're just finishing our first set of projects that are completed. And so publications are just coming out. One of the interesting findings, came out of Emily Bates lab at CU, University of Colorado, and she fed cannabidiol to pregnant mice and their offspring, all developed phenotype that looks like diabetes. And they also had cognitive disorders or deficits in their cognitive performance. And so that's, just been released by the ICR as some of the data that are research results that came out from our funded research and it's going for publication.

Trevor: Thank you very much, Jeff. It was great to meet you.

Jeff Smith: You bet. Thanks.

Trevor: All right Kirk, something piqued your interest in there.

Kirk: Yeah, yeah, that that one of the studies you asked them. What's the study that piqued his interest and it was the study on CBDs on pregnant mice.

Trevor: Yeah, now.

Kirk: That's a curious study.

Trevor: Well, and I don't, I'm not again, not a I'm not trying to put words in his mouth. I'm not sure if they have I don't know if it's done yet, but I know you've got a specific sort of, well we've all got interest in pregnancy because you know what, it's what created all of us. But you specifically are always interested in things to do with, pregnancy and cannabis. So. Yeah.

Kirk: Well, yeah.

Trevor: CBD and pregnant mice.

Kirk: Yeah. I would be very curious because you basically said you found that the offspring of the mice have deficit. So what I wanted to know more about the study is and he said and, my notes say he was talking about CBD alone. So cannabidiol.

Trevor: Yes.

Kirk: CBD.

Trevor: Right.

Kirk: So I can't help but ask if, I can't help but ask the dosage. It can help it ask the entourage affect. There's so much about that study I want to learn about because, it's significant because it's suggesting that stay off cannabis while pregnant if you're a mouse. But it's I'm curious about I'd like to learn more about that one Trevor.

Trevor: Well, we could always track Jeff down and see if he can put us in contact with the author and.

Kirk: yeah.

Trevor: Yeah, absolutely something we can look more into. So let's get move on to now friend of the show, Clay Moore. We met him last year at CannMed23, had a little blurb with him. And then, you had a much longer interview with him a little bit later.  This year things have changed in a positive way for Mister Texas A&M. Why don't we listen to Clay? So Trevor here at CannMed24 again. We are reuniting with someone we talked to last year at 23, where we Clay Moore from Texas. And if you remember, last year he was an undergrad scientist. Things have changed, so I'll let Clay, update you.

Clay Moore: Yeah. How do you. Yeah, I'm happy to be here again. My name is Clay Moore, and like you had mentioned before, I actually just graduated A&M with an undergraduate in Plant Environmental Soil Sciences. And I also just got accepted into a PhD program at Texas A&M in Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences. And I'm switching focuses for the past three years in the agrilife, industrial hemp breeding program. I did the hemp conversion program, where I reached out to growers and breeders all around the world, collected genetics and then made new compliant varieties to send back to USDA for farmers all over the United States to have a free public germplasm, to select from for their own breeding material. But my main focus was phytochemicals as well during my undergraduate. And luckily for the past 6 to 8 months, I've been working on a proposal that got approved for my PhD to do cancer research with phytochemicals. So.

Trevor: That is very exciting. You are going to save the world. Now, there's something else big going on in your life a company called Rare Earth Genomics. What can you tell us about them?

Clay Moore: Yeah. So I've been very blessed, with this company, Rare Earth Genomics. And they've been a main investor in the industrial hemp breeding program at Texas A&M for the past three years. Four years now, and they just employed a bunch of us, on the research team in the industrial hemp breeding program, including myself. And you can look at REG as a tool belt or a service provider for either well-established businesses or even people who want to start a new business and have some money to fund towards some R&D. Basically, you come to us and we, and you want an end product, whatever industry it may be in the fiber sector for construction, clothing materials, or for seed, for food and, oil extraction, cannabinoids for medicine, or plant genetics, you name it cannabis we will find you a student or hire a researcher to take on your individual funded project and then return you a R&D end product that you have first right of refusal, for commercialization.

Trevor: That's very cool. We'll take one of Kirk's favorite pet projects. So that's see, I'm a company that's really interested in building with Hempcrete. You could help us with something like that.

Clay Moore: Yeah, sure. We've actually had some people in the Texas industry come by our facilities and wanting to collaborate more. We're currently in discussion with a couple of companies that want to invest in Hempcrete. Our people are calling it hemplime now because they just want better formulations. Even Texas A&M, Construction Science Department got a grant from the Department of Energy for $3.2 million, I believe, for Hempcrete 3D printing. And so we have the capacity to be able to fast forward to making better materials for Hempcrete already with the resources that we already have. So.

Trevor: Clay, that's very cool. Thank you very much. Kirk. Hempcrete and Rare Earth Genomics. So?

Kirk: Yeah, I know there's a whole lot I want to talk about with Clay. He. We first met Clay in episode. Well, the first neighborhood when we did, the first time, we went down to, you know, these are the people in your neighborhood. I think we met him in either Episode 106 or 105, and we did a whole episode on him. A whole episode on him... 105. We did a whole episode on him, with 112. But, you know, I think I mentioned he mentioned to us that he was hoping to become a PhD, and he wanted to go more into the cannabis side of things. But I think, you know, I'm not surprised to hear that he's actually taking a little bit of a, I don't want to say 180 degree, but more of a 90 degree turn. He still studying cannabis, but I think his undergrad was so overwhelming with the amount of things that he got to do and research that taking cannabis into the medicinal side of cancer care is fascinating. He's going to get a PhD focusing on cancer and cannabis. That. Good for him, right? He went from being the farmer guy that gets a PhD in hemp that wow, quite a quite a degree and in turn. 90 degrees.

Trevor: Well that's always the good and the bad about your PhD right, is it's  or A PhD like, like you and I both have them, but, you have to pick a really, really, really, really, really narrow focus. So yeah, you know, there's this many choices.

Kirk: Something no one else has done.

Trevor: And you got to pick something. I really, really narrow focus in there.

Kirk: Well, I'd like to hear what his question is because there's so much stuff going on and assumptions with cannabis. But you're but I and cancer in cannabis and we've done episodes on it. But I didn't answer your question when you when you asked me about the Hempcrete. Really cool. Right. And I think, I think if I am going to, if I am going to put words in his mouth and because I interviewed him in episode 112, I think this is the way he's going to maybe monetize or keep himself in the field of hemp by, looking at how the commercialization of hemp happens through a university, another university research so.

Trevor: Rare Earth Genomics is actually a company. So he's kind of, not split focus but he's got his PhD on side and then working for Rare Earth Genomics on the other. So Rare Earth Genomics is actually a company that obviously hires a lot of, you know, university people. But yeah, they're like you said, they kind of want to be your research tool belt. You're a company who.

Kirk: Yeah.

Trevor: Has a cannabis hemp related idea and needs need someone to do some research on it. They'll, you pay them, they'll do it. And you've got now first right of refusal to sort of commercialize or take that idea or whatever you if, if you want it, you have it. Otherwise they'll go publish it or sell it or do something else with it. So I think that's really cool.

Kirk: But their matching, my notes say that they're working on matching university research to commercial applications. So are they connected. Are they connected. Is this a business arm of the university?

Trevor: I am not 100% certain on that, so no one yell at me. But my understanding is this was a separate entity with a separate fund.

Kirk: Okay.

Trevor: With a separate funder, but obviously lots of university connections because that, you know.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah.

Trevor: So I believe at least arm's length removed from like Texas A&M. But you know obviously a lot of university connections.

Kirk: What I like about these little snippets you do with, with you know, just stopping these people and saying, hey, talk to my phone. Is it all you doing is teasing me? Because each one of these individuals and people you've interviewed, I just got more questions for them. And. And that that just teases me Trevor.

Trevor: Oh. Me too. And this is the good and the bad about going to, you know, these big conferences  you know, just about everybody you turn around could be a whole episode. But you know, you only have X amount of time.

Kirk: To bother them with your phone. Yeah. No congratulations again. And I know this isn't the easiest thing for you to do is go into a room full of people and say, hey, talk on my phone.

Trevor: Yeah, yeah, it's it's good practice for, you know, shock therapy for the introvert, but, it went okay. So, but so we don't keep this on, people on forever on this one. We do have three more guests, which I think are just fantastic coming up. So we'll tease a little bit on that. Kirk anything else in sort of cannabis world, your world you want to talk about to finish off this episode?

Kirk: Oh, you know, there's so much stuff happening in the cannabis world right now. Every time you want to get into it, it could be a whole episode. But, you know, let's just keep this nice and neat and teasing that hopefully these three guests come back to future episodes. Now that we've made a link with them and address some of the questions that they came up through the tease. Did you come up with the I guess, you know, what we should do is not forget to introduce ourselves like we have done in the past.

Trevor: Especially important this one. Kirk, what's your name or what do you do?

Kirk: Oh, my name is Kirk Nyquist. I am a registered nurse for Reefer Medness - The Podcast found at And Trevor.

Trevor: I'm Trevor Shewfelt. I'm the pharmacist.

Kirk: Yeah, and we are Reefer Medness - The Podcast. Hey, did you come up with any music for this?

Trevor: I did not. But if we're going to pick something, it should definitely be something warm.

Kirk: I was thinking yacht.  How about some yacht rock? 

Trevor: Sure. Yeah. It's good. It's good to say no. That sounds. That sounds perfect. We were. They kept sending us outside to, like, eat, you know, lovely big tents and stuff. But it's 32 plus degrees for you people south of the border, 100°F. You know, try to talk to people or eat lunch while I'm sweating through my shirt. Anyway, the Canadian got used to it, got used to it, but it was a little warmer than I was expected, and I was outside a little more than I would have thought.

Kirk: Well, I'm thinking of a song off Long May You Run. Neil Young and Stephen Stills, did it in, recorded it in Miami Beach in Florida. And I like to listen to Fountain Blue. Fountain blue is about a hotel down there, a famous hotel. So that's a good yacht rock. kind of sound.

Trevor: That sounds fantastic. All right, we'll see everybody next time.

Kirk: All right.