Taylor Kirk is the Vice President of Operations at Compassionate Cultivation, based out of Manchaca, Texas. Compassionate Cultivation is focused on helping shape the medical cannabis industry in Texas through the growing, processing, manufacturing, testing and distributing the highest quality medical cannabis products in the Lone Star State.
Taylor recently answered some of our questions and discussed high-CBD low-THC medical cannabis cultivars – and how their products have been helping patients that participate in Texas’s Compassionate Use Program.
T&T: How did you get started in the industry? What brought you to cannabis?
TK: I’ve always been a “plant guy” and was gifted with a green thumb. I received a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from Texas A&M University and spent the last 18 years working various jobs in horticulture, agriculture, irrigation and facilities management.
Once I learned about the medical benefits of cannabis, I was intrigued and wanted to work with this special plant and help people. Following the signing of the Compassionate Use Act in 2015, I started following the program and once I learned which companies were licensed, I reached out to the licensees, sent them my resume, and eventually connected with Compassionate Cultivation and got into the business.
T&T: Tell us a little bit about your company.
TK: Compassionate Cultivation is the leading medical cannabis company in Texas. We operate out of a 7,200 square feet warehouse that was converted into a world-class medical cannabis facility. We provide low-THC CBD products to people who suffer from intractable or drug-resistant epilepsy. CBD has shown great promise in helping many of these epilepsy sufferers control their seizures. And there is a groundswell of support in the medical community for CBD to help with many other debilitating conditions including autism, MS, even PTSD and chronic pain.
About two years after the law was signed, we received our license on Halloween of 2017 and planted our first seed that same evening! By February 2018, we started selling our first product – a CBD tincture we call Lone Star. Currently we’re the only brick-and-mortar dispensary open in Texas.
T&T: What kinds of products do you manufacture?
TK: Our Lone Star CBD Pure products consist of high-quality tinctures that are consistent in formulation. We just released a spray product that offers the same formulation in a new delivery mechanism.
Lone Star CBD Pure is formulated with very few inactive ingredient additives and consists of CBD and THC in a stringent 20:1 ratio. We’re very meticulous about ensuring this ratio and specially formulate and rigorously test our products to remain in compliance with state regulations.
The doctors who prescribe our products can do so with confidence knowing that our CBD tinctures are backed by rigorous testing provided by our partner, Xabis, Inc. Because of the nature of our low-THC CBD products (>10% CBD, <0.5% THC) it’s difficult to achieve much lower than the 3% variance target we hit batch after batch. We publish a Certificate of Analysis for every batch we make, and these are available on our website.
We go beyond what’s required by law and exceed the FDA’s standards in testing for things such as residual solvents, heavy metals and other biological contaminants that are sometimes found in cannabis-based products.
T&T: What is the success rate of your medical CBD products?
TK: We’re proud to report that we have seen a reduction of seizures in almost 60% of patients under observation in an on-going study.. There are different levels of success, but most of our patients have seen life changing results.
T&T: Tell us more about your Waterloo cultivar.
TK: Waterloo is the first legal cannabis cultivar developed in Texas. We started a breeding project to optimize the production of our medical cannabis products and Waterloo is the first product of our breeding efforts.
We crossed our BaOx mom with our AC/DC male. Both plants have unique traits, so we wanted to combine them and create a chemovar that had the best of both. Our BaOx mom is a fantastic plant that was our workhorse early on, and AC/DC is one of the best-known high-CBD cultivars and produces great medicine.
Our goal was to find a chemovar whose cannabinoid and terpenoid profile is conducive to the medicine we provide, while being very productive and provide consistent results.
With this first breeding project we hit a home run, Waterloo’s terpene profile is unique and different than the many other high-CBD plants on the market. Our lab tests show Waterloo has 3.5% terpenes in dried flower. The highest terpene is linalool at 42.5%, we also found 6.2% isopulegol, both terpenes are of medical interest and we are excited about their potential anticonvulsant properties and promise in treating pain.
T&T: Where do you hope to see your company in the next 5 to 10 years?
TK: We intend to continue to be leaders in the Texas market. Most importantly, we intend to continue to set the gold standard and operate with transparency, bringing powerful medicine to Texans who need it, while working with doctors and legislators, and developing new products. Given how far we have come and the potential in front of us, we are very bullish on the future of CBD in Texas.