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