April 20 or 4/20 is widely considered “Weed Day”—a special day for marijuana enthusiasts to collectively celebrate the plant and its effects. In its infancy, this so-called holiday was embraced by a counterculture movement made up of free spirits and others who denounced greed, corporate influences, and all things mainstream. Ironically, celebrations have evolved dramatically over the years with largescale festivals sponsored by popular commercial brands with millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise. However, 4/20 has also provided an opportunity for organizations and individuals alike to champion progressive legislation and the growing acceptance of marijuana as lawful medicine.
Governor Tom Wolf legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania on April 6, 2016, and on February 16, 2018, medical marijuana became available for patients at dispensaries across the commonwealth. A study from Compassionate Certification Centers, published in December 2019, concluded around 225,000 patients have since registered for the state program, with close to over 175,000 certifications issued to date, and more than 1,000 physician practitioners registered on the state medical marijuana physician registry.
The study claimed, “these numbers show the robust and rapid acceptance and growth of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, and also point to the need for continued and improved patient-based support services and resources.” Additional findings of the study included:
A majority (76.25%) of participants said they would “definitely agree” medical marijuana has made an impact on their quality of life; and
A majority (74.46%) of participants said they would “definitely recommend” the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program to friends and family.
Furthermore, a majority (93.70%) of participants agreed that grower/processors like Calypso, are making quality medicine—we love to hear that!
As we continue to explore and discover the medical advantages of marijuana, there’s no doubt that widespread public opinion on the topic will continue to improve as well. In fact, the latest poll from Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal, especially for medicinal purposes. In addition to its medical advantages, the residual socio-economic benefits of marijuana are also helping to progress its public image. Two such benefits include the boost in jobs and tax revenue.
The legal marijuana industry (medical and adult-use) has tremendous growth potential and is on track to create hundreds of thousands of jobs; jobs with strong wages and benefits that are vital for the economy and supporting families. A report from Leafly concluded that as of January 2020, the legal marijuana industry supports 243,700 full-time-equivalent jobs and is the fastest growing industry in the United States. In the past year alone, Pennsylvania’s market has doubled in size and now supports a total of 8,765 full-time jobs. And while these positions are directly related to marijuana production and distribution there are even more potential opportunities in secondary industries such as software development, financing services, construction companies, just to name a few.
The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program has already collected $6.45 million in tax revenue. As the program continues to expand, and if recreational adult-use is legalized, the Department of the Auditor General estimates this number could jump to hundreds of millions of dollars. Not only would this affect the state’s bottom line, the revenue would continue to improve public health initiatives such as:
Children and Youth Services – including programs that address child welfare, health coverage, and early education;
Opioid Treatment – including programs that provide integrated care, various therapies, and other addiction services;
Research Opportunities – including programs that support the development of technology to help regulate the industry and advance applications for marijuana; and
Veteran Issues – including programs that help Veterans access and receive mental health and drug treatment services.
It comes as no surprise that these benefits are helping sway opinions and popularize marijuana as a regulated industry. It’s also important to mention that as legislation continues to change, the number of arrests and criminal justice costs are likely to follow suit. For example, between 2016 and 2017, individuals arrested for having less than an ounce of marijuana cost Pennsylvania taxpayers an estimated $46 million. With greater acceptance of marijuana, this money would be earned, rather than spent.
The socio-economic benefits of marijuana as a regulated industry are hard to ignore and are without a doubt opening opportunities to discuss and reform legislation for the better. As of January 16, there were 975 marijuana-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions. With the support of officials and the public at large, our industry will undoubtedly change and further solidify its legitimacy.
Today, COVID-19 has halted operations for many businesses and is changing the way we live our daily lives. With these changes, it’s become increasingly clear that medical marijuana is considered a vital commodity. From top state officials, medical marijuana organizations were deemed “essential… life-sustaining businesses” and granted permission to remain operational, providing medical relief for patients who need it.
