One Plant, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Florida, opened its fourth location on June 26 in Port St. Lucie, north of Miami. One Plant’s goal is to have 10 dispensaries open by the end of 2020 and, beyond that, eventually 21 locations.
CEO Brady Cobb spoke with Cannabis Business Times about the state of the industry in Florida and opening a dispensary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brady Cobb: [This answer is] probably because I am a little bit partial, since I was born and raised here, but I have always had my eye on the potential of cannabis and what it could be in Florida. It is a solid state demographically when you look at who lives here, who is moving here. The veteran population is a big part of our business. Our only two discounts we provide are our new patient discount and our veteran discount, because any veteran I can help keep off opiates is a big win. So, we have a great veteran population, and we have a lot of people who move here that ultimately want to age here and spend a large chunk of their life here.
And, let’s be honest, these past six months have probably been some of the most stressful our society has ever seen, and people are looking at options aside from more traditional anxiety and stress relief, and cannabis is that.
OM: As the Florida market grows, how do you see One Plant fitting into it?
BC: We wanted to provide the best flower in Florida, and we wanted to provide flexibility. We are not your traditional kind of retail focus: Our big focus is on home delivery. Last July, while we were dialing in the grow, we launched [a] ... statewide home delivery network that’s all e-commerce-enabled. Customers [can] place an order online, and we are at their house the next day. Each one of our stores is a delivery hub. By the time we are finished building stores, we will have 21. That number is not picked out of thin air. Twenty-one is the number of hubs that FedEx has in the state of Florida. Our mindset is, “If they can do it, we can do it,” so our ultimate goal is to have same-day delivery statewide, and the geographic location of each store was chosen to facilitate that goal.
OM: Did that emphasis on a delivery business model help you adapt to store closures during the COVID-19 shutdowns?
BC: We actually closed our stores in March because of COVID to protect our team and patients, and we still enjoyed steady growth. We had the first curbside pickup model that launched in the state and we still have, in my opinion, the best—and [we] also just focused on home delivery. We opened the stores when the state opened back up, and about two and a half weeks ago, as cases started to increase, we closed the stores again. Having that delivery functionality was huge for us. As our competitors raced to set up delivery in the middle of a pandemic, we have had six months to dial it in.
OM: You advocated heavily for Florida designating medical marijuana as an essential business, what did you efforts look like?
BC: To be candid, it was as simple as getting on the phone and dialing up policy makers and key members of the legislature and the government here in Florida to remind them that this is medicine. [Lawmakers] have already classified this as medicine. It is constitutionally allowed and it is something that people are relying upon. And as we are entering a pandemic, which for some folks will even exacerbate some conditions they have for which they’re qualified for cannabis, it needs to be taken very seriously. The side effects of chemotherapy or the PTSD of a veteran are not going to take a time out because of COVID-19. And I know that my counterparts [at other cannabis companies in Florida] were pounding the phones as well. We may compete, but this was something we all had a unified voice on.