It’s one of five Trulieve dispensaries to open its doors in Florida since during the coronavirus pandemic; and, amidst a time of widespread nationwide layoffs, Trulieve has hired more than 500 employees company-wide since mid-March. According to its website, Trulieve now owns 53% of market share in the state of Florida. The company reported more than $96 million in revenue in Q1 of this year, and the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Office (OMMU) reports that sales medical cannabis sales have increased since the COVID-19 crisis began.
The financial success of Trulieve, however, has not come without its challenges safely operating as an essential business in a state where coronavirus cases are rising rapidly. In this Q&A with Cannabis Dispensary, Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers shares what the company is doing to offer employees flexibility during this time; predictions of how the retail technologies quickly adapted during the pandemic will fare in a post-COVID world; as well as what this moment in history means for federal cannabis reform and adult-use legalization in Florida.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length, style and clarity.
Cassie Neiden: What does a grand opening look like in the time of coronavirus?
Kim Rivers: We’ve been deemed essential in the markets that we operate in. And the state of Florida came out pretty early with that designation. Our regulator, which is the Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use has been wonderful to work with through this unprecedented time.
They’ve worked with us to ensure that we’re able to continue to serve the essential needs of our patients in making sure we’re not able to not