Introducing the Soulful Cannabis Language Matters Series
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Language matters.   In areas where there are deep-grooved stories of danger, mis-trust and trouble, our language often reflects that.   At Soulful Cannabis, we are seeking to promote a re-imagining of how the world thinks about cannabis.   How we think about something follows from how we talk about something.  Pot, weed, dope, ganja and marijuana are all slang terms for cannabis.   Cannabis is the botanical name of the plant.   All of the other names were assigned by street culture and then mis-assigned by law enforcement authorities and government officials seeking to prohibit access to the plant.  Today, the language used around cannabis has been used to perpetuate a propaganda campaign to continue prohibition of the plant. This plant seems to provide numerous health and wellness benefits to a wide range of people.   Its time that our language changes to properly reflect the truth behind the plant.  Follow this thread for our Soulful Cannabis Language Matter series.  We’ll be tagging our “Language Matters” blog posts in the category section. 

What is the “best version” of the cannabis industry?
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Just what does it mean to “help the cannabis industry be the best version of itself”? Soulful Cannabis is meant to be a resource to anyone working in or around the cannabis industry.   Although we are “thinking globally”,  we are “acting locally” and since our roots are in PA, just outside of Philadelphia, that’s where we’re starting.  At Soulful Cannabis, we believe that the most important stakeholder is the patient. After the patient, other key stakeholders include those who serve the patient’s needs: the prescribing physicians, caregivers, the dispensaries that stock the medical cannabis, and the grower-processors who grow and distribute medical cannabis products. The State of Pennsylvania and the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Office also play a huge role. Additionally, local towns and boroughs across the state are wrestling with this new business model in their midst. In essence,  everyone living in PA is a stakeholder in this newly emerging medical cannabis marketplace.   Communities where medical cannabis is sold and grown will be affected by this emerging marketplace.   Soulful Cannabis was established to help this emerging industry […]

Soulful Cannabis Visits Harrisburg – a PA MMJ Program Update
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Soulful Cannabis attended the August 14,  Quarterly 2019 Medical Marijuana Adivsory Board meeting, chaired by Dr. Rachel Levine, PA’s Secretary of Health.   Skip Shuda, co-founder of Soulful Cannabis, made the trek out to listen in on the quarterly meeting and join select Department of Health (DOH) team members for a patient focus group following the meeting. During that meeting, John Collins, Director of PA’s Office of Medical Marijuana, provided an update on the Pennsylvania Program.  The numbers are impressive, indicating a healthy start to the program: The first sale took place on Feb. 15, 2018.  All of the statistics below are since the program began 18 months ago. PA Patient Statistics: 200,000 registered 180,000 certified 121,000 actively visiting dispensaries 50.5% of patients are in the program are certified due to chronic pain Roughly 3,000 patients have been newly added due to the anxiety condition being recently added to the program.   Approximately 1,000 new patients are being added weekly, with a growth rate similar to that of chronic pain (an original condition in the program). PA Caregiver Statistics: 20,000 registered caregivers […]

Can Cannabis Help My Child with Autism?
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One recent study in Israel has showed promising results.  The authors state in their published report: “Cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders patients appears to be well-tolerated, safe and seemingly effective option to relieve symptoms, mainly: seizures, tics, depression, restlessness and rage attacks. The compliance with the treatment regimen appears to be high with less than 15% stopping the treatment at six months follow-up. Overall, more than 80% of the parents reported at significant or moderate improvement in the child global assessment.” The full report can be found here.  Two other studies on Cannabis and Autism are currently underway. One is taking place at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and is seeking to determine if CBD provides therapeutic benefit to children on the autism spectrum.  The second study , conducted through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, seeks to track the number of children on the ASD spectrum who are using cannabis, and to provide standardized dosing guidance.  So, if you are researching cannabis as an option for your child with autism, where do you […]

