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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  CANADIAN NATIONAL STOCK EXCHANGE  >  Liberty Health Sciences Inc    LHS   CA5305621073

LIBERTY HEALTH SCIENCES INC (LHS)
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Liberty Health Sciences : Three medical marijuana dispensaries in process of coming to Bonita Springs

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01/12/2019 | 06:04am EST

"This is one of the fastest-growing and densely populated regions in Florida. Bonita Springs, in particular, is an area skewed to a sweet spot in our demographics."

George Scorsis, CEO of Liberty Health Sciences

Three medical marijuana dispensaries are opening in Bonita Springs less than a year after the city allowed the stores within its boundaries.

City Council approved dispensaries in March after a close 4-3 vote. Bonita Springs was one of the first municipalities in Lee County to allow the stores.

Licensed producers Liberty Health Sciences, Curaleaf and Surterra Wellness are in various stages of attaining permits to open a location within city limits. A new Bonita Springs location is advertised on the Liberty Health and the Surterra websites.

George Scorsis, CEO of Liberty Health Sciences, said Bonita Springs offers everything a dispensary company needs.

"This is one of the fastest-growing and densely populated regions in Florida," Scorsis said. "Bonita Springs, in particular, is an area skewed to a sweet spot in our demographics."

Most medical marijuana users are 40-years-old or older, making the Bonita Springs and surrounding areas a perfect location, Scorsis said.

The Liberty Health Services location plans to open at the end of January, Scorsis said. The store, part of a strip mall, sits northeast of U.S. 41 and Old 41 Road, close to the Estero village boundary.

Final city approvals are still needed, although it is a routine inspection that could be finished within the month, city planners said. If problems do arise, an opening date could be pushed back.

The dispensary is required to stick with Bonita Springs sign codes, limiting any large signs.

The other two dispensaries are farther back in the city permit process, although everything is moving smoothly, city code enforcement said.

Curaleaf is not far behind Liberty Health. Its location sits southeast of Bonita Beach Road and Imperial Parkway at 11721 Bonita Beach Road. An opening date is unavailable, although the website states it will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

Surterra Wellness should open southeast of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road behind Pinchers at 28520 Bonita Crossings Blvd. An opening date is not yet available.

The closest open dispensary is in Fort Myers.

The Bonita Springs area market is large enough for all three dispensaries to operate without severe competition, Scorsis said.

"There's such a large population density in the market, but we're really differentiated in approach because we offer the best medical education services," Scorsis said.

Delivery service plays into the Bonita Springs openings. Collier County continues to deny entry for medical marijuana dispensaries. The south Lee County city is the closest a dispensary can get to the Naples market.

"It will bring shorter delivery times," Scorsis said. "It's like the Uber of cannabis delivery. In most cases, patients will receive their medication the same day."

Brick-and-mortar stores in Bonita Springs are still necessary for first-time patients and those with medicine questions, Scorsis said.

"A building provides better education about how to use (cannabis) delivery products," he said.

Liberty Health likely will open another location in Collier County if commissioners open the land to dispensaries.

Florida law limits every dispensary business to 30 stores, although that could expand based on population size.

"We're very disciplined and don't rush," Scorsis said. "We open in the right locations with a tremendous amount of information."

Each of the three licensed producers opening in Bonita Springs have not hit the 30 mark, allowing for more state expansion.

The limit, set in a state statute, is under fire in a court case. If the state loses, the 30-store limit would end.

A state statute also requires dispensary businesses to do everything from growing marijuana to shipping and sales.

These requirements make small stores nearly impossible, which is why larger businesses with many locations reign supreme.

"This is one of the fastest-growing and densely populated regions in Florida. Bonita Springs, in particular, is an area skewed to a sweet spot in our demographics."

George Scorsis, CEO of Liberty Health Sciences

© © 2019 Journal Media Group, source Newspapers

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CURALEAF HOLDINGS INC 0.00% 7.88 Delayed Quote.21.98%
LIBERTY HEALTH SCIENCES INC -5.94% 0.95 Delayed Quote.9.78%
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Liberty Health Sciences Inc Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
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Consensus
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 2
Average target price 1,88  CAD
Spread / Average Target 86%
Managers
NameTitle
George Scorsis Chief Executive Officer & Director
Victor Neufeld Chairman
Rene D. Gulliver Chief Financial Officer
Jennifer Timothee Oliveras Medical Director
John Cervini Director
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