Jorge Escudero has 33 years of experience in both hospital, community, & now CBD healthcare. The CBD industry is overgrowing both in the production & retail of CBD. Still, Jorge chose to work on a pharmacist service model to help patients determine the feasibility and safe integration of CBD for their disease state and complicated medication regimens.
CBD (Care Best Designed) Apothecary focuses on enhancing the quality of life, especially for the elderly who are most at risk for medication issues. CBD can be a great addition to an individual’s healthcare regimen that does not require a prescription.
In this episode, Jorge thoroughly explains how consulting an expert before using any CBD product is essential and why CBD dosing is very patient-specific. Listen and be informed; stay tuned!
We need to find what that right dose is and the proper preparation so that you can receive the maximum benefit you’re looking for to enhance the quality of your life. – Jorge Escudero
Some Topics We Discussed Include
3:31 – Discovering CBD and its fantastic health benefits
8:59 – Why consult a pharmacist?
21:35 – CBD in Texas
27:07 – Consultation rates
33:22 – Facing challenges in this space
40:30 – Words of wisdom
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Jorge Escudero
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys, this is Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast. I am your hostess with the mostess and today we are going to be once again telling the incredible stories of the pioneers and entrepreneurs who are pushing this industry forward sometimes we have folks who are making the corporate to cannabis jump. Some folks who are building an entirely new dream for themselves and some folks who are just adding this to their current business model.
In our show today we are going to be talking with a pharmacist have over 33 years experience in both the hospital and community and now is moving into CBD healthcare. The CBD industry is growing rapidly in both production retail and CBD. But we have this opportunity, this unique opportunity to choose and select to work with medical professionals who understand the inner workings of your body and what your body actually needs. To be able to create a service model to help patients determine the feasibility and safe integration of CBD for their disease or for their state of health. Well being and also how to pair these things with their medication regimens.
Our guest today focuses on how to enhance the quality of life, especially for the elderly population who are most at risk for medication issues, and he believes that CBD can be a great addition to any individual’s health care regimen that does not require a prescription. Ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome our guest, Jorge Escudero, hi!
Jorge Escudero: Wow. Hi, are you that was a interesting introduction. I was like, man, that was excellent. I appreciate that, those are very kind words.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely. Man. It’s, it’s an honor to meet with you. This is one of the first online conversations that I’ve had with my medical colleagues. I have spoken to many, many offline because we’re in deep collaboration with DOs and MDS in our certification process. We have a natural health coach certification where we’re helping people become consultants to work with other folks. But I’m so so interested from your perspective because in your industry, it has to be pretty controversial to have your hand in anything cannabis or CBD. But before we dive into any of that I would love from, the horse’s mouth. Who are you? Where are you from? And what are you up to in this industry?
Discovering CBD and its Fantastic Health Benefits
Jorge Escudero: Well, my name is Jorge Escudero. I am a pharmacist from the University of Texas. I graduated the 1985. So I’ve been at this for 33 years. I’ve done a variety of things both in the corporate world and was in the community. I worked as a regional manager for hospital pharmacies, where I manage the directors of pharmacies who then manage their respective hospital pharmacies. So I was in the corporate world for many years. And then I know chose to get back into more of a community setting. And I went into the community retail pharmacy, so I could really miss the patient interaction at that point. And I started doing quite a bit.
That’s what I’ve been doing for quite a few years. And recently, probably a little over a year ago, I started getting questions from my patients and working as a community retail pharmacist about CBD. And frankly, I didn’t have any information to give though. I just basically told them, I don’t know anything about other legal. This was the fall of last year, technically before the hemp, The Farm Bill 2018. And so I truly have no information to give them tested. You know, I pride myself working with my customers and one of the things that my patients and I told them, You know what, I’m going to start educating myself. See what it is, what’s all it was all about? And then, you know, be able to give me at least some direction? Well, the more I looked into it, the more I was really surprised and the more data started reviewing that I sat down I said, Oh, my wife I remember telling her I said, you know, there’s a lot of smoke here for their that’d be some fire. Gamma, South Texas boy. So I have a lot of euphemisms that had to do with ranching and outdoor work, that type of stuff, not like there a lot of smoke here. There’s got to be something going on.
Then I started reading diving into what the Israelis were doing, all the data they were putting out, and how long they’ve been doing this, but the receptors and everything and knowing when my unique backgrounds, you know, pharmacology have been acquired. I recognize that you know, this is actually something that could be very beneficial for people. And amazingly, it does not require a prescription. The fact that doesn’t require a prescription doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily safe or safe to use under certain circumstances. We have learned, and now we all know we produce CBD ourselves. However, there’s a very natural substance. But if you take too [inaudible] guess what? You will ruin your liver. Okay, you take too much aspirin, take too much Motrin, guess what, and put a hole in your stomach. You can have an ulcer. Just because it doesn’t have a prescription doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any risks involved?
Sonia Gomez: Absolutely.
