By Vanessa Orr
When GrowHealthy was awarded a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center license in 2016, the Florida medical cannabis industry was still in its infancy. Today, the state ranks second in the nation for industry growth, with more than 600 new people signing up each day.
As a result, GrowHealthy, which was acquired by iAnthus Capital Management in 2018, is expanding its cultivation facilities, delivery services and product lines to meet the need. “Our company mission is to help customers live their best lives, and our goal is to deliver on that promise each day,” explained GrowHealthy Compliance Manager Vijay Choksi. “We do that by making sure that when people need medicine, the product is on the shelves.”
“Since this time last year, the patient population has doubled in the state, and we see that trend continuing,” he added. “There are 21 million people in Florida, and each day, more are entering the medical marijuana registry; this requires aggressive growth to meet the demand.”
GrowHealthy’s expansion plans include increasing cultivation and product capacity space at its Lake Wales cultivation facility by adding approximately 285,000 sq. ft. of outdoor greenhouse and indoor grow room space.
“Our outdoor facilities include hybrid greenhouses that allow our plants to get the full spectrum of sun from Mother Nature, and our indoor grow houses, which are GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified, provide a clean room environment where we can control every facet of the plant’s growth,” Choksi explained. “Right now, we’re working with about 140,000 sq. ft. of space; when all is said and done, we will have almost 500,000 sq. ft. of cultivation space.”
GrowHealthy is also expanding its line of dispensaries, which began with the opening of its flagship dispensary in West Palm Beach in December 2018.
“In 2019, we added dispensaries in Brandon, Lake Worth, Orlando, Daytona Beach, North Miami, Lakeland, Gainesville, Bonita Springs and Deerfield Beach,” said Choksi, adding that by the end of fourth quarter 2019, another two dispensaries are slated to open.
“We will have 17 dispensaries open by end of Q1 2020,” he added.
GrowHealthy is not only expanding its brick and mortar stores, but enlarging its delivery program as well, with the prospect of adding an additional delivery vehicle at each new dispensary.
While it is important to have the right facilities in place, it is also essential to have the right people.
“GrowHealthy has curated a team of world-renowned experts across the spectrum, which includes elevating Florida natives in this space,” said Choksi. “And when we hire new employees, we want to arm them with knowledge so that they, too, can be looked upon as industry leaders.”
All of GrowHealthy’s patient care representatives go through a six- to eight-week training program that provides them with in-depth knowledge of the products, the endocannabinoid system, and the pharmacology involved in introducing cannabis into a medical regimen.
“Because cannabis is still a Schedule 1 substance, a lot of physicians are not taught about its use and are seeking education,” said Choksi of the seminars and educational events they hold throughout Florida for physicians and customers alike. “It is incumbent upon us as a company to provide cannabis-centric knowledge.”
GrowHealthy also partners with research institutions as they create new formularies and continue to improve on best practices.
“The safety and well-being of our patients has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority,” Choksi explained. “We want to ensure that we implement the strictest protocols in all aspects of the cannabis cultivation and oil extraction process.”
GrowHealthy’s products are 100 percent natural and are always pesticide-free, solvent-free, and contaminant-free. Each product includes a QR code on the label that can be scanned using a smart phone for a list of ingredients and third-party testing results.
“Independent, third-party lab tests show that the allowable limit metrics we use go far beyond Florida’s testing regulations,” said Choksi. “While most companies don’t offer this level of transparency, we believe that transparency equates to trust, which is one of the pillars of our company.”
To learn more about GrowHealthy, visit www.growhealthy.com or call 800-619-5288.