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E54 - Hello Cannabis with HelloMD



If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? If you’re living in a rural community, are over 65 and wonder if cannabis might be a good option for your arthritic knee, but your doctor says she doesn't know anything about it, instead of Ghostbusters, why not call HelloMD? Better yet, listen to Trevor and Kirk talk to Larry Lisser of HelloMD about medical cannabis in general and HelloMD's Senior Care Program in particular. So who you gonna call?
Monday, 17 August 2020 19:54

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Episode Transcript

Rene: Hey, it's Rene here, the producer of the Reefer Medness podcast just wanted to take a moment here and apologize for some of the sound quality on some of the audio. In these Covid times, it's forced us to try recording from different locations, with different mediums and by my ear, not very optimal. I prefer that we could all be in the studio and hopefully that will happen again soon. So some of the audio is going to sound less than perfect. Please bear with us. I apologize for that. Anyway, here comes another great episode of Reefer Medness - The Podcast.

Trevor: Kirk, we're back.

Kirk: Hey, Trevor, how's it going?

Trevor: Good. So if you're not watching the video of this, Kirk has a fancy new outfit on Kirk. Who are you wearing this summer season.

Kirk: Whom am I wearing? I am wearing clinical blues, I guess. I'm up I'm up north right now. I'm working with Covid. We have to wear a mask with our patient care. And because I'm an old surgical nurse, if I'm wearing a mask, I wear a hat. So I just got off shift and I took the mask off so you could see my lovely face. And I just haven't taken hat off because I've got night hair. I've been up all night.

Trevor: So you look lovely. And hopefully your medevac goes smoothly. At this end. Covid wise. I have now had a daughter graduate from high school.

Kirk: I saw that. Congratulations, Man.

Trevor: Well, it's really her thing. But let's go to HelloMD. and I'm going to state up front. Their name is HelloMD. I just re-listened to the interview. I use WebMD a lot. We're going to get Rene to fix that because it's like their name is Frank and I kept calling them George. The company is HelloMD. and I will try to say HelloMD, as much as I can to try to make right for the interview what I kept calling them by the wrong name. Kirk, before this had you heard anything about HelloMD?

Kirk: No, I must admit, I have not heard about HelloMD. I found it an interesting interview. I had to listen to it a couple of times to get into it and to understand the services they're providing. And again, I apologize because when I'm working, my brain is pretty much clinically and not necessarily on the peripheral stuff. But I listen to it again before the start of this interview we're going to have together. And I went back to their Web page. Essentially, what I what I see is a middle man. Is this correct? They're providing a service to people so that I'm thinking people, rural Canada could use this service. And they're providing a service linking doctors and producers or suppliers, medical, medical cannabis suppliers together.

Trevor: Yeah, I think you've pretty much covered it like they started in the US. They said, you know, they saw a lot of stigma around people wanting to get medical cannabis. So they were going to use a sort of a Web based only way to get people can prescribe prescribers, you know, their news practitioners or physicians or whoever hooked up with patients, get them that prescription or up here. It's called medical authorization, but prescription and get that to the producer. And then the producer gets the cannabis to the to the patient. And one of the things I was really and they've been doing that I think they said five years or so, 2015. But one of the parts and we do get into it, that I thought it was really interesting is now they are doing a specific seniors focused service, like really trying to if you were somebody who is seventy five years old and said, you know, my buddy says that cannabis might help my sore knee, but I don't know anything about anything, how do I get involved with how does this happen? They will they will help you.

Kirk: Well that's what I thought. As I started picking up on the service they provide, they are perfect for rural Canadians. I had to laugh at the end of the interview, him thinking Thunder Bay is northern Canada.

Trevor: Well, I tried to be nice about that.

Kirk: And of course, I guess in Ontario, in you know, in the center of the center of the world, Toronto; Thunder Bay is pretty north. But I know from my practice, I've had people who have approached me online, emails. I live in northern Alberta and there are no practitioners near me. The next person is, you know, an hour and a half down the highway in the next town. Now I'm thinking, HelloMD provide that service. I mean, if I'm in Lac La Biche Alberta, we did we did an episode when I went and visited my in-laws and Lac La Biche Alberta, as far as I know, there's not a cannabis doctor in Lac La Biche Alberta. So the residents of Lac La Biche Alberta can call down the HelloMD. And they now have linked to a cannabis doctor. They can do it by telephone or video link, and not only that, they help the person fill in the paperwork for the cannabis and submit it to the suppliers, the producers, I guess the pharmacy.

