By Daniel Casciato
When Florida began offering marijuana licenses to multi-generational nurseries in 2014, three major family nurseries on the Panhandle came together to improve their odds of obtaining a license. Those farmers, along with Jason Pernell and Kim Rivers, founded Trulieve with the core values of providing optimal customer experiences and maintaining operational and financial discipline. Rivers is now CEO and Pernell is CIO. Since then, the company has been able to meet the needs of loyal customers and provide quality offerings to its stores in Florida and beyond.
“Trulieve continues to maintain our market lead in Florida and we plan to leverage our experience as a vertically integrated cannabis company in the other states we operate in today, and as we move into new states,” says Rivers.
While most businesses have its obstacles to overcome, the main challenges facing Trulieve are external factors, such as the time lag around federal legislation, including the SAFE Act and STATES Act.
“We always say that the industry moves in dog years,” says Rivers. “As the industry continues to grow in the coming years and as we build on our national expansion plans, we hope to call on our loyal patient community of Trulievers to continue to support us.”
By controlling its entire supply chain from seed to sale, Trulieve has been able to offer a wide range of high-quality products to serve its customers. With the approval of smokable flower in March 2019, it saw an immediate increase in patients entering the medical marijuana program.
“Flower accounts for approximately 50 percent of our product mix while concentrates, tinctures and CBD continue to be products that we’re proud to offer our patients,” explains Rivers. “We look forward to the approval of the Department of Health guidelines for the labeling of edibles and anticipate edibles will be well received by our patients.”
What distinguishes Trulieve from the competition, according to Rivers is its customer service.
“From product conception to sale, we focus on the customer,” she says. “Ultimately, our patients are at the forefront of all we do, and we want to offer them the best product possible. As a result, we’ve been rewarded with a very loyal community of Trulievers for each of our stores.”
This commitment to customer satisfaction also means offering the highest quality product. That’s why the company offers full returns on its entire product line to ensure complete satisfaction.
“In 2019 we were proud to introduce the California-based Blue River Extracts & Terpenes to our Florida stores,” says Rivers. “Blue River’s award-winning terpene extracts have since been a long-time favorite of our patients. Additionally, to ensure patients are able to access the high-quality products with the safety that they deserve, we offer a 24/7 report search feature for third-party safety reports on all of our products.”
Since they are embedded in the cannabis industry, Rivers says that her company is able to see, through its incredible customer base of Trulievers, that cannabis improves the daily lives of patients.
“We want to fulfill their medical needs and improve their symptoms, and ultimately, help them lead a happier life,” she says.
Beyond that, she says it is their hope that they are able to showcase the incredibly positive impact that this industry can have on the daily lives of patients to the larger United States population, particularly in regard to the politicians that most influence cannabis legislation.
“We help make this vision a reality through community outreach events – for example, in early January we will be hosting another one of our “Silver Tour” sessions, a traveling educational series that focuses on dispelling old myths and educating community members and politicians about the benefits of medical marijuana,” she says,
Since its launch, Trulieve has been providing access and quality product to customers which has been its main goal, both in the short and long term.
“Trulieve’s success in building our wonderful, loyal patient community, showcases that we continue to meet this goal month after month, adds Rivers.
Trulieve’s long-term vision for its future includes expansion in our focus markets, including Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut, as well into new markets.
“Our rapid growth and profitability is unusual in the current cannabis market,” Rivers notes. “We pride ourselves in being a financially disciplined company and recognize that capital markets can change and should not be relied upon to sustain operations long-term. As a result of our financial strength, we have been able to raise nonconvertible debt, which is a large point of differentiation from our competitors in the cannabis market.”
For more information, visit www.trulieve.com.