A little more than a year ago, Curio Wellness’s co-founder, Wendy Bronfein, carefully planted the company’s very first cannabis seed. What has grown from that seed is a dynamic and unique integrative health center. Curio’s operation encompasses the cultivation, processing, and distribution of pure and high-quality cannabis products. Curio’s commitment to helping people live a better quality of life begins the moment they open the door.
Walking inside Curio Wellness’ retail location in Timonium, Maryland is like entering an ultra-modern, upscale spa with friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to help patients choose top-of-the-line medical cannabis products. What makes Curio unique is that any member of the community can take advantage of Curio’s alternative medicine services including acupuncture and massage in the Curio spa. Professional grade vitamins and supplements and curated health and beauty products are available in the company’s holistic pharmacy. The facility also includes an educational classroom where a variety of programs, including yoga classes, are open to the public to round out Curio’s holistic approach to health.
Just down the road is Curio’s 46,000 square-foot warehouse, where the company’s first seed has flourished into an entire growing room of high quality cannabis plants. The facility houses the high-tech lab where the company grows and processes its cannabis products. Nine climate-controlled cultivation rooms are filled with soft yellow light, ideal for growing the company’s well-cultivated plants. Specialized systems are used to precisely feed the plants, and the facility also includes dedicated drying and curing rooms. Curio Wellness employs a team of experienced horticulturists who constantly review data on how the cannabis grows. The team, which also includes researchers and experienced agronomy and pharmacology professionals, uses this data to optimize the growing process. It’s all based on scientific studies and closely monitored by Curio staff wearing hygienic jumpsuits to protect the plants from any contaminants. From the warehouse, Curio distributes its products to a growing number of licensed dispensaries in the state.
Bronfein states that the company is deeply committed to investing in its people and its state-of-the-art growing and processing technology. Producing the highest quality medical cannabis products is a top priority, as is consistency. “Our investment in our facility and our people allows us to deliver consistent quantities of medicine to the dispensaries we serve. This consistency in product and production ensures that patients always get what they need when they need it,” she says.
A Company Built on Hometown Pride
Wendy and her father Michael started planning for the future of medical cannabis more than four years ago when the arena was still unchartered territory. Wendy Bronfein, who spent years as a television marketing and branding executive in New York City, knew it was the right time to come back to Maryland to get in on the ground floor of this exciting new industry.
“I came to my father on a whim when I saw that the medical cannabis industry was gaining traction in Maryland. Given his extensive background in healthcare and my background in marketing and brand building, I knew we had something interesting here,” she explains. In the spring of 2014, the father and daughter duo began their research, attending cannabis conventions, and talking to physicians, research scientists and cannabis experts outside of the U.S. in robust markets like Israel and Canada.
“Everything kept pushing us forward. We started to mobilize,” she says. “Maryland was a very fertile ground for building this medical cannabis ecosystem. The state has an innovative and progressive healthcare environment.”
Wendy Bronfein is extremely proud of the family-owned, founded, and operated Maryland-based company. “For us, it was important to build a generational company that would, in turn, become a legacy workplace for us and our employees. We wanted to build a business around living wages, professional growth, and the needs of patients.”
Marrying Science and Development
Research and development is a cornerstone of Curio’s business. The company’s goal is to create scientifically developed medicine derived from cannabis, explains Bronfein. When the company was initially formed, the Bronfeins developed a scientific advisory board comprised of top physicians and research scientists from the nation’s leading medical institutions including Johns Hopkins Medicine. Curio works closely with the advisory board and research scientists on product development and the creation of targeted cannabis formulas that help remedy specific health conditions and symptoms.
Bronfein adds that Curio’s focus on data, product development, and testing is important to creating a medicine that provides patients with the relief they need for specific conditions. “We invested in our own lab so that we could test and create just the right product formulas,” she explains. Cannabis products that are developed and brought to market by Curio are first tested and verified by a third-party lab.
Mainstreaming the Alternative
Medical cannabis card holding patients line up at Curio’s dispensary for personal consultations and to purchase the well-studied cannabis medicines. The company offers a full menu of flower, topical balms and creams, vapes, tablets, and a newly released line of distillates. Bronfein points out that many of the distillates are strain-specific and the company has developed a product that is not only pure but also targeted for symptom-specific relief.
“There’s been a lot of progress made across the country as far as new cannabis products, but what you don’t see are a lot of targeted therapies – medicines that are infused with cannabinoids to treat certain conditions,” explains Bronfein.
“For so many patients, medical cannabis is about a quality of life improvement,” says Bronfein. “Not everything can be cured, but quality of life can certainly be maintained.” And that’s just what Curio Wellness is setting out to do – provide people with a better quality of life by mainstreaming alternative medicine and cannabis-derived therapies.