Trevor: Yes, absolutely. And in this case, that and I do believe my poking around HelloMD does partner with other licensed producers. But in this interview, we focused mainly on their working relationship with Cannabis by Shoppers. Shoppers Drug Mart, sort of medical cannabis division, which is a licensed producer. They don't actually produce, they buy from others. But that's neither here nor there. So Cannabis by Shoppers is a is a Licensed Producer. So, you go from HelloMD to Cannabis by Shoppers and then gets mailed to the patient.

Kirk: Right. But they're helping the patient with all the paperwork. They are helping them. But I imagine from my experience, once you've seen your medical doctor, for your prescription, the medical doctor fills out their side of the paperwork, sends it to the dispensary, the producer and then the producers send your registration so you still have to register with the producer. What I'm seeing here. HelloMD provides service. They'll help you do the paperwork to link you to the dispensary also.

Trevor: Yes, that's my understanding. Yes.

Kirk: Yeah. So they're taking away all the paperwork, which is, my God, wonderful, especially for seniors. They take the they take the work out of it. Here's a question, though. As we've often talked how we both stumble into cannabis conversations all the time. I'm working with a doctor up here in northern Manitoba right now who is not canna-positive. He does not like cannabis as medicine, does not consider cannabis medicine. We had some very interesting, very frank discussions. And it was fun. It was I like having those conversations and asking questions about, well, you know, something like gabapentin. How would you prescribe gabapentin without enough research? And of course, he says, well, I don't like gabapentin. OK, well, good for you. You know, but he raised he raised the question to me about prescribing doctors and cannabis. And I didn't know this and he said that the only person that can prescribe cannabis for you is your family doctor. It's about the relationship. So now he's telling me that from the College of Physicians perspective, another physician such as a cannabis doctor, such as HelloMD, if they're not your family practitioner, according to the college, they aren't licensed to prescribe you cannabis. And I and I said this and I said, well, that's interesting because it's happening, so how is it happening?

Trevor: I think maybe we should get to Larry soon. But, you know, maybe this is a call to college because just play devil's advocate. You know, in my clinic, the clinic I work next to, you know, you see your family doctor for most things, but your family doctor is away, busy, whatever. We go to the walk-in clinic and they write, but he's basically anything. And they're not your family doctor. They might not know you from a hole in the ground, but, you know, you needed care. They write you a prescription. I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between that and what HelloMD is doing.

Kirk: That's a good that's a good argument. I have to pose that one when I when I see my doc friend, my colleague. But I also was thinking about when we interviewed, Dr. Shelley Turner, back in the episode of Healing Communities, she made the comment that she sees herself as a specialist, right. So therefore, when I when you come see her, she's offering a specialty as a cannabis doctor, as you would see your, you know, orthopod or your other specialty doctors. But in those cases, you've been referred to by your family doctor and this case, your family doctor is not referring to the HelloMD.

Trevor: No. Good question. If we've got any listeners out there who are associated with the college, maybe even on the college, I would love to hear the actual college explanation of this.

Kirk: Well, again, we've always said we're never without effort, without opportunity to have interviews. I like this interview. Like I said though, for me, and again, it was probably headspace, I had to listen to it a couple of times because when you when you posted me the interview, I started to listen to it and I was putzing around the apartment here and doing some stuff. And I was thinking, well, OK, is Larry a doctor is the vice president of the organization.

Trevor: Larry, Larry seems to be a business guy and I mean this in the nicest possible way. But you will hear Larry use words like onboarding. You know, you and I see patients and talk to people. Larry On boards; I'm only teasing a little bit, Larry. Let's listen to Larry and we'll talk a little bit more about his interview afterwards.

