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
Exactly. And we have those. Luckily, I do have topicals and products and stuff like that for people that
don't want to experience that euphoria feeling or the high feeling, obviously through the CBD
products. And then when Delta Eight came out, I was the first one to be like, what do you mean it gets
you high? Because I'm not about that. I'm about the wellness aspect and the wellness side of things.
And the more that I did my homework on Delta Eight THC, I was like, oh, this is awesome. It's a form
of THC that's going to give more relief to people. And the more I studied that and the more I did my
homework on the legalities of it, I was like, this is almost like a small godsend for states like ours that
do not have a medical program. And I started carrying those products and doing my homework and
all that kind of stuff. And then we had a humongous fight here in Kentucky about it. Our own Kentucky
Department of Agriculture sent out a letter back on April 19, I think it was 21, saying that the products
are illegal, you could face criminal charges, all this and that.
[00:12:57.720] - Dee Dee
And I was like, no, that is not right, and that's not fair. And myself and a group of other retailers and
along with the Kentucky Hemp Association, we fought back and we ended up winning that case. And I
worked so hard to keep Delta Eight legal in this state, and literally, we got our temporary injunction on
February 28. And then on March 1, the Senate introduced Senate Bill 170. I think it's Senate Bill 170 in
that same year in 22 that said they're trying to ban all of these products. And then we had to work so
hard to get that stopped. Like, it passed the Senate and we managed to stop it in the House. But I was
like, you guys are going to decimate the entire hemp industry. How can you do that? You talk about
Kentucky being the mecca of hemp, but it's not. It's a shame to see what hemp has become in this
state and how far behind we are from other states. I don't know. I love what I do, but my gosh,
sometimes the politics and sometimes the regulations that they try to impose in this industry is just
[00:14:24.870] - Dee Dee
Obviously, they do not know well, and.
[00:14:28.470] - Elijah
That's like you're saying, helping educate them, right? Doing the good work of, all right, this is what we
want. This is why we want it. What is it that you need to make this happen, right? Like you said, there
is no good reason why you can't operate. Not unregulated, but you're definitely being over regulated,
[00:14:57.070] - Dee Dee
When we talked about it, I am perfectly fine 21 and up. As a matter of fact, I already do that. I have a
web check that literally verifies age. We do it in our store. It is 21 and up. I will not sell these kinds of
products, the Delta Eight and the Delta Nine products to children. That is not what we're about. So
those kind of regulations I'm fine with. I'm also fine with the fact that they should be labeled correctly
and they should have testing done on them. That I've never had a problem with, that I have done since
the beginning, since I started having my own brand as well. That kind of stuff is important. You need
to be transparent. People are using these products so that I'm perfectly okay with. What I'm not okay
with is some of these brands that are literally stealing other COAS and marking them as their own,
even though their product is not what it is and not what it should be. That's worrisome. And those
kind of things are coming from out of state, you know what I mean? They're not necessarily coming
from Kentucky because for a while, processors here in Kentucky couldn't even make anything, you
know what I mean?
[00:16:11.830] - Dee Dee
They were terrified of losing their processing license. So it put a bad taste in a lot of the processors. It
was that constant fight. So I think a few of them, quite a few have left Kentucky and don't even
process here anymore. And that's sad. We've lost businesses because of some of these rules and
regulations when again we should be leading the forefront on it. But it's amazing how people have
split this plant, even though it's the same plant. Whether it's medical, recreational, or hemp, it starts
with the same plant. So the same cannabinoids that are found in marijuana are the same
cannabinoids that are found in hemp. And it amazes me sometimes how ignorant that our society is
as a whole. But at the same time, if I can help educate them and teach them and show them, this is
going to help you for this or this or this, even though I can't make any claims to anything because of
the FDA, and that's a whole nother conversation. Elijah but it's so important that people know how
these products can help them and know that we do have some products available. You don't need to
drive out of state.