As we celebrate 4/20, we can’t help but feel honored to be a part of this industry and community. We are proud of the progress we have all made and will continue to champion the use of medical marijuana to help patients state-wide and support advances in the medical marijuana industry.
She’s an artist, a photographer, a certified mixologist, a self-described ‘crazy cat lady’ and not to mention, a valuable member of our team. Jordan walks around with spunky and playful energy that’s guaranteed to make you laugh. She’s the first to step up, volunteer, push her sleeves back and get the job done—with a smile of course. Born and raised in Erie, we are so grateful to have her on our team. To learn more about Jordan, check out our employee interview below:
How long have you worked at Calypso, and what’s your role? “I’ve been with Calypso since July 1, 2019 and I’m a proud member of the Cultivation Team, which we jokingly refer to as Calypso Cult.”
How do you start your mornings and/or end your days at Calypso? “Almost like clockwork, I walk in every morning to a fabulous greeting from Jamie, our Master of Custodial Arts! She usually gives me a hard time for not saying, ‘Good Morning, Jamie!’ enthusiastically enough. So, I’m working on that, but I’m not much of a morning person until COFFEE. Then it’s fist bumps, elbow knocks, and obnoxiously good whistling that echoes throughout the hallways for all my coworkers to enjoy!”
What’s surprised you most about working in the medical marijuana industry? “I’ve been surprised by the number of people who work at Calypso or in the industry that are not medical marijuana patients themselves. You’d think everyone in this industry would have an MMJ card, but in fact, you’ll meet individuals who are simply passionate about this medicine and recognize and understand its potential to help others. There’s also so much diversity in this industry. I work with grandmothers, former dairy farm workers, retired ‘hippies’, college students, you name it. I think it’s amazing what medical marijuana can do for so many people.”
You shared that you are a medical marijuana patient, what’s your preferred method of treatment? “I like to use vape cartridges for ease of dosage, but I’ll also use topical lotions and salves. And although THC edibles are not available in PA dispensaries, patients are allowed to cook with medical marijuana at home. So often, I’ll add a concentrate, specifically RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) to my meals. I like having a full spectrum of treatment methods. I find it’s ideal for someone like me who suffers from chronic, post-surgery back pain and anxiety.”
What’s something that most people don’t know about you? “I’m a sucker for ‘warm and fuzzy’ commercials. I’ll cry during any commercial that has an animal or an elderly couple in it. Be it insurance, car dealerships, prune juice—doesn’t matter! If it’s cute and adorable, I’m tearing up!”
We also asked Jordan to share her passion about art and the role medical marijuana has played to spark her creativity. Here’s what she had to say:
“Without a doubt, medical marijuana helps with my chronic back pain, which allows me to physically create art and enjoy my creative process. For example, when I do an acrylic pour painting, I must stand over the canvas. When I’m medicated, I can stand for longer periods of time. Likewise, it helps ease my anxiety and allows my mind to be creative. I’m not bogged down with negative thoughts, instead I feel free and inspired. For me, it’s a holistic treatment—when I feel physically well to be creative and make something special, it brings my mental health into balance as well.”
Are you one of the thousands across the state working from home, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands to the tune of happy birthday? The era of COVID-19 may feel like the world’s turned upside down, but we’re here to tell you, this too shall pass. And most importantly, we’re all in this together.
Among many unknowns, we believe one thing is certain: there’s never been a better moment to rediscover wellness. We encourage you to take this time ‘alone’ to practice self-care, reduce stress, and check-in with yourself.
To put it in terms that align with our medical marijuana products, it’s time to Chill.
Be it guided meditations or visualizations, cooking videos, podcasts, workout routines, miscellaneous quizzes, or serene nature footage—there are countless resources online that will help you achieve some much needed R&R.
We’ve pulled a few of our favorites to share with you. Use them as starting points for discovering what works best for you, and be sure to mix in your preferred medical marijuana treatment for added relief.
