At Florin Wellness Center patients are like family to the staff. Manager Timothy Stone says the front room where they walk in is often compared to the set of the TV show “Cheers.”
“Many of them come in daily and everyone knows their name,” Stone says. “I can’t tell you how many patients I look forward to seeing every day.”
Those relationships are the reason Stone says he is excited about moving to a new location in October, where the dispensary will have more space to help more patients with services that go beyond supplying medical marijuana.
As a nonprofit, Florin Wellness Center offers additional services free of charge for their patients, including massage sessions, chiropractic adjustments and Pilates, yoga and medicinal marijuana education classes. But when Florin Wellness Center relocates, Stone says they’ll be able to offer even more services.
“We are not just a place that takes your money and sends you on your way,” Stone says. “We want to give back to our patients, and we want to do things that we think will actually benefit them — and that they will appreciate.”
Those benefits include having an attorney provide free legal advice on the guidelines and regulations for growing your own medicinal marijuana plants. Because those rules are continuously changing, Stone says many patients don’t know what is and isn’t legal.
Florin Wellness Center will also offer free cooking classes for patients who choose to ingest their cannabis instead of smoking it. While the dispensary does offer a variety of edibles, Stone says the classes will be geared toward patients who have dietary restrictions or needs. There will also be cannabis culture classes taught for people who are completely unfamiliar with the medicine.
“For many of our patients, this is a last resort for them,” Stone says. “Maybe they felt like cannabis was too taboo before, but they didn’t know what else to do. We show them the different ways to ingest and use cannabis. We teach them about different equipment and how to use it.”
The dispensary also operates a compassion program, which provides medicinal cannabis for free to patients who are experiencing a financial hardship or are severely ill. Currently, Florin Wellness Center has about 60 patients in the program, but Stone says they plan to let more participate in the future.
“We develop personal relationships with a lot of our patients and learn about their backgrounds and situations,” Stone says. “Depending on their needs, we can meet with them, and if they have some substantial problem keeping them from getting their medication, we can help them out. Someone who suffers from severe pain, but is on a fixed income would be someone who would qualify. We review their situation every six months.”
Once the new location officially open, Stone says he’s hoping for a large turnout for their free services. So far, the initial response has been really positive.
“When we had our soft opening, we had four pages of sign-up sheets filled out for people who were interested in these services,” Stone says. “We’re looking forward to accommodating that demand when we open. It all goes back to helping our patients. We really care about them.”