(l-r) Peter Gallagher, Insa co-founder and CEO, and Patrick Gottschlicht, co-founder and COO

By Vanessa Orr

Since Insa first entered the South Florida market in late 2020, the company has been working on building out its vertically integrated operation by establishing a growing facility and manufacturing operation in Polk County. In August 2022, it opened its first store in Tampa, FL, followed by a second store in Clearwater, FL in early October.

“Our goal is to open 10 stores throughout the balance of this year, most of which are at various stages of construction at this point,” said Insa cofounder Patrick Gottschlicht. “This includes opening stores in Orlando, Lake Placid and Tallahassee in November; and in Largo, Hudson, the Villages and North Dale Mabry in December.”

While the company doesn’t currently offer delivery, after the Oct. 22 grand openings in Tampa and Clearwater, Insa plans to launch a delivery service in these locations.

While building its new facilities, Insa continued to expand its team and now has more than 100 employees. “They are doing a fantastic job and as we expand our production operations, we’ll be doing more hiring,” said Insa cofounder Peter Gallagher. “As we get more products approved, we’ll also be hiring at the store level and at the corporate level.”

Though the company has only done soft openings so far in Tampa and Clearwater, customer reaction has been extremely positive.

“We provide an unrivaled retail experience, and customers who have come in so far have really enjoyed engaging with our staff,” said Gallagher. “We are dedicated to providing our customers with a great shopping experience; not only do customers get to consult with retail associations to learn about our products and cannabis in general, but we also provide a virtual reality headset that enables them to go behind the scenes to see how our products are made.

He added that the company took inspiration from the 1950s Americana retail experience where stores not only displayed all their products, but shared with customers how they were made.

“We really pride ourselves on the craft quality of the products that we produce,” he said.

Details are important to the company, which grows their product in specially engineered rooms to produce the best quality flower and packages in nitrogen-sealed tins to keep it fresh.

“So far, we’ve gotten great reviews for our flower and edibles,” said Gallagher, noting that Insa’s director of cultivation has been breeding cultivars for a long time and is introducing its proprietary genetics into Florida.

“We’re still in the testing and learning phase, and as we learn more about what patients like in Florida, we’ll adapt our product line,” said Gallagher. “One thing that we’re bringing to Florida that is not in other states is a solventless line, which we expect to launch very shortly.”

Despite facing their first Florida hurricane in October, the company suffered only minor damages, so it expects to be able to stick to its timeline for upcoming stores and product launches.

“We’re really excited about the reception we’ve had so far, and I can’t speak highly enough about the absolutely fantastic team that we have here,” said Gallagher. “We’re ready to spend our first year in the market in earnest, and as we see how things go, we’ll continue to roll out new stores and products in 2023.

“We have the best loyalty program in the state, and we’ve got a lot of really interesting products and services in the pipeline that our patients can look forward to and that we’re excited to bring to the Florida market,” he added.

To learn more about Insa, visit www.insa.com.