Larry: First, thank you for having me today Trevor. A little bit of background HelloMD, is the company that we created back in 2015 actually, which is about 100 years in cannabis years. And at the time we were based only in California and we wanted to bring something to market to help those who were interested in using cannabis for medical or wellness purposes, an opportunity where they could feel comfortable that they would meet with a practitioner. Secure and discreetly and be educated and understand, you know, medical cannabis a little bit more. Back then, the stigma was way stronger than it is today. So all of those things were critically important. Over the years, we really continued on that trajectory, which was to build a brand and a set of services that helped more and more people feel open and comfortable to learn and hopefully on board and succeed in integrating medical cannabis in the way that they in the way that they look after themselves or optimize their health and life. A few years ago, we chose to enter the Canadian market. I'm born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, and so Canada is obviously dear to me. And while it felt far to some of my partners, it felt like a very natural extension and particularly how avant garde Canada has been as it relates to cannabis as a whole. And particularly, ironically, when it became clear that Canada would have two very clear swim lanes, medical and recreational, the market became very interesting to us. And so we entered providing pretty much similar services, which is to help companies like Shoppers Drug Mart and others offer a full service where they can send their patients for the opportunity to connect with an educated and experienced practitioner online from the comfort of their home or otherwise, and talk about their symptoms and potential illnesses that they think perhaps medical cannabis could be a fit for and have an opportunity for that practitioner to discuss that with them, decide whether they feel it's the right thing and provide them some, you know, prescriptive advice in terms of a treatment plan. And so that's at a very high level. The business, I would say we're really a technology business that wraps around, you know, patients service to provide these experiences for patients in Canada.

Trevor: Not that that's great. So if I was a patient, a customer. Are all your services sort of online slash web cams?

Larry: Yes.

Trevor: So there's no physical office anywhere?

Larry: That’s a good question, Yeah, there's no, in fact we've never had any physical locations. And, you know, up until last year and certainly more recently since the Covid crisis. Virtual health was a bit of a you know, it was on the sidelines a little bit. It was a very niche, part of health care. In fact, globally, it's estimated that before Covid, you know, five to maybe eight percent of total health care interactions in the US and Canada took place digitally or online or on the web or on a on a webcam. And during the crisis, as much as 80 percent of those same interactions were done digitally. So, we've always been telehealth digital focused. We fought the good fight for many years in provinces and states and countries around the world who didn't want to allow a medical cannabis patient to engage with a practitioner over telehealth for a myriad of reasons that we can cover on another day. But Covid has disrupted all of that, changed that dramatically, which is now allowed us to operate the services across the entire country, east to west, north to south. And I think people have really used the crisis as an opportunity to understand that being able to connect with their practitioner without leaving their house actually can be quite advantageous to everybody. And so we continue to operate exclusively online services.

Trevor: Yeah, I know you guys are definitely ahead of the curve on that. You know, overnight success, five years in the making. But yeah, in Manitoba.

Larry: Yeah, exactly.

Trevor: Right now. Like what, six months ago, doctors didn't really like talking to patients over the phone, not that they don't like talking to their patients. But, you know, in all fairness to the doctors, they didn't get paid for talking to their patients. But Covid-19 comes along and suddenly they can bill for a phone call, they can bill for a teleconference. And like the clinic I work in right now, it's walk in clinic, they literally have people phone ahead of time. And if the doctor can do the assessment over the phone, they do. And it keeps everyone safer. So you guys you guys have been set up for that since the beginning?

Larry: Well, you know what's interesting about that Trevor is that you know, I've now lived in my life in both socialized health care in Canada for many years and then in, let's call it capitalistic or private health care in the U.S. And what Covid is really told me, that is even in places like Canada, you know, money talks and the payor, the provincial, you know, health care boards and or private insurance just weren't offering compensation that was interesting to many practitioners. There will always be reasons to see your practitioner in office. One hundred percent. But there's also plenty of reasons where it can be done virtually. And it just they weren't being compensated. And so, you know, in retrospect, I've talked to many practitioners now who say, like, it really wasn't that I didn't want to do it. In fact I quite like it. I work from home on Fridays now, but, you know, financially, I just couldn't make that work. And so it just kind of reminds you that, you know, money is still the currency of health care, whether we're talking about private or socialized, you know, platforms.

Trevor: Well, we could say money, it's root of all evil. But I think the economists will say that we all respond to incentives, and that's probably a better way of saying it.

Larry: Correct. I like that. Well said.

Trevor: So how about let's talk about seniors. You know, again, you guys are well positioned. You know, I'm betting many, many seniors. This is the first time they've ever FaceTime anyone, they've ever Skyped anyone. They've ever been on a Zoom call with the grandkids. Seniors are if they weren't on video conferences before, they probably are now. And you guys are offering a service directly targeting them and their medical cannabis needs.

