On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, Curaleaf, a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, opened Curaleaf Jacksonville San Jose, marking the company’s 100th dispensary nationwide.

 

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AUTHOR: Heather Allman

PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT

 

Stay Tuned to Curaleaf: Yesenia Garcia, Vice President of Marketing, Discusses 100th Dispensary Opening, Milestones Reached, and Future Plans

 

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, Curaleaf, a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, opened Curaleaf Jacksonville San Jose, marking the company’s 100th dispensary nationwide. This new dispensary is one of four new dispensaries the company has opened or plans to open in Florida, which is one of the country’s fastest-growing medical cannabis markets. Earlier in the month of February, Curaleaf opened new locations in St. Petersburg and Bradenton, with West Palm Beach tentatively slated to open on March 12, 2021. 

By the end of Feburary, Curaleaf’s footprint expanded to 36 dispensaries in Florida and 101 nationwide. Additionally, Curaleaf is expanding its cultivation capacity to meet the increased statewide demand for medical cannabis. This continued growth will add over 40 new jobs to the state, creating valuable economic opportunities in surrounding communities.

CURALEAF PRESS RELEASE:

Curaleaf Celebrates the Grand Opening of its 100th National Retail Location — The country’s largest cannabis operator continues to expand its retail footprint, opening four new dispensaries in Florida in February

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) (“Curaleaf” or the “Company”), a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, today announced the opening of Curaleaf Jacksonville San Jose, its 100th dispensary nationwide. The opening of Curaleaf Jacksonville San Jose, located at 9760 San Jose Blvd, follows the recent opening of Curaleaf St. Petersburg North, and is the second of four new dispensaries that Curaleaf plans to open in Florida this month, one of the country’s fastest-growing medical cannabis markets.

By the end of February, Curaleaf’s planned footprint will include 36 dispensaries in Florida and 101 nationwide. “Reaching 100 dispensaries nationwide is a remarkable milestone and Curaleaf is honored to be a trusted source for high quality cannabis products and education for patients in Florida and communities across the country,” said Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf. “As the Florida medical program continues to grow, Curaleaf’s expansion in the state will create jobs and better serve patients by providing more convenience and access to the critical services and products they need.”  

As part of the company’s strategic expansion, Curaleaf plans to increase its cultivation capacity to support the increased demand statewide for its cannabis brands and products. This continued growth aims to add over 40 new jobs to the state, creating valuable economic opportunities in surrounding communities. In addition to its two new locations in Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Curaleaf Bradenton (2605 Cortez Rd West), located on the west side of the state, will be the first to open in Manatee County, and is planned to open tomorrow, February 11th. The largest of the new dispensaries, measuring at a sprawling 4,699 square feet, Curaleaf West Palm Beach (6835 Okeechobee Blvd) plans to open this Friday, February 12th.

Select Elite Live, a high quality, high potency Curaleaf oil with a wide variety of strain-specific flavor and effects, quickly became a record-breaking best-selling product in the state reaching $1 million in sales in its first month in the market.

 

On February 10, 2021, Cannabis Law Report talked with Yesenia Garcia, Vice President of Marketing at Curaleaf, about this exciting company milestone and the brand’s future plans for expansion and for the communities they serve.

 

Yesenia Garcia, Vice President of Marketing at Curaleaf

 

Cannabis Law Report: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Yesenia.

Yesenia Garcia, Curaleaf: Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Curaleaf and our exciting Florida expansion. 

 

CLR: I’d like to talk to you about your new dispensary in Jacksonville —which is officially open. From reading through the press release, I understand you have 37 open dispensaries in Florida and will have 102 open nationwide by year’s end, if all goes to plan. Tell me a little bit about that journey that’s brought you to this 100th dispensary opening.

Yesenia Garcia, Curaleaf: We’re definitely excited to have such a large footprint across the country —not that I’m being biased, but I am a little bit. I’m excited that we were able to open new stores here in Florida, which is definitely one of our key markets, and decided to, once again, expand our footprint and our responsibility to provide consistent, quality medical cannabis to our base.

 

CLR: Speaking of the market, COVID has, of course, changed a lot of company and consumer behaviors. What sort of trends and shifts have you seen at Curaleaf in yoCLRur stores, and especially in your stores in Florida?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: When COVID hit, a major shift in critical thinking behavior and things like that —and I want to say that lasted about two or three months, where patients were ‘stocking up,’ for lack of a better description, and it was in part a fear of things like cannabis dispensaries getting shut down and in part the patients worrying about not having accessibility to their medicine.

I do think that the State of Florida definitely did the right thing by permitting us to be an essential business, and as an essential business, we were able to stay open during the pandemic and serve our communities.

Due to that, we definitely shifted the way we do business right away. For example, we were the first ones to go fully curbside and just offer free statewide delivery, which we have not taken away.

Although we did, obviously, continue traditional indoor dispensary sales, curbside is still an option for any immunocompromised patient or for any patient that thinks ‘Going inside just doesn’t feel comfortable for me.’

By coupling that accessibility with no minimum limit required for free delivery or curbside orders, it allows for us to continue to serve those patients who feel more comfortable and safe placing orders at home or staying in their cars. 

 

CLR: I agree. I think that by deeming cannabis an essential business, it also started paving the way towards some federal guidance and legislation that we’re now looking at happening sooner rather than later possibly.

Yesenia, Curaleaf: Definitely. I mean cannabis being recognized as essential was very important. It was important to us as a company, and to our team who is here to really serve our patient community on a daily basis. So, you know, we’re glad that cannabis was recognized that way: as essential. 

 

 

 

CLR: Right, and I do know that the Curaleaf company as a whole is extremely responsible when it comes to corporate social responsibility, but more so, positive impact.