This 5-minute guided meditation from Goodful will leave you calm and focused:
For a more active approach to self-care and stress relief, enjoy this beginners’ flow from Alo Yoga:
Need to completely check-out and melt into a state of bliss? Watch this golden sunset time-lapse:
Nothing feeds the soul like the sound of waves crashing onto a sandy shore, right? We hope you found these videos helpful.
Remember, now is the time to focus inward, while also being mindful of the world at large. Together, let’s practice compassion, not only for ourselves but for our communities as well. Keep calm, carry on, and in moments of distress, find time to chill.
If you can’t already tell by her bright, contagious smile, Jenn is one of the most kindhearted people you will ever cross paths with. She’s truly a salt-of-the-earth wonder woman, and we are incredibly grateful to have her on our team! Read our first-ever employee interview to learn more about Jenn:
How long have you worked at Calypso, and what’s your role? “Since September 2019, Client Services Manager.”
How do you start your mornings and/or end your days at Calypso? “When I first walk in the building, I say hello to as many people as I see, maybe an exploding fist bump here and there. Spreading positive energy and connecting with people is important to me. My days end when I finish everything that needs completed. Unfinished tasks give me anxiety. I have enough of that, lol, so it calms me to complete as much as possible.”
What’s surprised you most about working in the medical marijuana industry? “The casualness, and I LOVE that! I can wear jeans and t-shirts to work and business meetings. I also realized early on that this is a hugging industry. I’m a hugger at heart. I’ve met several customers and we hugged after our first meeting. Such a great way for authentic connection.”
You shared that you are a medical marijuana patient, what’s your preferred method of treatment? “Yes, I’m a proud patient. I don’t have a preferred method of treatment because I rely on several throughout the day. Before work I use a 2:1 CBD:THC tincture. It calms the constant energy in my head that can turn into a migraine or severe tightness in my neck, yet leaves me fully capable to drive and complete my daily tasks. After work at home, depending on how my head feels, I’ll micro-dose a balanced myrcene vape. At night, just before bed, I use a high THC tincture and if need be, I’ll use a high myrcene vape to help calm me to go to bed easily and sleep through the night. I medicate to not get high. I medicate to keep my symptoms in check, and to get a good night’s sleep without waking up groggy.”
What’s something that most people don’t know about you? “I’m a pretty open book, I put who I am out there, but maybe something that doesn’t come up in most conversations is I have a worm composting bin in my basement that’s quite productive. I love the ease of vermiculture and lessening my home’s carbon footprint while providing the most nutrient dense compost to my gardens.”
Three years ago, my life changed drastically. I was hit nearly head-on around 60 mph by a vehicle that lost control and flipped my SUV to the other side of the street. I suffered a severe brain injury that left me on a roller coaster of emotions and intense daily pain from a concussion. I had horrific migraines, I couldn’t remember what I was saying from sentence to sentence, I experienced forgetfulness from room to room, I carried a fear of “doing too much” or simply being in public. I couldn’t go to hockey games or do much of anything that brought me joy.
For two years I sought treatment
and was put on many different medications with terrible side effects. When you
live with chronic pain it starts to chip away at the fabric of who you are. I
chose to take a more natural approach because I couldn’t explain, and the
doctors couldn’t explain why I was having so much difficulty with the
medications. I tried vestibular therapy, physical therapy, hyperbaric oxygen
chamber, psychiatric therapy, cognitive therapy, trauma therapy, exercise,
yoga, breathing meditation, chiropractic care, massage therapy, ANYTHING
looking for relief.
My husband saw that Calypso Enterprises was hosting a job fair in October 2018 and mentioned it to me. I went with the only intention of gathering information about the company, and when I left, I was inspired to dive deeper into understanding what medical marijuana could do to help people with a variety of ailments. Once I went down the rabbit hole learning about medical marijuana and learned there is real science behind this medicine—it wasn’t some taboo drug that was forbidden—I was committed from that moment on to learn as much as I could about the medicinal benefits this plant had to offer.