[00:17:33.160] - Dee Dee
You don't need to risk prosecution or go through all of the rigor of being charged with something and
then hope you get a pardon. So while I'm happy that that executive order was done by Governor
Bashir and hopefully we'll get something passed, people don't have to risk anything. There are hemp
products that are just as good as driving across state lines and bringing it back in. Our products are
legal. They're legal. They're federally compliant. They're legal through the state, too. So I guess that's
just I worry about everybody jumping and there's people out there that are selling freaking medical
cards and I'm like, you don't need a medical card. We do not have a medical program. And I hate it
when people get taken advantage of. It really bothers me as a human being, we should not be taking
advantage of other people. I get capitalism, don't get me wrong, but at the same time, I do not like it
that there are companies out there that are taking advantage of people that don't truly understand
what the executive order means or what it means in Kentucky that we don't have a medical marijuana
[00:18:52.540] - Dee Dee
So for you to spend money to get your medical card is just not needed. And I hate that for people.
[00:19:01.390] - Elijah
Oh, it's absolutely predatory. And the people who do it are scumbags. No, it's technically not illegal,
but there is no justification, especially with the licensing. I think, like, you're talking about medical
patients who want to do things right, who are being forced to pay hundreds of dollars, or not forced,
but tricked into doing that. No, 100%. That one in particular gets me so much.
[00:19:31.160] - Dee Dee
It does me too. It does me too. What's even worse is that there are some hemp companies that are
[00:19:40.090] - Elijah
Yes, it's being supported in numerous different places, and it's sad. Oh, 100%. And we've talked a little
bit about opening up the processing and different things, but people might not realize that you have
the retail locations that are more the CBD dispensary, and then you also make your own products
now, not just at the beginning of your story. Could you talk some about the products that you have in
the store and some of the things you have now that people might be able to try.
[00:20:13.890] - Dee Dee
Yeah, I'd be happy to. So, 502 Hemp.com is our website for Kentucky. And then I also have eight one
two Hemp. We just opened up a new location in Clarksville, Indiana as well, and that kind of resulted
from the Delta Eight fiasco here in Kentucky. I started looking for a place in Indiana back in oh, my
gosh, May of 21. And then I finally found a place after two failed location lease attempts. But it's a
beautiful place over in Clarksville, and hopefully we can build that store up as we have this one. So we
started out CBD products. Obviously, that is what my husband's company makes. And he makes full
spectrum. We have broad spectrum, so that has all cannabinoids, but the THC is undetected. Full
Spectrum has all of the cannabinoids, including the THC at that 0.3% level. And we also have THC free
for those that only need the CBD. Now, I always believe that everybody needs all the cannabinoids, but
I totally understand why some people cannot take any THC products at all. CDL drivers, police
officers, firemen, pretty much anybody. There's a lot that they get drug tested. So we do have that
THC free complete version.
[00:21:37.800] - Dee Dee
We also have Bombs, B-A-L-M-S in case it sounds like Bombs, but that's like our topical use. We also
have like a roll on that is a CBD Bio Freeze, which has become my favorite whenever my lower back is
killing me. I love that thing. I even used it. I was suffering with some bronchitis and my voice is still
just a little off, but I would even put it on my neck and my chest, rolling that on that camper and the
menthol, and it kind of helps ease some of that. And CBD alone helps it always. We also have
capsules for people that don't like to taste the oils. We also have gummies in a variety of different
flavors of the CBD products. And then, of course, we have our own Delta Eight line, which is a tincture,
an oil. We call it orange float. And my brand is called DS D Eight and DS D Nine, kind of a spoof from
teas nuts, so we're having some fun with that. But our DS brand has the Delta Eight. We have a couple
of different milligrams 25 and a 50. And then on our DSD Nine, we have gummies that are about ten
milligrams per gummy in blue raspberry flavor.
[00:22:57.870] - Dee Dee
And then I also have two blends. One blend is a CBN and the THC, and that has really been helping
people sleep. And then the other blend is a THC and a THCV. And people have really loved that one a
little bit more for the focus side of things. So having those little blends of that, while they're not true
cannabis terpenes, I've never been a fan of the taste of terpenes. And I know I'm not the only one out
there. I like actual good flavored stuff. So I have made all of my products more about it being
palatable for people to use regularly. I think from the beginning, that was after tasting my husband's,
that gross stuff that he brought home to me. I was like, I got to have my own flavors. I got to have
something that tastes good and that people will actually not hate using because it tastes so bad. And
there's so many on the market like that where I'm just like, I just don't care for those. So all of our CBD
oil just tastes so much better. It's just cleaner. We take out of a lot of that waxy hempy flavor to it, the
hemp acids, and it's just cleaner and tastes so much better.
