Medical marijuana has created Erie jobs. Is recreational use next for Pennsylvania? –

Jim Martin   | Erie Times-News

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Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries ready to transition

With the passage of Proposition 207, Harvest Health and Recreation Inc. will transition into the sale of recreational cannabis.

Pennsylvania’s history with legalized marijuana is not a long one.

It’s been a little over four years since Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana. And just 30 months have passed since dispensaries began selling products to patients with medical marijuana cards.

But in that brief time, dispensary sales in Pennsylvania have topped $1 billion and the number of approved patients has surpassed 300,000.

During that time, the fledgling industry has taken root in Erie, which is home to both a dispensary and a grower-processor facility.

“Business is booming. We have seen steady sales even during COVID,” said Laura Guncheon, vice president of Erie Management Group, owner of Calypso Enterprises, which grows and processes marijuana at a facility on Downing Avenue on Erie’s east side.

“This industry is the fastest-growing industry across the United States,” she said. “It is unheard of for a business to start and almost instantly be profitable and almost instantly be considering expansion.”

But that’s exactly where Calypso finds itself.

The company, which has 90 employees in Erie, is completing a 50,000-square-foot expansion, essentially doubling the size of its facility. The completion of the project will allow the company to add an additional 60 employees.

Guncheon describes the positions as family-sustaining jobs that offer 401(k) plans and health insurance.

More: Erie’s new medical marijuana site has research ties

Rise Erie, which operates a dispensary at 2108 W. Eighth St., has seen sales grow throughout the pandemic, said Tim Hawkins, vice president of retail operations at parent company Green Thumb Industries, which operates 50 dispensaries

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