I became a medical marijuana
patient in November of 2018, and with trial and error I found products that
brought me relief. I hadn’t slept for almost two years because my brain was
stuck in this “fight or flight” state where it couldn’t shut down. It has been
a long road, but when I look back to where I was three years ago, my quality of
life has exponentially increased since using medical marijuana as my medicine.
The moral of my story is to never
give up. To this day I’m not “healed”. I still have to adjust daily to a
variety of different scenarios that affect me, but I am a fully functioning
person again. I owe much of my success to several different treatments,
lifestyle changes, and mostly being able to sleep again. Sleep is the
foundation of every day for me. My day is unbearable without it or enough of
Medical marijuana isn’t a cure for me, but it has given me a quality of life that I missed for a long time. A quality of life that allows me to be present in many of my family’s activities. I work a full-time job as the Client Services Manager for Calypso. I couldn’t be happier or more passionate to learn more every day and to help others who are ailing. I sympathize greatly with those out there that suffer. Don’t ever give up hope! Be determined to get the answers that you need and surround yourself with people that bring you joy.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be the person I used to be, and to be honest, maybe that’s a good thing. Having your life flash before your eyes and be at peace that those are the last moments you have on earth, to be alive and hug and kiss your family that night, to overcome overwhelming pain day after day for years, depression, panic attacks, and in the end, I live with a sense of gratitude every day because this has made me a better person.
We thank Jenn for bravely sharing her story. It’s both our hopes that her experience will inspire others and bring further awareness to the potential of medical marijuana.
For decades, master growers have crossbred marijuana plants into hundreds of new and exciting strains. While this created more options for users, it’s made it much more difficult to predict a strain’s effects based on its lineage or genetics. This forced users to spend much more time and money researching and experimenting to find strains that would produce the results they wanted. However, thanks to the legalization in many states and subsequent research of marijuana, there is mounting support to look at a strain’s cannabinoid and terpene profiles to best determine what effects it may have on a user – which is exactly what we have done at Calypso.
As we mentioned in our last Product Launch blog post, our products come in three unique varieties: Chill, Cruise, and Charge – which we determine by rigorous in-house and third-party testing. Through these tests, our team of experts identify which cannabinoids and terpenes are present and at what quantities to accurately predict the effects of each strain before carefully categorizing them. By doing the leg work, we help to remove much of the guesswork for our customers, making their medical marijuana experience simpler, cheaper, and more effective.
Keep in mind, plants (like humans) are always evolving and even in a controlled environment some variation between crops can occur. This means the number of cannabinoids or terpenes a strain has can vary each harvest. As quality growers we monitor our plants, testing and re-testing each harvest to ensure we provide accurate, up-to-date information to our dispensaries and patients.
Now, let’s explore Chill, Cruise, and Charge to learn the effects of each and how they can be used to provide relief for your symptoms.
Calm, relaxed, and sleepy.
Our line of Chill products includes strains with sedative effects and properties. This often involves terpenes such as linalool, myrcene, and pinene, which are known to promote relaxation or drowsiness. With sleepy euphoria and a heavy body buzz, you’re sure to unwind and drifted into a deep state of relief with this variety.
Blissful, poised, and sociable.
Our line of Cruise products includes strains with a balance of sedative and energizing characteristics. Here, you might see a wide variety of terpenes like pinene, humulene, caryophyllene, and limonene, but none is completely dominant – each concentration level is relatively even. Our cruise products offer both mind and body highs that remain mild enough to keep you comfortable and alert. It’s the versatile choice.
Euphoric, uplifted, and active.
Our line of Charge products includes strains with energizing effects and properties. When you think of Charge, think of bright citrus and fresh peppermint. Terpenes like limonene, ocimene, and terpinolene can elevate your mood and energy level. For a stimulating experience, choose Charge, and feel your mind and body elevate to new heights.
One last thing that’s important to remember is that each user is unique. In addition to a strain’s chemical profile, your unique biochemistry, tolerance, and other factors can influence your experience with medical marijuana. As you begin treatment, we recommend you record your experiences with any medical marijuana product you use, along with its effects and particular elements – such as % of THC or specific terpenes. By logging your experiences, you’ll be better equipped to determine what products or compound profiles work best for you.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more specific information about when and where you’ll be able to find Calypso’s brand-new line of medical marijuana products! You can expect to find the following types of products on the shelf very soon:
Premium Live Concentrates
Premium Vape Cartridges (in your choice of CO2 Oil or Liquid Live Resin)
When you get to the dispensary, you’ll notice that our products come in three unique varieties: Chill, Cruise, and Charge. At Calypso, we believe that the traditional, three-category system—based on indica, sativa, and hybrid strains—doesn’t fully predict what effects you may feel. So instead, our products come in Chill, Cruise, and Charge varieties that are based on terpene content we test for.
When you want to wind down, enjoy a relaxing night in, or get restful sleep, choose from Calypso’s Chill strains. Common effects users may experience with Chill strains include full body and mind relaxation as well as relief of tension and pain.
Sail through the day with a carefree mind and alert body with Calypso’s Cruise strains. Common effects users may experience with Cruise strains include a mellowed state-of-mind and mild physical relaxation, while easily remaining active and engaged.
For a boost of energy, motivation, and inspiration, get up and go with Calypso’s Charge strains. Common effects users may experience with Charge strains include an engaged creative mind with a feeling of vitality and physical energy.
Look for Calypso products in your choice of Chill, Cruise, or Charge to choose strains based on the effects that will give you the most relief.
For additional updates as we get closer to launching, give us a follow on Instagram, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our newsletter.
At Calypso, we are committed to providing our community with the tools necessary to rediscover wellness. Today we introduce the Calypso Doctors Database, a resource we’ve created to make the process of finding a doctor as simple as possible.
With our Doctors Database, we’ve done all of the legwork for you. You can find registered medical marijuana doctors in Pennsylvania, along with their locations, websites, and more. To explore all of the doctors in your area, browse doctors by region or county. If you’re looking for someone specific, you can search them by name, zip code, or specialty.
You can even get
directions or call to make an appointment using your mobile phone directly from
our website. No more scrolling through lists or stopping to jot down notes. Our
Doctors Database helps you along the process, from finding your doctor to making
your first appointment—all in one place.
From the beginning, we knew we wanted to make this the most accurate resource available. That’s why we’ve taken the time to verify the information for every doctor in our database. Whenever we find one with missing information, we’ve added an icon, so you know what to expect. Plus, for doctors who don’t have a website, we’ve added a handy link that allows you to search Google for more information.
Try our Doctors Database today to help you find the best doctor for you and jumpstart the process of registering for Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program.
We’re committed to keeping our data as accurate as possible and plan to continue adding approved practitioners and updating information regularly. Feel free to reach out to us if you find any issues. We appreciate your input as we continue to make this resource even better.
Alex Spier was a World War II veteran and a hero. After fighting against the Nazi regime with the Dutch Underground and surviving 3 years in concentration camps—including Auschwitz—he emigrated to Massachusetts to start a family. He began his new life in America as a watchmaker and eventually built a multimillion-dollar empire in realty and development. In 2017, after battling with Alzheimer’s for years, Alex died of complications from the disease.
Throughout his journey, the Spier family tried several traditional treatments, including aggressive antipsychotic and anti-seizure medications. None of it seemed to help, and some of it even made things worse.
In a last effort to help his father cope with the disease, Greg Spier decided to try treating his father’s symptoms with medical marijuana. In the last three months of his life, medical marijuana administered through granola bars finally allowed his father to rest. It was “the only thing that seemed to give him any reprieve,” says Greg Spier.