[00:24:16.660] - Dee Dee
I know some people think that, or at least they've said that having flavor takes away the efficiency of
the oil. And I'm like, that is so not true. Not true at all. Just adding to it, people will spend things
however they can if they're only carrying a product that is natural, you know what I mean? And our
flavoring is natural, so it's not like it's artificial flavoring. I'm very big on that wellness side to things.
So having the cleaner flavor is important to me too. I love those are my three products. It was 502
hemp brand of the CBD oil, and we're just slowly changing it to Maria Extracts. That name is from I
have a great niece and she has my middle name of dawn. And I just loved how Maria kind of means
miracle in Latin, and I just thought it was beautiful. So we slowly started to change the name on our
CBD products to Maria Extracts. And it's also a little bit easier if other companies or businesses want
to carry those products instead of just carrying the 502 hemp store products. That's been fun getting
all that stuff together. But each product, when people come into our stores and they have questions,
myself and my staff is very knowledgeable and we do our best to educate.
[00:25:51.350] - Dee Dee
I think that has been the number one thing that bugged me when I first got into this business. All of a
sudden, in 18, everybody right after, well, technically 19, right after the Farm Bill was signed, so many
people jumped on the bandwagon and started selling these products, but most of them couldn't tell
you how they were made. They couldn't tell you how the hemp was grown, they couldn't tell you about
the testing, they couldn't even tell you how much you should start with or even dosing. And it just
annoyed me so much. That's really why I ended up opening up my actual store. I opened it up in
October of 2018 because I wanted people to be able to come in and get educated and learn about
these products and I just thought that was so important and not to just be selling it and not to just be,
oh, hey, yeah, I get this. It's one of our local health food stores. I'm like, do you know how it's
extracted? Do you know? Do you know about the testing side? And most people couldn't answer that.
And I said, well, how do you know it's safe?
[00:27:04.320] - Dee Dee
I mean, a lot of companies just buy whatever's cheapest and resell it, right? Yeah. And you got to
know what you're ingesting, and you need to know how to ingest it and to make it work for you. So
that's always been at the core of my business model, was about educating our customers and
providing quality, safe, reliable products and having integrity while I'm in this business. I think that's
just been the number one core value, is taking care of our customers and making sure that they are
truly educated on how to use these products. And when Delta Eight came along and the Delta Nine
and how they're isolating that as well, I mean, people were like, how's this legal? How's this legal? And
I'm like, I'm going to tell you how this is legal. And it's opened up that door for even more questions
and more people getting into it, because a lot of people know what THC is. A lot of people do not
know what CBD is. And while I have customers that only come in for the THC products, we also try to
tell them how CBD can help them still as well.
[00:28:14.980] - Dee Dee
And I just think that's important for them to know that. But, yeah, if people have questions, they can
reach out to me on we're on all those social medias info at 502 Hemp.com. They can definitely come
into my store. They can send a message through our website. We're always here to help. And that is
the number one thing that I just think was lacking for a long time in this industry. And I feel like I've
done a pretty darn good job trying to educate people that come in. I just think that's so important. My
number one concern about Delta Eight and Delta Nine products being sold everywhere now is that
they're being sold at gas stations and headshots and stores. Again, people are not being educated. So
we tell our people, don't keep this around your kids, keep it away from your animals. And that is
worrisome, because I feel like some of these places that carry these products, they're not educating
people. And my fear is that something bad will happen to someone and then it ruins it for the entire
industry, where it doesn't have to be that way. I mean, I don't sell alcohol for a reason, not something I
[00:29:37.430] - Elijah
And I think you all have taken it an extra step further on the education side. And I know that I've seen
some good outreach, and you all also have a podcast that people can turn into, right? If they want to
get some more on the education side as well, we do.
