Cannabis Patient Care - December 2021

Cannabis Patient Care December 2021

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34 caregiver focus cannabis patient care | vol. 2 no. 4 Then we have certain days of the week where they can come get their—what we call—medicine. It's very organized and very by the book. For each plot they're growing on, they pay what's called a lease. That adds the value to the farm that allows us to be sustainable. Everything, the flower they get is all related to the lease and the rent that they pay for their plants being on the farm. Q: How does cannabis fit in to your role as a caregiver? A: Hanley: How does cannabis play a role? I think cannabis plays the largest role in life right now because it provides the opportunity for people who are sick or in need of pain management to use a more ethnobotanical stance of treatment than using a lot of the stuff they'd be prescribed at a hospital, such as opioids, psychedelics, and stuff of that nature. I mean, what we really see happening a lot is people totally getting off of—for the most part—a lot of the pharmaceuticals they were using, whether they were anti-depressant drugs or anti-anxiety drugs. Some of those drugs work and have a place in our world. I wouldn't say that all pharmaceuticals are bad because I've been involved with them myself, dealing with PTSD and stuff in my life. But I do believe that they are overprescribed and very potent. When you prescribe something like an opioid for pain management over many months, that's where you start to see the addiction happening really quick. It's pretty simple because we know opium is a very addicting plant and oxycotin is the synthetic version. One thing we have been seeing a lot is micro-dosing can- nabis. Cannabis really started off as this, okay, let's see what we can do for people with this plant. But as you know, canna- bis can be very, very strong as well and put you in the wrong mindset or puts you in too high of a mindset. We've really been working a lot in the micro-dosing for peo- ple who are new to it, just to kind of give them that little push of maybe sleep or maybe some euphoria in their minds, some happiness, a little bit of a blocker just to say, 'hey, oh, I feel good today, and I only took five milligrams or one milligram of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with a certain terpene profile.' That's really exciting for us because like any other thing in the world, everything can be abused, whether it's cannabis or whether it's other things. We're trying to find a happy place for people. People waking up and feeling normal again and feeling like they can tend to their day and not be maybe out of mind. You know what I mean? That's really what we've been working on really hard with low dosage edibles. It's a little bit tougher to do with flower. Q: Do the changing cannabis regulations in the US impact your role or access to cannabis? A: Hanley: When they started medical cannabis in 2000, Hawaii didn't get dispensaries until 2016. That's a 16-year lag of people not being able to get medicine. I would say that they are intolerant to cannabis when it comes to passing more broader laws to help people start farms like how we're helping people get affordable medicine. Our dispensaries have been open since 2016 and they charge recreational prices, over $400 an ounce. On a veteran income for someone who needs more than an ounce a month, that becomes unaffordable and unattainable. That's why our farm has been doing so well because people can come here and get involved. If your going to put someone on a cannabis regiment then it has to affordable to the patient and of- fer a consistent supply of medicine. Dispensaries also don't provide the education, they don't pro- vide the ability to walk into a brick and mortar place and feel like you're at home because all of our dispensaries are owned by business people and are backed by a lot of big cannabis. When we try to come to the table with them, there's no meet- ing place whatsoever to say, 'hey, you guys need help?' Also, I'd have to say it's fair to say that when the state of Hawaii devel- oped the dispensary laws, we had a lot of great minds in place to build a horizontal market to help dispensaries get medicine and the Department of Narcotics swayed politicians against a horizon- tal market, back to the "Reefer Madness" mindset where they pret- ty much blocked it—the whole thing and made a vertical dispen- sary. High up in our politics, there's still a lot of, I guess, you would call it "reefer madness" or not really believing in canna- bis as a medicine, but more of a problematic thing that causes crime and drug dependence in society. That's still heavy in our politics, we do have a lot of younger politicians coming up who are starting to understand what's going on with cannabis, and that has really helped cannabis with moving forward with laws that support the communities of Hawaii. Even our program, CARE Waialua, we have started a new group called the Oahu Small Farms Cannabis Alliance, where we are bringing together small farms across Hawaii and people across Hawaii to lobby, build better laws, and put those better laws in place so we can succeed with building a healthy and thriving cannabis commu- nity, getting away from crime and chaos. Our goal here is letting the state of Hawaii know that this is a great thing that's about to happen in our society and it's al- ready happening and that they need to move a little bit quick- er so they can build a great cannabis program. We don't want what we already have in place, which is big businesses owning a handful of dispensaries that can't provide medicine to peo- ple on an affordable basis. Q: What have you seen with your patients that go from using conventional treatment options for PTSD to medical cannabis? A: Hanley: Euphoria is the first word that comes to mind. The vets are more stable and have homes, a roof over their head and are not homeless, 100% stability. I mean, they just come in being so thankful, they come in feeling better and

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