In our continuing education series with Wendy Bronfein of Curio Wellness, we discuss the laboratory and science of cannabis beyond flower and new ways to take advantage of the benefits of the plant.
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Wendy Bronfein, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Welcome home, we are WNS TA and 1570, Towson, Baltimore and 5070. Here in Baltimore positive.com. We’re doing the Maryland crabcake tour, taking it out on the road now we’re doing a little hiatus right now because of this Oriole baseball thing and all the uncertainty around October but the Maryland lottery is with us every step of the way. We’re cocoas this week and two of the five and laurelville My dear friend Mike received Liana is going to come out we’re going to talk some more real man this max Weiss from Baltimore magazine wrote an Oriole bandwagon piece, we’ll be doing that this week. Also our friends window nation as well as Jiffy Lube putting us on the road. And it is our 25th anniversary that cupcake and the fireworks tell you so out front. And our 25th anniversary is all brought to you by our newest sponsor, our friend Securio and foreign daughter, you probably pass them out on York Road just south of Timonium. If you’re going out to Trifecta this weekend as well in the rain, you can find them there. Curio wellness is our sponsor, you can find them out on the web at curio wellness.com as well. Used to be magical. As of this summer. It’s for everyone. Wendy Brown, fine is joining us here I call this an educational series. And one of the reasons I first off love the sponsorship love the association, all that but I love the education part of this last week, we just talked basically about, hey, doors are open, let’s be where and what we’re looking for here, but from a medical perspective. And for folks who’ve had a card a couple of years, a lot of this education came their way a few years ago when legalization came on here, what it’s good to have you back on how are things and fall kids back to school fairs over with and really sort of settling in to this new concept that people can drive by foreign data drive by anywhere we’re here your products are sold, and walk in and experience a different kind of medicine.
Wendy Bronfein 01:47
Yeah, well, it’s good. It’s good to be into, you know, the beginning of I guess we’re nearing the fall season. And it’s been constant increase in traffic that we’ve seen as people continue to learn about this. So this is a great platform to also make people aware because part of what we know is that not everyone is aware of the change, right? We were a medical program, and now we are medical and adult use program. So both parties are have this product accessible to them, you can still continue to sign up as a patient. And that affords you certain benefits that adult use. Patrons do not have but if you’re over 21, you can enter a licensed dispensary in Maryland and purchase cannabis products.
Nestor Aparicio 02:27
Adult usage I need I need to get the right terms here together. That’s medical and adult use. Correct. Those are the two terms. Yes,
Wendy Bronfein 02:34
yes. Yeah, there you go.
Nestor Aparicio 02:36
She’s got her here we grow shirt that here’s what I want to ask you from the beginning of all of this, because a couple of years ago, we did some some, some some marketing together. And I always see the guys in the white suits. Maybe there’s gals too on the white suits, as the grows and the facilities, what tell everybody where this stuff comes from. Let’s just start with that. Because everybody knows the plant and the five leaves. And I have a whole Amsterdam story because I have a relative going to Amsterdam about smoking versus vaping and edibles. But the fact that this has grown and now comes in gummy fur, by the way, you guys want to make a fortune, we did a pumpkin spice version for fall. It’s what we need on the flavoring. But there’s all different ways to consume this. And God bless my mother who died 98, five years ago, she came back as a as a patient as an older the understanding of smoking weed and reefer madness 100 years ago and all that to where refined cannabis and where the drug part of this and your family was always in the pharmaceutical business where the drug part of this has a real benefit. And a plant literally a plant that you grow here locally right down the street, that that there’s a grow and that the strain and the science behind this is is really kind of extraordinary from where maybe we would have thought this would have been 10 or 20 years ago.
Wendy Bronfein 03:59
Yes. So just to give an overarching perspective, right there are three types of licenses in the state one is to cultivate that’s to grow the plant. One is the processor that’s to extract the oil from the plant and make products and then the third is the dispensary which is the retail where consumers and patients go to purchase cannabis based products. So we have all three licenses. We grow the plant in Baltimore County, we also convert it to oil and make products in Baltimore County. And then we ourselves have to stores foreign daughter in that same Marion Baltimore County as you spoke of in Timonium. And as well as in Elkton, Maryland, a store named farm Ken, there are then over 90 Other dispensaries in the state and our products are readily available across the state in dispensaries.