 

 

Can you tell me a little about what you plan to do in some of those new communities that you’ll be serving with these new locations?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: Of course. We usually do something in conjunction with the launch of a new dispensary — for this one specifically, unfortunately we didn’t have anything right now, but we are looking to partner with a few different organizations, whether it’s with specific groups based on Florida’s qualifying conditions, or anything within the minority space. 

So just stay tuned on that positive impact part, because we are currently working on a few different efforts.

 

CLR: That’s wonderful to hear because as you said, it’s such a growing market and it’s very competitive. However, I think that Curaleaf in Florida right now is ranked number three in sales as of February 26, 2021. At Curaleaf, you’re always very stable in the marketplace and I think that has quite a bit to do with your willingness to give back to those patients and communities that you serve.

Yesenia, Curaleaf: Honestly, we have no further or better goal from there. We do try to engage with the community as a whole, whether it is the cannabis community.

So we’ve done everything from a beach cleanup to Feeding America to working with groups of patients with shared qualifying conditions, and our patient base specifically.

Our main goal is just showing up as a true member of the community and being involved and invested. 

 

CLR: How does it feel to be opening this 100th store? This is a big milestone for Curaleaf and the footprint that you’re leaving and I’m very excited for you. Was this intentional, to open these stores in a row in Florida? How long has this been in the works as far as the planning?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: Opening days are always moving targets in this industry, but we’ve pretty much been targeting towards opening in February for a good month or two now.

It’s really just about making sure that it’s the right time and right patient perspective too. Our CEO, Joe Bayern, likes to say that we’re currently experiencing a ‘green wave of acceptance’ and we’re riding that wave. 

 

It’s about having the appropriate interviews and inventory to be able to open a dispensary right. 

 

The last thing we want is to bring in patients and not be able to offer them our complete selection, so we wanted to make sure that when we showed up in Florida, we showed up with our best foot forward.

 

CLR: I really think the location in Pensacola was a good addition to round out some of the other dispensaries that aren’t offering some of the same delivery routes or products.

Once we got edibles in Florida, for example, Curaleaf was one of the first companies to come out with the sublingual tablets, so I do think that you were first on that edibles front. What challenges have you encountered getting this dispensary operational and meeting with each other to discuss the openings during these unprecedented circumstances?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: It is obviously a very highly regulated industry, so you know there’s a lot of checks and balances that have to take place. But it’s just part of our standard business operations, honestly, so there’s nothing that has been outside of the norm for us. 

 

 

CLR: I really like to hear that. I’m excited about your cultivation plans. Can you tell me a little about that?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: I can’t get into too many details right now, but we’re definitely moving forward. Mount Dora is under expansion and I just finished touring it about three weeks ago. It’s looking fantastic, and we have a new Head Grower, and we’re just excited about everything we’re bringing to the market. 

Down at Homestead, we’re expanding and adding necessities in that facility. Our processing facility is also expecting the construction to be done for that in May. So there’s a lot to come. 

 

CLR: You’ve added in so many new jobs and you have learned so much to offer to those communities that you will end up serving, in many ways. I think it’s a really good footprint to start, as you said, putting your best foot forward in Florida.

What advice could you possibly offer to others out there to help their teams thrive during this market that is very frenetic right now, in a time where things are always changing?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: I definitely think that this is an industry that is not a ‘one size fits all,’ and as long as we can all keep that in mind, we are benefiting ourselves as business people or companies and, more importantly, benefiting the patients we serve.

You know, medicine works very differently for different people and being cognizant of that I think is the key to success.

 

CLR: Well, personally, I can’t give enough props to your store in Pensacola. The team there is fantastic and they work together very well, and I think that what you’re doing with opening the stores right in a row, so the next dispensary openings that are planned are in what cities exactly?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: We had Jacksonville San Jose open today, and we’ll be bringing more to the public towards the end of the month.

 

CLR: Okay, that sounds like you’re heading towards that 37 mark by the end of February at a good pace and you’re doing it the right way. You did bring up compliance earlier and I know that Curaleaf is very cognizant of the intricacies of the cannabis industry —and especially in Florida— and cognizant of the market.

I mean there’s a lot that changes very rapidly in this industry. Is there anything that you would like to add about Curaleaf and about your new offerings in this area, and the communities you serve or will be serving very soon?

Yesenia, Curaleaf: More than anything, I’d like to say ‘stay tuned to what we have coming in the next few months because we are launching a new Select product in the month of March.’ 

So adding to the Select portfolio within the state of Florida is definitely exciting. One of the products that we’ll be launching is Select Squeeze and that will be a national product launch. But, you know, again, that will happen when we can. 

When we can expand our portfolio, it’s a great win-win situation for everyone. Just stay tuned for what we’re doing on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) side, and not just in Florida. There’s much to come in what the company is doing as a whole with minorities, diversity, equity and many other aspects of what makes a successful business be supportive right back to the communities it serves.

 

CLR: I will stay tuned because I’m very excited to see what you guys are going to be working on. Thank you so much for your time today, Yesenia.

Yesenia, Curaleaf: Thank you for the opportunity.

 

FURTHER READING FOR CONTEXT:

 

ABOUT CURALEAF HOLDINGS, INC.:

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) (“Curaleaf”) is a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, with a mission to improve lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption. As a vertically integrated, high-growth cannabis operator known for quality, expertise and reliability, the company and its brands, including Curaleaf, Select and Grassroots, provide industry-leading service, product selection and accessibility across the medical and adult-use markets. Curaleaf currently operates in 23 states with 100 dispensaries, 23 cultivation sites and over 30 processing sites, and employs over 3,800 team members across the United States. Curaleaf is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol CURA and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol CURLF. For more information please visit Curaleaf online.