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Michelle Castro, Co-Owner and Operator of Franny’s Farmacy- Interview Series

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“While this might not seem like something that most entrepreneurs think of as being a challenge, the biggest challenge for us has been working with our local building department for permitting.”

Michelle Castro

Cannabis entrepreneurs face numerous challenges just to get their businesses up and running. And even after the business is on its feet, it's hardly ever business-as-usual in the cannabis industry. Tight regulations, fluid laws, high taxation, and competition with the illicit market are a few of the obstacles that entrepreneurs have to constantly contend against. As Michelle mentions, while other businesses may find it easy to secure space for their businesses, cannabis entrepreneurs may find this task extremely daunting. 

MyCannabis had the rare chance to interview  a cannabis business owner who has beaten several odds to find her place and voice in the industry. 

Michelle Castro is the the Co-Owner and Operator of Franny's Farmacy Fort Lauderdale. She is a first-generation Cuban American who grew up in Miami watching her parents strive for the American dream. Like many children, Michelle snacked on taffy and KitKats, and health was not a priority. But as she entered adulthood and realized the importance of a healthier lifestyle, Michelle's life began to change. Michelle invested in her health, and it changed her life, leading her to become a health and fitness coach to help others.

In 2017, while searching for natural alternatives to chemotherapy for her mother-in-law, Michelle discovered the benefits of CBD and began treating her with it. She saw a positive change in her health and became fascinated with cannabinoids, which led her to incorporate CBD into her daily routine. Michelle came across Franny's Farmacy and was impressed with their high-quality organic hemp and CBD products, leading her to become a proud owner of Franny's Farmacy Fort Lauderdale with her wife, Emely, and sister, Rosemary.

Meet Michelle.

As a brief introduction, can you share with us how your career path led you to the cannabis industry?  

In 2017, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. This led me to research alternatives to chemotherapy, and I came across CBD and all the great benefits it offers. I learned how it had helped other cancer patients in the past, so we began giving her CBD for pain relief. We noticed a significant improvement, and since then, I have been using CBD daily for myself.

Briefly introduce Franny’s Farmacy and the inspiration behind this leading CBD brand. What sets Franny’s apart from other CBD brands? 

Franny's Farmacy is a vertically integrated CBD dispensary franchise based in North Carolina with 12 stores in 5 states. They take pride in providing their customers with only the highest quality ingredients. What sets Franny's apart from others for me is the superior quality and ingredients used in their products. I was a customer before becoming a franchisee, so when we discovered the franchise opportunity, it was a no-brainer for us. I have tried many different cannabis products, but none have compared to Franny's.

What unique role is Franny’s Farmacy playing in Fort Lauderdale and especially concerning the underserved Latino community?

We plan on having educational events for the community in both English and Spanish, with our goal being to raise awareness and destigmatize cannabis use in our community. Providing proper education, and delivering the right information to the people who need it most is key in destigmatizing the incredible powers this plant has, and unlocking a greater quality of life for so many people. 

What can you say has been the biggest challenge in setting up the business and getting it to where it is today?

While this might not seem like something that most entrepreneurs think of as being a challenge, the biggest challenge for us has been working with our local building department for permitting. Cannabis business owners understand that this industry is anything but “business-as-usual.” So, working through what may seem like an everyday task, can be one of the toughest things for a cannabis business to accomplish. At the end of the day, every challenge we have to confront is well worth it. 

What is the one thing that has kept you going in spite of any challenges that may have cropped up along the way? 

The excitement of sharing our knowledge and products, and empowering our community with hemp-wellness makes up for it all. There is no better feeling than knowing you were able to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. To be in a situation where this will be our day-to-day is a dream come true. 

You use CBD as part of your daily routine. Why is this important to you and how has this impacted your general health and wellbeing? 

Personally, CBD has helped me with my anxiety, and it has also helped me remain focused throughout my day. I’m also very big into health and fitness, and so CBD plays a huge part in my muscle recovery routine after a HIIT workout. Anytime I feel sore, or as if a muscle seems to be inflamed, CBD always comes to my rescue! 

What’s next for Franny’s Farmacy? 

Franny's Farmacy plans to expand into the Latino market and deliver a new level of education, value, and insights to this underserved community by participating in regional pop-ups and farmer's markets. In addition, we're excited to broaden our reach and raise awareness among people from all walks of life, providing them with high-quality CBD products and education to support a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

It was a great pleasure to have this conversation with Michelle Castro, the the Co-Owner and Operator of Franny's Farmacy Fort Lauderdale. Readers who wish to keep up with Franny's Farmacy Fort Lauderdale are  invited to do so through the company's website.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.