Nestor Aparicio 04:46
Well, when it came on to say we’re going to grow and we’re going to learn how to do this. I mean it’s it’s a horticultural right I mean, at its science at the at the highest level to try to grow it The best plants that that create the intended outcome, correct. I mean, and it’s not, I mean, look grown up in Dundalk in the 70s and 80s. And what was ever going on illicitly it was just like a plant and green and you know, Ozzy Osbourne sang about it or whatever, right like it. But it was so much more strain specific and scientific in a way that I guess to talk apples and oranges or fruits, the way that my wife came home with 15 Different kinds of tomatoes last week, orange ones and green ones, and red ones, a different string. It literally from a plant perspective, there’s just such a wide variety of ways that the plant can be used. And all of these really in your family and in your business security, and the last few years sort of refining this, and it’s still coming along, you’re still creating things that maybe 10 years ago didn’t even know about, right?
Wendy Bronfein 05:55
Yes. So on, everything starts obviously, from the plant material, right, that’s what you use to extract oil. And that’s also what people buy us flower. So when you’re talking about that variety and strains, we have a high volume of strains in our catalog, in terms of we call them the genetics, right. And so those are what you grow, we grow them indoors, in an environment where the plants and the people keep everything very clean relative to growing this product that we’re that someone ultimately is going to ingest, right and where we started truly as a medicine and now as an also an adult use product. But the strains themselves. There’s a lot of variety there. And the way that the consumer the patient sees that is when they get to the store, because on that label, not only you’re going to have a name, but you’re going to have a profile of what’s in that strain, right. And that’s the mix of cannabinoids and terpenes that show up in that strain. And that that profile is what tells you kind of what you’re going to experience right? Is it very high in THC right that’s, that’s linked to more psycho activity. It are there minor cannabinoids like CBG, or CBN, or CBC are CBD that show up that also have therapeutic properties. And then with the terpenes that’s really where your effects conversation comes into play. So if you’re if you’re looking to purchase a flower or a vape, or even one of our terpene choose that pro terpene profile is telling you how you’re going to feel so you walk in and you say I want to be sedated I need to relax, I need my body to relax, I need to my mind to relax and or I ultimately want to get to sleep. That’s a terpene profile you’re looking for you’re on the other end, you need to be energized, you want to feel alert focused, you want to correct your mood, again, the terpenes anti inflammatory and other kinds of therapeutic things that you’re looking for from the product, also in the terpenes and Maryland is unique here in that you can visit other states whether they’re medical or adult use programs. And that label isn’t as specific as we are here in Maryland. And so that information about those cannabinoids and terpenes is tells you and the person who works at the dispensary everything you need to know about how the you can expect to feel from this product.
