Earlier this week, Umphrey’s McGee revealed their plans for a new THC extract collaboration with MedPharm Holdings. The “Day Nurse” and “Night Nurse” strains are now available for fans and cannabis connoisseurs of legal age to purchase at eight Lightshade locations throughout the state of Colorado ahead of the band’s upcoming three-show run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 21st–23rd. If you’re jonesing to try them, don’t delay! “Day Nurse” and “Night Nurse” will only be available during the month of June.

The new Umphrey’s cannabis collaboration is the latest in a string of similar announcements in recent months. Artists including The Disco Biscuits, The Motet, Jimmy Buffett, and even the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart are all hoping to cash in on the blossoming “Green Rush,” which has resulted in millions in cash revenue for aspiring cannabis business owners in select states throughout the country.

We spoke to Umphrey’s pianist Joel Cummins, guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss, and manager Kevin Browning to hear what they have to say about their history with weed, the ways it has affected the band and their music, and why now is the right time for them to get in the game.

Live For Live Music: What’s the story behind your new cannabis strains “Day Nurse” and “Night Nurse”?

Joel Cummins: We were approached by our friend Tim Mathisen about the idea of creating an Umphrey’s-specific product for our upcoming visit to Colorado. We loved the idea and he’s helped us make the process an integrated and simpler one. So working with MedPharm has been a very enjoyable experience.

Kevin Browning: As a general rule, Umphrey’s is pretty bad at naming things. See band name, for starters. Happily, I can say that we did a little better with this one. Named after a pair of UM tunes, “the nurses” felt like a good fit. “Day Nurse” is Sativa based, good for that uplifting go get ‘em feeling while the Indica derived “Night Nurse” delivers more of that relaxing, calming nighttime vibe.

Umphrey’s McGee – “Day Nurse”


Umphrey’s McGee – “Night Nurse”

[Video: Umphrey’s McGee]

L4LM: What made you take the leap on the product?

Brendan Bayliss: It’s nice to be alive in 2019

Kevin Browning: The stigma that has long surrounded cannabis in the U.S. has finally, and sensically, began to lift. We’ve discussed it for years and feel like the conditions are finally right, there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. American lawmakers seem to have finally realized that maybe having access to taxed and regulated marijuana won’t result in society crashing down up us.

L4LM: How has cannabis been a part of the band’s history?

JC: With Umphrey’s McGee firmly entrenched in the jam scene, cannabis has seemingly been around at our shows for decades. It provides a very creative buzz so I think it really does mesh who both the fans and some in the band.

L4LM: When did cannabis first become a part of your lives, and how were you introduced to it? What were your initial reactions?

JC: I went to see Bob Dylan at the Chicago theater as a sophomore in high school. at the time my bandmates and I had a dugout with a metal bat that we fired up in a car in a parking garage. I got a couple of good hits but didn’t really understand what I was doing and blew the cherry out on the third try.

BB: I was in a forest in South Bend in what is now the Eddy St. commons. I didn’t think it was working so I took a bunch of hits. I was suddenly 50 yards to the left in a bush. I also thought the traffic helicopters knew what we were up to. So I went into a Notre Dame football game and promptly burned the roof of my mouth on some hot chocolate. It was kind of intense. But I grew to love it.

L4LM: Any preferred weed strains within the band?

BB: My personal favorites include “Cali Star,” “Chocolope,” “Strawberry Cough,” and “Green Crack.” They’re all very similar in that they are motivational, uplifting, and delightfully tasty strains as well as being consistent.

L4LM: Who smokes the most weed in the band?

BB: Who smokes the most weed at your fine publication? [Note: it’s a respectable three-way tie between the main L4LM staff writers]

L4LM: How has cannabis had an impact on the band’s music?

JC: At its heart, I think cannabis is a mind-opening, creative buzz that should inspire and help any artist push boundaries. It should help you get in the zone and focus on the music. When used properly, cannabis can take you to some great places.

L4LM: Any specific funny smoking/high stories from over the years?

JC: No funny stories here, lots of serious conversations for us

KB: Is that a rhetorical question? One that comes to mind… In 2001 we played a small club in Vegas by the name of Legends Lounge. Unbeknownst to [bassist] Ryan Stasik, his parents made a surprise trip to “Sin City” to see their son’s glorious Vegas debut. About twenty minutes before show time, a handful of us were hotboxing my old Suburban (the touring rig circa ‘01) with authority. As we open the stage door to come back inside, who is standing right there but Randy and Marsha Stasik. It was hard for him to handle that one high school baked.

L4LM: Any song references about weed that fans might not know?

JC: Yep, songs like “Blue Echo”, “#5” and “Sweetness” all feature content that references weed.

L4LM: How has the stigma of weed changed since 1997/1998?

JC: Since the advent of vaping I think you’ve seen a lot more people getting into consuming cannabis. Obviously, edibles have helped along that line too, but vaping is a much easier, less obtrusive way to consume than many of the other methods which might not be as discreet or practical in a public setting.

L4LM: So you’ve got 3 days at Red Rocks coming up. What makes performing at Red Rocks different from other venues?

JC: Red Rocks is simply the most incredible place for music in our country, for both the musicians and the fans. It’s awe-inspiring, just the coolest place to stand on a stage and let the music flow.

Head to the band’s website for tour info and tickets to upcoming shows. For more information about Umphrey’s McGee and MedPharm Holdings’ new “Day Nurse” and “Night Nurse” products, head here.