From pain management to microbusiness: 'I'm looking forward to getting my product out.'
Sam Vosburg is a retired veteran and three-time cancer survivor who lives in Aurora, Missouri. He was recently selected for one of the state’s first cannabis microbusiness licenses.
He spoke about how marijuana helped him with his own health – and about his plans to expand his hobby into a full-fledged business.
Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words.
Sam Vosburg: I'm 100% disabled. I ended up getting cancer in my left eye and I went to Mass U in Boston and took a proton beam in my eye for a week to kill the tumor, and that blinded me, which made me even more disabled and unable to work. And because of the pain involved with that, they recommended that I try cannabis.
So, we started off with the gummies and it worked immediately. I mean, I was in so much pain, and it just completely removed it.
It was so expensive, you know, to buy it at a dispensary or whatever. So, we decided to grow it. We got a grow license through the state – just the individual one – and what we were growing ended up being pretty good.
My family picked up on it and my neighbors picked up on it, and suddenly we were manufacturing this butter for all the old people in the family. They're rubbing it on their joints.
[I] started thinking, “Wow, you know, we're gonna get rid of all this stuff, we probably should at least apply for this license that we heard about through friends.”
We didn't even know that we could apply for a micro[business] license. We just put in there, you know, we had the infrastructure, and I had a 2,800-kilowatt solar farm on my barn, and we put that in the application and said, “We'd like to try it,” and we got picked up, which was amazing.
I was walking down the aisle at Home Depot, and I got a call from somebody who had seen my name on the list – I had no idea, and they called me and said, “Congratulations. You just won the lottery,” and I was like “What lottery?”
And they said, “Well, did you put in for a cannabis license?” And I said “I did,” and they said, “Well, you just got drawn.”
I dropped everything in my arms. I mean, I was like, “Oh my gosh!” I just stood there for a minute. I couldn't believe it, and then I immediately called my wife, and we were just giggling and laughing like, “Oh my god, what are we gonna do?” You know, running around with our heads cut off, like, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God.”
It's just crazy. It was totally crazy. I couldn't believe it.
"I want the word to get out that you don't have to use alcohol and you don't have to use all this opioid stuff. You can use cannabis."Sam Vosburg
I think I'm excited [about] expanding, you know, my barn – we’re gonna petition it out, you know, and make grow rooms. Building the infrastructure is really going to be fun.
I'm really looking forward to setting up the automated water systems and fertilizer. Right now, we carry two-gallon water jugs upstairs and downstairs in the barn into our grow rooms. So, getting on that commercial type of scale is very exciting.
And it's like, to make enough money, obviously, to pay off my farm and, you know, set the family up. But also I'm looking forward to getting my product out for those medical [marijuana] people.
I want the word to get out that you don't have to use alcohol and you don't have to use all this opioid stuff. You can use cannabis.
Everybody asked us if we want to go big commercial, and I don't think we do. I think we want to stay where we're at – at least until we figure this out.
But we really enjoyed growing it and it's pretty much my full-time job. You know, I just go down there and mess with the garden and mess with the plants.