We sat down with the team at TerraLeaf, a medical cannabis dispensary servicing West Virginia, to ask them the Veriheal 5—five questions designed to get the scoop on their services and perks for medical cannabis patients.
Q: Quality is the name of the game these days. With that in mind, what are some of the tactics your team has used/uses when sourcing new products?
A: TerraLeaf prides itself on quality medical cannabis products at competitive prices for our patients. TerraLeaf offers a wide array of products and brands to suit the specific needs, ailments, and qualifying conditions for our patients in West Virginia. We keep close relationships with our suppliers in West Virginia and actively work to maintain these relationships through constant communication.
Understanding the processes and benefits of cannabis medicine and education on the cannabinoid and terpene content is paramount to passing on this knowledge to our patients. We encourage our patients to journal their experiences with various products to share with our staff to relay this feedback to the growers.
Q: How does TerraLeaf Dispensaries differentiate itself from the rest of the industry? What are some of the experiences exclusive to TerraLeaf Dispensaries that you might not find anywhere else?
A: TerraLeaf Dispensaries offers an experience unlike any other. Beginning with our Education Center adjacent to our dispensary—this place was built separately and is open to patients and non-patients. We host events for the community, such as self-defense classes, pop-ups to support local businesses, registration/certification events with recommending physicians in the West Virginia program, and educational meet-ups. Since December 2021, the Education Center has helped thousands of patients obtain their cards, offer printing & lamination services for patient cards, and provide registration assistance to the community on a regular basis.
Our Education Center is also where TerraLeaf holds onboarding and continuing training for our staff. Relax at ease in TerraLeaf’s spa-like atmosphere with the tranquil sounds of our waterfall and design odes to our neighbors, Marshall University. Patients may help themselves to our refreshment bar of flavored water and cookies. We offer 1:1 patient-to-staff interactions with special attention to education on the endocannabinoid system, terpenes, therapeutic impacts of cannabis as medicine, and regulations pertaining to compliance in the state of West Virginia.
Q: Tell us a little bit about how TerraLeaf Dispensaries got its start. Why did the owner(s) choose to enter the medical marijuana industry?
A: TerraLeaf Dispensaries opened its doors for patients officially in March 2022. TerraLeaf’s start begins with our leadership as a women-owned business. Owner and CEO Chris Visco is an established entrepreneur who has been operating in the cannabis space since 2017. Chris operated dispensaries in Pennsylvania under the brand TerraVida Holistic Centers and saw the effect medical marijuana had on patients of all ages and also the stigma that marijuana holds. She knew that with her retail background, she could make an impact on the community for the better.
Through education and community outreach, TerraLeaf has been working towards breaking the stigma to showcase the positive impacts of marijuana as medicine. Chris herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and personally saw the positive effects from using Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to mitigate her symptoms.
After great success in Pennsylvania, Chris saw a need in the state of West Virginia, specifically the city of Huntington. Huntington is considered the “opioid capital of the United States,” with the highest opioid overdose per capita. The patients that come to TerraLeaf are in extreme pain, suffer from PTSD, seeking alternatives to opioids, neuropathies, cancers, and seizures. The cannabis is grown in the state, tested, and offers alternatives for those seeking relief from traditional medicine.
Q: With social equity being a major topic of discussion in the industry, what actions is your team taking to maintain/improve your social equitability?
A: TerraLeaf has a nonprofit arm, “The VOWD Project.” The VOWD Project was recently rebranded from TerraVida VOWD (Victims of The War on Drugs). The nonprofit was initiated in 2019 to advocate for those who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, provide assistance towards the expungement of non-violent marijuana-related records, and various philanthropic initiatives in disproportionately impacted areas.
To improve social equitability, members of the community and VOWD have successfully participated and continue to participate in many charitable projects, including census and voter registration sign-up drives, donations to various community outreach organizations, food drives, and pandemic relief initiatives throughout the community. Follow @thevowdproject on Instagram and Facebook to see what The Vowd Project is up to!
Q: Are there any recurring events in the local community that your team is hosting/participating in that you would like to let us know about?
A: TerraLeaf is active within the local community of Huntington. In the Education Center adjacent to the dispensary, the community can find events such as self-defense classes, education seminars, and monthly registration events with participating West Virginia recommending physicians. These registration events offer lower-cost options for patients looking to join the program.
Increasing patient enrollment is of utmost importance in West Virginia. To check out what events TerraLeaf is participating in monthly, visit the event calendar on the TerraLeaf website at https://www.terraleafwv.com/events. TerraLeaf also has a newsletter where announcements of events, product deliveries, and promotions occur. Opt-in on the TerraLeaf website at https://www.terraleafwv.com/contact.