Jorge Escudero: The older people which is, you know, I’m getting out there myself I you know, we have complicated medication regimens, some people much more than others. Many of them are afflicted with multiple chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Diabetes, Hispanic Diabetes runs rampant, I’m not diabetic, I’m very fortunate. But I mean, Diabetes in this community is huge, hypertension. I mean, there are all these issues and what do doctors do? Put you on medications, and they put you on the second medication, and then you have side effects. And then we put you on a third medication to counteract the side effects and it goes on and on and on. So you know, to see someone come in to be on anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen different medications is not unusual. And so when I started looking at CBD, I said, Alright, let me look at CBD and what are the areas that really seem to be beneficial data, both annual data and some human data and look at the World Health Organization and the report that they put out, which to me was shocking that I’ve never heard of this before. And they had already put this information out before. But you know, when I started looking at anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic inflammation, chronic pain I think that’s about anywhere from 80 to 90% of what I just spent on a daily basis, on a daily basis. And I’m thinking people are tired of taking medication. I mean, you know, it’s once expensive.
It has its own inherent problems, and you have drug interactions, drug issues, and you go to different doctors, you’ll print different issues. And the point is, where [inaudible] comes [inaudible] at the pharmacy. Hopefully, they all go to the same pharmacy, where I didn’t have access to the pharmacist’s records, and that can see what they’re on and which doctors are saying, and then that’s what we do. We’re the gatekeepers. We’ll make sure to keep these people safe. That’s part of our job as pharmacists to make sure that they’re getting what they need. But think about it. When’s the last time you went to the pharmacy, and you sat down and had a meaningful conversation with your pharmacist?
Sonia Gomez: Never.
Why Consult a Pharmacist?
Jorge Escudero: You never do, you see the top of my head? As I’m looking down counting pills on my tray behind his top counter. And if I come on, it’s easy to answer one or two questions. And if they’re very basic questions, and they probably insurance questions on top of that, and then that’s it. That’s it. There’s really no other interactions, brand new interaction. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the world we live in. It is medication today, it just the medicine that we practice a day. It’s very fast paced in pharmacies, it’s very volume-driven. It’s very, no, it’s just a business. And the only way you can make more money is by doing more prescriptions, and they do one more prescription, then it just becomes a mill, and it is what it is.
Now I recognize a lot of these people are now putting CBD on the shells. It changes nothing because what’s going to happen is they’re going to put it out there. [inaudible] provide information to people on how to use it properly and effectively. They’re going to tell you what hours that were on the show, they could find it. And then you go on to the next issue. I mean, I’ve been there I’ve done that. That’s part of the just the way it is. Now. I was very fortunate. That’d be a time of my life where I could retire, but I wasn’t ready to truly retire and not do anything. I wanted to do something different. And this was exciting. And one of the things I valued was patient interaction. So I said now to my wife, you know, I have a while here. Hear me out. She was okay. But she knows me. We’ve been married 33 years.
Sonia Gomez: Oh, so cute. Wait, don’t cover your microphone. You’re covering your microphone. Yeah. Wait, are you wait, I lost sound for you for a second.
Jorge Escudero: I didn’t. I didn’t cover anything.
Sonia Gomez: Okay, you’re good. Okay, you’re good.
Jorge Escudero: So anyways, when I told her, I want to retire but I’m not ready to stay home and cut grass and do any of that type of stuff. Yes, I have a ranch so I can revisit the ranch as well but I said I want to open up a shop and it’s going to be a completely different business model where it will be a CBD shop run by pharmacists where actually the pharmacists and a white jacket while actually greet you when you walk into the facility and ask you how are you today and how can I help you with CBD today? We will do nothing with CBD products. We will do no prescriptions. We’re not going to do anything but consultation education and training. And as an additional service we will provide high quality vetted products on our shelves to be able to steer people in the right direction depending on what is needed. Whether your broad spectrum, full spectrum or an isolate, whether it be a topical, whether it be sublingual, whether be a tincture, whether it be a gel cap. We do not do any vaping, we do not do any edibles. I’m not saying that they don’t have a place in art, but we chose not to do that.
We will provide high quality vetted products on our shelves to be able to steer people in the right direction, depending on what is needed. - Jorge Escudero Click To Tweet
We focus on therapeutics here. As you know, there’s therapeutics, and there’s wellness. And you know, that sometimes are used interchangeably. However, we focus on therapeutics. In other words, if you’re coming into me for a specific reason, I can’t sleep. Then we’re going to focus on how we can get you the release engine looking to get a good night’s sleep and you feel better overall, we focus on your quality of life here. That’s what it is. Because if you can’t sleep, if you’re in pain, or you have a lot of feelings of anxiousness, or you’re just sad all the time, guess what? Your quality of life suffers. And as we get older, they become magnified. And people then become more concerned. And, you know, as we get older, we recognize we don’t have that many years of laughs, so why not make the most of them. And if there’s something that they can help people, then let’s go ahead and see if we can help people get over that hump and enjoy their quality of life. And then there are all these other added benefits I’m reading about the anti-inflammatory effects that CBD to be helping with these neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, you’re like, wow, there’s so many, other ancillary benefits of this, that, you know, we can actually get into with people and start working with them on it.