[00:29:51.860] - Dee Dee
It's called hemp and happiness. So H-E-M-P-I-N happiness. We talk about so many things on there,
from what's coming down the pipeline as far as the legalities all the way to, hey, this is what you
should be taking, or even the drug interactions. I mean, a lot of people don't realize there are some
drug interactions and they should tell their doctors that they're taking these products. So, yeah, we
talk about everything. And sometimes I'm not going to lie to you, Elijah, they're a little vulgar and we
do a lot of coverage, but we have a lot of fun, too. Yeah, I think our podcast has been quite
entertaining, to say the least. And Matt, my business partner, he and I, we are very much like brother
and sister, so we do not always agree, and I think that's what makes it quite entertaining sometimes,
too. He has his own personality, and I have my own personality, so it's pretty fun and it's entertaining,
but educational. So, yes, I do love having that podcast. We have about 40 episodes recorded, so we
did really up to date. We're lacking this year a little bit. With the new store opening.
[00:31:09.740] - Dee Dee
We're just trying to find the time to record some. But, yeah, I've got some more interesting educational
pieces that I've been putting together for that. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for mentioning that. I
always sometimes forget to yes, absolutely.
[00:31:26.170] - Elijah
I think I found out about you all through Kentucky Moms and some of the other groups. But that was
the first thing I went to when I found your all site. Listening to some of those. And we talked about
THC limits a little bit and a little bit about the regulation around it. Is there anything that you would like
to see changed? Since we're in the legislative session right now and people are discussing cannabis
regulations and legislation, what would you like to see changed, if anything, in the industry?
[00:31:57.990] - Dee Dee
Okay, so I definitely would love to see medical marijuana happen here in this state. I do worry that Big
Canna is already here and they are going to monopolize it. So that scares me because it has
happened in the hemp industry as well. I do think that people need to be able to get a higher form of
THC. Now, whether that is done through medical marijuana or even the hemp industry, it could
happen. They've talked about raising the THC limits in hip to 1% through the 23 Federal Farm Bill, but
they've also talked about making it a total THC content, which would wipe out Delta Eight, and it'd just
be total THC. Now, you could still get a pretty big gummy if they did it to the 1%, but their talk is to
keep it at the 0.3 for total THC. So that. Is concerning and alarming and most people in this industry
do not even realize that that is going up federally. And you've got Kentucky politicians that are
pushing that federally, unfortunately. And those same politicians are also wanting to run for governor
here in the state. So my fear is if that happens, medical marijuana will not happen in Kentucky and it
will hurt the hemp industry as well.
[00:33:31.780] - Dee Dee
But in this legislative session that we are in right now, we have got to at least get something passed
medical because that executive order, while I'm happy something was done, it is not the answer to
Kentucky's medical marijuana issues. I think it has caused a lot of side issues. People questioned it,
thinking that we have a medical marijuana program and we don't. So while I love the fact that
Governor Bashir did that to try and force the Senate's hand to vote on it, we really need to get
something voted on because my fear is more people are going to be prosecuted and God forbid
Andy's gone and then they can't get a pardon. Does that make sense?
[00:34:27.590] - Elijah
No, that makes 100% sense. And I think it's right in that it's just not a replacement for legislation.
[00:34:35.210] - Dee Dee
No, it's not. And most people in this state just don't realize that. And I've been told that it's a political
ploy. I don't care. I mean, at least he did something. He was the first freaking governor to do anything
to try and move it along.
[00:34:53.390] - Elijah
Progress at least.
[00:34:55.020] - Dee Dee
Yeah, it's something. But again, it's all up to the legislators and the Senate leaders to get something
passed and I do think it needs to be done. I still fear that at any day they can drop a new bill that bans
all these other cannabinoids. And mind you, Elijah, I do not carry all of these crazy ones that have
been coming out. I am very reserved about what I carry because I do not know, I don't even want to
get into it. But I try to stick to as natural as possible that's in the plant. Now, CBD slid is kind of how
they are making the Delta Eight. But the Delta Eight is naturally occurring in that plant. Some of these
other designer cannabinoids that they've talked about, I am extremely leery and about carrying
anything else because it is a very fine line between synthetic and naturally occurring. And true
synthetic is something to me that is just completely made up. Right now there's a synthesis process
in the CBD to the Delta Eight. But you start with a cannabinoid, it ends as a cannabinoid. Some of
these other ones, they're starting with something else that's not a cannabinoid and then ending up
with some kind of a cannabinoid.
