| Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola welcomed its newest dispensary into the fold Thursday when Curaleaf Pensacola opened at 5090 N. Ninth Ave. with its extensive selection of medical cannabis products.
Nestled between the AT&T store and the Vitamin Shoppe off of Bayou Boulevard, Curaleaf opened Thursday with a promise to educate patients and caregivers in the area as to what THC or CBD products are best suited for them.
“To me, Curaleaf is completely patient focused,” said Brandon Manuilow, Curaleaf’s Florida training manager. “We’ll take different time for different people. If someone’s new to cannabis, we’ll take as much as they need to figure out what’s best for them.”
Curaleaf sells cannabis flower and THC and CBD capsules, oil, vaporizer pen oils and more to prescribed patients, who, Manuilow said, can typically be in and out of the store with their cannabis less than two weeks after their doctor’s recommendation.
“Doctors can make an evaluation, have that conversation with you as a patient, then determine if medical cannabis is a good idea for you,” Manuilow said Wednesday. “If they do determine that, you fill out a couple of things with the state, and then it’ll take about five to 10 days to get your medical card. Then you can come in, it’s that easy.”
Curaleaf will open with more than 30 products available in store, with edibles likely joining the inventory either at the end of this year or in early 2021. Top-selling brands include Select Elite, with its vape cartridges and live oil, and Rick Simpson Oil.
“It’s in the diversity of product selection that I really think the patient experience and patient wellness live,” Manuilow said. “At the end of the day, every dispensary sells THC and CBD. The trick is determining how it fits into somebody’s lifestyle.”
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Manuilow gave the hypothetical example of a 35-year-old mother who had become a patient with Curaleaf and felt she could benefit from cannabis, but didn’t want to smoke around her kids. He said that type of product personalization is what Curaleaf specializes in.
“That’s what we do, is have that intimate conversation with someone to find out what their lifestyle is like and what their needs are, and make a recommendation based on that,” Manuilow said. “‘So, OK, you like the full flower effect but your children are here and you don’t want them to smell that, no problem. I’m going to show you a live resin Select pen because it’s the closest thing to flower as you can get to medicine. But it’s vapor so it’s not going to stick to your clothes or hang out in the air.”
In Florida, a patient must be diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions to qualify to receive marijuana or a marijuana delivery device:
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed above
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
- Chronic nonmalignant pain, or pain that is caused either by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition
Curaleaf opened another Panhandle area store in Panama City this week, meaning it now operates 33 dispensaries in Florida — its largest market in the U.S. — and 95 dispensaries nationwide.
The new dispensary is open from 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Wednesdays.
Jake Newby can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8538.