And the key I found is to get the right dose. CBD will work; you just got to see the right dosage. And that’s people probably already find out CBD can be expensive. There’s no doubt about it. These people are on fixed incomes. So I work hard looking for products that value, value-oriented. And by that, I mean they’re not the most expensive, or the most inexpensive but for the math that you’re buying. It’s a great quality product. It has the COAs. It has, you know, the FDA compliance certifications. It has everything you need to feel comfortable as a pharmacist because I’m trying to work with you on dosing. The last thing I want to be concerned about is what’s in the bottle?
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely.
Jorge Escudero: [inaudible] target, then we’re not gonna get anything accomplished of the [inaudible]. That would bother me. We’ve been very blessed. We’ve taken care, probably four to 500 people already and–
Sonia Gomez: How long have you been in business?
Jorge Escudero: Yes, we’ve been in business since June. So we’re coming up on our six months so–
Sonia Gomez: Wow!
Jorge Escudero: So we have really grown and people talk to other people and one more people coming in and they find, they feel comfortable in here because we have a clinical typesetting it’s not you know, when people think of CBD shopping unfortunately it has a stigma attached to it. They think you know being crosses I think marijuana leads to think bongs they think you know, likewise all kinds of stuff–
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Kind of culture cannabis.
Jorge Escudero: Exactly. And that’s where it’s very bright, very, very, very professional. It’s here and we have consultation rooms. I mean one of my consultation group now where I sit down because of HIPAA violations I rather sit down and talk to people about their medical history as well as their you know, their disease states without having to discuss that be open with everybody else. I mean, that’s not, it’s illegal. It’s not the right thing to do. So when you walk into a private setting and we can discuss this and people actually do pay for that service because it is a service we provide and they feel comfortable knowing not only you’re looking at CBD.
First we check to see is CBD right for you. I’ve actually told people CBD is not something for you. Are they have conditions that are not conducive to CBD. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that CBD will help you for example, some gastroparesis. gastroparesis is basically delaying emptying of the stomach. CBD has an anti-spasmodic effect which means it tends to relax it tends to slow things down. The last thing you want to do if your stomach’s not emptying properly because it’s not working properly is giving you CBD which would slow it down even more.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah.
Jorge Escudero: So, for those type of people, I’ve had some examples [inaudible] for you, and then people appreciate that honesty because when you sit down look at it in the last 30 years, the pharmacist has been in the top five most trusted professions always has been ranked somewhere in the top five. People go to the pharmacist before they go to their doctor typically, you know. Their opinions or they respect us for being You know, typically we’re honest and forthcoming with people and at least give them some direction as to now you need to go the emergency room you need to see your doctor, this is not good, this is correct, or this is a relatively minor go ahead and take this you know, an antihistamine for allergies, you don’t need to see a doctor for that, you know, that type of thing or you’re running a fever. You have an infection. You need to see a doctor get antibiotics. I mean, they’re comfortable in doing that. So the name of my store is Care Best Designed Apothecary. And yes, it’s a play on words, and it does have CBD in the logo when it’s care best designed for you as we all know that CBD is very individualized. The dosing is that windows fit on everybody. So we need to find what that right dose is and what the right preparation is so that you can receive the maximum benefit you’re looking for to enhance the quality of your life.
Sonia Gomez: So let me ask you a couple of questions because this is such, this is the first time but no it’s not the first time, it’s the first time that I’ve had an online conversation with somebody who’s actually using the their education in the medical space to specifically focus on helping people understand brand and product selection, dosing, delivery systems, and then working with the medication regimen or more current diagnoses to determine which products you select to be most effective. And I cannot tell you how many businesses I speak to who have a similar model to yours in the sense that there are a dispensary, but they do not have certification or education that would warn them to consult someone else. So one of the things that we did and I’m not sure how much you know about us because we’ve been stalking you, but you may not know too much about us. We have a consumer following of over 1 million people and–
Jorge Escudero: Congratulations.
Sonia Gomez: Thank you. In the last two years, we’ve been able to educate and empower over 50 million people around the world. And it’s really just from our passion from being in the industry for about 35 years between my husband and I, we helped write legislation that legalized cannabis. We owned and operated one of the first dispensaries and we were serving a clientele that was so diverse. We had doctors, surgeons, nurses, and we also had, you know, parents of children who were suffering from incredible, I mean, heart wrenching seizure conditions, or Lyme disease or you know, whatever it was. And the biggest gap and one of the reasons why we sold our brick and mortar business was because there was such a significant gap in the education that it was difficult to stabilize or standardize a conversation between, that would level the playing field between the two sides of the spectrum.