Soulful Caregivers Program Launches in PA!
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Soulful Cannabis™ launches the Soulful Caregiver Program; Improving Medical Marijuana Access for Homebound Patients  MEDIA, PA —  Pennsylvania non-profit organization Soulful Cannabis has launched its Soulful Caregiver program, with medical cannabis training and education and a certification program for patient caregivers, after completing a successful pilot program in PA.  This program provides free training to prospective caregivers in the PA Medical Marijuana program.   Caregiving services are provided free of charge to homebound patients, cancer patients and people seeking guidance in navigating the wide product options available to patients in the PA medical cannabis market.    Julia Kline, RN and co-founder of Soulful Cannabis states, “The goal is to provide best-in-class education, guidance and financial support to potential caregivers so they can safely and effectively obtain and deliver this medicine to patients.   Many of our program patients would not have access without a caregiver. “ As long as sponsor funds are available, the program reimburses Soulful Caregivers for their registration fee and background check.  They also provide a $50 gas card to caregivers who are traveling to help patients.  “A healing […]

Which Cannabis Companies are Stepping Up?
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In our home state of Pennsylvania, we are watching for the leaders who are stepping up in the cannabis industry.    Since the program was signed into law in 2016 by Governor Tom Wolf, the state has awarded the first 25 Grower-Processor permits and 50 Dispensary permits.   With recent additions to the program, the Philadelphia Inquirer lamented, “Big Marijuana tightens grip, receives most new Pa. dispensary permits.”   Of course, big is not necessarily bad. As the 2018 season of giving is in full swing, its worth exploring which marijuana businesses in the area are working to help others, provide a hand up and morally supporting the community. Some note-worthy examples are showing up: Example #1: We find a local dispensary, Terra Vida Holistic Centers, whose team spent a good part of Christmas Day working to feed the homeless in Camden, NJ. Example #2: Earlier this year, after the tragic and senseless synagogue shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, four PA cannabis companies banded together to provide a common statement on the tragedy.   Here is the joint statement […]

Medical Marijuana and Mental Health: We Need to Know More
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As an advocate for medical cannabis, I have to admit that there seems to be a very good reason for these condition omissions. Despite popular belief and anecdotal evidence, psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals actually know very little about the therapeutic effects of marijuana. The relationship between cannabis and mental disorders is little known because there has not been much research available to better understand the association. Some research results are favorable for MMJ use for depression and mania, while other studies were not favorable to the cannabis cause. Studies have linked marijuana use to increased risk for psychiatric disorders, including psychosis (schizophrenia), depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Through my own personal MMJ research, the flower in my mind continues to ease and heal my mental and physical health. And it works for millions of others. The Marijuana Policy Project estimates that more than 2.8 million people in the United States are using marijuana as medicine. Recreational use is even higher, with more than 22.2 million users. With or without the science to justify self-medicating, according to the […]

Soulful Caregivers Program – Credo
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We commit to: 1) Listening to patients and helping them choose the medical cannabis options that will provide the most relief in the most affordable way 2) Maintaining an understanding of the dispensary products available 3) Ensuring full and complete custody of, and securing all medical cannabis from point of purchase to patient delivery 4) Providing services to the patient population without any fee or expectation of compensation from the patient 5) Agreeing in advance with patient on how product purchase and reimbursement will be handled 6) Supporting our Caregiver’s Circle by participating in Facebook forum conversations 7) Encouraging patients to effectively communicate with their dispensary “Pharmacist or Physician in Charge” regarding their medical cannabis use and its effects  The Soulful Caregivers Circle reviewed and approved this Credo (Version 1.0) on July 17, 2019. Modified on August 28, 2019 based on feedback from the Soulful Caregiver’s Circle meeting on August 22, 2019.

