Dundas cannabis education centre planned

News Jul 27, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis, expected to open sometime over the next few months at 51 Cootes Dr. in Dundas, will not sell any marijuana on site.

Operators Stephen Verbeek and Ryan Caruso call their business an education centre, where patients will be assisted through the process of acquiring and using medical marijuana.

"We're not a dispensary," said Caruso, who noted one of the things some people don't realize about medical marijuana is that dispensaries are illegal. "We have no intention of dispensing the product out of there."

Verbeek and Caruso, and their staff, will help connect potential medical marijuana users to a physician who can determine whether such medication would help them and, possibly, issue a prescription. Hello Cannabis then helps the patient sort through the dozens of licensed producers, regulated by Health Canada, to find the strain and dosage that will give them the most medical benefit. They'll also educate people on different ways of consuming the cannabis, including vaporizing and edibles.

"Cannabis as medicine is not as simple as people might think," said Caruso.

"There's a black hole of knowledge," said Verbeek, a former Dundas resident who still plays soccer locally.

Not long after an attempt at a pro career in Europe, Verbeek suffered a fall and broke several bones in one of his feet. He was in a wheelchair and prescribed the opioid Dilaudid to deal with pain. He said his dosage was enough to get a recreational heroin user high every four hours.

"I was essentially a synthetic heroin addict in the name of pain management," Verbeek said.

As a successful financial and wealth adviser, he was in a strong financial position, relatively healthy despite his injury and had strong family support, so he kicked the opioid cold turkey. But the withdrawal effects were still devastating.

Verbeek said he lost 20 pounds over four days, a period of time when he neither ate or slept. When someone suggested medical marijuana, he was willing to try it. Very quickly, he was sleeping and eating again.

Verbeek said he's still a patient, more than five years later, using medical cannabis every day. Caruso said he's also been a patient for the past three years.

It's their personal experience as patients — and learning how different strains and methods of ingestion affect the medicinal impact — that inspired their business. The name comes from their expression: "Hello Cannabis, goodbye opioids."

"Unfortunately, opioids are the first stop for pain management. They do have a place, but should not be the first stop," Verbeek said.

He's had a cannabis shipment from a federally licensed producer that was not an effective strain for his condition. It would get him high, but had no medical value. Ensuring patients have access to a useful medical product is key for the partners.

"There are specific strains and specific methods of ingestion that relieve certain types of ailments," Verbeek said, adding physicians aren't necessarily able to provide that detailed information. "That's where we come in. We connect them with a physician to assess whether they should be a patient and get a prescription if needed. We'll connect them to a licensed producer regulated by Health Canada and help them with strain selection and educate them on the ways to administer it."

He said the patient services are all covered under OHIP, and the licensed producers compensate Hello Cannabis directly, so they don't charge their clients.

Verbeek and Caruso both said they are "agnostic" about which producer their clients go to.

"We have three core values," Caruso said. "We work with licensed producers that reinvest into clinical research, have consistent supply, and consistency of the product itself."

Verbeek and Caruso believe their education centre will be a positive community resource that can help deal with an ongoing opioid crisis, while clearing up misinformation about medical marijuana and teaching patients how to get the best use out of it for their particular ailments.

While there is no set opening date, Verbeek said they hope to officially open in September, with a possible “soft opening before that."

The former Water Depot at 51 Cootes Dr. is owned by Dundas resident Dr. Allen Greenspoon. He also owns the building next door at 55 Cootes Dr., currently home to a Beer Store and temporary Dundas Library branch.

 

Dundas cannabis education centre planned

Hello Cannabis operators want to guide patients through medical marijuana

News Jul 27, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis, expected to open sometime over the next few months at 51 Cootes Dr. in Dundas, will not sell any marijuana on site.

Operators Stephen Verbeek and Ryan Caruso call their business an education centre, where patients will be assisted through the process of acquiring and using medical marijuana.

"We're not a dispensary," said Caruso, who noted one of the things some people don't realize about medical marijuana is that dispensaries are illegal. "We have no intention of dispensing the product out of there."

Verbeek and Caruso, and their staff, will help connect potential medical marijuana users to a physician who can determine whether such medication would help them and, possibly, issue a prescription. Hello Cannabis then helps the patient sort through the dozens of licensed producers, regulated by Health Canada, to find the strain and dosage that will give them the most medical benefit. They'll also educate people on different ways of consuming the cannabis, including vaporizing and edibles.

"Cannabis as medicine is not as simple as people might think," said Caruso.

"There's a black hole of knowledge," said Verbeek, a former Dundas resident who still plays soccer locally.

Not long after an attempt at a pro career in Europe, Verbeek suffered a fall and broke several bones in one of his feet. He was in a wheelchair and prescribed the opioid Dilaudid to deal with pain. He said his dosage was enough to get a recreational heroin user high every four hours.

"I was essentially a synthetic heroin addict in the name of pain management," Verbeek said.

As a successful financial and wealth adviser, he was in a strong financial position, relatively healthy despite his injury and had strong family support, so he kicked the opioid cold turkey. But the withdrawal effects were still devastating.

Verbeek said he lost 20 pounds over four days, a period of time when he neither ate or slept. When someone suggested medical marijuana, he was willing to try it. Very quickly, he was sleeping and eating again.