Nestor Aparicio 08:13
Well, I went to Colorado years ago right after my wife’s illness and it was like you know it’s all fun right? It’s you go in you try this do that you could do something you could never do you feel a little naughty or whatever. But more than that, like the edibles and the chocolates and gummies and stuff I’m like, but what is this well just has THC in it. Well, what is it? Like? What’s it going to do to me? Like, you know, like, and I think that part of that may be watching reefer madness 50 years ago and thinking I don’t want to be paranoid, I don’t want to be knocked out I you know, some of those those properties that an indica would have, that you learn more about. And I would say this more than anything for anybody listening to Wendy and I over curio is that there’s so much to learn, right like and, and it’s expensive. It’s not this isn’t a, this isn’t a hobby or cheap activity. This is something like where you should want to be more educated, and you can be more educated. And there was very little education on this as I went to Colorado 789 years ago, to where you don’t even make products like that here anymore, where you have, and we talked about this last week, and I’m happy to bring this up because you’re gonna talk more about vapes and a lot of different things this week, where these have specific properties gummies that tell you exactly what’s going to happen. And it’s not the Wild Wild West, maybe the way it was 10 years ago where I’m like, I don’t know what’s in that chocolate
Wendy Bronfein 09:35
right now. Absolutely. And I think that what we’ve seen is over time, people are looking for that specificity right. And you know, both on the medical side and in the adult use side there are other areas of your life where you look for specific solution based off of of your needs and wants or goals, right. So if it’s therapeutic right, you go into a pharmacy and a specific part of your body hurts and you know the exact type of product to solve for that. And in cannabis, that you can find that solution as well. And we specifically have tried to narrow that lens and really kind of put person to product in a targeted way versus just like, hey, here’s five milligrams, see if it works. But beyond that, if you look at the adult use lens, I think, kind of to what you were saying before about that variation in the strain. That is almost like the person who’s like a wine connoisseur, right? You’re like, there’s a nose, right? How does the flower smell, there’s a taste, what kind of flavors are coming through, then you get into the type of effects that you’re getting for it is and even more so you can say? Does it feel light? Does it feel heavy? Like there is that nuance and people sort of gravitate towards certain lanes that they like better in that experience? And there is an element of trial and error, which is why on the flower side, if you’re new, pre rolls are a great option, because it’s just one free rolled, what people would call it joint and you’re getting a smaller sample to say, Do I like this strange I like the taste the smell and its effects. And if you do, then yeah, go back and buy it in an eighth or a quarter or half ounce however much you know, legally you can purchase. But you can kind of get more of a sampling set before you commit. If you know what you like there’s tons of volume to buy in the market as well.
Nestor Aparicio 11:26
Wendy brown find us here she is with curio wellness in our friends for our daughter, if you’re over in the somoni Mara, we have an open Elkton area, they have a dispensary up there as well. I guess the last thing for me on that would say that the first time I met you and came in contact with curio, as the front store five years ago when I went in, you had this giant classroom with a blackboard and like the educational part of this. It’s imperative, right? I mean, it’s just you want every person that comes in to be as educated as possible, so that they find what they want. I mean, there you again, people aren’t there for kicks, it’s too expensive for that. I think I really believe that there is education to be had. But it’s so imperative for everyone in your place to be highly and when I’m in your place highly educated on all aspects of of how to use the planet.
Wendy Bronfein 12:17
Yeah, I mean, look, I think it’s like anything, you know, food, cosmetics, tech, you want it to be an educated consumer, right? That that’s just a general thesis, I think, to speak to like, the expensive when you’re talking about medical, right? A lot of people think about, well, my medicine has this copay, right. And so you think I have a $4 copay. That’s how much the drug costs, it’s obviously not how much the drug cost because your insurance company’s paying for a lot of the drug costs. But here, it’s different, you are coming in and spending out of pocket and, and that’s why it’s really important to us that, you know, therapeutically in your finding something that really works for you. And is that right fit now across whether it’s adult use or or medical school, there are price points along the spectrum, right. So that pre roll I reference is a great entry level product and you could be spending, you know, under $10, potentially to to acquire, whereas, you know, the more the higher the volume of flour you purchase, the higher that expense will go up. And then even in product categories, like vapes and Chews and tablets and topicals you know, everything sits within a zone so they often can find something within your price point that can work for you.
Nestor Aparicio 13:30
All right, so I got a little story got a relative of mine that I care about deeply. They’re going to Amsterdam in a couple months. And they were asking me about food to eat and my favorite Thai place and Indian joint that I ate at because I was there last year. And they asked me about shops and small shops. And I said well this place is great. She’s like, I don’t smoke I have to I have to have an edible I don’t I just I don’t like to smoke. So for someone like that and in your place and I know you have all sorts of products but I think traditionally people think of flour, smoking, joint bag, roll, bong, whatever whatever your thought would be on that that there’s so many other ways that even in Amsterdam she’ll be able to get the edibles and gummy but but for people that come in that don’t smoke that don’t want to smoke I know you have a lot of options, right?
