Trulieve eyes site for first marijuana dispensary in Davenport, opens 4th site in Orlando
By J. Kyle Foster
May 13, 2020 | 3:15 PM
Florida’s largest medical marijuana company is seeking approval from Polk County to open its first dispensary in Davenport, continuing its expansion in Central Florida and in the county.
Quincy-based Trulieve’s marijuana application cites retail space at 2500 Deer Creek Commerce Ln., just south of the Posner Park mixed-use district on U.S. 27. Built in 2018, the group of shops is situated at the Ernie Caldwell Boulevard intersection, a half mile from the I-4 interchange.
“When looking for new dispensary sites, Trulieve considers a multitude of factors, focusing on areas that are convenient for patients to access with enough parking, areas where a large percentage of patients are located, and areas where we see elevated delivery activity,” Trulieve’s Lynn Ricci told GrowthSpotter. Trulieve has an in-house real-estate team that scouts locations.
The company, which opened Florida’s first dispensary in 2016, requested a pre-application meeting with Polk County Development Review Committee. The proposal is under review and scheduled to be discussed with Trulieve representatives at the committee’s May 28 meeting, Polk County’s Thado “Nick” Hays told GrowthSpotter. Trulieve has one dispensary in Polk County located in Lakeland.
“The market in Florida continues to grow at a rapid pace and the Orlando market continues to grow with it,” Ricci said.
Trulieve opened its fourth Orlando location on May 5, making its 47th site in Florida and 49th overall.
Truelieve’s locations are among 243 cannabis dispensaries operating in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). The fast-growing company ended 2019 with over $250 million in total sales. The U.S. medical marijuana market is forecast to exceed $8 billion by 2024, according to a report issued by Market Study Report LLC in April.
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While Ricci said Trulieve doesn’t entirely focus on square footage when looking for locations, it has opened larger stores recently, including the newest Orlando location – one of its largest to date. Trulieve’s Florida offices average 2,870 square feet per site. The company, which also has locations in California and Connecticut and one planned in Massachusetts, employees 3,300 nationwide.
Trulieve, led by Jacksonville native CEO Kim Rivers, cultivates and produces all of its products in house to distribute to company-owned dispensaries, along with home delivery to patients – a part of the business that has expanded during the current Covid-19 pandemic, Rachel Rivera of VancoreJones Communications told GrowthSpotter on behalf of Trulieve.
The company won a lawsuit in 2018 challenging a 25-location cap on dispensary operators in Florida. A settlement with the Florida Department of Health gave Trulieve permission to open 49 dispensaries. The location-cap law, which had been increased to 35, expired in April. Florida’s dispensaries serve nearly 337,522 medical marijuana cardholders, according to OMMU.
Polk County has 10 dispensaries; Orlando and Orange County have 21. Medical marijuana facilities have remained open in Florida as essential services during the current Covid-19 Pandemic.