LAKELAND, Fla. -- Polk County’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Curaleaf, has opened its doors, and one of its competitors, Grow Healthy, says it plans to open a dispensary in Polk County in 2019.

  • Curaleaf opened Aug. 30 in Lakeland
  • Sells vapors, drops, topicals, capsules and oils
  • You need a medical marijuana card to shop there
  • RELATED: Learn how to get medical marijuana (Florida Dept. of Health)

Curaleaf is located at 3145 US Hwy 98 North, near I-4. It opened Aug. 30.

Betty Patterson was thrilled the company decided to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Lakeland.

“I never thought -- I never dreamed Polk County would get one,” said Betty Patterson.

She said she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and said the cannabis helps relieve her anxiety.

“It helps me feel better. It helps me cope with things that happened in life. You don’t need pills to get better when God made it for you,” Patterson explained.

Regional Dispensary Operations Manager Vinit Patel said the dispensary sells doctor-prescribed vapors, drops, topicals, capsules and oils.

“Patients want to get off of those opiates and those other types of medications that they no longer want to be on," Patel said. "And they choose to go this natural route and we’re seeing quite a bit of that.”

Patel said the vaporizer products are some of their best sellers. 

“It has an onset within minutes, as opposed to some of the oral preparations [that] can take as long as 30 to 60 minutes for onset,” Patel said. He also said the vaporizer products come in a variety of flavors.

The dispensary operates much like a pharmacy.

“Veterans, elderly, retired, actively working. We check all of the boxes. We see all types of patients here,” Patel said.

The dispensary is open seven days a week. You have to have a medical marijuana card to shop inside. Patel said they also plan to host educational seminars and events where people can learn how to become a medical marijuana card holder and the benefits of the treatment.