Wendy Bronfein 14:23
Yeah, so if you’re not interested in inhalation, whether it’s through smoke smoking flour or vaping flour or or vape itself of oil. Then you can look towards topicals which just go in your body like a cream or salve you can use elixirs which are a liquid suspension, right? So just like think about like cough syrup. You can do tablets, ones that you swallow things that dissolve under your tongue. You can do gummies that you chew. I’m trying to think am I forgetting any st
Nestor Aparicio 14:56
drinks as well? I’ve seen Yeah, yeah. So on
Wendy Bronfein 14:59
the The the liquid type products vary between medical and adult use. So in adult use, there’s a limitation of 10 milligrams, it has to be packaged in a 10 milligram serving, whereas on the medical side, it’s more like, like a cough syrup where there’s multiple doses in a bottle and there’s a line in the cap and you would, you’d be pouring out the amount for your dose. But there is a variety of what I would call traditional dosage forms, right? So think of anything that you therapeutically in the pharmacy, you know, any method that you can administer there, you can probably find in the dispensary, so you can just swallow something, drink something, rub it on your body. You don’t have to smoke it or inhale it.
Nestor Aparicio 15:45
Well, being a concert goer and having indoor outdoor concerts, at ballgames places I am vaping maybe controversy about it as well, but certainly not as much smoke and certainly from a cigarette perspective, even I don’t go in and have places smell like pool halls anymore. I would say my experience in walking through Baltimore even a couple ballgames last week, walking around the city vaping is where a lot of folks are going right and and, and I would think that you make a lot of these, I’ve often wondered, and I need to come out to your facility one day, put a white suit on that science part of grow in the facility, and your storefront, it’s that middle place where all of these products are made through science and in laboratories, the vaping part of the oil is something I don’t really understand that as well as burning, not burning, burning the flour versus inhaling, the vapor vapes are popular and I would think that that’s something that 20 years ago, we would have never thought about that. Right?
Wendy Bronfein 16:49
Yeah, so I gotta do a public service announcement, which is by law, you know, public use of cannabis isn’t not legal, right? It’s legal to own it and have it in your private space. But, you know, technically you’re not supposed to be out on the street or,
Nestor Aparicio 17:03
well, when I see people on the street, maybe it’s it’s fake. Maybe it’s cigarettes. Yeah. I’m just saying I don’t smell people burning, not joints, not right now. out in public, you don’t smell it ever. Right? Really.
Wendy Bronfein 17:16
So So here’s like, an interesting kind of anecdote. During COVID, when we were all in lockdown, vape sales went down, because the need for discretion of discretionary use was not there, right, you were in your home, you could you weren’t leaving, and you didn’t really care about the smell, because you were in your house, unless there were other people that you live with it, you know, didn’t want to offend or know what you were doing. So, but then when we came out of COVID, we saw vapes rise again, because they’re very discreet, and honestly, you know, you can have vapes that are through the strain specific lens, where they’re much more cannabis oriented, I would, I would refer to them and their flavor and the palette of what you’re consuming. And then you can have things that are more flavored where, you know, like any kind of, you know, flavored medicine, you know, you’ve high, you hide the medicine with a sweet flavor, right, so I’m just gonna do a little show and share here, like, these fused vapes that we make that are disposable, all have a flavored palate. So you’re kind of not tasting a cannabis flavor. Maybe it tastes like apple or mango. Whereas a curio strain specific vape is going to be much more authentic to if you like purple punch, flower, and you buy a purple bunch vapes. These should feel related to each other in their effects and palate. So you kind of can get all across the spectrum. But vape itself comes from the oil. So you what we do is we take flour that came from our cultivation facility, and it’s sold to our manufacturing business. And over there, we take that flour and we extract it using a co2 extraction process. That’s important because co2 is an FDA approved form of extraction. So everything we do is really through the lens of the future, right? We believe that this will change on the federal level, and we believe will be governed by agencies like the FDA. And so we are operating