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Episode 28 with 502 Hemp, CEO and Co-Founder Dee Dee Taylor

You can find this episode on Youtube here, on our Channel @bluegrasscannabis.

[00:00:00.330] - Elijah

Welcome to the Bluegrass Podcast. Today we're talking with Dee Dee Taylor, CEO and founder of 502

Hemp, a CBD focused dispensary in Louisville, Kentucky. We're going to be talking about CBD,

medical cannabis and more. So you want to go ahead and get started and maybe talk about how you

were exposed to cannabis originally, either if that was through 502 M or if you had a history before it.

[00:00:28.490] - Dee Dee

Well, obviously I enjoyed myself in college. There was definitely a boy involved, but I ended up making

Dean's list both semesters that I was an avid cannabis user. And I've always struggled myself with

attention deficit disorder and just trying to stay focused. But growing up in the 80s, it wasn't a thing.

You know what I mean? You kind of figured out how to work through that, and you don't realize really

that it was a big thing. I mean, kids are kids, right? And I struggled a lot with that as a kid, as a child,

and then even in college and as an adult as well. But I noticed back in college that, yeah, heck yeah. I

made these lists that whole semester and didn't even it wasn't like I was going to classes stoned or

anything, but it helped me focus. And then you graduate, then you have to get a real job, and you

worry about the drug testing. So I didn't do it for a really long time. I actually have a paralegal

background. I have a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies. So I was kind of in the legal field and the

law field for years and years and years.

[00:01:46.930] - Dee Dee

And then in 2009, I met my husband John, and he told me it took him a while to tell me that he suffers

with seizures. And at that time, he was on 28 pills a day, and those pills were literally killing him. It

was a cocktail of loma dal, Dilantin, and phenobarbital, and he was still having seizures. He had a

seizure, and I hadn't moved down here yet. I was living in Northern Kentucky at the time, but he had a

seizure that was so bad, he ended up defecating on himself, broke three ribs, and they found him

about 3 miles from his home at Speedway in the beer cooler. And it's a running joke for him. Yeah.

And it's a running joke, like, yeah, he's still out of it, but he could find the beer cooler. God love him.

Yeah, right. The deflection there. But after that, I was like, we really need to try something else. We

went to see his neurologist together, and they just wanted to increase his pills. And the amount that

they had him on, they told him he would need a new liver, like those grown trees. They told him they

were giving him enough to tranquilize an elephant and that he should be in a wheelchair.

[00:03:10.200] - Dee Dee

And I'm like, what kind of life is that? That is not a life. I said, we have to find something that is better.

And we went. Well, I kind of encouraged him to look more into cannabis products because I had seen

things where it was helping people, and especially people with Parkinson's and seizures, definitely for

the seizures. And he learned about CBD oil out west. It was more of the one to one. But we started

making it at home, and this was well before any of the farm bills had passed. So I was terrified. I was

terrified that at any minute the DEA was just going to come break down our doors. And I'm like, over a

plant that is helping my husband. He ended up going five years seizure free just by producing right,

just by using the cannabis products. And he was literally extracting. It looked like we had a distillery in

her garage. I mean, he had fabricated this whole thing. I mean, he's such a genius. I don't give him

enough credit sometimes, but he started using it. It was working for him. And then in 2014, he and a

partner became one of the first licensed processors in the state.

[00:04:38.490] - Dee Dee

So I, being the skeptic that I am, I was like, well, okay, this is great that it helps you and your seizures,

but not everybody has seizures. Like, who else is this going to help? And in 2016, I had, like, I wouldn't

necessarily call it a mental breakdown, but my anxiety had just increased. I mean, things in the hemp

business were still very volatile, and especially here in the state, still new. People don't know about it.

So things really hadn't taken off for him yet. And my hours got cut, and I was kind of the one bringing

home the paycheck. And we had a daughter, so I was, like, having anxiety attacks. Like, what are we

going to do? All this panicky stuff. I called him one day, interrupted a meeting he was in, and I was,

like, almost wrecked our car. I couldn't control my panic. And he's like, Would you just try the Bleepy

Bleep oil? And I was like, okay, I'll try it. So he brought me some home of the nastiest taste and stuff.

