Marijuana listening tour to visit Washington, Greene Counties on February 18-19

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Maitri Medicinals CEO Corinne Ogrodnik at Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary. Photo by Matt Dayak.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Maitri Medicinals CEO Corinne Ogrodnik at Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary. Photo by Matt Dayak.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has announced stops next week in Washington and Greene Counties as part of his statewide marijuana listening tour. Fetterman has committed to visiting each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to get public input on the possibility of Pennsylvania legalizing recreational use of marijuana, also known as adult use.

In a news release announcing Fetterman’s listening tour, Gov. Tom Wolf said, “More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, especially those surrounding Pennsylvania, and we should learn from their efforts, and better understand the potential fiscal impacts of this reality before taking any collective action.”

The times and locations of next week’s events are below. Maitri encourages those who are able to attend and make your voice heard on this important issue. Those who cannot attend can submit feedback online at www.governor.pa.gov/recreational-marijuana-feedback/.

Washington County 
Monday, February 18, 2019
6-7:30 PM
The CENTER on Strawberry
59 E Strawberry Ave
Washington, PA 15301

Greene County
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
6-7:30PM
Waynesburg University
Alumni Hall (3rd floor of Miller Hall)
51 West College Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370

Erik Asher: From Disabled Veteran to Medical Marijuana Trailblazer

Erik Asher waiting outside Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary at the grand opening. Photo by Matt Dayak.

Erik Asher waiting outside Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary at the grand opening. Photo by Matt Dayak.

On Saturday, January 26, hours before the Maitri Medicinals grand opening in Pittsburgh, one passionate medical marijuana patient was determined to be the first through the dispensary’s doors. He arrived at Maitri hours before the ribbon was cut. He greeted Maitri CEO Corinne Ogrodnik and her team, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, and several fellow patients who had begun to line up. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. A disabled veteran and passionate marijuana advocate, this is Erik Asher’s story.

Life after Desert Storm

When Erik got out of the US Army in 1992 after fighting in Desert Storm, he was experiencing a range of health challenges, including PTSD, depression and many physical ailments.  By 1994, he ended up homeless, and sought refuge in the old VA on Highland Drive, where they began treating him.

“I was on tons of pills—opiates, antidepressants, you name it. And yet I still felt terrible; nothing was improving.”

His health continued declining through the 90s until he started self-medicating with cannabis. At this point, he had moved to Florida, and it was there his real cannabis journey took off. He became an advocate, and even participated in Florida’s legalizing Amendment 2, their medical program.

A new beginning in Pennsylvania

Erik Asher and his father, J Asher. Both are disabled veterans and proud MMJ patients.

Erik Asher and his father, J Asher. Both are disabled veterans and proud MMJ patients.

In 2016, Erik returned to Pittsburgh, just in time for the state’s legalization of Act 16. J Asher, Erik’s father, was also a veteran, having served in the US Marine Corps in the 1960s. He and Erik shared many of the same symptoms. J inspired Erik to get his card, and overtime, Erik went from being on 10 different medications to just two.

“I haven’t had to take an opiate or anti-anxiety pill since becoming a medical marijuana patient. I can’t overstate how dramatically cannabis has improved my life.”

Erik eventually translated this passion into work. He began studying solventless extraction and discovered he had an aptitude for it.

“As a disabled vet I don’t work, but I don’t want to sit around doing nothing. Becoming a part of this program has honestly given me a new purpose. I love promoting the health benefits and freedoms it offers people.”

Erik says his favorite strains tend to be heavier indicas because of their effects on his arthritic pains and insomnia. He loves Afghan Double Chunk, Dark Blue Dream and many of the OG strains because of the pain relief they offer.  

Why Maitri?

Erik making the first ever purchase at Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary. Also pictured: Maitri Patient Advisor Robert Fazzolare.

Erik making the first ever purchase at Maitri’s Pittsburgh dispensary. Also pictured: Maitri Patient Advisor Robert Fazzolare.

Erik first heard about Maitri’s Uniontown location from a friend who had noticed the large flower selection on the menu.

“I went online to look at your menu and my jaw dropped. I couldn’t pass it up! On New Year’s Eve, I made the drive to Uniontown, and when I experienced the environment, between the staff and the design and the prices on the menu, I couldn’t believe it.

More than anything, it’s the amazing group of people working for you—in both locations—that set you apart. This is what I feel makes or breaks a dispensary: the staff. No one ever rushes me at Maitri. I always feel valued and important. This is what distinguishes Maitri the most in my eyes.”

Maitri thanks Erik and J for sharing their stories with our community. 

Learn more about Erik

Follow Erik on YouTube to learn more about his medical marijuana journey.

On Saturday, February 23, Erik is teaching a class on solventless extraction at the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Education Center at 2112 Penn Avenue. He will discuss solventless extraction methods with interested individuals and share his techniques for extracting the highest yield possible from approved Act 16 materials.

 

Pittsburgh Grand Opening Announcement

GRAND OPENING ANNOUNCEMENT

We are thrilled to announce our grand opening is this Saturday, 1/26/19. Doors open at 10am at 5845 Centre Avenue.

PARKING

Maitri is pleased to offer free parking to our patients two lots down from our dispensary at 5803 Centre Avenue. Look for the lot with the big grey building. See the below image.

PREPARING FOR YOUR VISIT

To expedite your visit, we recommend downloading and filling out the Patient Intake Form and Consent Form prior to arrival.

APPOINTMENTS AND PATIENT REGISTRATION

While appointments are not required, we strongly recommend those who are new to medical marijuana call ahead at 412.404.7464 to schedule an appointment with one of our pharmacists.

HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY

Maitri staff are happy to assist patients with special needs. Patients can be dropped off in the loading zone in front of the dispensary and a Maitri team member will assist them into the building. Please call ahead at 412.404.7464 for more information.

Centre Ave Parking Graphic-R1.jpg

Pennsylvania Department of Health Application to Submit New Conditions to Qualify Patients for Medical Marijuana

Members of the public, and physicians, can now petition the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board to add new qualifying conditions for patients to access medical marijuana.

Read the official announcement from the office of Governor Tom Wolf here.

Download the application to submit to the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board here.