Larry: Yeah. So, you know, Shoppers has done quite a lot, I think, for for medical cannabis in that, you know, we were attracted to Shoppers because being so early as we were, the notion that a mainstream brand and I think I read something yesterday that Shoppers was listed as the number two trusted brand in Canada after either Canada Post or Costco, I can't remember. But to have such a trusted brand come to market and say we believe in medical cannabis, it's not nothing short of revolutionary for those of us who have been in the market a long time. And the reason I raise that is I think that it has accelerated the senior communities interest in medical cannabis That community has a lot of reasons to be to be interested, you know, given the myriad of symptoms that tend to be imposed upon the elderly. But they also have a lot of reasons not to want to touch cannabis because they grew up in a generation where they were told it was evil. And what we have seen, and particularly in the last many months, is that a great influx of those 65 and over who are coming to it for the first time, who are a bit anxious about it, who are maybe already compromised and anxious about that to begin with. And so it's not an easy process for them, but they're coming to it because partly because if Shoppers said it's OK or it's a good idea now maybe I should talk to somebody about it. And the first person I want to talk to about is the practitioner. So, I think Shoppers is really kind of helped pivot the thinking around cannabis for that generation and others. And so, what we noticed was with a huge surge of seniors, particularly during Covid that, you know Telehealth was what, Seniors was going to be the last market that telehealth really attached to, just because that group grew up going to see their doctor in person. And so, while we can make technology these days simpler and simpler and simpler, it's still technology interfaces with still multiple steps. And so, we decided, along with Shoppers, that to try to reinvent some of our processes. Add some more white glove approach to how we onboard seniors and just make it simpler to get from the point of I think I'd like to talk to a practitioner about medical cannabis. I can't go to the clinic right now and for the foreseeable future, try to make that bridge to the point where they're actually on the phone with that practitioner much, much simpler, much shorter and much more intimate, for lack of a better word. We talk to them a lot in that process and then also try to make that hand up into their next step with, in this case, Shoppers, you know, simpler. So that's the genesis of the senior care service that we've launched.

Trevor: That sounds great. So we'll try to get a couple of details. So, you know, I'm let's make me a 60-year-old guy with a arthritic knee. My friend says CBD helps his knee pain. So, if I want to get assessed, what would I what would I do? Do I need a...

Larry: So, yeah. So, all we, we really kind of cut out, if you will, the red tape. And we've created a website just for seniors. It can be found at And it can be found in a number of other ways that you started at the Shopper site. You can find your way there quite simply as well. And on that site, you'll find a couple of things. One is a whole set of resources, articles, videos that are written and created with the senior in mind. So a lot of introduction to cannabis. Try to break it down into nomenclature that, you know, can be understood. A lot of discussion around, you know, what seems to be the areas in which cannabis can be successful. Where do you have to be careful for seniors who just want to consume content and educate themselves along the way? And then the other thing you'll find is really just a simple one button that you click on. We take a name and a phone number and very little else and a form that can be filled out in about 15 seconds. And then someone on my team who is hand selected as someone who we think is sensitive to that type of discussion, really helping seniors on the phone who's happy to kind of yack a little bit and chat a little bit and, you know, just make it friendly. We'll call you and take your medical history and any other information that we require ahead of time for our practitioner. During that same call, we will get you scheduled for an appointment. And then when that appointment takes place, if it's tomorrow at 4:00, you'll receive a phone call again from a handpicked selection of our practitioners who have experience in geriatrics combined with adequate experience and medical cannabis. And they will call that will reference the information that we will gathered on your behalf. And they'll take a good half hour to go through your history and talk about medical cannabis and see where the intersections are. And then from there, we'll take the output of that. Assuming that it's an authorization, we'll take the notes that the practitioner will have summarize in terms of what they recommend treatment plans. And we will pass that directly to a pharmacist at Shoppers who will then call you to help you make an order for selected products.

Trevor: Oh, that sounds great. Now, would any of this be like a video conference zoom type call where I see the practitioner? Is it all over traditional telephone or do I have choices?

Larry: So, you know, we have plenty of seniors who use our video technology to talk to the practitioner. In this case. The first choice, the default is telephone.

Trevor: I think that's a good plan.