So, my husband, I moved online and started to create education, and we created a certification program called The Natural Health Coach Certification. We originally called it The Cannabis and CBD Coach Certification. But Facebook shut it down. We couldn’t advertise and attract people. So we changed the name. And what we’ve done is we’ve partnered with a DO. We’re starting to certify people and across the country, teaching them the basics that they need to know about the past, present and future of the industry, the health and science behind cannabis, and how to how to select and dose with CBD and cannabis products to be effective. And then finally, how do you know how to build a business there. And so, what we have found is the folks who have some sort of medical background often are so much more effective in the way that they’re consulting because they do have a deep understanding of medication, from side effects and human systems and like all these things all of those things. So it’s so interesting to see a pharmacist run pharmacy for CBD. That’s such an and in Texas. Tell me a little bit about. I know you guys just opened but that’s significant growth in such a short time. First of all, knowing the temperature down in Texas–
Jorge Escudero: Correct.
CBD in Texas
Sonia Gomez: What was some of the feedback that you got from your community or your friends or colleagues? Was it well received? Or was there like, you’re walking on dangerous territory there?
Jorge Escudero: Everyone does crazy. You know, this is Texas. Okay.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. You guys do your own breed down there.
Jorge Escudero: Right. Focus on CBD because that’s all available to me at this time.
Sonia Gomez: Will you opened up to cannabis later once it’s legal?
Jorge Escudero: Definitely, I think, you know, I truly think in the next legislative session, it’ll be discussed. If I was a betting man, I would think and that’s the following legislative session which would be four years from now. Cannabis and medical cannabis would then be quite open much like it is in Colorado and all these other states at this time. So we’ll have recreational as well as medical cannabis. And then at that point, we should be very well situated very well versed and we were we hoping that we would then will be a recognized rare reference. That’s what I’m looking for. We’re very well established ourselves.
So then we can flip over into the full dispensary mode and just keep on going because they already have all of the experience information for CBD which is applied to the medical cannabis traveling the strains and then we wouldn’t be a very easy transition for us to do. So that’s something that I plan to do here in the future. Obviously, I’m not able to do it this time. But the answer to your original question was that when I first proposed, my wife she was very supportive. She thought it was a great idea. In the Hispanic culture, [inaudible] there are people who use plants and herbs and things back in the day, that’s all we had to us to be able to provide relief for many things.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah.
Jorge Escudero: And marijuana actually, at that time, the cannabis plant was put in bottles with alcohol left in the sun. And that was just a natural fermentation process where they would take it out, use this solution as a limit, and then apply it to your aches and pains and your joints and whatnot because you’re working in fields or manual labor back then, and they provided relief. It was the anti-inflammatory effects of the CBD and the THC that would be extracted through the alcohol with the heat from the sun. And that was, you know, [inaudible]. It was very effective back in the day. So we’ve basically gone to our roots, so to speak. In the apothecary was a pre-whiner to today’s pharmacies. And they use natural herbs and remedies to basically provide relief to people for many, many ailments. So that’s the reason why I chose that name.
Sonia Gomez: Do you also provide other holistic remedies that are not infused with CBD as a supporting, or are you just specifically focused on CBD?
Jorge Escudero: I specifically focus on CBD, and the reason I do that is because I’ve always been of the viewpoint that I rather do one thing really well than do many things kind of halfway. Yeah, we focus on CBD because there’s one, the reason, I the rataional I told my wife, I said, Look, there’s hundreds if not thousands of products coming out every week, everyday–
I've always been of the viewpoint that I rather do one thing really well than do many things kind of halfway. - Jorge Escudero Click To Tweet
Sonia Gomez: And they’re all made by the same manufacturers.
Jorge Escudero: All these products, okay, so everybody’s focused on producing CBD, or selling CBD. Okay, San Antonio, for whatever reason, I needed some sort of epicenter of CBD in the state of Texas. I didn’t find that interesting, but it is what it is. There are many CBD shops throughout this city, probably well over 50 However, none of them are run by health care professionals.
Sonia Gomez: No, they’re it’s like a hobby shop.
Jorge Escudero: Correct. It is and then they you know, it is very profit motivating, I guess from many of these people, not all of them. I’m not gonna characterize all of them that way. But, you know, there’s people are very interested and they’re willing to pay but what I wanted to do was provide assurances. There’s nobody in the middle doing the service. We’re basically is, this is what you need. This is the type of products you should be using. And oh, by the way, you have commercial driver’s license that you probably should stay away from these products because they do contain some THC and sooner or later you will have a false positive but you soon could possibly put your employment in jeopardy.
So those types of issues that with people to be able to differentiate between different products, different types of products with a bit tincture and oil, or lotion or cream or an ointment and be able to utilize those effectively, depending on what their situation was. So I said there’s nobody in the middle and who best said this is our space. This is what the pharmacist actually is trained to do is to work with people with or medications, how to best use them. These are the most effectively, make sure that whatever dangerous or risks are involved or minimize with our professional knowledge and expertise.
This is what the pharmacist actually is trained to do is to work with people with or medications, how to best use them. - Jorge Escudero Click To Tweet
Sonia Gomez: I love this. I absolutely love this. Tell me how much you’re charging for a session? Like if somebody comes in and they want to sit down and have a consultation with you, and do you have other pharmacists there as well?