that way today. And I share that because Another popular way in our industry is to use hard hydrocarbons like butane, which can leave residual elements. And there’s really not known data as to whether that consumption is safe or not right, but we know that co2 extraction is a safe form of extraction. So that extraction method is using co2 and a supercritical state between a gas and a liquid. And out of that process, you get the oil and then we further refine that oil for it’s called distillation to make a vape right, so what we’re doing is we’re taking out kind of the plant waxes and lipids, getting more of that earthy extras out of it so that we have a clean oil that’s really just rich in the canal. Aven noids that were left behind. Now before we do that, we take off the terpenes from the original flower because the extraction process can be volatile. And so you’d lose a lot of terpenes. And that’s what people are looking for in that vape. So we have a proprietary method to extract those terpenes. So again, if I’m doing that purple punch vape, I would have captured the purple punch terpenes. First, I would have done extraction to get oil, and then reconstitute the two together to form the vape. And be able to have a terpene experience that’s very much akin to that with which is in the flower, right, because some people use both right and so you want to be able to have that mirrored experience between flour and vape. vapes then are packaged in either 510 thread cartridges, I wish I had one to show you, but I don’t, it’s just a small little unit that twist onto a battery. And then or they can be disposable, where the oil is in the unit that has the technology to run it and you just put your mouth on it and pull or press a button. And once you’re done with the oil, you throw the entire thing away. So like these vape these fuse vapes that I referenced, those are all a disposable style vape, where the, it’s all contained in one unit, whereas our curios are a 510 thread. And you’re going to put that on your battery. And these typically the curious typically come in a half gram or a full gram.
Nestor Aparicio 21:25
Well, and I think from a vape perspective, there were a lot of people in that marketplace, like the old little jewels and and packs, pods and different things like that, that the science of trying to make it as safe as possible. That you you, you could vape and feel like you’re getting a cleaner like for my friend who doesn’t smoke a different kind of experience than then a lighted, smoking burning sensation, right?
Wendy Bronfein 21:52
Yeah, it’s the palette is lighter. I think any pulmonologist would probably tell you, they don’t want you to inhale anything. But it is a cleaner method of inhalation than burning the flower and smoking it. I think one of the things with vapes it’s important is that, you know, we always talk about start low, go slow. You know, if you’re new to vapes, I definitely would take small little call inhales or sips, if you will, off of that vape. Because when you are smoking flour, you feel more in your throat and with a vape because it’s cleaner, you can’t necessarily get that same sensation of how much you’re pulling in and you don’t want to kind of have a coughing fit after. So you want to kind of take small draws and get the sense of what you’re inhaling. The other thing to remember is a vape is more potent than flour, right? The potency of a vape is like up words of 80% THC, right? So it’s more concentrated. So you’re not going to need to inhale as much to get the same effects as if you were smoking.
Nestor Aparicio 22:57
Give your your basic warning to everybody that they come in for the first time. What what do you say to people who have very little education about this and say, I’ve tried all sorts of things to get to sleep. What is that good night product you have?
Wendy Bronfein 23:12
Yeah, so Good night is a line of products that are targeted towards sleep. And they all use a blend of two cannabinoids, THC and CBN. CBN is a cannabinoid that has been shown to have sedating properties and aid in sleep. So in that collection of good night that we have, we have a few different types of products. We have it in a vape, which I have here, I can show you if you’re watching us. This is the good night vape box. Then we have it in a gummy a shoe. And then we have it in our post release tablet in the post release tablet is the first product we create in this line it was created to address falling and staying asleep. So what
Nestor Aparicio 23:59
it does this, by the way, I love when you explain this to me last week, and I’m like, Alright, so it’s sort of time release, which I think we’re all familiar with buying something at a pharmacy that they say would say this is a 12 hour, tablet or whatever. Right?
