Sierra Jenkins / Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 @ 8:30 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports
(VIDEO) WOMEN’S WEED: Local Medical Collective Director Speaks on New Cannabis Products and Opportunities for Women, and Booming Business Generally
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Every day more people are becoming aware and accepting of the many uses of cannabis, and this expands the market and the selection of cannabis-related products.
In this LoCo Video Report we hear from Mariellen Jurkovich, director of the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, a medical cannabis collective in Arcata. She tells us about how the HPRC is growing, its new women’s division, her cannabis-related visions for the future and how she’s trying to help create more opportunities for women in the industry.
Jurkovich has been the director of HPRC for over a decade. The place started by just selling in-house grown bud, but now offers a vast selection of strains, concentrates and products grown and produced both locally by patients and out of the area. They’re strict on quality control, testing every product for purity. Now, with HPRC’s golden reputation and people choosing weed for relief, the collective is seeing around 250 patients per day.
“Almost every ailment someone is coming in for,” she says, “whether it’s not being able to sleep, migraines, cancer, spasticity, autoimmune diseases, or trying to stay away from pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol — it’s pretty much across the board and it seems to help a lot of people”.
Apparently weed is also a good remedy for pain associated with menstruation, PMS, menopause, and endometriosis. So companies are basing their entire product lines around women’s health. There’s everything from THC transdermal patches and CBD tinctures to cannabis-infused vaginal suppositories (oh yes, they exist).
“A lot of the new women’s lines will have added products like beta-caryophyllene or other kinds of herbs that will help — that we don’t have in our other products,” said Jurkovich. “And women are finding them to be super-helpful.” HPRC sees the lucrative potential and has invested in testing and carrying the women’s products. Jurkovich has even hired a young woman named to Naomi Atkinson to run HPRC’s new women’s division.
The business is also going to physically expand into the space next door; with a plan to provide private consultations and meet the maker opportunities for it’s patients.
“Hear their story why they wanted to get into this,” said Jurkovich. “It’s all really exciting. It makes you want to buy a product and use a product more if you hear from the person that’s doing it and why they do it for you.”
However, if HPRC’s selling the product, Jurkovich prefers it be made in Humboldt. So the center is helping support Women Cultivating Community, an up-and-coming local women’s group that shares ideas and specializes in making cannabis products.
Unfortunately when it comes to food-related cannabis products — “edibles” — local producers are having struggles due to the lack of accessible and affordable commercial kitchens. Jurkovich and the women’s group are hopeful that someone will build a commercial kitchen, possibly in Arcata’s Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone, and rent it out, similarly to how Arcata’s Foodworks culinary center operates.
“We’re going to hold on to the market if we can get them commercial kitchens and permitted,” she says.
Jurkovich also wants to open up a one-stop shop wellness center to encompass herbs, teas, yoga, acupuncture, cannabis and educational workshops. She’s thinking Eureka for that business venture.