Alex’s story is not unlike many others. Today, a startling 50 million people in the world have dementia, and the numbers only continue to rise. Of those numbers, nearly 75% of patients have Alzheimer’s, while related diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s make up the rest.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) include trouble remembering recent events, mood swings and erratic behavior, impaired judgment, hallucinations, and, in later stages, difficulty swallowing, speaking, or walking. As the disease progresses, people with AD lose the ability to care for themselves. They can become delusional, paranoid, and aggressive—sometimes to the point of getting kicked out of assisted living facilities.
Bottom line, it’s miserable for everyone involved.
The causes of AD are not well understood. The Alzheimer’s Association lists several risk factors, including age and genetics, but the research is inconclusive. The medical community believes that changes within a person’s brain may be responsible, but whether nerve cell damage and death is the cause or just an effect of AD remains unclear.
With so much mystery surrounding the disease, there is currently no effective treatment that can stop or slow its progression. However, as in Alex’s case, there seem to be some promising possibilities with medical marijuana.
In one study, scientists were able to reduce brain inflammation in lab mice with cannabidiol (CBD). The study also showed CBD’s potential in reversing and preventing the cognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. And while we know that regular marijuana use can actually impair memory in young people, another study has shown it may have the opposite effect on patients with AD using it for the first time.
The therapeutic use of medical marijuana in treating AD also showed promise in research involving human subjects. One pilot study showed an improvement in the behavioral symptoms of ten patients through the use of THC/CBD oil, which led half of them to reduce or eliminate other medications.
With so much research, there is still hope for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s still unclear what role medical marijuana will play in the long-term fight against AD, but we do know, through stories like Alex’s, that it can help bring much-needed relief for patients struggling with the disease today.
The Spier Family Foundation was founded by Alex Spier to aid families and advance medical research related to Alzheimer’s. Today, the foundation supports Harvard’s McLean Psychiatric Hospital in its efforts to research the effects of medical marijuana on AD.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month. This month, Calypso encourages you to learn more about the disease and find out about the ways you can help by visiting alz.org and worldalzmonth.org.
Alzheimer’s disease is currently one of over twenty qualifying conditions in Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program, classified under neurodegenerative diseases. As with any of the approved conditions, please consult with a medical professional before treating Alzheimer’s or any related neurodegenerative disease with medical marijuana.
The Barber Beast on the Bay is a ten-mile obstacle course race and one of Erie’s most highly anticipated fundraisers. Every summer, people rally to the shores of Lake Erie to raise money for the Barber National Institute, a nonprofit that provides behavioral health and intellectual disabilities services to children and adults in Pennsylvania.
Competitors run, jump, climb, and crawl through more than 30 obstacles set up along Presque Isle State Park in support of the individuals who face their own obstacles every day. An adapted, one-mile course is also available for those ages 12 and up with disabilities.
On Saturday, nearly 1,500 participants gathered bright and early to compete, cheer, and volunteer at Barber Beast on the Bay. Among the integral group of volunteers that day was Team Calypso.
We arrived at 6:30 a.m. to check in and meet with our volunteer captain, who tasked us with directing the flow of traffic in the parking lots of the event. Because we were the first point of contact for people, we also helped guide them to where they needed to be. We received warm smiles and thanks from Beast-goers acknowledging our volunteer efforts.
Throughout the day, we watched as groups clad in team colors and T-shirts convened and made their way to registration. EMTA shuttles came in waves all morning, dropping teams off at the start of the 10-mile Beast and returning to the parking lot to pick up more. In the distance, we could see and hear participants from both courses crossing the finish line together.
The adrenaline and team spirit in the air was palpable. It was energizing to see the eager and smiling faces of every competitor, supporter, and volunteer. It was inspiring to witness people overcome strenuous challenges and terrains in support of such a great cause.
Volunteering at the Barber Beast on the Bay was an opportunity for us to connect with others working toward a common goal. We are proud to serve our community. At the end of each day, our mission is to make a difference in the lives of people around us through compassion, innovation, and excellence.
To learn more about the ways Calypso is helping to make a positive impact, click here.