Jorge Escudero: I just hired my second pharmacist. So I’m very excited, a gentleman who’s also very, very careful because CBD is such a growing, you know, I wanted somebody who was very excited about CBD, because CBD has a lot of potential. So I look long and hard or specific individuals, a great fortune to find one. I just hired him last week actually. So he’ll be starting soon. And he’s actually very CBD proficient. He’s excellent visual. And really, I’m looking forward to continue to expand our services as we continue to both work. Because the key is to have a pharmacist greet you at the door to say how can I help you today [inaudible]
health care because you don’t get that in the pharmacy today.
Sonia Gomez: No, you don’t. It’s very much like come in, grab a pack of gum, wait for your prescription to get filled, grab a pack of you know cough drops and then wonder if you should pick up anything else. But there’s no like real connection. How much are you guys charging for your session?
Jorge Escudero: Sure, [inaudible] first a product, there are different type of consultations you can come in and you want to ask me the difference between an oil or a T-shirt, or a cream lotion or what is Charlotte’s Web versus green roads versus Alexa or something like that? We’re not talking about products. I don’t charge anything for that. That’s just something we’re just educating you on what’s out there. Now the consultation is that when you sit down and tell me, these are the listing medications you’re on. These are your disease states that I’m working with, and I have to sit here and analyze and look into the research. I do that beforehand, then we do charge for that. Okay, so that’s when we get to something specific like that, then I do charge, we have a 15-minute session that we originally we had him at $60. And now we’re dropping those to $45 because I’m learning as this business grows is that I’m working with older individuals on fixed incomes.
So I feel more comfortable and charging $45. Other people are paying $60, and we charge $45 for a 15-minute consultation. Now, that does not include 15 minutes of me writing down everything you’re on. I mean, you write down everything beforehand. I knew my analysis. And then, we actually talk for 15 minutes about what CBD can be in high and can be integrated into your specific health care regimen. So it’s actually dedicated to you personally, and better you walk away to go back to your primary care physician. Where is it [inaudible] you care with our plan of action. This is what we’re looking at CBD. This is potentially medications that we could consider weaning in the future. And these are the things that we’re looking for. So, they walk away with some documentation. A 30-minute consultation was $100. Now it’s $75. So it’s going to be obviously much more in-depth. Thirty minutes is a long time. We’ve been talking for 38 minutes or so. So it could give you an idea long it takes I mean, it’s actually a very long time. That’s one of those really complicated cases that required now we need to make some decisions together how best to proceed because there needs to be a collaboration between not only myself and patient, but hopefully with the doctors as well. Now finding is I started this, I truly wasn’t sure how the doctors were going to receive this, but I think not doctors today here in San Antonio, Texas. A city of 2 million people, they realize that CBD is here. CBD is not going to go away. And I have physicians walk into my facility, look around, introduce themselves, and say, Okay, I will send my patients here because I don’t know anything much about CBD. But if you do, and you will indeed keep me in the loop, I will send my patients here. And that’s been very gratifying to me because the acceptance continues to grow.
I have mythologist colleges, a dentist, that I’m working with physical therapists. So there are different modalities that are coming around on this. I think a pediatric developmental neurologist sent me a patient, also for us to talk to you about CBD. So there’s a lot of opportunities out there. It’s a matter of learning and educating, and you know if I don’t know the answer, I truly don’t know we’ll find out. I mean, there’s more and more due to come out every single day. CBD is now starting to be studied on a much larger scale. There’s been money now being sent or going toward research and analysis. We have references that we work with, like the Realm of Caring, which has been very excellent for us to work with patients and the companies we choose, and medical directors that we can also pick up the phone call say, Hey, I got this situation here. I need a little bit of guidance. What do you think? I mean, we don’t have all the answers, but at least we’re in a position to be able to try to get some information for you.
Sonia Gomez: Man, that’s so amazing. I absolutely love this. How are you guys getting your customers right now I know that marketing is a huge challenge for most businesses in this space. What and maybe perhaps from your perspective, you have a little bit of a different set of challenges because your business probably runs quite a bit on word of mouth. Especially in your local community. So what, let me ask the question in a different way, what are some of the, or what were, what are past or present tense, what are some of the challenges that you have faced in these few months that you’ve been in business? What are some of the challenges that you have faced and starting and then running your business?
Facing Challenges in this Space
Jorge Escudero: Frankly, the biggest challenge I’ve had up to this point, which is not dying of surprise you is the banking. The banking has been such a pain and, frankly, they have blindsided me to some degree, because I knew the ratios and the banking issue when I started this. I went to a bank and I’m not going to name I showed them my business plan, so that they know this is what I’m doing. This is how I’m doing it. This is why I’m doing it. The whole business plan. I shared it with them, so that I can hopefully circumvent any issues going forward. I did that in March, and I opened my doors up in June. And so everything was going well, June and July. And then in July I get the [inaudible] phone call on a Friday afternoon saying by the way we’re closing your account come Monday morning. Well, third, you know, both credit card and third party merchant services as well as the banking. So that and I said, Why are you closing these is because you’re a CBD [inaudible] I said, you knew that back in the beginning, I showed you my business plan. This is not; there was nothing here that the disguising I wasn’t creative or anything. I told you exactly what I was doing. And as a result, I find that very frustrating.