Wendy Bronfein 24:12
Correct. So the idea is when we surveyed a lot of Maryland patients around sleep issues, there were there were sort of two buckets and a lot of people felt both of them, the falling and the staying asleep. So the way the tablet works is you would take it 30 minutes before bed. It has an immediate release, which helps you fall asleep. And then it has a second pulse that comes three hours later that helps you stay asleep and even. And when we did this independent trial a few years ago, when we were making the product what we saw was even for those people who say got up in the middle of night to go to the bathroom before that would have been an event where it was like I got up to pay and now I can’t get back to sleep. Whereas now it’s like I forgot that I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night right like there’s no issue getting back to sleep if you wake up for a while. other people, people also cut down in their naps, and overall felt more rested in the day. And then one of the things that we were trying to work towards when we talked to patients was when they were taking prescription things. They felt groggy and hungover the next day. And so this was that that tablet was also an trying to solve for that problem as well. But if you’re looking, you know, if you’re just interested in vape, the good Nightline does also include a vape. And that would have that CBN and and THC blend. All right, well,
Nestor Aparicio 25:32
she’s here to educate us, Wendy broad find can be found at curio wellness, sometimes over foreign daughter in Timonium as well. Last elevator speech for what’s next, I guess, you know, we’ll be talking during this educational series of talking about all these issues week to week, but over the hill, what what happens next from a product standpoint.
Wendy Bronfein 25:54
So we have a product innovation team. And so aside from that group is looking at kind of a lot of different spaces. Sometimes it’s new partners, like these oops, these flower by Ed Parker vapes that we just launched, that’s a new outside partner, or who were making their products here in the state. Sometimes it’s a line extension, right? So that would be something like we already make choose. But this fall, we released a new flavor or next spring, we put out a new flavors.
Nestor Aparicio 26:27
Pumpkin spice in the fall. And Christmas. I’m just thinking like,
Wendy Bronfein 26:31
yeah, no, I know. It’s it’s been discussed. We actually had apple spice as our fall flavor. A few years ago, the Andromeda guy, but I’m weird. Nobody would buy a dog but I would I would join you in it. I would join you in the
Nestor Aparicio 26:45
hey, we’re Baltimore come with an egg custard. Yeah, exactly.
Wendy Bronfein 26:50
And then And then the last would be literally a whole new product category, right and something that we’re working on right now behind the scenes is a line of products targeted towards women. And so that would be something to look for. are in the new year.
Nestor Aparicio 27:04
All right, why like women, I have my world’s women, Wendy brown finds here she’s in that half as well. You can find her over curio wellness are part of our sponsorship of our 25th anniversary this week number 24 Our Purple Magic at the barn and all of our great memories there as well as our community service over 25 years you’ll be seeing pictures things out on social media and as soon as I get Jessica my web developer from our for designs over the COVID Bug I’m gonna get those curio and foreign daughter logos out to the front of the 25th anniversary box that is coming as well as playoff baseball around here when Yeah, you know I bring you on and and sometimes we feel like we need to have some talking pitches. You know so much about all of this coming in from the beginning. It’s been really educational. I really appreciate the time spent with you this week.
Wendy Bronfein 27:49
Thank you. It’s great to see you this week got a
Nestor Aparicio 27:51
great shirt to hear we grow I’m gonna get my blunt person shirt that I’ve seen over curio wellness or foreign dollar as well. You can find me out on the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by our friends at the Maryland lottery in conjunction with window nation that’s 866 19 as you get your windows done, chilly outside, but I love my windows right now and our friends at Jiffy Lube we got new sponsor and partner as well for our crab cake tour work Coco’s this week with Microsoft Liano and my friend Max Weiss, as well as Ross from the lotteries coming out with her husband, longtime listener Greg from Northeast talking to real baseball, as well as our friend Liz and Marcelo over cocoa is talking about those 11 ounce crab cakes that they have there. I’ll be the guy eating the coconut shrimp and the big cheeseburger in paradise as well. But the Maryland crab cake tour Coco’s this week, and to be determined, much like the Orioles postseason seedings, and matchup and schedule which is why I’m to be determined on the crabcake tour because Luke and I are going to be going anywhere the Orioles go, I’m Nestor w nsda and 1570, Towson Baltimore, and we never stop talking Baltimore positive