Toronto-based Liberty Health Sciences (LHS) is preparing to lease warehouse space in Orlando for its fifth delivery hub in Florida for medical-grade cannabis products, and is actively pursuing retail sites in the market to open its first storefront within the next year.
Located at 161 Drennen Road, the company plans to lease 1,200 square feet to start out for a distribution center to fulfill web-based orders from across Central Florida.
The company applied to the city last week and earned approval on Monday to use the warehouse bay for storage and distribution, as long as no direct sales to customers occur there.
Orlando will mark the fifth distribution center for LHS in Florida, from which it guarantees free delivery within 24 hours to every county in the state.
Prior to opening in Orlando, orders from this market were fulfilled by the company's delivery hub in Gainesville. The local fulfillment center should open by mid- to late September and will save LHS drivers hundreds of hours on the road per month, CEO George Scorsis told GrowthSpotter.
The company has four retail dispensaries in Florida, dubbed "Cannabis Education Centers," with the closest to Orlando currently in The Villages. But it's now pursuing storefront sites in Greater Orlando.
LHS is seeking 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of existing small-bay retail space to lease, with interest in outparcels or strip centers located in favorable geographic areas, Scorsis said.
Proper zoning is needed for a site and locations must meet city and county requirements that include minimum distances from a school or place of worship.
Growing demand for medical marijuana treatment in Central Florida has drawn four or more dispensaries to open in Orlando since last year, the latest being Curaleaf earlier this week.
And in early July, one of the nation's largest cannabis retailers in MedMen told GrowthSpotter it was scouting high-profile retail sites in Orlando for its Florida market entry.
Nearly 100,000 Floridians are active qualified medical marijuana patients as of June, and the state is adding new registrants at a pace of 3,000 per week.