“How do you give medical care to people without having a medical person on staff?”
I was just stopping in for a preroll. Maybe some edibles, as I was on the North Shore for the afternoon to visit grows and dispensaries. I didn’t know that I was walking into an informal medical appointment.
“Hi, I’m the registered nurse on staff here.”
It was something that I hadn’t seen or heard about before, probably because I hadn’t been to Cape Ann Cannabis in Rowley. As it turns out, customers there can consult with Kurt Kalker RN, a member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association who consults “on a full range of issues from pet health to Parkinson’s and all the ailments in between.”
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Kalker’s role at the dispensary stems from a simple observation he made years ago: “How do you give medical care to people without having a medical person on staff?”
“I lived in California for 25 years and there were no registered nurses in dispensaries there,” he explained.
An RN for more than two decades who has worked in cannabis for six years, Kalker does consultations at a counter in the Rowley store (as well as in the storefront of the same company’s nearby CBD shop, Cape Ann Botanicals). For more private consults, he has an office in Ipswich.
“We try to provide really good service,” he said, “a little extra.”
A lot of people come in with uncertainty about their experience with CBD products, questioning their efficacy. But Kalker asks them, What did you try?
“You really need to leave the plant in its whole form,” he said, trumpeting full-spectrum products. “The majority of the [infused edible] products we carry are full-spectrum.”
Most people come in with sleep and anxiety issues, Kalker noted. He has plenty of advice for them, starting with …
“THC will help you get down for sleep, but what we want is longevity, so we want another cannabinoid in there—either CBD, CBN, and even CBG now which is out in the marketplace. All of those in addition to THC will get you some type of sleep relief. And obviously edibles are going to last longer, so I recommend that instead of smoking.”
Looking for more health and wellness tips. Why not ask Kalker yourself? His hours are from 10am to 2pm on Monday through Friday at Cape Ann Cannabis in Rowley with additional hours at their CBD store as well.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.