[00:36:24.390] - Dee Dee
So I'm very leery to carry any of those types of other products, mostly because I did not get in this
business to become a criminal. Do you know what I mean? And I certainly didn't get in this business
to hurt anybody. So I have my reservations about some of those other cannabinoids now and people
argued with me and I'm like that's up to you. That's your business. My business is I'm here to help
people. It's never been about get rich quick or jump on that hip bandwagon to make money. I've been
in this a lot longer than most people in this industry and it's never been about that for me. So I do
believe that Delta Ache is made safely depending on who is making it. I do believe that that is a
natural occurring cannabinoid in the plant and it is helping people and that THC is needed. Let's just
hope that we keep moving forward in Kentucky and not backwards and stop trying to ban one
cannabinoid out of a plant or do this or that to further the divide between the plant because it is all
one cannabis plant. So I think in Kentucky we need our hemp people together as much as we need
our medical people together, as much as we need our recreational people together.
[00:37:51.980] - Dee Dee
We all just need to come together as one plant. Does that make sense? Yeah, I've always felt that way.
I'm just like it's the same plant. You all it's just the same plant.
[00:38:07.370] - Elijah
Exactly. And I think drawing it back to the plant is important because like you're talking about the
influence of these larger mSOS and out of state operators. That's a reasonable concern. We've seen
with Cure Leaf the past couple of weeks they've shut down operations in California, Colorado, Oregon
because the premise of their business was limited monopoly licensing. It wasn't about the patients or
the people in those states. It was about a vested oh yeah, I see their job postings on indeed. And it
made me blow a gasket. I was like, how is this already no. 100%. Whenever I'm down in Frankfurt, the
thing I advocate for is homegrow and one acre direct to consumer for small farms because I'm
coming from sungrown outdoor flower the entire time. And it hurts when they don't allow flower as
well or some of the other more natural forms. I'm like, you're going to allow that but you won't allow
me to do this.
[00:39:10.350] - Dee Dee
Right. And then there was the whole thing where you could vaporize it and I'm like, wait a minute,
they're trying to eliminate vapes and all of that but that's going to be okay. I'm a little confused.
[00:39:22.210] - Elijah
[00:39:23.730] - Dee Dee
Well, even hip flour, I won't sell it in Kentucky because it is illegal to sell it. Now granted there are
stores everywhere around me. Everybody is selling it. But I do try to follow the letter of the law and I
definitely don't want to be prosecuted for something like that. Because you could literally get
trafficking charges by selling hemp flour, which is ridiculous.
[00:39:49.630] - Elijah
Absolutely. And again, going back to homegrown, you shouldn't be scared of it. Also, they want to talk
about safety a little bit. And not that flower is necessarily always safe, but if you only have
manufactured products or concentrates, the likelihood if there's contamination that one of those is
going to become concentrated is way higher than in something like flour.
[00:40:16.870] - Dee Dee
Agreed. And you control the environment where that flower is grown. And if you're the only one taking
it, there is no reason you should not be able to grow your own medicine. You should not face any
charges for growing your own medicine or your own tomato plants, because that's what it should be
about. So I'm with you on that one. My father in law, God bless him, he was riddled with back issues
and has had multiple surgeries. So he was on opiates for years and they just did not do anything. And
he went and got his medical card in Oregon, I believe. Let me just tell you, for anyone that thinks that
cannabis doesn't help people, I been here since I met him when he was at his lowest. And granted,
that poor man is still in pain, but he is doing so much better. I mean, it's just amazing night and day
difference with him. And not even just my husband and his seizures, but in Gosh since 2009, my
husband, he still has seizures. Not nearly what they were, he was having two to four a month. He has
had eight since 2009.
[00:41:36.350] - Dee Dee
And there's no doubt in my mind that cannabis saved him. And I will always be an advocate for it in
one way, one form, any way I can help any organization, any industry, even fighting a good fight. I plan
on being there tomorrow myself. Finally got it on my calendar. So people need to know that these
products actually help people. And it's not the bad drug that has been shoved down our throats for so
[00:42:08.890] - Elijah
For someone who hasn't stopped by a CBD store or a Dispensary, sometimes they can be nervous.
What would you tell them before coming in? Or maybe some things to do before they arrive?
[00:42:22.990] - Dee Dee
Really? My facility is very family friendly. You do not see a bunch of smoking apparatuses or anything
like that. So really, hopefully, even if they are nervous, we're here to help them. That's the one thing
that they need to know. And they do not need to be nervous about coming in and asking questions.
Even if they have questions later, they can always call us, do you know what I mean? If their
nervousness gets to them and they don't ask everything that they want to ask, they can always call us
later. But even if you're not coming into my store, just make sure you do some due diligence. Check
out their website, check out their reviews on Google, ask a friend. I think sometimes a friend referral is
probably the best thing that you can get when you're looking at a hemp or CBD company dispensary
type thing. I think it's just important for you to feel comfortable when you are coming into a store. And
I think I would like to say that we've done a pretty good job with that. I think just knowing how family
friendly we are. I mean, we even let pets in our store, children can come in.
[00:43:37.110] - Dee Dee
It's just much more I hate to use the word upscale, but we're not a headshot, we're not a vape store.
Nobody's smoking in our facility, if that makes sense. So I think some people, they're put off by that
too. And at the same time, we do still offer some baked products, so it's not like we have a little bit of
everything. So I think people just do your homework on the facility that you're going to visit. Make sure
they're on the up and up.
[00:44:06.910] - Elijah
And if you had any advice for someone maybe looking to enter the industry or someone who's looking
to start up their own CBD place, what advice would you give someone like that to try and do it right or
steps, maybe, to avoid?
[00:44:22.210] - Dee Dee
Oh, my gosh, Elijah. Well, that is such a tough question because I have been here since 2016 and I've
seen it grow a lot and I've seen it also stall a lot. My biggest thing I would tell somebody is to make
sure you have an audience. Don't just open up a store to open it up. Make sure that you have a good
following and people already know you. And definitely get your bank in order and your credit card
processing in order because that has been two of the biggest hurdles and such pains in the butt to
take care of. I couldn't tell you how many accounts I've had closed. I couldn't even tell you how many
credit card processing I've had closed on me. That has probably been the bane of my existence is
dealing with that kind of stuff. And make sure you're selling a good product. Don't just sell it to sell it.
Do your research on those products and make sure they're good products and they're quality
products. And make sure that your integrity shows too. And help people. Don't just get in this
business to make money, because if that's why you're getting into it, I'm telling you, the rose colored
glasses were never put on for me from the beginning, I knew I was never going to be a billionaire just
jumping in this industry.
[00:45:49.830] - Dee Dee
And so many people have gotten into this business because they saw money. And if that's why you're
doing it, I would tell you not to. You would be better off doing something else.
[00:46:03.010] - Elijah
That's the best I can give. Oh, yeah, I couldn't agree more. The people who stay in Cannabis are
people that really love the plant and really want to be here. If you're trying to make money, you can
make a living and you can do well, but it's not falling out of the sky.
[00:46:20.820] - Dee Dee
Exactly. And if it is, and you have a company that is bragging about how much money they've made, I
would question their integrity. I really would. I don't know. I guess I grew up, too, that life wasn't about
money. I felt like I was put on this earth to help others. And money, to me, is just paper. And granted, I
do need it to live. Everybody does. But at the same time, I'm not stupid. I got in this business to help,
and those are the kind of quote unquote competitors that I like. Those are the ones that I know that
even though they're not coming to my store, if they're going to another store that's like mine, I'm glad. I
want people to be educated. I want them to get good, quality products, and I want them to know that
there are still people out there that are in business that actually care. And we do exist. We do exist.
And I know I'm not the only one in this industry. There are a lot of really good people that are in this
industry that do care, and you just kind of got to weed those out and find them, and that's who you
[00:47:38.530] - Elijah
Dee Dee, thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. It's been great talking.
[00:47:43.590] - Dee Dee
You, too. You, too. I really appreciate it, too, Elijah. I love doing these. So I'm very happy to help spread
the word about my company and just help spread the word that we can all live with cannabis and get
it passed. So thank you.
[00:48:02.970] - Elijah
If you're a band that would like to play your country or bluegrass song on the podcast, send it on over.
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