Elijah it was oh, it was god awful. I'll never forget it. But, I mean, it was just filled with all the hip,

everything in it.

[00:05:59.700] - Dee Dee

But you know what? I started using it. And after about the third day, I could really tell. It's like, oh,

maybe there is something to this. And after about the fifth day, just all that weight on my chest

started lifting. I wasn't nearly as anxious. I was starting to sleep again, because when you got all that

anxiety, nine times out of ten, you're not sleeping, and then it just makes your anxiety worse. So I

really was just like, okay, there is something to this. So being the paralegal and the research person

that I am, I really started doing my homework and just really learning about how this plant helps

people and the fact that we have an endocannabinoid system and it should have never ever been

taken out of our diet, ever. Our body actually needs these cannabinoids just to find its homeostasis.

And a lot of people just don't realize that because it's just been conditioned in our head that it's a drug

and that it's bad for you. And so many people have gone to jail for it and prosecuted their whole lives

ruined and everything ruined. So I think when I realized that any other drug you take that is

pharmacology or even meth, heroin, birth control, aspirin, you have to keep taking those things to keep

them in your system.

[00:07:31.010] - Dee Dee

Because our bodies are designed to get rid of the poisons, right? So when you're on, the only thing

that the body seems to keep is THC and it keeps it for 35, 45 days, however long your body keeps it in

its system. But that's the one drug that they say is a drug that your body hangs on to. If it truly was a

drug and it truly was poison, our bodies would get rid of it. Our bodies are designed to get rid of it.

That's why we have kidneys, that's why we have liver. You know what I mean? So when that really

dawned on me, that I was like, wow. And granted, my husband had learned about the patent that our

government owns on cannabis oil where it lists schizophrenia and Parkinson's. And he's a veteran, so

he was really furious about that. I think that's what really lit the fire up under him to be in this

business. But for me, it was the fact that we've really been lied to for a really long time. So fast

forward. Well, I started kind of selling the products and educating people on what I had learned back

in 2016, full time.

[00:08:45.560] - Dee Dee

I ended up quitting my job as paralegal and I focused on this full time. And it has been such an

amazing ride. I mean, I get goose pimples and I bout tear up on how many people I've been able to

help with these products. I know you can't see it, but I'm sitting in my office and my walls are literally

lined with thank you notes from people and how much I've helped them. Sorry, I get emotional. I did

not intend that to happen. So my apologies.

[00:09:23.100] - Elijah

No, take your time. I worked at a medical dispensary a couple of years and you really get to know

people and they become your friends and the people you care about. So I totally understand it

changes your perspective on what things can do.

[00:09:37.050] - Dee Dee

It really does. It's amazing how some of the lawmakers in this state talk about how there's no

anecdotal or that the anecdotal evidence doesn't matter. And I'm like, you've got to be kidding me. Of

course it matters. These are the patients that are using these products, and they have helped them,

and more THC is going to help them even more. So why we've had such a fight for medical here in the

state is just beyond me. Don't get me wrong, CBD has been a life changing thing for myself and my

husband and so many other people I know. But I see nothing wrong with having a higher THC level. I

just don't, and I never will. Now, I mean, my whole perception on cannabis in general has just changed

dramatically. And whether people want to use it recreation, recreationally, or it's strictly medical, it

doesn't matter. Because even the people that want to use it recreationally, it's still helping their body

medically. So it's all medical to me. It's all helping someone some way, somehow. And for us to be

denied that as a country, even, is just sad. It's sad that we have just been lied to for so long.

[00:11:07.430] - Dee Dee

I don't know, that's just where I've come through and come along well.

[00:11:13.580] - Elijah

And I think there's also an area in between where you don't need to be at the very end of a need before

they allow you to try higher THC products. Kind of like you're talking about with adult use or

recreational. If an elderly person wants to get a topical for their just regular arthritis, they should be

allowed to. There are ways that you can use this without going all the way, let's say.

[00:11:40.030] - Dee Dee</