Rise Erie will begin selling medical marijuana products grown and processed at Calypso Enterprises.
Medical marijuana patients are expected to line up well before Rise Erie opens Wednesday at 9 a.m. to buy the first marijuana product ever legally grown in Erie.
Marijuana flower cultivated and processed at Calypso Enterprises, 910 Downing Ave., will be available for sale at Rise Erie, the city’s only licensed dispensary.
“Not only is it a locally grown product … there is a pent-up demand across the state for flower,” said Tim Hawkins, CEO of GTI of Pennsylvania, which owns and operates Rise Erie. “The demand is much higher than the supply.”
Calypso has shipped 39 pounds of marijuana flower – enough for 624 one-ounce packages – in its initial batch of product to Rise Erie, said Laura Guncheon, vice president of the project management office at Erie management Group, which includes Calypso.
It comes six months after Calypso started growing marijuana plants for the first time and 17 months since it received a grower/processor permit from the state as part of its Medical Marijuana Program.
“This launch is over three years in the making,” Calypso President Samuel P. “Pat” Black III said in a statement. “There is a remarkable amount of hard work that has gone into making this a reality not only for Calypso, our team, and our city, but for patients in the Commonwealth who are seeking relief.”
Marijuana flower is the only product in the initial shipment, but Calypso will soon ship marijuana concentrate, which includes the most desirable part of the plant and can be used in different ways.
Eventually, Calypso will ship to other medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania, including the Rise Hermitage dispensary in Mercer County. Calypso is not permitted to sell medical marijuana at its facility.
“Rise has been a great partner,” Guncheon said. “Technically we are competitors (because Rise also is a grower/processor), but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like we are partners.”
Calypso encountered no significant issues growing its first crop of medical marijuana, Guncheon said. Harvesting started Oct. 22 and continues on a regular basis.
Marijuana products were lab tested seven different times at Calypso between harvest and shipment.
“We were pleasantly surprised at how healthy the plants were and their output,” Guncheon said. “It all goes back to our commitment to quality, including how the facility was constructed, our management procedures and how the employees perform their jobs.”
Jenn Weary-Irvin will be among the first people to buy Calypso’s medical marijuana at Rise Erie.
Weary-Irvin, Calypso’s client services manager, is permitted to use medical marijuana because of chronic pain from a motor vehicle accident.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be able to buy our product,” Weary-Irvin said. “I started using medical marijuana in November and now I am able to sleep through the night and can manage my pain much better.”
No appointments are needed to purchase medical marijuana at Rise Erie but a Medical Marijuana ID card is required.
David Bruce can be reached at 870-1736 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNbruce.