On November 6, 2012, Colorado residents voted on Amendment 64 said, YES. This meant that marijuana could now be legally bought and sold for recreational use as well as for medical use. Prior to that vote, it was only legal to buy and sell marijuana for medical use. It was labeled Medical Marijuana (MMJ) and there were some true pioneers willing to put themselves under scrutiny to bring awareness, education and ultimately relief (along with so much more) to people who were quite simply out of acceptable options for managing their health.
David Threlfall of Boulder’s Trill Alternatives is one of those pioneers. Recently, I sat down to speak with David to learn a little more about him, his business and what led him to get involved at this level.
Since it’s unlikely that being in the MMJ industry was a lifelong ambition, what’s your background?
I grew up in New Hampshire and originally came to Colorado for the oil industry but that fizzled out in the 80s. My background is really in manufacturing. I had a good run creating goods for the ski / winter sports industry until trade with China opened up more and that was the end of that.
During this time, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Given the prognosis and treatment options, we were looking for alternatives – both to help her through the treatment and to improve her odds for survival. That research led me to medical marijuana. Ultimately, she wouldn’t try it but I was convinced by what I read that it would have helped. Even though my mom passed away, I stayed on top of the research and ended up helping a few other people with what I’d learned. Seeing some great results, and wanting to help more people than the law at that time would allow, led me to getting involved in the MMJ business.
What is the driving passion for you?
Educating and helping people.
There are a lot of smart people in this world who are being fooled by our current medical system. They think that because something carries the FDA’s approval or is recommended by a doctor, it’s safe and that is simply not the case. There are people dying every day from FDA approved drugs or treatments prescribed for them and this isn’t even counting the deaths caused by the abuse of prescription drugs. I want to help change that.
What conditions do you see people seeking help for most often?
- Inability to sleep
- Cancer (for managing side effects of treatment as well as treating the cancer itself)
- Epilepsy or other seizure conditions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
People come in who are suffering with some debilitating condition or pain and we’re able to work together to find a solution that works for them so they get their life back.
Now that we have recreational dispensaries and medical dispensaries, what would you say is the difference?
Probably just the knowledge and the care. With a medical dispensary, you are a patient and should expect to get some knowledge and direction as it applies to treating your condition(s). With a recreational dispensary, you are a customer. It can help to think of it like this, a medical dispensary would be considered part of your caregiving team – you’d go there for help in treating medical or health issues. A recreational facility would be thought of more like we think of a liquor store (e.g. – you wouldn’t go in expecting help with managing the side effects of chemo).
With a medical facility, you’d also expect better consistency and quality of the products stocked.
There are a lot more hoops to jump through in staying a medical facility. What makes it all worth it?
The satisfaction gained by helping people out. It’s the hugs we get from people saying we’ve changed their lives, when people thank us because they can actually enjoy having independence now that their seizures are under control. When people share pictures of their skin cancer improving from using Cannabis and they’re thrilled. When people share that they were able to get off their pain killers and sleep medications ridding themselves of the harmful side effects that accompany the use of those drugs. When people share that they’ve had dramatic and immediate relief from their IBS and digestive issues allowing them to eat without pain and embarrassment. When kids can now go to school and not be ridiculed because they have a treatment that works to control their epilepsy. THAT’S what does it for me.
I know without a doubt that Cannabis offers a more effective and safer option (as opposed to traditional treatments and medications) for many conditions. It’s certainly more natural, easier on the body and the big bonus is that it won’t kill you.
What frustrates you?
Probably that more often than not, people come to us as a last resort after so much damage and suffering. They come only after everything else has failed. I would love to have people think in a more integrative way and use Cannabis in addition to whatever else they may be doing. I’m not out to do away with traditional medicine and doctors. I just don’t want to see people choose it with blind faith. I want people to educate themselves – dig for the truth and know their options.
What do you want people to know about Trill Alternatives?
Great staff! We all share a big passion for helping people. It is a place I wish I could have taken my mom to help educate her on the benefits of MMJ. Whenever I’m at the store, I always have someone telling me how one of my staff has helped them greatly. There are patients who will come in and wait for their favorite staff member to become available.
It always feels good to walk into a store and have the staff call you by name – that’s the type of bond we have with our customers and that bond is why we are committed to staying medical. We simply refuse to leave our patients scrambling for their medicine, the last thing these people need is to have more stress added to their lives.
What are the takeaways for folks here? What do you really want people to know about MMJ?
- You must take care of yourself and that is best done by educating yourself and making your own decisions about what is right for you. Once you’ve done the research, you can ask intelligent questions and come up with an integrative plan that you’re comfortable with and in control of.
- Just google this, deaths caused by <whatever medication you’re taking> and see what you come up with. That’s usually very eye-opening for people and it’s what gets them digging a little deeper for better options.
- Look into your endocannabinoid system and your immune system and get familiar with how they function in the body. Then take a look at how Cannabis works with those systems. Cannabis helps to regulate these systems in a natural way – it’s what Mother Nature gives us and no one beats Mother Nature.
- When you start doing your research, you soon realize that Cannabis has a value and a purpose much greater than helping folks get high.
- Don’t form opinions without getting facts.
Trill is open every day 10am-7pm. They are located at 1537 Pearl St. Suite B, Boulder CO 80302 and validation is provided for parking in the 16th Street Garage. You can find out more here: http://trillalternatives.com/