Soulful Caregivers Program Coming to New Jersey
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Soulful Cannabis has been busily developing its Soulful Caregivers Program(TM) in Pennsylvania for several months.   The program enrolls volunteer caregivers to assist homebound patients, seniors and those seeking assistance with medical cannabis.   The program provides training, registration reimbursement and a gas card to Soulful Caregivers willing to help those in need without compensation (patients reimburse caregivers for their medicine). Now, through a generous sponsorship by Ethos Cannabis, the Soulful Caregivers Program is rolling out in New Jersey. If you’d like to be considered for the Soulful Caregivers Program, please sign up here.  On October 30, 2019 Soulful Cannabis will be presenting at a table with the South Jersey Women Grow event in Cherry Hill, NJ.    The event will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about Soulful Cannabis and our upcoming Soulful Caregivers Program in New Jersey. “The medical cannabis program in PA holds promise for so many people in physical distress.   Seniors, cancer patients, home-bound patients and patients worried about how best to use medical cannabis need informed caregivers to assist them.  Soulful Cannabis is working […]

Talking About Cannabis as Medical Marijuana Advocates
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Karilen Mays, Soulful Cannabis contributor Cannabis or marijuana? Which one is right? In our introductory post we touched on some of the thinking behind this series and some of the terminology around medical cannabis, more commonly known as medical marijuana. It is worth recapping that the term cannabis refers to the botanical or formal name of the plant. All other names, including marijuana have historically come from cultural creations, often with negative connotations. From our original Language Matters post: “Pot, weed, dope, ganja and marijuana are all slang terms for cannabis.   Cannabis is the botanical name of the plant. All of the other names were assigned by street culture and then mis-assigned by law enforcement authorities and government officials seeking to prohibit access to the plant.  Today, the language used around cannabis has been used to perpetuate a propaganda campaign to continue prohibition of the plant.” The state of Pennsylvania itself in law defines its program as a “Medical Marijuana” program, but does not formally define marijuana. Are you curious about marijuana or cannabis? Why does the state itself […]

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Partners with Soulful Cannabis
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Soulful Cannabis Announces Pennsylvania Institute of Technology as Sponsor MEDIA, PA (September, 2020): Soulful Cannabis is excited to announce Pennsylvania Institute of Technology as a sponsor of Soulful Cannabis.  The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) has joined as a 2020 sponsor of Soulful Cannabis, allowing Soulful Cannabis to pursue its programs of cannabis education, access, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). P.I.T. has launched its cannabis studies program providing associate degrees in Cannabis Business and Cannabis Health Therapy with a new virtual option to attend using FLEXPIT anywhere in the U.S.      Lou Giannotti, Director of Cannabis Studies at P.I.T., states “The Cannabis Health Therapy and Cannabis Business programs provide our students with the knowledge required to succeed in this exciting new industry. Graduates will be qualified to pursue careers as Dispensary Wellness Guides, Dispensary Managers, Wholesale Product Specialists, Grower/Processors, Extractors, and many yet to be determined career paths in the cannabis industry. This program has been created to provide the cannabis industry with the qualified employees they require to meet the rapidly growing Medical Cannabis and CBD Programs in Pennsylvania.” […]

A Snapshot of PA Dispensary Discounts
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by Stasia DeMarco Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The number of companies dispensing medical cannabis is growing rapidly with multiple locations across the state. One thing for sure is that medical marijuana is quite expensive, and it cannot be used as a write-off on taxes under medical expenses.  While the pricing is different at each dispensary, to offset the high cost, some dispensaries offer daily discounts to certain parts of the population in the state (i.e., veterans and seniors are just two examples). Different dispensaries also participate in a variety of Loyalty Rewards Programs and offer special sales on select products. Below is a list of the dispensaries operating in PA, their multiple locations and their discount programs for patients.  While we tried to be comprehensive, we cannot guarantee that this is a complete list.  If you see missing or incorrect information or missing dispensaries, please email us at info@soulfulcannabis.com with updates.   Thank you!  NOTE: most dispensaries provide “clearance sales” and spot-light product discounts.  These sales change frequently.  You’ll need to contact or check […]