Larry: Yeah, but if somebody really wants to do it otherwise, that's no problem. We can do that. But the default here is really, you know, because we do the majority of our consult over video. And the reason for that is, you know, in most cases there are always such cases. But in most cases, the consult over video is always going to be a little bit more effective for both patient and practitioner because the practitioner likes to see your environment. To your face, to your reaction. See your body language, just get some sense of who you are if they've never seen you before. But in the case of seniors, we pivot that a little bit to acknowledge that video can be difficult. And we don't want this to be difficult. And the tradeoff is that that call is going to be longer. And the reason that it's longer is that practitioners is going to take more time over a voice to really get to know you and make sure they really understand, you know, clearly your predicament, your situation, and make sure that they make the right call, the right set of recommendations.

Trevor: That that sounds great. As a person in my job as a pharmacist, I'm pretty sure I'm spending at least half my day on phone calls with seniors. And yeah, that is in my head. You know, I'm not trying to downplay it. I have, you know, people in their late 80s who said send me emails and Facebook messages and want to know why I didn't respond properly. But the majority of them are, want to talk on the phone. They're comfortable with the phone. No problem telling you all their ins and outs over the phone. The phone is something easy, easy and comfortable with them for them.

Larry: What we found is Trevor, I know this, I'm lucky enough to still have my parents in their early 80s. And, you know, as soon as technology creates a hiccup, a frustration, that emotional kind of charge of frustration, it's over. Because even if we're there handholding. Okay, I understand but press this button but you lose your focus when you're frustrated and emotional like that, particularly, again, particularly elderly.

Trevor: I was just going to say, I think as myself as technologically literate, but that's me every time they try to learn something new, too. So, yeah, I don't think it's specifically a senior problem.

Larry: Yeah, right. And then we just can't see the forest through the trees at that point because we're annoyed and these people are doing it wrong and they need to fix this. And you know, it couldn't possibly be that we might have may have made an error or something. And so, you know, we just don't want to impose that. And but to your point, the difference is here is that it is a there's more time involved. I can tell you that, you know, my team who calls to book the appointment, that can be a 20-minute call and ten minutes, ten, ten minutes, minutes of it we might be talking about someone's grandchildren.

Trevor: Right.

Larry: You know. And that's fine. And right now, you know, seniors are a little bit isolated. They probably can't see their grandchildren or haven't in a while. And so, if they want to talk for a few minutes about something else, just because they have someone to talk to you, that's fine with us. You know, we want them to be comfortable.

Trevor: That actually segues nicely into the especially if you're spending extra time chatting on the phone. How does this all get paid for? Do the seniors have to sort of whip out a credit card at the beginning of this? How are we billing provincial health authorities. What's how does the money move around?

Larry: So the only time that seniors are asked for money is when they buy products, in this case from Shoppers Drug Mart. And even then, Shoppers has programs for low income. Shoppers has programs for seniors. Shoppers runs promotions for seniors. So there are opportunities to reduce that expense. And then beyond that, you know, there's there are not enough yet, but there are certain individuals who have some insurability when it comes to medical cannabis. But that is much more the exception than the rule today. So that's really the only expense for the senior. Our services to the senior, the practitioner services are of no charge.

Trevor: So that's great. So, you know, the senior, if they spent an extra 15 minutes talking about their grandkids, don't get a surprise credit card bill later. That's all kind of worked, worked in already. So basically, from the senior’s point of view, the WebMD services (error: HelloMD) don't cost them anything.

Larry: Correct? Safe. But this is HelloMD.

Trevor: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Larry: I'm goggling a little bit because. No no, that's fine, because in our early days specifically when we would go out to try to raise money, people would say next up on the stage is WebMD and blah, blah, and that actually wasn't a bad thing. People had heard about them and it is a similar service in a sense. We're very targeted to the medical cannabis. But yes, we don't have a we don't have a transaction model with patients for anything we do. All of our services to our patients are free. We don't the notion of a credit card transaction doesn't really exist in our day-to-day world.

Trevor: Fair enough. And I know this a little outside your scope, but I'll ask anyway. So after the patient has talked to somebody at Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, assuming, you know, the product is appropriate for them and then it gets mailed out to them, I assume.

Larry: So, yes. I mean, that's one of the nice things about the arrangement that that we've built with Shoppers as it relates to this Covid world. Is that, it is a virtually, virtually virtual experience from A to Z, in that nobody needs to leave their home. So, they get a call from us. We go through that process, they talk to the practitioner, we take care of all the paperwork. They get a call from Shoppers. They help them select some products that the senior will have to set up an account with Shoppers for medical cannabis to buy that product and give their credit card. And then Shoppers will arrange, depending on where you are in the country, you know, I know that in Toronto, for instance, they just launched Same-Day Delivery. In other places it's overnight or two nights, but it'll come it'll come to their door.