Verbeek said he's still a patient, more than five years later, using medical cannabis every day. Caruso said he's also been a patient for the past three years.

It's their personal experience as patients — and learning how different strains and methods of ingestion affect the medicinal impact — that inspired their business. The name comes from their expression: "Hello Cannabis, goodbye opioids."

"Unfortunately, opioids are the first stop for pain management. They do have a place, but should not be the first stop," Verbeek said.

He's had a cannabis shipment from a federally licensed producer that was not an effective strain for his condition. It would get him high, but had no medical value. Ensuring patients have access to a useful medical product is key for the partners.

"There are specific strains and specific methods of ingestion that relieve certain types of ailments," Verbeek said, adding physicians aren't necessarily able to provide that detailed information. "That's where we come in. We connect them with a physician to assess whether they should be a patient and get a prescription if needed. We'll connect them to a licensed producer regulated by Health Canada and help them with strain selection and educate them on the ways to administer it."

He said the patient services are all covered under OHIP, and the licensed producers compensate Hello Cannabis directly, so they don't charge their clients.

Verbeek and Caruso both said they are "agnostic" about which producer their clients go to.

"We have three core values," Caruso said. "We work with licensed producers that reinvest into clinical research, have consistent supply, and consistency of the product itself."

Verbeek and Caruso believe their education centre will be a positive community resource that can help deal with an ongoing opioid crisis, while clearing up misinformation about medical marijuana and teaching patients how to get the best use out of it for their particular ailments.

While there is no set opening date, Verbeek said they hope to officially open in September, with a possible “soft opening before that."

The former Water Depot at 51 Cootes Dr. is owned by Dundas resident Dr. Allen Greenspoon. He also owns the building next door at 55 Cootes Dr., currently home to a Beer Store and temporary Dundas Library branch.

 

Dundas cannabis education centre planned

Hello Cannabis operators want to guide patients through medical marijuana

News Jul 27, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis, expected to open sometime over the next few months at 51 Cootes Dr. in Dundas, will not sell any marijuana on site.

Operators Stephen Verbeek and Ryan Caruso call their business an education centre, where patients will be assisted through the process of acquiring and using medical marijuana.

"We're not a dispensary," said Caruso, who noted one of the things some people don't realize about medical marijuana is that dispensaries are illegal. "We have no intention of dispensing the product out of there."

Verbeek and Caruso, and their staff, will help connect potential medical marijuana users to a physician who can determine whether such medication would help them and, possibly, issue a prescription. Hello Cannabis then helps the patient sort through the dozens of licensed producers, regulated by Health Canada, to find the strain and dosage that will give them the most medical benefit. They'll also educate people on different ways of consuming the cannabis, including vaporizing and edibles.

"Cannabis as medicine is not as simple as people might think," said Caruso.

"There's a black hole of knowledge," said Verbeek, a former Dundas resident who still plays soccer locally.

Not long after an attempt at a pro career in Europe, Verbeek suffered a fall and broke several bones in one of his feet. He was in a wheelchair and prescribed the opioid Dilaudid to deal with pain. He said his dosage was enough to get a recreational heroin user high every four hours.

"I was essentially a synthetic heroin addict in the name of pain management," Verbeek said.

As a successful financial and wealth adviser, he was in a strong financial position, relatively healthy despite his injury and had strong family support, so he kicked the opioid cold turkey. But the withdrawal effects were still devastating.

Verbeek said he lost 20 pounds over four days, a period of time when he neither ate or slept. When someone suggested medical marijuana, he was willing to try it. Very quickly, he was sleeping and eating again.

Verbeek said he's still a patient, more than five years later, using medical cannabis every day. Caruso said he's also been a patient for the past three years.

It's their personal experience as patients — and learning how different strains and methods of ingestion affect the medicinal impact — that inspired their business. The name comes from their expression: "Hello Cannabis, goodbye opioids."

"Unfortunately, opioids are the first stop for pain management. They do have a place, but should not be the first stop," Verbeek said.

He's had a cannabis shipment from a federally licensed producer that was not an effective strain for his condition. It would get him high, but had no medical value. Ensuring patients have access to a useful medical product is key for the partners.

"There are specific strains and specific methods of ingestion that relieve certain types of ailments," Verbeek said, adding physicians aren't necessarily able to provide that detailed information. "That's where we come in. We connect them with a physician to assess whether they should be a patient and get a prescription if needed. We'll connect them to a licensed producer regulated by Health Canada and help them with strain selection and educate them on the ways to administer it."

He said the patient services are all covered under OHIP, and the licensed producers compensate Hello Cannabis directly, so they don't charge their clients.

Verbeek and Caruso both said they are "agnostic" about which producer their clients go to.

"We have three core values," Caruso said. "We work with licensed producers that reinvest into clinical research, have consistent supply, and consistency of the product itself."

Verbeek and Caruso believe their education centre will be a positive community resource that can help deal with an ongoing opioid crisis, while clearing up misinformation about medical marijuana and teaching patients how to get the best use out of it for their particular ailments.

While there is no set opening date, Verbeek said they hope to officially open in September, with a possible “soft opening before that."

The former Water Depot at 51 Cootes Dr. is owned by Dundas resident Dr. Allen Greenspoon. He also owns the building next door at 55 Cootes Dr., currently home to a Beer Store and temporary Dundas Library branch.