It was a grand opening in a modest setting that marked a major step in a budding industry.
Trulieve, one of seven cultivators licensed to grow and distribute marijuana in the state, opened its first South Florida storefront on Wednesday. The new location, the company’s fifth in Florida, launched inside a nondescript building in the industrial zone just east of Miami International Airport. The company has already been delivering medical marijuana to patients from other locations. Another grower, Modern Health Concepts, quietly distributes its products to patients in a limited pre-Amendment 2 program from its undisclosed headquarters in the Redland.
But following November’s vote in which 6.5 million Floridians approved expanding medical marijuana access, this is the first retail setting in Miami where patients with appropriate recommendations from their doctors can walk in, then walk out with medical pot.
Even after months of planning, Wednesday’s opening was a bit of a rush job, said CEO Kim Rivers.
The company received its certificate of occupancy from Miami-Dade County abruptly on Tuesday, she said, and wanted to open as quickly as possible. The county’s laws regulating medicinal marijuana retail outlets also require that companies open their stores within a specific time frame, she said, so Trulieve was racing against the clock.
“We were hustling to get it open as quickly as we could to meet the required deadlines,” she said.
The facility, at 4020 NW 26th St., is white with green trim and situated among rental warehouses that host car rental and signmaking businesses, with the tails of grounded planes in view down the street and the loud rumble of flights overhead booming every few minutes.
But inside, it looks like any slick new medical office. There’s a check-in counter with two computers and some chairs. Only the television screen on the wall behind the check-in counter