But that’s changing. We’ve been, we’re resilient. We’ve learned to be resourceful. And we’ve learned to be creative, like many others in this space, have to do, and it’s incredible to me if this is a product category that works for so many people, why are we dealing with something really basic? Now, are there bad actors out there? Yes. But you know, there’s ways of doing things correctly. There are ways for you to find out, and if there’s a compliance division that you want all this paperwork. Let me know what the criteria are. We’ll provide it for you. We’ll move forward, and you’ll see what we’re doing. And by, in the meantime, we’ll help people along the way.
Sonia Gomez: I cannot tell you how exciting This is for me. Do you foresee you, do you only ever want pharmacists working as consultations in shop and do you ever see this model coming online?
Jorge Escudero: Yes, I would like to also add nurses to the mix eventually because they also bring a different perspective and patient care. We come, we read the medical aspect, the medicinal aspect, the pharmacology aspect, if you will, but I would love to get nurses involved because they have more of the practical day to day, you know, the practical aspects of patient care that I think would be very beneficial, that would enhance our service offerings as well. So that’s something that I’m needed in to utilize them as sales personnel as well. I think people feel comfortable talking to other medical professionals, you know, about this. And it’s much more simpler, frankly, doing what I’m doing today than working behind the counter at a CVS or Walgreens or Walmart, frankly, and that’s very [inaudible]. Because all I do is we do basically patient care, problem-solving specific to patient care, which to me is the most gratifying thing about my job today and the reason I got into the pharmacy, to begin with. Still, we lost that because we’re in a buying driven, you know, profit-oriented pharmacy world, the big pharma that didn’t allow that to happen, frankly. We were able to do that here because we’re not, we’re not doing that now.
I carry only large brands that are very nationally recognized here. And they have a great marketing presence. They also have great resources because, like I say, going back to the consistency, there’s a lot of different products there’s a lot of different things coming on the market. I do evaluate new products almost every day because I get pranked and get besieged by new products every day and put on the shelf. But I’m very picky about who I put on my shelf because I want the criteria I have is very high standards, and you know, the ones that truly like Charlotte’s Webs and the Green Roads and [inaudible] now provide they had the [inaudible] they’ve been at this for a long time. I’m not saying I don’t have a couple of small other producers. I do, because they have also fit the criteria. But I’m very proud of the fact that I tell everybody everything in the store, I’ve either tried or have family members that have tried. So I feel very comfortable in everything we have in store to help you. And I can actually tell you that tastes a little bit earthy compared to this one, this has a better flavoring versus that this one has a better onset of action, the liposomes versus non-liposomal. You know, we have different ways to be able, but we can speak from experience. And the other facet that we do that we haven’t discussed at all is the pet products. We also work with veterinarians and what not to work with our pet products as well because guess what? They’re mammals; they have issues as well. Hip dysplasia, and animals, Labs, Golden’s, Great Danes, all those dogs the back problems of Deutsch Hounds that are, what is the method, separation anxiety from their owners. Thunderstorms, fireworks, like [inaudible] I saw a lot of CBD and those that time of year to these animals because of family issues as well. So we work with people on those products as well. So we do pet care and patient care, and it is pretty cool. We like it.
Sonia Gomez: Man, I love that. Let me ask you this because I get to interface with tons of medical professionals from all different walks of life on all different parts of the world. And some of them are quite skeptical and are starting to do their research and others are really excited and I’m just trying to gauge what the best way to enter into the industry and how to sort of do damage control with their reputation. You know, everyone’s so concerned about like, what happens if I start working with this plant? Am I going to, you know, how am I putting myself at risk. And others are just like, forget it. I don’t care. I want to be involved with the movement and make a difference in my community. What are some key pieces of advice or words of wisdom that you could share with somebody who’s considering getting into this space has history and reputation and rapport in the medical space, or perhaps want to make wants to make that corporate to cannabis and hemp jumped? What are some key pieces of advice that you could share?
Words of Wisdom
Jorge Escudero: Sure. What I would tell people is this. And I have a daughter was a pharmacist, and I was selling a lot of pharmacists. Now there, they only been pharmacists for like, two, three years. And they were thinking of it while with me. I said no. So let me let me forge the path first. As that, as far as I know, here in San Antonio, 2 million people I’m the only dedicated CBD pharmacist in his entire community of 2 million people. Okay, so Let’s just see where this goes for us because there are some, this is Texas. This is not exactly the most progressive state. This is very interesting. But let me go ahead and take the risk and see where they’re going and see how it is. And I was, when I looked at it, I felt very comfortable knowing my experience and my education and things know that CBD, and I actually tried CBD on my own first I just went purchase them just to figure it out to see what. And I was, I was surprised is like many is how truly effective it was. I’ve had a knee replacement surgery, I used it as part of my rehab process, and they work great. I was off of painkillers within two days, full stop.
Sonia Gomez: I hear thatall the time. It’s so incredible.
