Tampa welcomes Curaleaf, its first medical marijuana dispensary – Tampa Bay Times


OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Cannabis operator and medical marijuana dispensary, Curaleaf, opened last week in the heart of Old Seminole Heights.

Located at 6421 N Florida Ave, Suite A, the 2,000 square foot space marks Curaleaf’s 17th Florida storefront and its fourth in the bay area joining St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and Palm Harbor.

Curaleaf serves prescribed medical patients with qualifying conditions including cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis. The medical cannabis it offers comes in capsules, oils, balms, flower pods, vape pen cartridges and more.

In addition to a prescription, patients must also present their state-issued medical ID.

Curaleaf officials say they emphasize educational outreach and ensuring patients understand their products, delivery systems and specific benefits.

This includes visiting hospitals or wellness fairs, and hosting one-on-one seminars with presentations from doctors. The dispensary will begin monthly educational events this month.

“A lot of our patients tend to be older, and even though they’re older, they’re first time users and they’re anxious about it,” said dispensary manager Yajaira Fuentes.

“They’re coming in because they’re looking for an alternative way to get off pills. With the opioid crisis, they’re looking for ways to counteract that and their doctors recommend cannabis.”

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In a world where many people use marijuana recreationally, assistant manager Elsie Rodriguez says many believe their staff are recreational users, but that’s far from the case. Curaleaf has a pharmacist and a chief medical officer on staff and trained associates.

“Everyone thinks our staff is just a bunch of potheads, but they’re trained and many come from states where it (marijuana) is legal such as Colorado, and have sports or medicine backgrounds,” Rodriguez said.

Curaleaf Seminole Heights operates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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