For many of us, when a loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, our initial instinct is to do all that we can do to help them and make their lives easier. For Jay Meistrell, a self-proclaimed “risk mitigator,” this meant looking at each and every option that would help his wife diagnosed with a painful chronic condition, whether it could be considered traditional or natural. When he realized his wife could be helped in a different environment, he not only moved his family there, but built a very full life, and several businesses around it.
Relevant lyrics from singer Tori Amos, “healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” relate to the digging that led Meistrell to start his two latest business ventures, TropiZen and Encanna. He has perpetually fanned the flames of his entrepreneurial spirit throughout his career,which serendipitously led him to move to Puerto Rico, where he found a wealth of potential employees, and a territory saddled with debt. Despite the odds, Meistrell was not deterred from his commitment to helping his family, as well as give back to a place he has grown to love.
His personal best practices, in business and at home, have always been to “take very large risks to make life better for those around me.” So, when his wife could no longer get the relief she needed for her chronic condition, this meant finding another solution for her – which he eventually found in medical marijuana. “My wife tried everything for her chronic pain and, as many have found out, opioids are not a good solution. In fact, they cause more problems than they solve. Cannabis is often an alternative that works to decrease the need for these types of prescription drugs. The precise dosage, strain, and deliver method is very personal and requires guidance from a real professional.”
Coincidentally, at the same time his wife began to get relief, medical marijuana became legal in Puerto Rico and Meistrell forged his plan – open a manufacturing and distribution company, along with a dispensary. Just like more traditional businesses, which could employ a number of Puerto Ricans that were out of work, but had the proper skills to do the jobs he needed done – from construction to growing to distribution and so much more, Meistrell made it a priority to make a significant contribution to the lives of others.
Putting his business degree and extensive experience to work, he has built an organization focused on helping people improve the quality of their lives – whether it be through providing employment or making natural solutions for their medical issues readily available. He has stayed true to himself, and his beliefs, every step of the way. “Since we see cannabis as being more and more widely accepted, with quality medical studies backing up the results, we are already working with doctors doing additional studies here in Puerto Rico.”
TropiZen has also partnered with some of the world’s most preeminent brands to ensure their products are available across the United States. In his quest to keep his both his flavors and his business culture Puerto Rican, he has hired a private chef to create specifically Puerto Rican products for his dispensary, Encanna, and is using produce grown locally on old family farms. Once again, enhancing the Puerto Rican economy. At every step of the way, Meistrell is honoring Puerto Rican culture. “Puerto Rico is unique and it has a holistic history of its own,” says Meistrell. “One thing that makes us different, and that I am very proud of, is that we are using traditional Puerto Rican recipes and healing remedies that those outside of Puerto Rico may not be aware of. We feel it’s so important to focus on what makes Puerto Rico so special and share it with the world.”
From the produce he sources locally for his products (including guava, coconut, mango, and passion fruit) to his tinctures, which are formulated for pain, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation, TropiZen has made it a best practice to incorporate herbal extracts which are unique to the island. This includes quenepa, a delicious local fruit, containing tryptophan, as well as rare tropical cannabis strains designed to treat pain. In short, this company’s best practices are to create healthy products, provide resources for individual education, as well as to to help enable anyone who desires to enhance their quality of life, to do so. For Meistrell and his wife, it comes down to “helping others who may not know where to turn to learn about natural ways to solve their chronic medical issues. In doing so, we can all take steps to better our lives, as well as those around us.”