Jorge Escudero: For me, and I’m like, you know what, this works. So I was totally committed. And I was, what I told people is this, do your research, there’s a wealth of information now as opposed to a year ago, there’s a lot more information today. Now, there’s a lot of noise that you have to kind of work your way through. But, you know, we’re all professionals, you know what, you can kind of spot the real information from the kind of the marketing material, if you will. I do focus a lot on the Israelis and what information that they put out, because I recognize that they are definitely other
Sonia Gomez: Light years ahead–
Jorge Escudero: Yes, way ahead. And so you, you train and educate yourself, take a few courses, learn about it, apply your own practical knowledge. And then the last thing is that you can’t put your toe in the water in this thing. Either you’re committed or you’re not. I gotta tell people, you can’t be a little bit pregnant. Either you’re pregnant or you’re not. So I know I didn’t stick my toe in the water. I went in jumped in knowing full well, that there’s going to be a lot of scrutiny.
You can't put your toe in the water in this thing. Either you're committed, or you're not. - Jorge Escudero Click To Tweet
Now I did. I chose not to be a licensed pharmacist, because for two reasons. One, they want to invite other extra regulation that would be involved in having a regulation. Two, I didn’t want to do prescriptions. I want to focus on CBD, which does not require prescription at this time. There are some [inaudible] now that’s out there that doesn’t require a prescription. But you know, I have no idea what it costs, but I can guarantee you it ain’t cheap. And it’s for a very narrow therapeutic indication. Anyway, so yeah, hardly any that people begin. So I was not going to focus on putting myself in that area. So I don’t have to worry about VA and all those other regulatory agencies because we’re just, we’re I guess we’re like a better term a supplement store but a very specialized one with CBD working with patients under the guide of a pharmacist who is knowledgeable and experienced with CBD to work with patients and–
I, we have probably between 400-500 patients have taken care of already. And I’ve had the one hand a member of treatment failures because it doesn’t help everybody. The key is finding the right dose at the right price. Because you can spend a lot of money, but you can also not, I mean, you can find great quality products, and that’s been that kind of money maybe that other people do. Last but not least, there are so many other areas. This hospice care, I would love to get hospice care. People within the life they have anxiety, they have a lot of pain, they have a lot of issues. That’s another area that I’m really looking forward to getting involved in hospice care. With people who they used to be a hospice care pharmacist at one time, and I know CBD sublingual would help a lot of people and to help their loved ones. That very important difficult phase of their life to at least make their life more comfortable rather than being drugged up until they pass.
There’s a lot of other areas that we can get involved in my son has especially needed. I work closely with a special needs community to help them with CBD because guess what, it seems to be very helpful for the special needs community, and my son has benefited immensely from CBD for both insomnia and his obsessive-compulsive behaviors, he is responded extremely well. Diabetics, have neuropathies, Fibromyalgia; they have all kinds of issues that are nerve issues. CBD response extremely well. I mean, neurologists and Fibromyalgia respond extremely well to CBD much better than the [inaudible] and the Narcos and the Vikings– analgesics just don’t work well in those areas, but CBD does. He has other options like Lyrica and gabapentin, duloxetine to other drugs, but they’re also prescription, and this one does not. A lot of people come to me and we were able to help them with its [inaudible] including my wife, my wife has Fibromyalgia and the first time I applied lotion to her and gave her an oil she was Oh my god, where has this stuff been? It works really well. So, you know, my dad died of Parkinson’s two years ago, and he was my best friend. And if I had known then what I know now, I would have put them on this and a heart. And, but it’s just one of those things, but you learn, and I think people, we’re really resonating with people because they’re comfortable talking to pharmacists, they have a lot of questions. If you’re able to answer their questions honestly and with integrity, and with when they experience that they feel benefits from, then they’re more inclined to give it a shot and give it a try. And that’s what we wanted just to try to help as many people we can.
Sonia Gomez: I absolutely love this. Well, I want to say congratulations to you for all of this beauty that you have created in your community. What an exciting time we’d love to come down and check you out sometime.
Jorge Escudero: Please do.
Sonia Gomez: See what you guys are up to down there. And I think I’ll just piggyback a little bit on, I do this thing at the end of the show where like I want to know what your advice is and then I’ll add a little bit of something on there for them as well. So my value add to today’s show would be, specifically for the medical community. Number one, don’t take things at face value. What we’ve been told, what we’ve been taught and how you were raised is not necessarily the only way or the right way. You have to be really open to the changing times for the first time ever, real science has had the opportunity to come in and infiltrate and otherwise black market and work with a plant that for decades has been considered taboo. And what we are finding out is while we’re extracting all of these, while we are pulling the plant apart and finding out what the bones of the situation are, what are the guts of the plants we’re figuring out that THC is actually just a very small component of what is valuable inside of this plant medicine. There are so many different ingredients inside of the cannabis or hemp plant that are proving to be lightyears ahead of anything we could have ever expected and we’re only in the like, let’s say third or fourth year of discovery is far, far, far ahead. But as far as the United States market goes, which by the way is responsible for about 80% of the sales that are happening globally for CBD products right now.