Trevor: Oh, if I didn't ask earlier, I better ask now is HelloMD available all the way across Canada or is it just certain provinces.

Larry: All the way across Canada from you know, today we saw a patient from Newfoundland and you know, to all the way west. I'm trying to think of a most Northern, that's definitely the most Eastern and to some extent northern patient that we see. I'm trying to think of the most northern point that I've seen a patient come through for. Help me with my geography. Thunderbay is pretty north no.

Trevor: Well, for Ontario, it's actually quite a bit south of us. But do you have any, like, Nunavut, right. Do you have any Nunavut or Yellowknife or or.

Larry: Yeah. Once in a blue moon. We do. But, you know, our traffic seems to align pretty well with, you know, population densities across the country.

Trevor: No that makes sense.

Larry: You know, so more patients from Ontario than from, you know, PEI. But, you know we're seeing, I really think we're seeing a change in medical cannabis right now. I'm really, I'm just impressed. I guess maybe that's the wrong word. But I've been I've we've been doing this for so long that, you know, in the ramp up to this period, there is no question that companies like us saw patients in different markets who were trying to just be legal about things and shopping for cannabis in wherever there were legal framework. And once upon a time, that was the only medical. And today, though, you know, in reviewing regularly with my practitioners, the changing nature of the patient is really impressive in that it really feels like we're in the health care business right now. And that's really rewarding. You know, a really people are you know, they come into our chats where they might start. People have a tendency to just offer a lot of information about themselves because they really are seeking relief. And they tell us these things about, you know, why they're here and the different disease states or chronic states. And so it's just really, really rewarding to see that in Canada, medical cannabis is finally finding its place in the health care to as opposed to where it was before, which was, you know, a little bit in the middle.

Trevor: And obviously without breaking any confidentiality but, you know, people always like stories. Can you think of a success story that you've run into recently? You know, patient had X and took this and felt better and any of those pop to mind?

Larry: Yeah, I mean, we talked to a patient this week who, you know, had their knee replaced and as a result just really had a hard time sleeping and didn't want to add any more pharma meds to their cocktail. And, you know, they never use medical cannabis before. And our practitioners help them to get on a regimen that was not to psychoactive, but adequate to bring on, you know, more regular sleep. And it really help their healing process because, you know, if you're healing from big surgery and you're not sleeping, it's going to get in the way. And, you know, the patient was so rewarded by it. I mean, forget just symptomatically reward it, just that, you know, they thought about cannabis in the wrong way for so long. And I think that's why we're seeing this pivoting. But that patient's going to tell that story every opportunity they get to their peers and proudly. And so that's why you end up with all these, you know, my friend told me that they tried cannabis or blah, blah, blah. And so I thought I should try it. And, you know, and that's the best way to move a market forward. Word of mouth. And I think we're starting to see some critical mass around that.

Trevor: That's great. So we're getting close to the end. Is there anything that you thought I was going to ask or should have asked about HelloMD?  I said HelloMD that time good.  HelloMD.

Larry: Ya, you got it.

Trevor: I'm getting better, that I should have asked. Anything that I missed.

Larry: No, I think we covered it well. I can't think of really anything in particular. And I'm always happy to have the, you know, one opportunity obviously, to talk about the things that we do. You know, we have a variety of partnerships in the country. But in this case, you know, senior care for the moment, it was really a collaboration between us and Shoppers. And we appreciate their support and what they're doing and medical cannabis. But I also, as I said, I always love the opportunity to talk about really what's happening in the industry and hopefully continue to move the dialog forward in a way where Canada can lead the world. I guess, you know, apart from being Canadian, which makes me feel good about that, is the rest of the world still really needs a good example, starting with the country that I live in today. But the rest of the world still really needs a strong example from the medical side of cannabis to understand that this is more than just, you know, let's implement medical cannabis and then we can do recreational cannabis. Then maybe we can, you know, get some tax revenue out of it. There's an opportunity here to to add something really, really important to health care ecosystems around the world. And I'm hoping Canada continue to move it forward and show the world how it can be done successfully. We're happy about it.

Trevor: So, Kirk, that was Larry Lisser and HelloMD. What do you think?