What we've been told, what we've been taught, and how you were raised is not necessarily the only way. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet
Jorge Escudero: Wow, I didn’t know that.
Sonia Gomez: Yes, and it’s increased quite a bit, somewhere between, like 70 and 80% of the market is like right here in the United States, which is crazy, because three years ago, we weren’t even cultivating more than 20,000 pounds, or 20,000 acres now it’s like everywhere. So that’s my first key piece of advice is, you know, re educate and re inform, bring yourself up to modern day. Don’t look for the things that are wrong with it, but look for the things that are right. You know, there’s so much that’s right about it, that you just have to understand what little nuances, tweaks or considerations that you have to make. There’s something for everybody, and the right somebodies are experiencing incredible transformation and restoring their trust in the medical system with medical professionals, which by the way, guys, has been a challenging time over the last decade where we have been over prescribed and dumbed to down, we’re looking at significant opioid crisis in communities across America right now.
And this is a very real opportunity for the medical system to restore confidence in the consumer so that we can come to you with the things that really matter to us, our concerns, our curiosities, and our interests in how we can holistically and naturally help ourselves and the people that we love and the conditions that we’re suffering from. It’s not a one size fit all. We are human beings. And we need to know that you guys are on our side and are diversifying your education outside of your degrees, to be able to cater to us and our needs. We love you, and we trust you, and we want you to be educated and help us to be empowered.
My second, and then finally, I’ll say that where you find yourself exhausted, overworked, underpaid, and pulled away from the things that are most important to you like holidays, family occasions, you know, all of these things that you sacrifice being a doctor or a nurse or being on a regimen inside of a hospital. You have such an incredible opportunity right now to create a lifestyle by design by moving into this space. You can start to apply your medical education to this new and emerging industry.
People are paying hand over fist for the experience the knowledge and the expertise that already has and are willing to pay a premium on top of that a product recommended by a doctor is 10 times more trusted than it is coming from a little old me, even though I’ve personally experienced, like cannabis, I can say, saved my life. And I’ve helped thousands of people around the world with that story. And at the same time, if I were a doctor or a nurse or a nurse practitioner or an EMT, or held any one of those medical licenses, my advice would be trusted 10 times over. So I implore you–
Jorge Escudero: You left out the pharmacist.
Sonia Gomez: Oh and the pharmacists. I mean, everybody you guys–
Jorge Escudero: No, I’m just playing.
Sonia Gomez: I mean, I’m telling I just implore you. What you’re doing, Jorge is just so incredible. Like I said, I have not yet found a medically driven apothecary that specifically focuses on CBD and cannabis. And I love your openness and your willingness and how the vigor in which you put into your product selection process. I think it’s absolutely fantastic and so many people are going to benefit and we need more of you guys to make the corporate to cannabis jump to come on to our side, so that we can start to standardize and humanize this as an option. So those are my golden nuggets for the day, Jorge, any last words before we end today’s interview?
Jorge Escudero: No, I mean, you know, I hope people, anyway you can, if you want to contact me, you can check me or come to our website and call me. I’ll pick up the phone. I’ll answer your questions. I’ll do the best I can. We really enjoy helping people. I feel very energized coming to work now because unlike, you know, you never know what the day is gonna bringing and its the trying times. The opportunities are incredible and I’m not talking about financial. I mean, if I’m chasing dollars, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Okay–
Sonia Gomez: If you’re chasing dollars that don’t make no sense.
Jorge Escudero: You know what, if you want to help people, the dollars are [inaudible]. It’s that simple, but help people. This is what this is all about.
Sonia Gomez: I love it. I love it. Well, thank you so much, Jorge, for being a part of our show today.
Jorge Escudero: Thank you for inviting me.
Sonia Gomez: Really enjoyed our conversation. Yes, absolutely. I’d be happy to have you back on the show again. And for those of you guys who are listening, thank you so much for your time and attention and for being a part of our incredible community. It is our mission to empower you with the truth about cannabis so that you can make informed educated decisions about how you want to treat yourself, the people that you love and the conditions you may be suffering from.
If you are a business owner, and you are looking for tools, tips, tricks, resources, relationships and opportunities to join the green rush or troubleshoot any of the inevitable challenges that this amazing industry presents check us out at theemeraldcircle.com. And if you are a client looking for products you can trust, check us out at medicalsecrets.com for all of your products needs and information. I’m your hostess with the mostess, Sonia Gomez and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on the next show, guys!
James Brinkerhoff: Thanks for listening to this episode, we took notes on this episode for you along with all the links and resources mentioned in the episode. Get them free in the show notes page here at www.medicalsecrets.com. If you love this show and our content, please subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you really want to help us get the message out there, please rate review and tell all your friends with your help. We can continue to reach the world with our message. And until next time, we hope you join The Hemp Revolution, and we challenge you to dream big and love the life you live.
Subscribe & Review The Hemp Revolution Podcast
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast! If the information in our weekly conversations and interviews have helped you in your journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing folks just like you!