Kirk: Well, I thought it was interesting. He sort of said the same thing about, again, going back to our friend, Dr. Turner, that, you know, five years in the business and there are already grandparents, meaning? Meaning five years, five years and cannabis. You're ancient. What are we now two and a half? Are we are we middle age?

Trevor: Something like that? I think the only thing only time that goes faster than cannabis time might be Covid time where, you know, a week ago is ancient history.

Kirk: Oh, man, I don't know. This this Covid is getting a little boring, but it's exciting to watch on the news in regards to the, you know, expecting the second wave. Well, we're not even done the first wave yet. And everyone's talking about the second wave.

Trevor: So Larry did talk about money a little bit. Did that make sense to you or do you want me to give you and I don't have the answers, but I can give you my two cents worth.

Kirk: No, I think I think what we sort of learned here is that they're providing a service. They're making it easier for people who don't have access. It's interesting. I wonder where I'd like to know where most of their customers are from. Are most of their customers or as they call them, their community members, are most of their community from urban or rural. Because I see this being rural people, I see this as a wonderful rural service.  In the city. I imagine most major cities in Canada now have a cannabis specialist doctor. So, I guess it would be for people who are don't want to go out in Covid or it's for people who are the stigma of going to a cannabis doctor. So, it's a very curious interview. I like the fact that that they've been doing this by teleconference for so long. And I also find it interesting. I'm thinking 1998, I was in Fort Chipewyan, which is way north of Fort McMurray, and another past life as a career. I was I was teaching community health representatives and I went and visited a nursing station in Fort Chip up in northern Alberta. And they had a teleconference. They had a huge telescreen. And you could they demonstrated they logged into a guy in Halifax and they were showing me how this new technology was working. So, it's interesting how we're still considering teleconferencing as new technology. And I remember seeing it twenty-three years ago.

Trevor: Oh, yeah, it's one of these. And Larry touched on it. You know, they are, you know, video conferencing, telehealth pioneer. But first, when it first started in the pharmacy, I was all excited about the possibility of telecom. So I actually bought two cameras just on my own money. They're relatively inexpensive. And I set one up in the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy and one up in a nursing station in the far flung suburb of Ethelbert. Ethelbert is a tiny little place, a lovely place, but forty-five minutes away. And I got a couple seniors to sort of talk to me instead of over the phone and long and the short of it, they hated it. This talk to the pharmacist on the TV was stupid. They weren't going to do that anymore. So, you know, it was a short-lived little pilot project. But, yeah, the technology for teleconference isn't new, but health care seems to be taking a long time to embrace it. And Covid really might be the kick in the pants that that we need.

Kirk: Covid is changing everything man, I really hope that it changes some of the things in health care. Such as funding old, you know, long term care, min-income. All these nursing as you as our many friends get bored of me ranting about the Social Determinants of Health. Covid is just raised all that up. It's such a such a nursing situation. I mean, Pandemic's is a nursing science in my opinion. Its what nurses do. So, it's interesting to watch all this. It's it's nice to be in someone observing it. It's just a shame to be living it. So it's it's nice to see the service they provide. HelloMD, it was a nice interview and yeah, I hope I hope it helps people understand how they can access cannabis easier.

Trevor: Yeah, me too. I appreciate Larry’s time and everybody at HelloMD and we'll put a few links up for even just they've got some really good, I think, free info just on their senior care website, so we'll make sure that's in the show notes.

Kirk: Yes, but I was thinking of something else here we haven't done in a while.

Trevor: OK.

Kirk: Promoting our program.

Trevor: OK.

Kirk: Hello, we're Reefer Medness - The Podcast.

Trevor: Yeah, I'm Trevor. I'm the pharmacist.

Kirk: I'm Kirk. I'm the nurse. Can you do us a favor? Can you rate us on the platform? Can you give us a little bit of a push? If we've interviewed you and you're listening to us, can you push people through the interview we did on you? Those people that like us tell other people, guys.  We're very proud of this podcast. I think I think we're providing a product that very few people are providing. So let's tell people about it.

Trevor: So are we going to get Renee to pick up some music this time around?

Rene: Hey, guys, I'm back here at the studio. Yeah, I'll take care of the music for today. So we try to keep it local where we record here in Dauphin, Manitoba, and which is in the Parkland area of the province. And so there's a guy who is in the Jimmy Z Band. I'm not even sure if his name is Jimmy Z or not, but he's from the Parkland area. He's got a couple of really cool tunes. So today I figured we'd play, What you see is what you get.